114 W. Broad St.
Second Place: Richmond Triangle Players
Third Place: Firehouse Theatre
Virginia Rep’s longtime artistic director, Bruce Miller, retires this summer, and he’ll be going out on top. The company gained a new generation of fans recently with its original “Croaker: the Frog Prince Musical” and continues to mix up challenging contemporary works with finely honed classics. Successor Nathanial Shaw inherits a well-administered operation that uses its big-kahuna status to attract Broadway-caliber talent. Its “Dreamgirls” this summer should be a barnburner. The LGBT-centric Triangle Players long ago grew beyond beefcake and AIDS-specific dramas to offer the full range of human experience seen through the eyes of characters who happen to be gay. And the Firehouse, which is exploring a variety of performance genres, has staged some real winners this season.
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