The Top “Smart Reviews” Posts of 2013

2013 was a pretty rotten year in a lot of ways. I’m feeling invigorated about the prospect of turning a new leaf and approaching a new year with new goals (I’m obsessed with New Years resolutions). This blog has exceeded my expectations as a way to both practice and share my writing. And this is only the beginning! My web-savvy brother says I should link to some of my most popular posts of the year, and I figure, why not? Below are some highlights – popular posts, my favorite posts – from JackSmartReviews.com… so far! HAPPY 2014 BESTYEAREVER!

Writing about Lady Gaga (and her new album, ARTPOP) is all very well and good, but theater reviews are the reason this blog was born and the kind of writing I most enjoy (besides, Gags and I are so over). I was lucky to see some of the best theater New York had to offer this fall, from the big (The Glass MenagerieThe Snow Geese! Waiting For Godot, The Winslow Boy, and Pippin!) to the small (Bubble Boy The Musical! Tamar of the River! Random up-and-coming, Off-Off-Broadway stuff!). The All For One Theater Festival and I got along just fine (Another Medea and A Little Potato and Hard to Peel were both excellent), I blurbed about LGBT theater at Samuel French, and I published two reviews over at Theatre Is Easy: The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told and The Pigeoning.

Looking back, my personal favorite is my review of Lincoln Center’s Domesticated, a version of which can be seen over at PlaysToSee.com. Bruce Norris’ play still barges its way into my thoughts now and then, and has provided some excellent water cooler conversations with fellow theater types.

I tried my hand at recapping television, but unfortunately chose an erratic and disappointing season of Homeland (side note: the second-to-last episode was so thrilling, it almost made up for it). American Horror Story: Coven and Masters of Sex were breathlessly entertaining this fall, filling the gap Mad Men left behind and then some. I described my initial reaction to The Spoils of Babylon in detail, was occasionally impressed by SNL, and can’t believe it took me so long to become a Louie convert. And NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!” enabled me to have probably a little too much fun.

Many of the “Smart Picks of the Day” were based on the music I’ve jammed to or am currently jamming to. The list includes Foxes, Karmin, Seeed, Rizzle Kicks, Camille, Throw VisiontUnE yArDs, and Eric Cartman’s rendition of “O Holy Night.” I reacted to reactions to Lily Allen‘s reactions to Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke (you guys, she should have had all the backup dancers in unflattering, baggy clothes!). I lamented the mainstreamification of artists like Stooshe, and worshipped the great Lianne La Havas. Be on the lookout for hip hop classical fusion group ShoutHouse, because they’re gonna be huge. Also, I don’t care what people say about mashups. They’re awesome.

Other music highlights include my thoughts on Kimbra and Amanda Palmer, mostly because they read them and retweeted me! (I’m still waiting for Katy‘s response.) Retweeting is good for the soul. Especially when the world’s most wonderful fashion bloggers say I made them “verklempt.” My post on Tom & Lorenzo is more popular than than the next five posts combined. I love my bitchy gay uncles.

I explained why women are funnier than men. Stay tuned for more examples.

Smart Reads” will be making a comeback, with perhaps fewer reads per post. There may also be a “Smart Podcasts” series in the future, as I spend a lot of time listening to NPR podcasts in the course of my haphazard New York life. Ira Glass’ advice about bridging the gap between potential and ambition is ringing in my ears as I record my lengthy list of resolutions. Happy 2014 to all! Stay tuned.

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