Wherein I attempt to rank every show I’ve seen this year, a running list as the year unfolds, regardless of genre (theater, music, dance, art). Note, the company I keep is not a factor, though it often redeems the lesser of such evenings. If I’ve written about them, links are provided.

Previous Years: 2010

Being Harold Pinter/Belarus Free Theatre/January 27

Clybourne Park/Steppenwolf/September 17

Yellow Face/Silk Road Theatre Project/June 18

The Original Grease/American Theater Company/May 2

Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981//The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles/November 10

Stage Kiss/Goodman Theatre/May 9

Follies/Chicago Shakespeare Theater/October 12

Fall Series/Hubbard Street Dance Chicago/October 13

Chinglish/Goodman Theatre/June 27

West Side Story/Broadway In Chicago/July 27

Chicago Dancing Festival/Pritzker Pavilion/August 27

Verdi Requiem/Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus/August 20

David Boykin at Dorchester Projects/April 22

Independence Celebration/Grant Park Orchestra/July 3

God of Carnage/Goodman Theatre/March 13

The Hot L Baltimore/Steppenwolf/April 2

Black Watch/Chicago Shakespeare Theater/March 30

Next to Normal/Broadway In Chicago/April 27

It’s A Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph!/American Blues Theater/November 26

The Tales of Hoffman/Lyric Opera/October 1

Working/Broadway Playhouse/March 2

Terminus/Abbey Theatre/March 3

Mary/Goodman Theatre/February 13

Ragtime The Musical/Northwestern University Dolphin Show/January 29

Lakeboat/Steep Theatre Company/January 20

Valentine’s Weekend Engagement/River North Dance Chicago/February 13

Chicago/Broadway In Chicago/June 7

Red/Goodman Theatre/September 28

Theaster Gates: An Epitaph for Civil Rights/The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles/November 10

The Doyle & Debbie Show/Royal George Cabaret/October 20

Schoenberg: “Friede auf Erden” & Mendelssohn: “Lobgesang”/Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus/June 18

La Cage Aux Folles/Broadway In Chicago/December 21

Middletown/Steppenwolf/June 26

Ann/Broadway In Chicago/November 16

Memphis/Broadway In Chicago/November 22

Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking/Broadway In Chicago/October 5

Jeff Garlin’s No Sugar Tonight/Steppenwolf/July 13

Blithe Spirit/American Players Theatre, Spring Green, WI/July 16

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter/Steppenwolf for Young Adults/October 16

Hickorydickory/Chicago Dramatists/May 20

The Chicago Landmark Project/Theatre Seven/June 4

El Nogalar/Goodman Theatre and Teatro Vista/April 3

The Merry Widow/Joffrey Ballet/February 19

Luc Tuymans/Museum of Contemporary Art/January 7

Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art/Chicago Cultural Center/January 22

The Trinity River Plays/Goodman Theatre/January 23

PowerFul/eighth blackbird/January 22

Sex With Strangers/Steppenwolf/January 30

All in Love is Fair/Black Ensemble Theater/March 27

Rantoul and Die/American Blues Theater/April 29

Love, Loss, and What I Wore/Broadway In Chicago/October 14

South Side of Heaven/Second City Mainstage/April 10

Swan Lake/The State Ballet Theatre of Russia/February 4

As You Like It/Chicago Shakespeare Theater/January 12

Penelope/Steppenwolf/December 10

Hair/Broadway In Chicago/March 9