The Best of 2012: Part 5: ‘Best Director, Best Musical Direction, and Best Choreography of a Musical’

For the next week we will be posting lists of our favorites of 2012 in several categories. These lists reflect the opinions of members of the writing staff of DCMetroTheaterArts. We were allowed to nominated shows and performances we reviewed and did not review – but attended. With over 1,200 productions to choose from, it was not an easy task.

With the amount of riches on our local stages, it’s only reasonable that some of your favorites may not have made our lists – but that’s where you come in!  We invite you to leave comments and to share your own favorites of 2012 with our readers.

Thank you for supporting the theater and arts community in the DC Metro Area, and thanks for reading DCMetroTheaterArts.

Kudos to everyone in our theatre and arts community for your glorious work in 2012! We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and successful 2013 filled with sold-out houses! Congratulations on your wonderful performances in 2012!


The cast of Catholic University’s ‘Finian’s Rainbow,’ directed by Parker Esse Photo by Ed Pfueller.

Laurence Connor and James Powell for Les Miserables at The National Theatre.

Peter Flynn for 1776 at Ford’s Theatre.

Matthew Gardiner for Dreamgirls at Signature Theatre. 

Michael V. Hartsfield for Ragtime at Laurel Mill Playhouse.

Maurice Hines for Josephine Tonight! at MetroStage.

Shawn Kettering for The King & I at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia.

Susan Kramer for RENT at Silhouette Stages.

Jen Male for Avenue Q at Red Branch Theatre Company.

Susan Marie Rhea and Mark A. Rhea for Spring Awakening at The Keegan Theatre.

Meredith McMath for Once Upon a Christmas Carol at Run Rabbit Run Theatre.

Mark Minnick for Legally Blonde: The Musical at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia.

Darnell Morris for Avenue Q at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre.

Larry Munsey and Toby Orenstein for The Color Purple at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia.

Eric J. Potter for Next To Normal at Vagabond Players.

Jack Sbarbori for James Joyce’s The Dead at Quotidian Theatre Company.

 Eric Schaeffer for Brother Russia at Signature Theatre.

Eric Schaeffer for First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb at The Kennedy Center.

Serge Seiden for Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at MetroStage.

Bobby Smith for Cinderella at Olney Theatre Center.

Molly Smith for The Music Man at Arena Stage.


Musician Tom Teasley playing live during ‘The Conference of the Birds.’ Photo by Scott Suchman.

 Stacey Antoine for RENT at Silhouette Stages.

David Alan Bunn for Josephine Tonight! at MetroStage.

Jenny Cartney for Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at MetroStage.

Diane El-Shafey for Once Upon a Christmas Carol at Run Rabbit Run Theatre.

George Fulginiti-Shakar for Guys and Dolls at American University.

Tom Fuller for Marathon 33 at American Century Theater.

Lawrence Goldberg for Les Miserables at National Theatre.

Lawrence Goldberg for The Music Man at Arena Stage.

Valerie Higgs for James Joyce’s The Dead at Quotidian Theatre Company.

Jon Kalbfleisch for Dreamgirls at Signature Theatre.

Jon Kalbfleisch for First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb at The Kennedy Center.

Gabriel Mangiante for Brother Russia at Signature Theatre.

Walter McCoy for Altar Boyz at 1st Stage.

Dustin Merrell for Avenue Q at Red Branch Theatre Company.

 Jake Null for Spring Awakening at The Keegan Theatre.

 Thomas Pedersen for Finian’s Rainbow at Catholic University.

Ross Scott Rawlings for Legally Blonde: The Musical at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia.

David Rohde for Legally Blonde at Reston Community Players. 

Elisa Rosman for Sweeney Todd at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

Kristofer Sanz for The Phantom of the Opera for Young Artists of America

Michael Tan for Mame at Spotlighters Theatre.

 Tom Teasley for Metamorphoses at Constellation Theatre Company
(Score and Performance).

Tom Teasley for The Conference of the Birds at Folger Theatre Company.
(Score and Performance).

Jesse Terrill for A Commedia Christmas Carol at Faction of Fools (Score).

Pamela Witt for A Christmas Carol at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia.

Christopher Youstra for Cinderella at The Olney Theatre Center.

Christopher Youstra for The Color Purple at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia.

Christopher Youstra for The Sound of Music at Olney Theatre Center.


The cast of ‘The Music Man.’ Photo by Joan Marcus. Choreography by Parker Esse.

Kathryn Dunn for Billy Elliot at Hipodrome Theatre.

Kurt Boehm for Spring Awakening at The Keegan Theatre.

Parker Esse for Finian’s Rainbow at Catholic University.

Parker Esse for The Music Man at Arena Stage.

Matthew Gardiner and Brianne Camp for Dreamgirls at Signature Theatre.

Maurice Hines for Josephine Tonight! at MetroStage.

Karl Kippola for Guys and Dolls at American University.

Jeremy A. McShan for Altar Boyz at 1st Stage.

Jeremy A. McShan for All Shook Up at Rockville Musical Theatre.

Randy Skinner for Dames at Sea at Infinity Theatre Company.

Randy Skinner for White Christmas at The Kennedy Center.

Irina Tsikurishvili for Jekyll and Hyde at Synetic Theater.

Irina Tsikurishvili for The Taming of the Shrew at Synetic Theater.


The Best of 2012: Part 1: Dance Memories, 10 Favorites of 2012 by Carolyn Kelemen.

The Best of 2012: Part 2: The Best Musicals of 2012.

The Best of 2012: Part 3: The Best of 2012: Part 3: Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Musical.

The Best of 2012: Part 4: Best Performance by Supporting Actor and Actress in a Musical.


  1. Thanks for keeping me posted, Joel. A win would mean a lot for a new, small show like Josephine Tonight, so I am keeping fingers, knees, and eyes crossed (that was part of Josephine’s shtick) for a good outcome. Maurice Hines surely deserves whatever accolades there are for bringing the spirit, the movement, and the time of Josephine Baker to life in my musical. And David Bunn did heroic, brilliant work. Best, Sherman


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