Back in the days when water was clean, love was worth it and nothing but unlimited promise beckoned on the horizon, OC Weekly used to host an annual OC Weekly Theater Awards. Launched in 1997 in order to celebrate the best theatrical accomplishments of the previous year, the affair evolved from a modest group of people celebrating at a Laguna Beach restaurant into a huge party (free food! free booze!) that drew some 200 thespians (and thespian-lovers) to South Coast Repertory's Mainstage Theater in 2006.
But that was then–this is now. And the best we can do for the Year In Theater 2010 is a cyber-post that applauds those souls and productions that were able for even an instant to draw the blue from the most cynical of a theater critic's eyes (thanks to Ellis Paul for that line).