Before the year concludes and the final "Best of 2012" lists have been announced, a few additional acknowledgments must be made. Sure, we have a list of Best Shows, Best Performances and Best Debuts on tap, but this is the list that fueled cocktail chatter and watercooler catch-ups in the Broadway.com newsroom.
Best Use of Pajamas: A big thank-you to Death of a Salesman director Mike Nichols for giving us two of 2012's hottest hunks, Andrew Garfield and Finn Wittrock, in nothing but skimpy pjs. If only the lighting hadn't been so subtle.
Best Opening Night Party: In one of the final openings of the spring season, Ghost threw a jam-packed, let-loose bash with food stations representing the many neighborhoods in NYC. Partygoers got a taste of Little Italy, Chinatown and Washington Heights—too bad we are still haunted by the caloric load.
Hipster Award: The Tony-winning musical Once could have been set in a dive bar in Williamsburg and they wouldn't have had to change a single costume, wig or beard.
Drunkest Broadway Experience Award (Intentional): The Once bar served up Irish realness along with whiskey, beer and a whole lot of fiddling.
Drunkest Broadway Experience Award (Unintentional): Paul Rudd got oodles of comedic mileage from one drunk theatergoer's disgusting audience participation (read: puking from the balcony of Grace). At least it got them on Letterman.
Best Use of Bubbles: One of the highlights of the musical Nice Work if You Can Get It was Jennifer Laura Thompson's raucous bathtub scene. Not since Wicked have bubbles seemed so glamorous.
Happiest Revolutionary: Ricky Martin’s Che was grinning ear-to-ear and shaking his bon bon while he took down Argentina’s corrupt dictators in Evita. Next season, look for his euphoric Willy Loman.
Best Limp: Sorry Crutchie, but Norm Lewis' excruciating gait in Porgy and Bess was enough to make a chiropractor cringe.
Renthead Award: Like Rentheads and Guilty Ones before them, Newsies’ legions of Fansies have become a major presence on Broadway in 2012. We personally blame Andrew Keenan-Bolger's social media skills and Jeremy Jordan's...well, his everything.
Most Star-Studded Opening Night: Nice Work If You Can Get It, which boasted a VIP guest list with the likes of Jon Hamm, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tony Bennett, Chelsea Clinton, David Hyde Pierce and Lea Salonga. S'wonderful for autographer seekers.
Most Star-Stuffed Opening Night: Peter and the Starcatcher, obviously.
Best Behind-the-Scenes Performance: Judith Light won a Tony for Other Desert Cities, but it was her "Character Study" that was truly worthy of an ovation for the two-time Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner. Her soap opera background came in handy for some of our now-favorite moments, including when Light dramatically put on her sunglasses and sprinted down the hall. Brava!
Achievement of the Year: Susan Blackwell, for getting her tongue on Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards host Darren Criss. Look for Susan's new Criss-flavored gum to hit supermarkets in 2013.
Most Aggressive Ghost: Broadway met its fair share of spirits this year, but none were quite as aggressive and persistent as Charlie Chaplin’s mother (Christiane Noll) in Chaplin. It felt like every time we turned around, there she was singing, pointing and looking at all the people.
Best Broadway Eye Candy: While seeing Cheyenne Jackson strip to his skivvies in The Performers was a tiny slice of heaven, the boxers of Golden Boy are a sight to behold. There is an entire scene featuring boxers are training, and if there were lines in that scene, we missed them.
Best Wig: A highlight of David Mamet's prison flop The Anarchist was getting to see stage diva Patti LuPone sport a silver ponytail. 'Nuff said.
Funniest Off-Stage Antics: The Brits of One Man, Two Guvnors absolutely lived it up while in New York. From stripping down to silly photo shoots to celebrating the cock sock, this group still has us in stitches.
Best Use of a Beauty and a Beast: It was hard not to notice the parallels between the dark comedy Grace and the beloved fairytale Beauty and the Beast. Except in this version, Gaston (Paul Rudd) really gets his revenge on Belle (Kate Arrington) and the Beast (Michael Shannon).
Most Entertaining Broadway Drinking Buddy: Tracie Bennett's Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow. What other friends of yours will get drunk, talk sh*t about The Wizard of Oz's munchkins then pretend to be a urinating dog?
"What Was That Lyric?" Award: We couldn’t understand half of the lyrics in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but at least we had a jolly good time trying. "Ha'penny, one penny, tupenny, thrupenny/Twelve to a shilling, twice that to a florin." Anyone? Anyone?
Fiercest Holiday Rivalry: We imagine that the kids of A Christmas Story, Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are ready for a winter snowball smackdown. And don't get us started about the Santas.
Biggest Diva Under Four Feet: We fell in love this year with Annie's pint-sized diva Emily Rosenfeld. As tiny orphan Molly, Rosenfeld knocked it out of the park in 2012… also, she does cartwheels.
Stomach Ache Award: The amount of junk food that Norbert Leo Butz and Katie Holmes consume in Dead Accounts is far beyond anything else currently playing Broadway. Between the ice cream, pizza and chili cheese dogs, it's a wonder that Holmes and Butz don't look like the Times Square Ball on New Year's Eve.