Best of theater at the U

Best Drama: “Pussycat,” in Studio 115? “Pussycat” gets this nod because it took audiences and the theater world back to a drug-induced, rave-loving ’90s, full of disenfranchised youths and an interestingly human story amidst the glam and glow of an unforgettable underground of candy necklaces, glow sticks and a soundtrack that made everyone get all nostalgic.Ah, high school.

Best Comedy: “On The Razzle,” in the Babcock? Despite the fact that the U does comedies as often as the president’s approval rating rises above 40 percent, “On The Razzle” proved that you could enjoy yourself at the theater without needing to understand some deeper meaning in life. This was an essentially fun and energetic performance.”On The Razzle” gets double points for proving that actors in horse costumes can still be funny. This production also receives points for the adorable 6-year-old Robin Young who stole the end of the show with her too-cute-to-be-true scene. ?

Best Actor: Thomas Marcus as Prior in “Angels in America: Perestroika”? As Prior Walter (a homosexual man with AIDS), how many people can portray the maturity and depth of one of contemporary theatre’s greatest plays, in college no less, and still make me cry?almost? Thomas Marcus. Well done, sir.

Best Production: “Assassins,” in the Babcock Theatre? I am a closet musical lover, and I saw this one four times. If that and the sold-out status of practically every show isn’t enough, the poignant and satirical commentary on the viability of the American dream, as well as “Assassins'” diverse and eclectic style of music, most certainly is. Oh yeah, and it’s got Stephen Sondheim. ‘Nuff said. Best. Musical. Guy?ever.

Best Direction in a Play: Larry West for “Iphigenia at Aulis”It takes guts to graft a fairly modern concept onto an ancient Greek play in the Classical Greek Theatre Festival with cameras, reporters and, of course, helicopters-and make it work. ??

Best “Shaker-Upper of Tradition:” Jared Anderson for Studio 115’s “Experiments in Ink VII”? The guy took an annual event that had virtually never changed and was beginning to lose its appeal and turned it into a night of collaboration and experimentation that went beyond theatre into dance, film and English.

Best Deal for Students: It’s a tie. SLAC’s student season tickets are only $56, which is a damned good reason to see new, edgy and original work. Pioneer Theatre Company gets a nod as well because, despite its more commercial nature, with a $5 activation and $5 tickets at half-hour, there is no reason that anyone should have missed “Beauty and the Beast” this year?er, I mean?

Best Excuse to See Theater: Reality TV and an onslaught of nothing but never-ending sequels in Hollywood? The great thing about theater (other than the fact that it is live) is it is such a communal event. In a day and age in which the world is getting smaller and technology is putting people closer, but further away, the theatre reminds us why it has survived thousands of years and can still amaze and entice our senses. Sure, it can be cheaper and involve more effort than staying at home to watch Bucky get kicked off “American Idol,” but come on, it is a sad state of affairs when a majority of Americans would rather watch a would-be-star named Bucky over Shakespeare.