1. "Annie." In a normal year, a sterling revival of "Annie" would be a tonic for sun-starved souls. But amid pandemic-wrought uncertainty, this story of hard-won hope had special resonance. Peter Rothstein's excellent staging at Children's Theatre boasted top-notch performances by JoeNathan Thomas as Daddy Warbucks and Audrey Mojica, who alternated with Lola Ronning as adorable orphan Annie.
2. "A Christmas Carol." Guthrie artistic director Joseph Haj brought cinematic lyricism and efficiency to Lavina Jadhwani's smart, brisk adaptation of Dickens' timeless tale.
3. "Fiddler on the Roof." Bartlett Sher's Broadway tour of this classic spoke to the power of rituals and stories to bind a community together in the face of sustained, disruptive adversity.
4. "The Music Man." When director Michael Brindisi first opened this Meredith Willson classic in January 2020 at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, its themes about a con artist rung with truth in a country flooded with disinformation. But its mid-pandemic comeback allowed for a gentler focus on the human story of celebrating life.
5. "The Comedy of Errors." Ten Thousand Things artistic director Marcela Lorca teamed with dramaturge Jo Holcomb and musician Peter Vitale to deliver a lean, witty and thoroughly entertaining production of Shakespeare's classic.
6. "The Red Shoes. Open Eye Theatre brought back its noirish 2017 comedy, featuring a handful of spectacular performances by Kimberly Richardson as people trapped in a dank tenement. After months of lockdown, that felt even more relatable.
7. "What the Constitution Means to Me." The Guthrie's presentation of the surprise Broadway hit was an urgent, funny and moving plea for our documents — and leaders — to evolve along with us.
8. "Oklahoma." Audiences were divided — OK, a lot of them bailed at intermission — and the huge Orpheum Theatre wasn't the ideal venue, but Daniel Fish's revelatory production unearthed the pain and inequity that were always there in the classic musical.
9. "Every Brilliant Thing." JuCoby Johnson, who alternated with Joy Dolo, was masterful in this 60-minute solo production by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe. Performed at the Jungle with the house lights up, it wasn't a show so much as an interactive spiritual gathering.
10. "Anastasia." Sometimes a performer is so stellar that others around her seem diminished by juxtaposition. Kyla Stone soared as the title character, embodying the Russian grand duchess with mystery and magisterial beauty in a show that also had a splendid, arresting ballet.