By Thom Geier
December 20, 2010 at 03:05 PM EST

Image Credit: Paul KolnikOnly three of the shows on my list of the top 10 theater productions of 2010 are still playing: a stripped-down revival of the musical La Cage aux Folles, the ingenious, soon-to-close film-to-stage adaptation Brief Encounter, and the Sondheim revival A Little Night Music (a 2009 production that got a boost of invigorating new energy last summer when Bernadette Peters stepped into the lead role). Several of these shows were launched with deliberately limited runs, it’s true — the Denzel Washington-led revival of Fences would have played for as long as Washington dared to stay away from his movie career; likewise the Alfred Molina-topped art drama Red. But I openly confess my disappointment that theatergoers stayed away (in droves) from my No. 1 pick: The Scottsboro Boys, the final Kander-Ebb musical and a moving, challenging, melodic tribute to nine real-life victims of racial injustice. It was easily the best show of the year — one hopes it has a long and fruitful life in regional theaters in the coming years. Here are the rest of my selections:

1. The Scottsboro Boys (Broadway)

2. Red (Broadway)

3. Clybourne Park (Off Broadway/Washington, D.C.)

4. La Cage aux Folles (Broadway)

5. Gatz (Off Broadway)

6. Brief Encounter (Brooklyn/Minneapolis/Broadway)

7. The Orphans’ Home Cycle (Off Broadway)

8. Fences (Broadway)

9. A Little Night Music (Broadway)

10. Stuffed and Unstrung (Off Broadway)

So, PopWatchers. Now’s you chance to weigh in. What did I get right (and wrong)? And what was your favorite theater production of the year?

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