2012 picks: Dave Begel
Here are a few of Dave Begel's favorite things in 2012.
Play: There are lots of contenders for this one. I absolutely loved "Microcrisis" at Next Act, "The Nightmare Room" at In Tandem and "Assassins" at The Rep. But my absolute favorite was "Avenue Q" at the Skylight. I walked in with the words "bawdy puppet show" implanted in my brain and a slightly queasy feeling in my stomach. What I found was a show with fantastic music, enough jokes to keep an audience rolling the entire show, and a play with enough heart to choke you up a bit. An absolutely perfect evening of the theater.
Book: "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach was the best book I have read in years. I know it came out in 2011, but I didn't get to it until this year. It's a baseball book, but so much more. It's a love story, a story about self-doubt and a story of deep and abiding friendship. My copy of the book got passed around to a lot of people, all of whom loved it. And I'm not saying this because he's a colleague, but Bobby Tanzilo's book on the historic Milwaukee schoolhouses has become a Christmas gift I'm spreading around to people. It's a real slice of Milwaukee and wonderfully put together. Reading it is to get lost in history and that's a great feeling.
Meal: Odd Duck. We went there very early when they had only been open a couple of weeks. Simply put, it knocked my socks off. From the greeting to the service to the help from the server it was a fantastic experience. The thing they do with dates, stuffing it with gouda cheese and adding bacon may well be he best single thing I have ever eaten. Anywhere. Ever.
Election outcome: Sure I'm glad Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney. But Tammy Baldwin's victory over Tommy Thompson was my favorite. Here we are in Wisconsin where we elected an incredible right-wing senator over Russ Feingold and an even more right-wing governor (twice). And we elect a lesbian liberal to the Senate over a very popular ex-governor. What it shows is that there is still hope for Wisconsin.
TV moment: Donald Driver wins "Dancing With the Stars." From the get-go, Driver showed the kind of charisma that has made him a favorite with Packers fans. He also showed the graceful moves that have made him the Packers all-time leading receiver. And the joy that gripped him and Packers nation when he won was a shining and smiling moment.
Dave, Avenue Q is a definite winner. How would it been possible for you to enjoy it with out all that public funding it recieved. Nothing is better than having tax payers money going to the bashing of peoples religions. All in good fund right Dave.
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