The Column Best in DFW Theater 2013

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Best of theater 2012

 

The time has arrived! One of the favorite issues that my staff and I greatly enjoy in creating. And that is our annual THE COLUMN'S BEST OF DFW THEATER FOR 2012.

This season alone, THE COLUMN reviewed over 300 productions from all OVER the DFW area! But also, many of my Associate Theater Critics attended plays and musicals all over the metroplex on their own. They did not review them, but served as audience members.

THE COLUMN. 28 Theater Critics on its staff. Close to 30,000 subscribers worldwide. To think almost 19 years ago it started with one "wet behind the ears" newbie on this whole "theater critic" thing. I have taken a long journey on how to become a better critic, along the way achieving great highs and major difficult and painful lows. Back then it also had only 20 close friends as "subscribers".

THE COLUMN has gone on to interview major stars from Broadway, film, and television. Many stars, performers, directors, Producers, designers, composers, and others associated with Broadway are now COLUMN subscribers and/or readers as well thanks to the power of the Internet.

Other major cities have in fact contacted me (both in Texas and outside) asking if there was a version of THE COLUMN in their city.

Practically the ENTIRE Dallas-Fort Worth theater community are subscribers. That's not counting the hundreds of readers who are sent the issues and reviews or go to our website. THE COLUMN is constantly posted all over face book, twitter, theater email newsletters and their websites. Our reviews for national tours have been re-published all over the nation and used by their publicists for their publicity packets and on their national tour websites.

As the founder/editor and Senior Chief Theater critic, never in my life did I ever dream THE COLUMN would grow into what it has become. We strive to achieve what my original motto was and still is today: Which is to support and promote the DFW Theater community. Period.

I think I can safely say that we are the only publication that covered the entire DFW area by reviewing far and wide. Not just Dallas Theaters, but all theater companies. We did our very best to review at least one show from EVERY theater company in the entire area. But even with 28 critics, there were times we still could not cover it all. But we tried!

NO theater critic from ANY publication (both in Texas and beyond) can say they saw every single play and musical produced in their local area/region. Period. Not even myself and my staff. Who can?

The power of the internet has shifted and vastly changed the world of theater critiques and the definition of what a "Theater critic" is. Just look at the various national theater related websites where they have critics with backgrounds in performing, directing, etc. not just those with journalism degrees. Even Broadway.com now has a group of everyday loving theater goers who are now critics that give their own reviews of Broadway shows!

I am EXTREMELY proud of my staff. They all have such varied backgrounds and college degrees. Some have vast theater backgrounds, others in writing, English Literature, and journalism. But we all have one common theme-we love theater!

So for the last three months we all have been re-reading THE COLUMN reviews, checking our notes, reviewing the endless array of Playbills in making our choices for this year's Best in DFW Theater.

They all have had a very difficult time in making their picks (including myself). So without further ado, here is THE COLUMN'S PICKS FOR THE BEST IN DFW THEATER FOR 2012:

 

John GarciaSENIOR CHIEF THEATER CRITIC/EDITOR
JOHN GARCIA'S
PICKS

Due to the overwhelming and time consuming task it has become to run and create THE COLUMN issues, head a staff of 28 critics and create their assignments. Writing my own reviews. Then there’s directing, producing, and overseeing THE COLUMN Awards. Finally judging forensics and UIL, and serving as a judge on the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Awards- well that combine actually has become a second job! So sadly this season my theater reviewing and attending local theater slowed down somewhat this year. Thank god I have such a large staff of critics!

So this year, I was extremely picky on what I considered was the best in theater for the Dallas-Ft Worth Theater metroplex. It was tough, emotionally draining, and drove me close to pulling my hair out in trying to narrow down my lists. My original list looked like a never ending scroll! So I had to go back, read my reviews, notes, and remember what I felt when I saw the shows this season. Which ones still stayed with me way beyond the night I originally saw it. Who really had the talents that radiated beyond the stage lights. So, after much soul searching, putting personal relationships aside and only view them from my theater critic eye, here are my picks for the Best in Theater for 2012:


BEST PRODUCTIONS OF THE YEAR (in alphabetical order):


CabaretBIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theater): I've never in my life have seen a musical put a big water tank dead center of its stage. Sure Theatre Three did several years ago with METAMORPHOSES-but that was a play. Artisan created a marvelous version of this Roger Miller's Blue Grass/Gospel flavored musical about Huck Finn. Director Dennis Canright achieved first rate direction and staging, while the cast glittered and shimmered with their talents just like the glistening waters within that tank. I was VERY impressed with the fresh breath of artistic creativity that this company achieved in mounting this often produced musical.

 

 

 

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three): When I saw the original Broadway cast perform a number from this musical on the Tony Awards, I thought, "Blah. I don't get it." Thank god for Theatre Three in producing the regional premiere! This was a magnificent, powerful, rich, and superlative production. Bruce R. Coleman once again displayed his title as one of the finest directors in this community with this musical. The eye popping, lavish design of costume, lighting, sound, and scenic were the best I've seen in years at T3. The band rocked so damn good I wanted to thrust a lighter in the air. Finally that company of actors. Led by the outstanding Cameron Cobb, each performer was perfectly cast. The talents within this company rivaled any Broadway production-that's how amazing they were. This was a spectacular production from beginning to end.

 

 

GIANT (Dallas Theater Center): It seems I have a knack in predicting a regional premiere being produced here in Dallas should go to Broadway. Two years ago it was GIVE IT UP, which I gave a huge rave review for and said that it should head for Broadway. It does, switching its title to LYSISTRATA JONES. It was met with great critical acclaim from the New York critics. Now this season I again stated the same with GIANT. As fate would have it, both were produced by the Dallas Theater Center. This extraordinary musical was encased with a sublime score by Michael John LaChiusa and finely detailed direction by Michael Greif. They took a major undertaking in transforming a lengthy film into a rich, subtext multi-layered musical. It was a superlative production. Glorious production elements surrounded a sizzling, top notch cast. The production did end up being produced in New York just this past December receiving glowing critical success from the New York Critics! Two for Two for heading to Broadway Dallas Theater Center-Bravo!

 

Spring Awakening

 

RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company): And Plaza Theatre Company does it yet again! They seem to be the only Non-equity theater company that continues to truly challenge themselves artistically each season with at least one show. While they do cater towards the family friendly crowd, each year they take on a show that forces themselves to take huge risks in producing a more complex piece. They know they are taking a massive risk both financially and artistically when they do this each season. For them to tackle a humongous musical like RAGIME, that requires a huge cast of all ethnicities that are vocally powerful and can act with layers of dramatic subtext. Then there are the endless scene changes, hundreds of costumes-then add the major element of racism. Most theater companies would scream, run away from attempting this and instead mount some tired old, reused musical that has a 3-4 person cast and call it a day. Not Plaza! What they achieved with this production actually outshined several equity musicals this past season. The direction and design elements were phenomenal-and this RAGTIME cast was one of the greatest groups of blinding talent to ever grace any DFW stage.

 

 

 

 

SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals): Oh how I dreaded going to see this musical. Nothing against the cast, but lord have I seen my share of this worn out war horse musical. What a delicious surprise it turned out to be! The beautiful sets by Kelly Cox and the lush, large orchestra kicked off the evening. The pace was some of the best I've seen at GSM with this Rogers & Hammerstein classic. But what made this musical out shine so many other versions of SOUTH PACIFIC was the fantastic cast. From the principals to the ensemble, they steered clearly away from the carbon copy style that every version I've seen have fall into. Instead they made the material sparkle and shine like a shiny new bauble. It is a VERY rare feat to create a new, beautiful version of a creaky, old war horse musical-but GSM achieved that greatly with their version of SOUTH PACIFIC.

 


THE DIVINE SISTER (Uptown Players): Uptown Players has become like a second home for the works by Charles Busch as they continue to produce his works. But they also have in their pocket the master comedic actor on how to bring Busch's detailed and particular style of comedy to side splitting results-Coy Covington. Richly directed by Andi Allen, she brought out comedic tour de force performances from her cast, and the design elements were smashing. This was the ONLY comedy I saw this season that had me laughing so hard that my spleen popped out and is still laying somewhere in the Kalita Humphries Theater. I am positive that if Busch saw this production (and in particular Covington) he would give it his gold star of approval.

 

BEST NATIONAL TOURS OF THE YEAR (in alphabetical order):

AMERICAN IDIOT (Winspear Opera House)

BRING IT ON (Dallas Summer Musicals)

IN THE HEIGHTS (Winspear Opera House)

JEKYLL & HYDE (Winspear Opera House)

LA CAGE AUX FOLLIES (Dallas Summer Musicals)

LES MISERABLES (Winspear Opera House)

MEMPHIS (Dallas Summer Musicals)

WAR HORSE (Winspear Opera House)

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Dallas Summer Musicals)

 

BEST DIRECTION OF THE YEAR:

Andi Allen - THE DIVINE SISTER (Uptown Players)

Bruce R. Coleman - BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

Dennis Canright - BIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theater)

Michael Greif - GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

G. Aaron Siler & Milette Siler - RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Buff Shurr - SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

 

BEST PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR:

Ah. A category that is very close to my heart. After all I am an actor as well. I know there is that bitter comment of "Actors don't critique/review other actors". Give me a break! Be honest here. You go see a show and then in the car you and your guests proceed to give your own opinions/critiques of what you just saw. I cannot tell you the HUNDREDS of times this has happened: You are at theater lobbies, dinners, parties, social events, etc. anywhere theater folk gather. They bring up a show or actor and immediately they give their own opinions, thoughts, feelings, and critiques in whispered tones. The difference between them and myself- Mine are printed and published for everyone to see.

The performers listed below delivered extraordinary and unique work on stage that raised the bar in the achievement in the craft of acting. Their subtext was fully fleshed out and bled through their acting tools and choices. They used their bodies and faces as clay to mold something exquisite. For musicals their vocals were lavish and smooth as satin. The dancing was sublime. For comedy, they went way beyond the written page and discovered the hidden comedic subtext. They hit the mark with their comedic timing, pace, and delivery. They went beyond the "norm" and delivered such splendid work as actors that months later I can still remember them so vividly.

So many actors delivered stunning work that my original picks here went on for miles! But I had to edit them greatly. After reading the above paragraphs, that's how I finally resolved my struggle in picking each of these actors and actresses. Believe me-it was NOT easy by ANY means! So here are the thespians that delivered the best work on stage this past season in my opinion:


Gary Anderson as "Lt. Col. Nathan Jessep" in A FEW GOOD MEN (ICT Mainstage)

Major Attaway as "Coalhouse Walker Jr" in RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Jaceson P. Barrus as "Father" in RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Kate Baldwin as "Leslie Lynnton Benedict" in GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Tina Barrus as "Adelaide" in GUYS & DOLLS (Plaza Theatre Company)

Kim Borge as "Elle Woods" in LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Level Ground Arts)

Chimberly Carter-Byrom as "Sarah" in RAGIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Wes Cantrell as "Link Larkin" in HAIRSPRAY (Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

James Chandler as "Ronald Regan" in THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE (Fun House Theatre & Film)

Cameron Cobb as "Andrew Jackson" in BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

Daron Cockrell as "Mother" in RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Coy Covington as "Mother Superior" in THE DIVINE SISTER (Uptown Players)

Christopher Dorf as "Huck Finn" in BIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theater)

Doug Fowler as "Edna Turnblad" in HAIRSPRAY (Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

Adam Garst as "Spider" in DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER, & A FLY (Dallas Children's Theater)

PJ Griffith as "Jett Rink" in GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Greg Hullett as "Lt. Jack Ross" in A FEW GOOD MEN (ICT Mainstage)

Lee Jamison as "Sister Walburg/Mrs.Macduffie" in THE DIVINE SISTER (Uptown Players)

Aaron Lazar as "Jordan `Bick' Benedict" in GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Aaron Lett as "Sky Masterson" in GUYS & DOLLS (Plaza Theatre Company)

Morgan Mabry Mason as "Nellie Forbush" in SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

Sara Shelby Martin as "Paulette" in LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Level Ground Arts)

Brian Mathis as "Emile de Beque" in SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

Charles Maxham as "Lt. Daniel Kaffe" in A FEW GOOD MEN (ICT Mainstage)

Arianna Movassagh as "Rachel Jackson" in BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

Janette Oswald as "Sister Acaius" in THE DIVINE SISTER (Uptown Players)

Ben Phillips as "Nathan Detroit" in GUYS & DOLLS (Plaza Theatre Company)

Travis Ponikiewkski as "Lance Cpl. Dawson" in A FEW GOOD MEN (ICT Mainstage)

Mary-Margaret Pyeatt as "Mrs. Levinson/Timothy" in THE DIVINE SISTER (Uptown Players)

Zak Dacus Reynolds as "Snoopy" in YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN (Onstage in Bedford)

G. Aaron Siler as "Nicely-Nicely" in GUYS & DOLLS and Tevye in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (both at Plaza Theatre Company)

Max Swarner as "John Quincy Adams" in BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

Sam Swenson as "Emmett" in LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Level Ground Arts)

Austin Struckmeyer as "The Bandleader" in BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

Katie Thompson as "Vashti" in GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Wendy Welch as "The Story Teller" in BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

Aaron White as "Lt. Joe Cable" in SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

Brandon Wilhelm as "Peter" in PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL (Dallas Children's Theater)

Ecko Wilson as "Jim" in BIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theater)

Dennis Yslas as "Tateh" in RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

 

 

SPECIAL RECOGNITION :

Outstanding achievement in Dancing - Justin Diyer for GUYS & DOLLS (Plaza Theatre Company)

Outstanding achievement in Dancing - Rachel Hunt for GUYS & DOLLS (Plaza Theatre Company)

Outstanding achievement in Dancing- Stephen Raikes for LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Level Ground Arts)

Outstanding achievement in vocal performance- Simone Gundy as"Lorraine/Dynamite" in HAIRSPRAY (Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

Outstanding achievement in vocal performance- Sandy Pruitt as "Alice" in BIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theater)

 

BEST ENSEMBLE:

BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

BIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theatre)

RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

 

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY:

Joel Ferrell -JOSEPH….AMAZING DREAMCOAT (Dallas Theater Center)

Kellie McCain -LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Level Ground Arts)

 

 

BEST DESIGNERS OF THE YEAR (In alphabetical order):

Paul Arnold (Lighting Design) -BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (T3)

Tina Barrus (Costume Design)-RAGTIME, GUYS & DOLLS-(both at Plaza Theatre
Company)

Dennis Canright & Jason Leyva (Scenic Design) BIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theater)

Bruce R. Coleman (Costume Design)-BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (T3)

Kelly Cox (Scenic Design) for SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

Clare Floyd Devries (Scenic Design)-THE DIVINE SISTER (Uptown Players)

Ian Garland (Lighting Design) for A FEW GOOD MEN (ICT Mainstage)

Lyle Huchton (Costume Design)- DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER, & A FLY and PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL-(both at Dallas Children's Theater)

Aaron Johansen (Lighting Design)-PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL (Dallas Children's Theater)

Alex Krus (Scenic Design)- YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Onstage in Bedford)

Bob Lavallee (Scenic Design) for JOSEPH…DREAMCOAT (Dallas Theater Center)

Jeff Mahshie (Costume Design) for GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Lynn Mauldin (Props Design) for SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

Ellen Doyle Mizener (Scenic Design) for A FEW GOOD MEN (ICT Mainstage)

Allen Moyer (Scenic Design) for GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design) for GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Abrham Rankin (Props Design)-PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL (Dallas Children's Theater)

David Walsh (Scenic Design) for BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (T3)

Randel Wright (Scenic Design)- DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER, & A FLY and PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL (both at Dallas Children's Theater)

Grant Yeager & Jeff Croiter (Costume Design) for JOSEPH…DREAMCOAT (Dallas Theater Center)

 

 

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION:

Vonda K. Bowling - LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Level Ground Arts)

Chris Fenwick - GIANT (Dallas Theater Center)

Eugene Gwozdz - JOSEPH…DREAMCOAT (Dallas Theater Center)

Pam Holcomb - McLain-BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

Larry Miller - SOUTH PACIFIC (Garland Summer Musicals)

Adam C. Wright - DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER, & A FLY (Dallas Children's Theater)

 


 

NOTE: ASSOCIATE THEATER CRITICS ARE LISTED ALPAHABETICALLY

 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
STEN-ERIK ARMITAGE'S
PICKS

 

 

BEST MUSICAL:
HAIRSPRAY, Denton Community Theatre

BEST DIRECTION:
Clay White, Hairspray, Denton Community Theatre

 

 

 

BEST REVIVAL OF A CLASSIC:
GUYS AND DOLLS, Plaza Theatre Company

BEST CHILDREN'S PRODUCTION:
IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE, Dallas Children's Theater

BEST OVERALL PERFORMANCE:
Camille Shaw as Adelaide in GUYS & DOLLS, Plaza Theatre Company

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE:
Brent Barrett as Captain Hook/Mr. Darling in PETER PAN, Dallas
Summer Musicals - Music Hall at Fair Park

BEST ACTOR:
Gregg Gerardi as Link in HAIRSPRAY, Denton Community Theatre

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE:
Emily Warwick as Sarah Brown in GUYS & DOLLS, Plaza Theatre Company

BEST DANCER:
Jenna Wright as Tiger Lily in PETER PAN, Dallas Summer Musicals
Music Hall at Fair Park

BEST DANCE DUO:
Rachel Hunt and Justin Diyer in GUYS & DOLLS, Plaza Theatre Company

MOST CREATIVE USE OF VENUE:
JaceSon Barrus, Julie Asher Lee, and Ronda Shubert for
GUYS AND DOLLS, Plaza Theatre Company

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:
Randel Wright for the circus motif of IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE
Dallas Children's Theater

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Tina Barrus for GUYS AND DOLLS, Plaza Theatre Company

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN:
Elizabeth Lambert and Dr. Linda Rubin for
HAIRSPRAY, Denton Community Theatre

MOST POWERFUL VOCAL MOMENT:
Victoria Belle as Motormouth Maybelle with her performance of "I Know Where I've Been" in HAIRSPRAY, Denton Community Theatre

BEST DESIGN ELEMENT:
Kelly Shea for her set-up and training on the aerial silks for IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE,t Dallas Children's Theater

MOST ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE:
he 59 year old Cathy Rigby as the title character in PETER PAN, Dallas Summer Musicals - Music Hall at Fair Park

MOST PROMISING YOUNG TALENT:
Zoey Johnson as Little Inez in HAIRSPRAY, Denton Community Theatre

FUNNIEST ROUTINE:
"You're Timeless to Me" featuring Ken Orman in HAIRSPRAY, Denton Community Theatre

MOST IMPRESSIVE EMBODIMENT OF A CHARACTER:
Karl Schaeffer as "The Mouse" in IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE, Dallas Children's Theatre

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
RICHARD S. BLAKE'S
PICKS

 

 

WOW… what a year 2012 was for great Art performances! I had the pleasure of viewing a lot of live theatre performances this year, as well as, reviewing many for the COLUMN. I have to admit, I was very excited at the high caliber of talent, design and direction that presented itself across ALL of North Texas. In some categories I had a few, but IF I just couldn't choose one, I narrowed it down to the top two and made a (TIE) mainly because I felt they deserved the recognition and each was equally excellent. So… here are my "Best Of" picks for 2012:

 

BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION OF 2012:

ON THE EVE- Spacegrove Productions & Nouveau 47 Theatre

Direction by Jeffrey Schmidt with Musical Direction by Shawn Magill

There are few moments we as Arts Professionals get to witness "pure magic" onstage, but this new Rock Musical was just that for me this past year… simply magic AND a brand new work! In every aspect of the production from scenic, direction, vocals and performance, this show covered the spectrum of perfection. I was both surprised and excited during every moment of the show and walked away with a huge smile afterwards. It's not often, when I'm viewing as a critic, I get so completely involved, forgetting I'm there to "observe" and be so thoroughly entertained as I was in this production, like I mentioned, it was complete magic LIVE before me!! When I ended my review I said "I'm SURE it's New York bound! I'd love to be there opening night at say, Circle in the Square Theatre, sit back, revel in the success, talent and truly extraordinary creation called "On The Eve" created right here in Dallas, Texas!" Hey Spacegrove… when can I get tickets to the NYC premiere!!!

 

BEST MUSICAL-EQUITY:

AMERICAN IDIOT (National Tour) - Winspear Opera House

Direction by Michael Mayer with Orchestrations & Arrangements by Tom Kitt

I was blown away by the power of this Rock Musical. This was one I got to enjoy as an audience member with no "pressure" on me… just sit back and enjoy. I'm a sucker for big technical aspects of a show, and I wasn't let down by this one at all. It's LOUD, aggressive and "in-your-face", but I enjoy that type of performance now and then. It is a modern classic that will be around for decades, no, it's a pop based story line that won't transcend time, but for now… it's a great night of entertainment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST MUSICAL-NON EQUITY (TIE):

ZOMBIE PROM- Runway Theatre

Direction by Clay White with Musical Direction by Amy Wyatt

The entire cast of Zombie Prom was spectacular! This show had featured roles within a large ensemble and every performer in this show simply shined. There was a great cohesiveness in this cast and it definitely showed. Almost half this cast made their first debut on the Runway stage, which I'm certain made the producers nervous. However, any concern they may have had surely disappeared after seeing this show come to life. Overall this cast genuinely deserved the roaring applause and standing ovation they received at this performance!

 

AVENUE Q- Music Theatre of Denton

Direction by Bill Kirkley with Music Direction by David K. Pierce

The talent on stage was simply extraordinary and the artistic team that compiled it did an amazing job. In addition to their vocal and acting abilities, the puppet mastery they presented was excellent. These actors embodied their non-human counterparts with great character voices, movement, expression and presentation. There was nothing but perfection from this cast and every one of them should be extremely proud of their work… another standing ovation to each and every one of them!!

 

 

 

BEST PLAY:

A FEW GOOD MEN - ICT Mainstage

Direction by Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr

This was just a powerful presentation of DFW talent and theatre this past year. Watching as a patron again, I was completely engaged at every moment and in awe of what was happening on stage. Many friends of mine also got to see the show and were just as impressed. I COMPLETELY agree with Jeremy in the closing of his review "I highly recommend seeing A Few Good Men at ICT Mainstage. It's rare you can see such a level of talent gathered on one stage. And the talent was only enhanced by the set, the lights, the sounds, and the costumes. A Few Good Men is one of the best shows of the 2012 season."


 

 

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL (NON EQUITY):

Dustin Simington as "Jonny" in "ZOMBIE PROM" - Runway Theatre

This young man was truly a "rock-star" in this show. His performance made it look as if the role was written for him in its style, acting and vocals, with his command of the stage never taking away from any other performer when he wasn't the focus. His vocals were top notch in every song, including some of the difficult, soaring high tenor 50's rock and roll notes of the show. This is nothing less than perfect casting of the role and definitely added to the success of this production which I also named as one of my picks for "Best Musical - Non-Equity".

 

 

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL (NON EQUITY):

Matthew Maxwell as "Fyedka" in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Sherman Community Players

His chemistry on stage was simply wonderful and I wanted to see more! This production had a HUGE cast and although he stood out to me, he never overpowered any of his fellow performers. His intimate scenes with Abby Noblett as "Chava" were just breathtaking!

 

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY-NON EQUITY (TIE):

Dick Monday as "Elwood P. Dowd" in HARVEY - Level Ground Arts

Dick was nothing less than extraordinary in this role. You were never let down while he was on stage, offering you the most insightful character of "Elwood" I had ever seen. You felt every emotion he delivered without question and laughed at every moment he wanted you to!

 

J. Kyle Harris as "Gus" in KILL THE MOMENT - Rover Dramawerks

He chose perfect deliveries with his performance, never taking it too far or undercutting the character. He had a commanding stage presence and you never get bored with his performance. His biography stated he was new to the DFW area at the time and it seems other theatre companies have taken notice and hired him for wonderful roles. So my reference in the review "… it will be a pleasure to see this talented actor performing across the metroplex in the future" was taken to heart, and I'm VERY glad to see that the DFW area gets to see him in action onstage even more!

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSIAL (NON EQUITY):

Grace Neeley as "Maria" in "MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES" - Artes de la Rosa at the Rose Marine Theatre

Her performance in the title role of "Maria" was simply superb. She had the most complicated character I believe I have seen on stage to date. There is no emotion, movement, expression or delivery that did not take you to the exact place it should. She enraptured you at every moment yet never once took away from the other performers around her. She was engaging and just remarkable in this role!

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY (NON EQUITY):

Barbara Richardson as "Helsa Wenzel" in "MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940" - Greater Cleburne Carnegie Players

She was just exciting to watch perform. Ms. Richardson had many "hats" to wear as her character and succeeded with every one of them. Her moments on stage were hilarious and it was hard to take your eyes off of her!

 

Well, that is my brief wrap-up of my choices for the "Best of DFW Theatre" in 2012! There were SO MANY MORE wonderful productions as I mentioned at the beginning, and all of my choices were very hard to make. In every case, however, they ALL were spectacular in their respective categories and ALL deserve thunders rounds of applause. It is my pleasure AND honor to be a part of such an exciting and talented regional group of people we call the DFW Arts Community!

Here's to a SPECTACULAR Year of DFW Arts in 2013!!

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
KRISTY BLACKMON'S
PICKS

 

 

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL:
Chris Robinson for SUNSET BLVD (Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Caroline Rivera as "Norma Desmond" in SUNSET BLVD (Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN FOR A MUSICAL:
John Damian Sr. for SUNSET BLVD (Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

 

 

 


BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
Ted Koch as "Julian Marsh" in 42ND STREET (Casa Manana)

BEST DANCER IN A MUSICAL:
Robby Roby as "Andy Lee" in 42ND STREET (Casa Manana)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Linda Leonard as "Maggie Jones" in 42ND STREET (Casa Manana)

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY:
Dena Dunn as "Martha: in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (Lakeside Community
Theatre)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR:
Dontee Kiehn for 42ND STREET (Casa Manana)

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
CHARLIE BOWLES'
PICKS

 

 

BEST PRODUCTION: PRETTY FIRE (Jubilee Theatre)
Though only one actor, the range of characters and stories made it seem like more. Ebony Marshall-Oliver and Tre Garrett teamed with Charlayne Woodard's script to create my most memorable show of the year. It combined a story of triumph with energy, music, stories of life and a simple, yet perfectly supporting, atmosphere. I loved this show.

 

 

 

BEST ACTRESS: Ebony Marshall as "Oliver" in PRETTY FIRE (Jubliee Theatre).
As the actor and singer of that amazing story, Ebony Marshall-Oliver won the DFW Critics Award and deserved it. Her voice was strong and varied from a powerfully "ballsy" soul to her quiet little-girl 1st songs to a quiet but deeply-felt talking-singer. Her range of acting emotions, story-telling, and different characters showed the joy, sadness, fear, disbelief, hope, shame, and nuances one could imagine a girl feeling her life story from early childhood. She is best actress and best female singer for 2012.

 

BEST ACTOR: Jason Leyva in DOWN THE ROAD (L.I.P Service & TumorBoy Productions).
As the most evil character an actor can play Jason Leyva made his mass murderer, Bill Reach, in this story about crime and crime writers both extremely hate-able and vulnerable. We could see how horrible he was, but couldn't completely condemn him.

 

BEST DIRECTOR: Jerry Russell for THE SPORTS PAGE (Stage West).
I was impressed with the level of professionalism shown in all areas of StageWest. This production was fast, extremely tight, perfect timing of light and sound cues, entrances and exits, and every actor was near-perfect in their comedic timing and characterization. The show as very funny, a premier, and the staging and blocking was imaginative. This can only come from the production teams, led by Jerry Russell as director for this show and as Artistic Director of StageWest.

 

BEST ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Tre Garrett of Jubilee Theatre.
Taking over the AD job from a legend is dangerous and challenging. How do you honor the legacy of a founder, yet bring fresh life to a strong patronage. Garrett's show selection this year and last and his direction of designers and casts creates an exciting continuity towards the themes Jubilee promotes, even while stretching their vision.

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGNER: Brian Clinnin for MERCHANT OF VENICE (Trinity Shakespare).
When TCU produces its summer Shakes program, you know you'll see the best. With Merchant of Venice I was blown away by such a simple but elegant and functional set on a proscenium stage, yet the background drop
painting was both spectacular in its support of the theme and setting but was an artistic painting which I hope is hanging in a gallery somewhere.

 

BEST SCENIC PROJECTIONS: Matt Kinley, Fifty-Nine Productions - Les Mis 25th Anniversary Production –
For decades Les Mis used the tried and true scenic scheme, until this 25th Year tour when the whole production was updated, none more entertaining than the set design. Gone was the iconic barricade replaced by a mobile and encompassing set. And to make this work we had to see background and graphic movement, including the crucial barricade, sewer, and river suicide scenes. Kinley and his visual arts production team did a masterful job creating moving Parisian pictures which told a story on their own and enhanced the atmosphere with some of the most beautiful artistic graphics I've seen on-stage.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: David Coffee - Duke of Venice / Old Gobbo / Prince of Arragon in MERCHANT OF VENICE (Trinity Shakespeare).
Coffee is a popular actor, to production teams and audiences. He is good at creating precise characterization to make a character just what you want to see, interesting, funny and just what the story needs. In Merchant he played multiple parts and was interesting and different in all three.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Becca Shivers as "Miss Skillon" in SEE HOW THEY RUN (Circle Theatre).
This British war comedy was a farce that made Circle audiences howl with laughter. One of the hardest things an actor can play is a drunk, especially a drunk who never gets drunk. Becca Shivers gave one of the best
drunk scenes I've seen, harkening back to the old "drunk" masters of old, but she also included some of the best physical pratfall comedy I've seen. Her drunken accidental somersault over the back of a couch to land flat on the floor in front may be the funniest moment I've seen in years. I don't think Basil Fawlty could have done it better or been any funnier.

 

BEST MALE VOCALS: Todd Hart for PETE N' KEELY,– Theatre Arlington.
In a largely throw-away show about a couple of old Steve and Edie look-alikes down on their luck, this show snuck up and delivered a funny love story with great music. I remember a 3-person band on-stage creating a really large sound and Todd Hart singing with his partner, Jenny Thurman. For such "light" material, their
singing was outstanding and Hart was fabulous in his style, delivery, and precision.

 

BEST USE OF A METAPHOR: RAFT OF THE MEDUSA– Level Ground Arts.
I can't remember individual actors, though I know they were good from my review. But what stood out was how the metaphor of this story tied directly to the famous painting hanging in the Louvre and how they were so closely paralleled, the true story that inspired the painting and the story off this show.

 

BEST SHOCKING COMEDY: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING LOVELY– MBS Productions
As the singular most uncomfortable production I've seen it's true that MBS Productions is probably the most daring production company around. Mark Brian-Sonna played a wonderful drag queen who was thrilling, shocking, and pathetically lovable as a character. One had to be very open-minded to see totally nude actors on-stage for most of the show, going through scenes with absolute realism, in the way we often "hang out" around our own houses at night, yet be relevant enough to deliver the thematic message. I can only imagine the tendency to push boundaries of acceptable and good theater will continue.

 

BEST MISE-EN-SCENE: THE FIFTH SUN – Adam Adolpho – Artes de la Rosa
Though this show was more an impressionistic painting than a traditional plot play, it did have a storyline that honored and celebrated a real Latin American hero. What stood out was the production values, envisioned and created by Adam Adolpho and his team, which created an atmospheric envelope that included sound track,
lighting that lit actors and danced around the stage and audience and a set with simple acting boxes on a bare stage in front of a giant Mayan Calendar. And those long wispy aerial silks hung from the grid on which actors acted and danced created height and depth. It was a complete mise-en-scene that wrapped
the story and audience together.

 

BEST ADAPTATION: TURN OF THE SCREW- Kitchen Dog Theater –
This show was impressive in making this novel, considered one of the most difficult to read or comprehend, come to life. With only two actors, one playing multiple male and female parts, this story was understandable, interesting, and satisfying, probably more so than the book itself.

 

BEST ENSEMBLE (MUSICAL)- CROWNS– African American Repertory Theater –
If you take eight top-notch lead singers and put them on-stage to sing solos and backups, and give them a few solo monologues to perform, you'd expect the divas couldn't work well together. Yet AART found 8 such leads, each with their own powerful and exciting voice, and molded them into an ensemble that sounded like they'd been singing and playing for decades, perfectly blended and harmonized. This was fun to watch and even more fun to hear.

 

BEST MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT- Melanie Cherice Bivens – CROWNS - African American Repertory Theater –
Leading those AART singers as Musical Director AND playing a keyboard 90-minutes non-stop, even during monologues, was Melanie Cherice Bivens. I personally could have listened to her play all night. No band required here – just give Bivens a keyboard and turn her on.

 

DFW Theater Community – Over 80 companies produce quality theater in DFW and have done OVER 300 shows we've reviewed through early November. And every show I saw was anywhere from enjoyable to excellent, each with their own special gifts. This is not true of most other parts of the country. Kudos to all
producers crews and casts.


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
MARY L. CLARK'S
PICKS

 

 

I dislike the use of the word "Best" when it comes to awards. Actually, I don't like to categorize anything into neat, little lists. There really is no "best" of anything – it's all up to our individual preference and personal taste.

But for theatre in our North Texas region, it was truly a feast of greats this past year and highlights were plentiful in all aspects of the performing arts.

In semi-chronological order, these are some of the more memorable designs, directions and performances of 2012:

THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION at Theatre Three - a huge breath of fresh, creative theatrical air. Do you ever see a play and know in your heart that you are witnessing a whole new direction in theatre and that particular play is the compass? That's what The Farnsworth Invention did for me.

Jeffrey Schmidt's Scenic Design for THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION at Theatre Three - Not just something to perform on or around, it was an integral part of the story.

Jakie Cabe as David Sarnoff and Alex Organ as Philo Farnsworth in THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION at Theatre Three - Polar opposites in their roles, each brought their character's desires and motives vividly to life and neither would have been as exceptional without the other.


MACBETH at Sundown Collaborative Theatre - This was the year of The Scottish play, with several productions seen in the area. But in a tiny dance studio in Denton, I watched a highly condensed adaptation that put the more grandiose productions to shame. Both R. Andrew Aguilar and Cody Lucas placed the play smack dab in the middle of the then current events, a political campaign. The parallels and significance couldn't have been clearer.

Andrew Aguilar as Macbeth for Sundown Collaborative Theatre - What set his performance apart from other actors in this role was the revelation of his underlying fear and, in defeat, the relief and peace that comes with resignation.

 

Charles Ross' ONE MAN LORD OF THE RINGS at WaterTower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival - Playing all the characters in the 11+ hour film epic, Ross' 65 minute performance was nothing short of mind-blowing.

 

Bill Bowers and his mimed performance in BEYOND WORDS at WaterTower Theatre - Also from the Out of the Loop Festival, Bowers took us on a magical journey through time and the many aspects of "What is a Boy?" Watch for Bowers to return to our area and you'll never think of pantomime in the same way again.

 

Kelsey Ervi's WAKING UP for Greyman Theatre Company – Seen at the Fringe Festival, the play is a series of short scenes, all set in different bedrooms, Ervi wrote about relationships in all their aspects and the vulnerability of two people together in bed.

 

Christina Vela's Direction of THE TURN OF THE SCREW at Kitchen Dog Theater - Cutting out all things extraneous, such as large set and props, to get the heart of the play and its envelopment of loss, se*ual desire and fear, her direction was razor sharp and riveting.

David Walsh's Scenic Design for THE TURN OF THE SCREW at Kitchen Dog Theater - Also cutting away the superfluous, he used a half staircase and upper landing with window for the play's ominous house and the children's charred stuffed animals and toys placed around the footlights were startlingly appropriate.

 

Rodney Dobbs' Scenic Design for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY at WaterTower Theatre – His two- story house was invitingly realistic but, like a dollhouse cut in half, it revealed the dark secrets of a most dysfunctional family.

Rene Moreno's Direction of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY at WaterTower Theatre – Allowing playwright Tracy Lett's words take precedence, Moreno kept the highly volatile tension simmering, only lifting the lid for emphasis. A controlled, precise piece that illuminated the characters' pain and separation.

Pam Dougherty as Violet Weston in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY at WaterTower Theatre – Simply a tour de force performance from entrance to curtain call. Dougherty's unyielding stamina in this role was awe-inspiring. A role of such toxicity could level another actress but Dougherty knew when to control it and when to let it fly just as much as her character.

Sherry Jo Ward as Barbara Fordham in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY at WaterTower Theatre – Keeping up with Dougherty's level of intensity, Ward made it look easy. She battled her character's mother to the hilt yet knew the importance of showing the cracks in the armor to make Fordham vulnerable and realistic.

 

DIAMOND DICK: THE TULSA RACE RIOTS OF 1921 at Project X: – Written by longtime collaborator Erik Ehn, this "tiny" play was so deeply complex in its telling of a horrific part of our history that so few know about. Visually astonishing and emotionally gut-wrenching.

Newton Pittman's Original Compositions for THE TULSA RACE RIOTS OF 1921 at Project X: - In the richness of African, jazz, blues and Dixie music, Pittman'swork was the heart of the play, connecting history with moments of fantasy and symbolism in a musical way that would stay with the audience long after.

 

John Arnone's Scenic Design for NEXT FALL and GOD OF CARNAGE at Dallas Theater Center – A towering design for the open space at Kalita Humphreys Theater, the set was awash in red, white and shades of blue. At once modernly sleek and clinically sterile, it served as both a home and a hospital with unsettling clarity in Next Fall. With a change of walls and use of the same furniture, Arnone's design spun into an upper class New York apartment with all its bountiful accouterments.


SUPERIOR DONUTS at Theatre Three – Also written by Tracy Letts, this little play set in a tiny donut shop set so much humanity at its café tables and barstools, the walls fairly burst.

Bruce Coleman's Direction of SUPERIOR DONUTS at Theatre Three – As the play held all elements necessary for a "superior" play, Coleman's light touch was perfect and allowed the actors to shine.

Chris Piper as Franco Wicks and Van Quattro as Arthur Przybyszewski in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Theatre Three – So believable as the young writer and life-worn shop owner, these actors reacted to each other so well, they could have taught an Acting 101 class.

 

THE BETTER DOCTOR at Upstart Productions – If for nothing more than bringing the silent film genre to stage, Upstart Productions continually proves they are an innovative theatre company in our area

 

Chris Huey as Alan in GOD OF CARNAGE at Dallas Theater Center – Huey played the rather frank voice of reason amongst the two parental couples – the counter balance to all the insanity, and his character said aloud what the audience was thinking which made watching him all the more delightful.

 

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY at Undermain Theatre – Rarely produced by theatres in this area, any Pinter play is a treat and Undermain's production was tantalizing, funny and mysterious.

 

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON at Theatre Three – Any all around great ride of a musical. From direction to set to costumes and acting, BBAJ was a sight and sound twist of history spun into a rock `n roll concert.

Cameron Cobb as Andrew Jackson in BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON at Theatre Three – Cobb has had one great year, acting and directing his way through the theatres of Dallas and Fort Worth. But this misunderstood man was never so crazily portrayed and never has a history lesson been so much fun. Cobb's performance was like running a marathon eight times a week, and by the end of the musical, he looked it!

 

Randel Wright's Scenic Design for MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS at Dallas Children's Theater – In order to tour with as simple a set as possible, Wright used reed back panels and rolling sculptures to represent forest, spirit faces and more. The use of warm browns, greens and gold brought the play's natural setting to life onstage and helped the characters' journey become all the more magical.

S-Ankh Rasa's Music and Lyrics for MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS at Dallas Children's Theater – I am a devotee of African music, especially its drumming. Rasa's composition was hypnotic and head-bobbing, moving the story and the characters through this ancient tale told in some form in all cultures – we know it as Cinderella.

 

NYC COYOTE EXISTENTIAL at Echo Theatre for the Festival of Independent Theatres –Written and co-performed by Melissa Cooper, this short play about a woman who sees and learns from a coyote in Central Park flipped our perceived conceptions and made us see the world and our lives in a whole new dimension.

 

Mark D. Miller's Musical Direction for URINETOWN at ICT MainStage – A powerful score with many complicated songs, Miller brought each and every actor in this production to their musical best.

Keslie Ward as Little Sally in URINETOWN at ICT MainStage – though written as a supporting role, Ward easily shone in her every scene but never took intentional stage presence, she was simply that fun to watch and hear sing.

 

Victoria Bell as Motormouth Maybelle in HAIRSPRAY for Denton Community Theatre – With the stage presence of Queen Latifah and the lungs of Patti LaBelle, Ms. Bell stole her every singing scene and dutifully reminded the audience of the underlying theme of the musical.

 

Michael Robinson's Costume Design for THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP at WaterTower Theatre – Meant to be over the top, gaudy and rather "dreadful", Robinson did his job well. The quick changes brought peals of laughter, and even when not done in time, made the play all the more hilarious.

Regan Adair and Bryan T. Donovan as all the characters in THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP at WaterTower Theatre – What a great acting duo these two made. Knowing each other's movements, and sometimes thoughts, they played off each other as easily as playing ping pong. The banter, the side glances, their understanding of camp was perfectly hilarious and was one of the few shows where I simply laughed out loud.

 

Jac Alder as Sigmund Freud in FREUD'S LAST SESSION at Theatre Three - Alder's interpretation of Freud was everything you'd expect the man to be. But Alder's portrayed the fear and anguish behind all the bluster, making his character emotionally richer and much more compelling.

 

THE 39 STEPS at Theatre Arlington – I don't mind saying that this production was one of my favorites for this past year. Theatre critics and writers tend to toss around the word "ensemble" when speaking of the usually large group of people who sing and dance in the background and make up the crowd scenes and townspeople. Their mention is usually an afterthought. Absolutely not so here. This group of four amazing actors worked like a well-oiled machine in performing the over one hundred characters of Hitchcock's film. Each characterization was well-defined and their comedic talent and timing was parallel to none. We've all seen some form of the British murder mystery play but Theatre Arlington's The 39 Steps was the master of the genre and a theatrical triumph.

 

THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE TRAGIC LIFE AND TRIUMPHANT DEATH OF JULIA PASTRANA, THE UGLIEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD at Amphibian Stage Productions – On the complete other spectrum of genius ensemble performance, while The 39 Steps was a fast-paced visual delight, my delight in this play came from the use of my own imagination instead of the director's. Julia Pastrana is performed entirely in the dark and the audience was seated in wheel hub formation with the actors playing all around them and down the hubs to the middle. Live and taped sound effects and the actors' beautifully clear and stunning interpretation of this true story made each scene easily understandable. One of the most powerful, emotional and beautiful plays I've ever "seen".

 

Scott Latham as Pato Dooley in THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE at Kitchen Dog Theater – A supporting role with few scenes, Latham played Maureen's lover and only hope of salvation with such heart-wrenching truth and beauty, his was the only ray of love in a play filled with such darkness and hate. His role made the play more tolerable

 

Chamblee Ferguson as Ebenezer Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Dallas Theater Center – With a character so well known to most everyone, Ferguson could have easily phoned in his performance and probably satisfied most people. Instead, he took the role deep into his heart, and with each and every performance, emotionally transformed himself along with his character. You could see and feel it from the middle of the audience and my heart was surprisingly and gladly moved.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Dallas Theater Center - In the last year of this long-running adaptation, the design elements and acting joined forces for an exceptional retelling of one man's personal redemption. Thank you DTC for presenting Dickens' story so well.

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
BONNIE K. DAMAN'S
PICKS

 

 

 

BEST LEAD ACTOR:
Jonathan Metting, Plaza Theatre Company, A CHRISTMAS CAROL

 

BEST LEAD ACTRESS:
Ashlie Kirkpatrick, ICT Mainstage, THE CAT AND THE CANARY

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Kyle Holt, Artisan Center Theater, THE ARK

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Alixe Ward, Casa Manana, GREASE!

 

BEST FEATURED ACTOR:
David Coffee, Casa Manana, GREASE!

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
TONY AUSTIN DOUGLAS'S
PICKS

 

 

 

 

BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR:

THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE TRAGIC LIFE AND TRIUMPHANT DEATH OF JULIA PASTRANA, THE UGLIEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD

(Amphibian Stage Productions)

 

 

 

 

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST OF THE YEAR:
JUNIE B. JONES in JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS (Dallas Children's Theater)

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Mallory Michaellann and Jad Saxton as "Daisy & Violet" in SIDE SHOW (PFamily Arts)

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF THE YEAR:
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Casa Manana)

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
DAVID HANNA'S
PICKS

 

 

2012 was a year where smaller, intimate productions came to the forefront in Dallas. While more established companies pushed for bigger shows, new and smaller groups took more risks and reaped greater rewards. In 2012, less was definitely more.

BEST OF THE YEAR:

THE MIDWEST TRILOGY-Second Thought Theatre

Second Thought Theatre created a unique experience with their evening of short films and monologue, The Midwest Trilogy. The short films were enjoyable, but the highlight of the evening was the monologue "Bob Birdnow's Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcendence of Self". Barry Nash gave the performance of the year to an audience of five, guiding us through Bob Birdnow's harrowing tale of crashing a plane and struggling to survive. Nash drew audiences in with his awkward, silly demeanor, but slowly revealed the powerful, harrowing story of how Birdnow lost his arm. Playwright Eric Steele built a refreshingly poetic world for Nash to inhabit, using elevated, poetic language to flesh out the gruesome detail of Birdnow's tragic journey. The 50-minute monologue was perhaps the best theater I saw all year, and Nash's performance is one of the best I've ever seen as a theatergoer.

 

 

 

 

RUTH (Kitchen Dog Theater)

Kitchen Dog Theater produced one of the best new scripts out of Dallas as the highlight of their New Works Festival. Vicki Caroline Cheatwood's Ruth updated a biblical story for contemporary audiences.

Cheatwood's script touches on issues of immigration and race relations without being patronizing or preachy, and does so without major changes to her source material. Kitchen Dog expertly produced the show with a solid cast and intimate, creative technical work. Cheatwood's script is easily accessible, and should continue to have a life into the future.

 

COYOTE (Nouveau 47 Theatre)

A mention also goes to playwright Kevin Kautzmann, whose play Coyote premiered at Nouveau 47 early in 2012. While Nouveau's production of the play was limited and confusing, the show itself stands as an entertaining, biting script that showcases a fearless playwright that can also tell a great story. Kautzmann's already an up-and-coming name in Dallas, but Coyote is a show that will definitely bring him greater attention.

 

 

 

THE UNDERSTUDY (Amphibian Stage Productions)

One of the most surprising shows in 2012 was The Understudy at Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth. On paper, the show appears to be nothing more than a backstage farce aping shows like Noises Off. Yet a mixture of Franz Kafka, the theater business, and the neurotic insecurity of performers blended to create a complex, layered experience that was as thoughtful as it was funny. Chuck Huber's lead performance was silly but believable, broad yet carefully crafted. Amphibian's intimate space worked well, and transformed a show from a forgettable farce to a delightful evening of theater.

 

CHICAGO (National Tour, Winspear Opera House)

Finally, I have to mention Lexus Broadway Series' presentation of the current touring production of Chicago. Though this was the only national production I saw all year, it was definitely one of the best. Bob Fosse's crowning theatrical work played incredibly well in the Winspear. Audiences expecting a re-creation of the film were surprised but drawn in by the bare-bones, cabaret Staging of the show.

The show also featured two of the best supporting performances of the year. John O'Hurley, famous for his turn as J. Peterman on "Seinfeld", played Billy Flynn with a perfect blend of smarm and cynicism. Even greater, though, was Ron Orbach's performance of "Mr. Cellophane". Having played the buffoon for the entire show, Orbach seized the opportunity to grab the audience by the throat and never let go, taking them on a twisting rollercoaster of emotions. He stole the show at that moment, and put a bow on 2012's outstanding crop of personal, intimate performances and productions.

 



John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
NICOLE HODGE
'S
PICKS

 

 

BEST THEATER COMPANY OF THE YEAR:
Kitchen Dog Theater

 

BEST ACTRESS OF THE YEAR:
Karen Parrish- BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEEANA (Kitchen Dog Theater)

 

BEST ACTOR OF THE YEAR:
Matt Purvis- AVENUE Q (Theater Too)


BEST DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR:
Tre Garrett- Jubilee Theater

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGNER OF THE YEAR:
Lyle Huchton (Dallas Children's Theater)

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGNER OF THE YEAR:
John M. Flores (Kitchen Dog)

 

 



John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
CHRIS JACKSON
'S
PICKS

 

 

 

BEST PLAYS OF THE YEAR:

THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (Contemporary Theatre of Dallas)

COLLAPSE (Kitchen Dog Theater)

BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE (Kitchen Dog Theater)

GOD OF CARNAGE (Dallas Theater Center)

THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY (Dallas Theater Center)

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST MUSICALS OF THE YEAR:

Anything at Lyric Stage. Their work is so consistently well done. This year I especially enjoyed THE MOST HAPPY FELLA and 1776.

CRAZY FOR YOU (Theatre Three)

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (Theatre Three)

AVENUE Q (Theatre Too at Theatre Three)

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Dallas Theater Center)

 

BEST ACTORS OF THE YEAR:

Alex Organ was everywhere and consistently wonderful this season in such productions as THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION (Theatre 3), CORIOLANUS (Shakespeare Dallas), and THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Lyric Stage).

Cameron Cobb's work in such productions as TURN OF THE SCREW (Kitchen Dog Theater), BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON and FREUD'S LAST SESION both at Theatre
Three.

Jac Alder in FREUD'S LAST SESSION (Theatre 3)

Chris Hury in Shakespeare Dallas' MACBETH and Dallas Theater Center's GOD OF CARNAGE.

Ashley Wood in NIGHT OF THE IGUANA at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas.

 

BEST ACTRESSES OF THE YEAR:

Karen Parrish in THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEEANAE at Kitchen Dog, she probably gave the stand-out performance in this category.

Also wonderful were Jo Schellenberger as Lady Macbeth for Shakespeare Dallas's MACBETH and Cindy Beall as the mother in CORIOLANUS.

Sally Nystuen Vahle was unexpectedly wonderfully comic in GOD OF CARNAGE at Dallas Theater Center- but then she's always wonderful!.

 

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
Bill Nolte in THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Lyric Stage)
Sydney James Harcourt in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Dallas Theater Center)

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Amber Nicole guest in THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Lyric Stage)

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTORS:
Drew Wall and Scott Latham in THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEEANAE at Kitchen Dog Theater.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Emily Scott Banks in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK at WaterTower Theatre.

 

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST: THE LARAMIE PROJECT (DVA Productions)

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:

My favorite was Claire DeVries set for HE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEEANAE at Kitchen Dog Theater.

Bob Lavallee's set for JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Dallas Theater Center) was a close second where I also liked Takeshi Kata's set for THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY (Dallas Theater Center).

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: I really appreciated the subtle use of non-subtlety in the costumes of Wade Laboisonnierre for JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
(Dallas Theater Center)

 

BEST DIRECTORS OF THE YEAR: Rene Moreno and Joel Ferrell share top honors in my book for Best Director!



John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
LAURIE LYNN LINDEMIER'S
PICKS

 

 

Laurie listed rated her picks for Best Production 1 through 11 and included who gave the best performances, etc within that production:

1. OLEANNA
Arts Fifth Avenue, L.I.P. Service and Big Nose Productions

BEST PERFORMANCES:
Jason Leyva as John
Erica Harte as Carol

BEST DIRECTOR: Ben Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. NEW JERUSALEM
Stage West, Fort Worth

BEST PERFORMANCES:
Russell Dean Schultz as Abraham Van Valkenburgh
Garret Storms as Baruch de Spinoza

BEST DIRECTOR: Jerry Russell

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. THE BIRTH OF MERLIN
Stolen Shakespeare Guild, Fort Worth

BEST PERFORMANCE:
Sarah Zabinski as Joan Goe-Too't

BEST DIRECTOR: Nathan Autrey

BEST SCENIC DESIGN: Jason Morgan

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: Logan Ball

 

4. OLIVER
Artisan Center Theatre, Hurst

BEST PERFORMANCES:
Jason Leyva as Fagin
Isaac Jarrell as Oliver

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Rebecca Roberts

BEST DIRECTOR: Christine Chambers

 

5. BIG RIVER
Artisan Center Theatre, Hurst

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:
Dennis Cartright, Jason Leyva and Lily Stapp-Courtney

 

6. CHARLOTTE'S WEB
Casa Manana, Fort Worth

BEST PERFORMANCES:
Lindsay Gee as Wilbur
Kia Dawn Fulton as Charlotte
Lauren Magee as Fern

BEST SCENIC DESIGN: Bob Lavallee

BEST DIRECTOR: Joe Sturgeon

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Tammy Spencer

 

7. FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
Music Theatre of Denton

BEST PERFORMANCE:
John Evarts as Tevya

BEST SCENIC & PRODJECTION DESIGN: Phillip Lamb

SPECIAL ACHEIVEMENT: Rob Amberson, Violin

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: Brad Speck

BEST DIRECTOR: James D. Laney

 

8. THREE DECEMBERS
Fort Worth Opera

BEST PERFORMANCES:
Janice Hall, soprano, as Maddy
Emily Pulley, soprano, as Bea
Matthew Worth, baritone, as Charlie

BEST SCENIC DESIGN: Bob Lavallee

BEST DIRECTOR: Candice Evans

 

 

9. LYSISTRATA
Fort Worth Opera

BEST PERFORMANCES:

Ava Pine, soprano, as Lysistrata

Alissa Anderson, mezzo-soprano, as Lampito

Scott Scully, tenor, as Nico

 

 

10. TOSCA
Fort Worth Opera

BEST PERFORMANCES:
Carter Scott, soprano, as Tosca
Roger Honeywell, tenor, as Cavaradossi

BEST SCENIC DESIGN: Andrew Horn

 

 

11. THE DING DONGS OR WHAT THE PENALTY IN PORTUGAL
Amphibian Stage Productions, Fort Worth

BEST PLAYWRIGHT: Brenda Withers

BEST PERFORMANCES:
Brenda Withers as Natalie
Jonathan Fielding as Joe
Brandon J. Murphy as Redelmo
Rebecca Allard, Narrator



John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
DANIEL MACCHIETTO'S
PICKS

 

 

COLUMN Readers – I am pleased to present this list of the DFW metroplex's best in theatre for 2012. Although the below is revised excerpts from previously reviewed shows, whittling it down to this selection was not easy. There were many performances that I felt crushed to leave off, but such is the exciting controversy of creating such a list. Thank you to all the theater companies of the DFW metroplex area for entertaining us, enlightening us, and challenging us. I look forward to the endless theatrical possibilities that 2013 will bring:

 

BEST PLAY (DRAMA)
THE COVER OF LIFE presented by Greater Lewisville Community Theatre - R.T. Robinson is a damn crafty playwright. The opening of his The Cover of Life suggests it will be a fish out of water comedy and elicited laughter to this avail, but it slowly morphed into sporadic scattered memory pieces that would make Tennessee Williams proud. Written letters were shared with the audience that have a certain poetic flair, wonderfully lit and moody. By Act II it had become an enticing hybrid between a full-fledged, political call to arms think piece and an emotional melodrama. This was all exciting to watch unfold, because it was so effectively staged by director Christopher Adams. Mr. Adams guides lovely performances from his leading actresses and pulled off the difficult task of putting his stamp on a play by seemingly putting no stamp at all, which is to say that Adams did not let you see him sweat. He opted for the less showy and more graceful route by allowing the playwright's dialogue and story wash over the audience.

 

 

BEST PLAY (COMEDY)
BOEING-BOEING presented by WaterTower Theatre – Robin Armstrong certified that this production of Boeing-Boeing was very much the product of WaterTower Theatre and I whole-heartedly agreed. The blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating this non-stop sex romp were felt in every
second that an actor exhaled. The set-up to the farcical shenanigans that took place was a skillful wonder to behold. Each line was carefully delivered with the same sort of delicate precision as the murderer's plan from a well-crafted thriller. Every logistical consideration that listed created an indelible promise for the perfect storm of comic possibilities. Director Robin Armstrong's gamed cast does not break a single one. This was one of the rare
times where a director's overpowering enthusiasm for a production truly manifested itself onstage.

 

 

THE 15 BEST PERFORMANCES (in alphabetical order):

Andy Baldwin as Robert in WaterTower Theatre's BOEING-BOEING All of the performers in this door slamming, farcical romp were up to the challenge of keeping a straight face, as well as holding their own with the exuberant Andy Baldwin. Everyone in the cast had more than a handful of moments to shine, but Mr. Baldwin was the show's true star. Mr. Baldwin did not let his director down, and made comedic use of the entire stage and sprinkling the laughs everywhere with his uncompromising physical aerobics.

 

Coby Cathey as Gilligan in Rover Dramawerk's GILLIGAN'S ISLAND: THE MUSICAL-
Coby Cathey, as the iconic, titular character, led the cast with unabashed silliness. Cathey is a gifted physical comedian. He has an elastic physique that both charmed and worried one for his safety at times with some of the pratfalls he takes. His performance was far more than a suitable imitation of Bob Denver's original character, comfortably wearing Gilligan's sailor cap with ease.


Michael Federico as Andrew Porter in Kitchen Dog Theatre's Becky Shaw – Michael Federico portrayed Andrew Porter as an idealistic wannabe writer set up to be the script's intended boob, but Mr. Porter infused a healthy subtext of a husband more capable of deviance than at first appears.

 

Stephanie Fischer as Sybil in Greater Lewisville Community Theatre's THE COVER OF LIFE
Ms. Fischer had a commanding and engaging presence, but she never stole focus away from her female counterparts. Sybil made repeated references to being a "modern" woman. Ms. Fischer made the audience aware that Sybil's modernity was her cross to bear. Her character peeled away surprising layers as the show progressed. Scripturally, in the second act, her letter writing monologues to her husband ran the risk of going
too far into melodrama, but she dialed it back just enough to keep you interested without feeling Uncomfortable. When her emotional outbreak crescendo to the penultimate line… "Where the hell are my dreams?" it broke your heart.

 

Sahara Glasener-Boles as Witch in PFamily Arts' INTO THE WOODS
Any actress cast as the Witch in Into the Woods is blessed to be trusted with arguably the show's most emotionally rich and melodically generous solos of the musical numbers. They are big shoes to fill and Ms. Glasener Boles was more than up to the challenge. I will admit that I'm not as well-versed in musical knowledge as my Column colleagues but Ms. Boles gives one of the best musical performances of the year. Just watch her lament in the ballad to her daughter,"Stay With Me", and I dare any one not to be spellbound. It is a moment that transcended the plot of the ambitious story and will speak to anyone that has had to let go of the precious child they've raised.

 

Steve Iwanski as Bill Starbuck in Fig Theatre Company's THE RAINMAKER
As the polarizing Bill Starbuck, Mr. Iwanski was a revelation, playing a character that could have easily run off the rails in lesser hands. When Iwanski inhabited a scene, every performance of the Curry family was elevated to
a new level. His sustained and controlled energy allowed those scenes to flow naturally, yet were also delightfully unpredictable. Starbuck's monologue of why he continues his rainmaking cons had to be sincere and earn the audience's sympathy in order for the rest of the plot development to work. Iwanski did not disappoint.

 

Maurice Johnson as Muff Potter in Casa Manana's THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER-
Maurice Johnson was magnetic as Muff Potter and gave the show added depth that was missing when he was not present. Johnson has a beautiful, baritone voice, singing throughout with such period appropriate folk songs, spirituals and hymns as "Down to the River and Pray", "Ole' Dan Tucker", and the dramatic highpoint,
"I'm Only Going Over Jordan".

 

Jenny Ledel as Becky Shaw in Kitchen Dog Theatre's BECKY SHAW
Jenny Ledel had the dubious challenge of portraying the title role, Becky Shaw's most polarizing character. In lesser hands it would have been easy to regard Becky Shaw as only a plot device to raise the emotional stakes as she attempts to blackmail another, but Ms. Ledel never risked being marked with that label as she made it
clear that the character is unaware of the consequences of her own actions.

 

Jennifer Milner as the Baker's Wife in PFamily Arts' INTO THE WOODS
Milner was given the trickiest role of all the characters. The Baker's Wife is the most ambivalent, and Ambivalence is not an easy emotion to convey, especially in musical theatre. Rest assured, Ms. Milner was not ambivalent about her commitment to her performance. Whether contemplating a new adventure in "Maybe They're Magic" or taking stock of her marriage in "Moments in the Woods", Ms. Milner showed a deft hand in maneuvering through such a complex thought process in a short time with these two story-driven songs.

 

Leigh Wyatt Moore as Hattie Dealing in Richardson Center Theatre's LAUNDRY& BOURBON
Most of the laughs were fueled by Leigh Wyatt Moore as Hattie Dealing. Moore created a generous comic performance that was well-modulated from beginning to end; whether expounding on the riches of Let's Make a Deal, hilariously disciplining her three rambunctious kids over the telephone or whining about the Bridge Club's introduction to Mahjong, she was consistently engaging.

 

Delynda Johnson Moravec as Jack's Mother & Cinderella's Mother in PFamily Arts' INTO THE WOODS
I have seen directors that have treated these two roles quite thanklessly by casting performers with lesser voices. In the right hands these characters can strike a marvelously short-lived, but very vital and haunting
cord. Ms. Moravec seals the deal with her perfect pitch and motherly tone.

 

Amber Quinn as Kate in Greater Lewisville Community Theatre's THE COVER OF LIFE
Kate Miller was the observer of these women's lives. The story was told through her eyes and memory. Ms. Quinn maintained a perfect balance of grace and tactlessness, nostalgia and bitterness. She was very convincing relaying to the audience how substantial her encounters with the Clifford wives were. Equally
impressive was her dexterity to handle the fast talking opening passages with aplomb, as well as the tenderness the second act required of her.

 

Sheila D. Rose as Vernadette in The Black Box MAC Actors (Mesquite Arts Center) THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB
Sheila D. Rose as Vernadette was quite the scene-stealer. Storming her first entrance as a woman with a small bladder, cementing another entrance with her maneuvering in an auspicious clown costume (the "why"
explanation was priceless), and perfecting a rapid fire monologue about the Southern necessity of biscuits as part of a well-bred diet, Ms. Rose was a lively torpedo that offered the most fun and unexpected laughter. Her
character's clown suit was rather poignant as Vernadette had the little in her life to laugh about.

 

Paul Taylor as Baker in PFamily Arts' INTO THE WOODS- Paul Taylor conveys such inherent goodness so effortlessly onstage. In Into the Woods he consistently struck the right tone for this downbeat, but humorous fairy tale send-up.

Clay Yocum as Duck in Second Thought Theatre's PLUCK THE DAY
The conversation flowed freely and naturally in this Texas spirited yarn and was hilarious to boot. Much of this was owed to Yokum's dexterous skill of his rapid fire delivery of Steven Walter's zippy script. Yocum had a confident verbal ease for good old-fashioned, authentic cursing. There is a lot of colorful language in this play, and when it is done right, such words can elevate to a work of art that is as tricky a feat as a Shakespearean soliloquy. This kind of thoughtfulness to a character's use of the English language is refreshing.

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
ERIC MASKELL'S
PICKS

 

 

BEST PLAY:
ROOM SERVICEe (Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST ORIGINAL PRODUCTION:
THE 7- Sundown Collaborative Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 


BEST ACTOR:
Steven Pounders (Felix Artifex in MISTAKES WERE MADE– Circle Theatre)

BEST ACTRESS:
Portia Bartholomae (Harriet Smith in EMMA– Stolen Shakespeare Guild)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Tom DeWester (Harry Binion in ROOM SERVICE– Greater Lewisville Community Theatre)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Jennifer Stoneking (Madame Donnier, MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE
Pocket Sandwich Theatre)

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:
YOU'RE A GOODD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN – Onstage in Bedford

BEST COSTUMING:
EMMA – Stolen Shakespeare Guild

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
JEREMY OSBORNE'S
PICKS

 

 

BEST PLAYS OF THE YEAR (alphabetical order):

Farnsworth Invention (Theatre 3)

A Few Good Men (ICT Mainstage)

Freud's Last Session (Theatre 3)

Tigers Be Still (Dallas Theater Center)

The Woman in Black (Onstage in Bedford)

 

 

 

BEST MUSICALS OF THE YEAR (alphabetical order):

Avenue Q (Theatre Too)

Forever Plaid (Grand Prairie Arts Council)

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Theatre Too)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (Dallas Theater Center)

Smokey Joe's Café (Watertower Theater)

 

 

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN (alphabetical order):

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Lap Chi Chu (Dallas Theater Center)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat – Grant Yeager and Jeff Croiter (Dallas Theater Center)

Smokey Joe's Café – David Natinsky (Watertower Theater)

The Woman in Black – Bryan S. Douglas (Onstage in Bedford)

 

 

BEST SOUND DESIGN (alphabetical order):

The Woman in Black – Jeff Mizener (Onstage in Bedford)

Freud's Last Session – Rich Frohlich (Theatre 3)

The Farnsworth Invention – Marco Salinas (Theatre 3)

 

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN (alphabetical order):

The Farnsworth Invention – Jeffrey Schmidt (Theatre 3)

A Few Good Men – Ellen Doyle Mizener (ICT Mainstage)

Freud's Last Session – Jac Alder (Theatre 3)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat – Bob Lavallee (Dallas Theater Center)

Rent – Bob Lavallee (Theatre Arlington)

The Woman in Black – Ellen Doyle Mizener (Onstage in Bedford)

 

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (alphabetical order):

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Clint Ramos (Dallas Theater Center)

A Few Good Men – Dallas Costume Shoppe (ICT Mainstage)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat - Wade Laboissonniere (Dallas Theater Center)

Rent – Meredith Hinton (Theatre Arlington)

Smokey Joe's Café – Michael Robinson (Watertower Theatre)

 

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY (alphabetical order):

Avenue Q – Michael Serrecchia (Theatre Too)

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change – Terry Dobson (Theatre Too)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat – Joel Ferrell (Dallas Theater Center)

Smokey Joe's Café – John De Los Santos (Watertower Theatre)

 

 

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION (alphabetical order):

Avenue Q – Terry Dobson (Theatre Too)

Forever Plaid – Alec Bart (Grand Prairie Arts Council)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat – Eugene Gwozdz (Dallas Theater Center)

Smokey Joe's Café – Scott A. Eckert (Watertower Theatre)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Adam Wright (Level Ground Arts)

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL (alphabetical order):

Avenue Q – Michael Serrecchia (Theatre Too)

Forever Plaid – J. Alan Hanna (Grand Prairie Arts Council)

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change – Terry Dobson (Theatre Too)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat – Joel Ferrell (Dallas Theater Center)

Smokey Joe's Café – Terry Martin (Watertower Theatre)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – John De Los Santos (Level Ground Arts)

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY (alphabetical order):

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Jaime Castaneda (Dallas Theater Center)

The Farnsworth Invention – Jeffrey Schmidt (Theatre 3)

Freud's Last Session – Terry Dobson (Theatre 3)

Tigers Be Still – Hal Brooks (Dallas Theater Center)

The Woman in Black – Alex Krus (Onstage in Bedford)

 

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR (alphabetical order):

Alex Organ – The Farnsworth Invention (Theatre 3)

Cameron Cobb - Freud's Last Session (Theatre 3)

Chamblee Ferguson - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (Dallas Theater Center)

Jac Adler - Freud's Last Session (Theatre 3)

Jakie Cabe – The Farnsworth Invention (Theatre 3)

Kit Hussey - The Woman in Black (Onstage in Bedford)

Rick Powers - The Woman in Black (Onstage in Bedford)

 

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS (alphabetical order):

Abbey Siegworth - Tigers be Still (Dallas Theater Center)

Danielle Pickard – The Farnsworth Invention (Theatre 3)

Megan Kelly Bates – Avenue Q (Theatre Too)

Zoe Kerr - Anne of Green Gables (Dallas Children's Theater)

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
ASHLEA PALLADINO'S
PICKS

 


BEST PRODUCTIONS OF THE YEAR:

1776 (Lyric Stage)

With John Adams and Benjamin Franklin on the ballot, Lyric Stage scored a major win. Actor David Coffee could perform alone in an open field and I would likely pay for a ticket. Put him onstage surrounded by a lovely set, wearing a Franklin-esque wig, and performing with an ensemble of Dallas' finest? I'll buy ten tickets. Director Cheryl Denson's best production of 2012 easily became my favorite production of 2012.

 

AVENUE Q (Theater Too)

The intimate venue that is Theater Too perfectly suited this uproarious gem. Its numerous extensions are proof of its lure and appeal to our metroplex audiences. This production of Avenue Q was my first, and the level of
difficulty in performing it so well left me shaking my head in wonder. Kudos to Michael Robinson and his creative team for their outstanding contribution to the puppetry arts, as well as his personal contribution in performing the role of Trekkie, et al.

 

OKLAHOMA! (Lyric Stage)

Oh, what a beautiful musical! I was swept away by the charm, class and overall magic of this production. Jay Dias led a dazzling orchestra of over thirty musicians, and Cheryl Denson directed her talented troupe with precision. Every acting choice was specific and well-developed, with special mention for Kyle Cotton's performance as Jud – it managed to creep me out more than any other performance this year.


 

THE PRODUCERS (Uptown Players)

When I look back at 2012 on the whole, I think of The Producers as the biggest show of the year: big names, big costumes, big ensemble, big wigs. "Springtime for Hitler" may be my favorite production number of the year, featuring a lovely vocal performance by Jonathan Bragg and a bevy of long-legged beautiful ladies. The Producers was one of several wonderful shows directed by Michael Serrecchia this year.

 

UNNECESSARY FARCE (OnStage in Bedford)

As the tagline for this play says, "Two cops. Three crooks. Eight doors. Go." If you missed it, you missed the funniest play of the year. Stephanie Seidler wore handcuffs, Scott Nixon wore a kilt – just a day like any other in the world of Director Ashley H. White, whose flare for farce was reflected in the high-energy, hysterically physical performances she elicited from her cast. Oh, and there were bagpipes.

 

URINETOWN THE MUSICAL
(ICT MainStage)

Director Chris Robinson's steam punk take on the worst-named musical in history proved victorious for ICT MainStage. The music was there, the acting was there, but it was the otherworldly visual effect of everything working together that kept me riveted. Throw in a scary-good vocal performance by Caroline Rivera, along with the ultra-sweet presence of Michelle Foard, and Urinetown jumps to the head of the pack.

 

 

 

 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR (in alphabetical order):

Megan Kelly Bates as "Kate/Lucy" in AVENUE Q (Theatre Too)

Mallory Michaellann Brophy as "Daisy Hilton" in SIDESHOW (PFamily Arts)

Randall Scott Carpenter as "Tobias Ragg" in SWEENEY TODD THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (Level Ground Arts)

B.J. Cleveland as "Max Bialystock" in THE PRODUCERS (Uptown Players)

David Coffee as "Benjamin Franklin" in 1776 (Lyric Stage)

Kyle Cotton as "Jud" in OKLAHOMA! (Lyric Stage) and as "Edward Rutledge" in 1776 (Lyric Stage)

Sonny Franks as "Man 2" in I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE (Theatre Too)

Brian Gonzales as "John Adams" in 1776 (Lyric Stage)

Erica Harte as "Ado Annie" in OKLAHOMA! (Lyric Stage)

Brad M. Jackson as "Roger" in THE PRODUCERS (Uptown Players)

Bryant Martin as "Thomas Jefferson" in 1776 (Lyric Stage)

Sara Shelby-Martin as "Paulette" in LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL (Level Ground Arts)

Scott Nixon as "Todd" in UNNECESSARY FARCE (OnStage in Bedford)

Samantha Parrish as "Golde" in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Plaza Theatre Company)

Ben Phillips as "Lloyd Dallas" in NOISES OFF (Theatre Arlington)

Greg Phillips as "Walt Mitchell" in THE FREQUENCY OF DEATH! (Pegasus Theatre)

Caroline Rivera as "Penelope Pennywise" in URINETOWN THE MUSICAL (ICT MainStage)

Jad Saxton as "Violet Hilton" in SIDESHOW (PFamily Arts)

Stephanie Seidler as "Billie Dwyer" in UNNECESSARY FARCE (OnStage in Bedford)

G. Aaron Siler as "Tevye" in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Plaza Theatre Company)

 

 

BEST ENSEMBLES OF THE YEAR:

THE PRODUCERS (Uptown Players): Mikey Abrams, Michael Albee, Jonathan Bragg, Kellie Carroll, Caitlyn Darby, Emily Ford, Ivan Jasso, Mary Jerome, Art Kedzierski, Kelly McCain, Thomas Renner, Calvin Roberts, Ashton McKay Shawver, Jennie Titiryn, Shannon Walsh and Lisa Ward

URINETOWN THE MUSICAL (ICT MainStage): Sahara Glasener-Boles, Nick Haley, Marcus Jauregui, Janelle Suzanne Lutz, Travis Ponikiewski, Kimberly Smith and Charles Wallace

 

BEST LIVE ORCHESTRAS/BANDS:

1776 (Lyric Stage)

OKLAHOMA! (Lyric Stage)

THE PRODUCERS (Uptown Players)

URINETOWN THE MUSICAL (ICT MainStage)

 

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF THE YEAR:

Jac Alder (AVENUE Q – Theatre Too)

Clare Floyd DeVries (THE FREQUENCY OF DEATH! - Pegasus Theatre)

Rodney Dobbs (THE PRODUCERS – Uptown Players)

Jennye James (THE CAT AND THE CANARY - ICT MainStage)

Judd Vermillion (URINETOWN THE MUSICAL - ICT MainStage)

 

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN:

Sam Nance (THE FREQUENCY OF DEATH! - Pegasus Theatre and URINETOWN THE MUSICAL –
ICT MainStage)

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Tory Padden (URINETOWN THE MUSICAL – ICT MainStage)

Samantha Rodriguez (THE FREQUENCY OF DEATH! – Pegasus Theatre)

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
ELAINE PLYBON'S
PICKS

 

I began writing for John Garcia's THE COLUMN in May, 2012. Since that time, I have reviewed 14 shows and attended several others. These picks are the best of what I've seen in 2012 in local theater. Whatever you wish for 2013, make one of your resolutions include seeing more local theater! There is so much talent in
the DFW area!

Here are my favorites for 2012:

 

BEST SHOW OVERALL:

 

THE DIVINERS (L.I.P. Service at Arts 5th Avenue).
This show had a very short run – just over two weekends, but every person who had the rare opportunity to see it witnessed a show that, for the art of it, was superb! Father-son acting duo, Jason and Zach Leyva were fantastic in their roles and director, Bill Sizemore, brought together a cast that supported them well. The set design and unique"sepia tone" effect was stunning. The drowning scene was almost too realistic (even without water) and wonderfully executed through lighting and sound design by Branson White. Few shows I've seen bring genuine tears to my eyes, and even fewer make me want to see them again. This show achieved both.

 

 

 

 

MOST WORTH THE DRIVE:

CHILDREN (Wingspan Theatre Company at The Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake).
A wonderful cast, a well-designed set, period costuming, and a thought-provoking plot made this show one of my favorites for 2012. Georgia Clinton as Mother and Catherine DuBord as Jane were smooth and complex in their roles. The entire cast worked well together, and the message of the play itself was well-told.

 

MOST ENTERTAINING:

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (Stage West).
This show had everything from comedy, creative use of props, a well-designed set, and a versatile cast. Jakie Cabe (Passepartout) and Paul Taylor (Phileas Fogg) were a delight to watch, and the ensemble supported them well.

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:

CRIMES OF THE HEART (Contemporary Theatre of Dallas).
The set of this show, designed by Clare DeVries, was so detailed I was happy I arrived early so that I could take in all of the pieces that made it convincing.

 

MOST INNOVATIVE SET:

BIG RIVER (Artisan Center Theater).
This set, designed by Dennis Canright and Jason Leyva, incorporated engineering tricks including real water on which the raft floated, removable stage pieces, and rainfall.

 

BEST LEADING PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR:

Zach Leyva as Buddy Layman (THE DIVINERS, L.I.P. Service)

Jason Leyva as C.C. Showers (THE DIVINERS, L.I.P. Service)

Georgia Clinton as Mother (CHILDREN, Wingspan Theatre Company)

Jakie Cabe, Passepartout (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, Stage West)

Paul Taylor as Phileas Fogg (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, Stage West)

 

 

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR:

Ecko Wilson as Jim (BIG RIVER, Artisan Center Theater)

Sandy Pruitt as Crossing Soloist (BIG RIVER, Artisan Center Theater)

Jana Offutt as Constance (THE FORGOTTEN CAROLS, Artisan Center Theater)

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR:

Seth Johnston as Pap (BIG RIVER, Artisan Center Theater)

Angela Horn as Jennie Mae Layman (THE DIVINERS, L.I.P Service)

Catherine DuBord as Jane (CHILDRENn, Wingspan Theatre Company)

 

 

BEST NEW PLAYWRIGHT:

Jennifer Porter Kennard for BIG GIRL'S GUIDE TO LOVE, DVA Productions at the Pantegleize Theater). This was the first full-length play by Kennard and I had the opportunity to see the first performance. The script is well-written and believable, with many modern-day aspects that I believe audiences can relate to. The script also allowed a rare opportunity for the ensemble to shine.

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
RACHEL SAMPSON'S
PICKS

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR:
Scott Nixon - IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A RADIO PLAY (Runway Theatre)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST DESIGNERS OF THE YEAR:

Jessie Zarazaga (Scenic Design) - MILAGRITOS/LITTLE MIRACLES (Cara Mia Theatre Company)

Jac Alder (Scenic Design) - AVENUE Q (Theatre Three)

Bill Sizemore (Scenic Design) - DEATHTRAP (Richardson Theatre Centre)

Branson White (Lighting Design) - DEATHTRAP (Richardson Theatre Centre)

Linda Blase (Lighting Design) - MILAGRITOS/LITTLE MIRACLES (Cara Mia Theatre Company)

Scott Nixon (Prop Design) - IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A RADIO PLAY (Runway Theatre)

 

 

BEST PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR:

Nelson Wilson as "Sidney Bruhl" in DEATHTRAP (Richardson Theatre Centre)

James Chandler as "Nicky" in AVENUE Q (Theatre Three)

Vanessa DeSilvia as "Chayo" in MILAGRITOS/LITTLE MIRACLES (Cara Mia Theatre Company)

 

BEST ENSEMBLE OF THE YEAR:
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A RADIO PLAY (Runway Theatre)

 


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
CHRISTOPHER SODEN'S
PICKS

 

 

Christopher picked his TOP 5 productions of the year:

1. TIME IN KAFKA: Undermain Theatre

Professor Jay Spellman is sacked because he insists on assigning texts too erudite for college freshman, especially, coincidentally, Franz Kafka's The Trial. Kafka appears to Spellman in in a dream, disclosing the existence of an unpublished manuscript, left at an obscure clinic in Italy, long ago. Convinced the discovery of this novel will salvage his career, Spellman departs for the clinic, after calling his wife Diane, to confide his plans. Once he arrives, he encounters the director, Dr. Hartungen, as well as a dubious and intriguing assortment of individuals, including a Principessa who tells fortunes, a retired General who spends his time reading poetry, and a desk clerk with a marked resemblance to Kafka himself. The doctor assures him they will assist in his search. As his stay extends, Spellman loses track of time. Diane sets off to find him.

Such was the premise of Time in Kafka, playwright Len Jenkin's giddy, riffy montage on Kafka's themes of paranoia, persecution and alienation. In Time in Kafka, various moments : melancholy, sinister, ridiculous, poetic, all take on equal value, like beads on a string, cards on a table, or a succession of equivocal images. There's a playfulness suffusing Time in Kafka that fuels a propensity for one surprise after another. As per the idiosyncratic regimen of The Clinic, characters often gather center stage for a "Healing Dance" where the music might be a waltz, a ballad, or a spirited response to "96 Tears." Like magicians the ensemble was solemn and focused in their hi-jinks, without a trace of irony, thus achieving actual sorcery. Despite the whimsical nature of the structure, there was legitimate logic when you consider the arbitrary, grotesque nature of life, and how often the key to survival depends on just how much we take matters to heart.

 

 

2. THE BOMB-ITTY OF ERRORS: Second Thought Theatre

A hip-hop gloss on Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, Bomb-Itty was rambunctious, uproarious, all-over-the-map jubilation. It's a commonly shared view that Shakes of Avon succeeded so phenomenally because he appealed on so many levels: exquisite language and intelligence for the cognoscenti and bawdy jokes, prat falls and sword fights for the hoi polloi. Bob-Itty was essentially Shakes stripped of (excuse me) erudition and transliterated to the sirens, bells and rockets of urban contemporary (amongst other genres) peppered with enough playfully tasteless gags and cartoony send-ups to keep you giggling for days after the show.

The four-boy cast of : Joseph Holt, Zac Kelty, Drew Wall and Steven Michael Walters gave new meaning to the phrase "anything for a laugh" and I say this with only the highest and most sincere admiration. There is nothing too silly or shameless for these four masters of epic lunacy and I can't recall the last time I laughed so long, helplessly, joyously and unabashedly. Whether it's Wall feasting on the scenery in a bubble-gum pink wig (or Rastafarian dreads) Kelty camping in a tutu, Walters hamming an Hassidic jeweler or Holt giving up the glam as Adriana we were rolling in cosmically comic bliss.

 

 

3. THE PRODUCERS: Uptown Players

The Producers, was so camp, it practically redefined camp. It would make you shudder, if its excess didn't make you so helpless with laughter. "Over the top" doesn't begin to describe it. Based on Mel Brooks' satirical film of the 1960's, The Producers wasn't just campy in the prissy, gay way (though there's plenty of that). Clichés, stereotypes, and arch, operatically indulgent performance abounds, and it was sheer bliss. Ironically, the show surrendered so utterly to Brooks' ingenious premise (two down-and-out guys discover a Broadway flop can make them rich) that the horrendously tasteless result, i.e. Springtime for Hitler, was comedy magic. You haven't lived till you've seen "Adolph" (Brad Jackson) prancing around in jack boots, or Franz Liebkind (Tony Martin) crooning with his chorus of carrier pigeons. (Lederhosen sales may never be the same.) Director Michael Serrecchia spawned a glorious musical from a show that (at the end of the day) is all about tone. The jokes came fast and snappy and no group immune from being spoofed in what had to be the most diligent, versatile, enthusiastic ensemble I have ever seen. Whether we were watching a gaggle of dancing "grannies" wielding walkers or mountain folk or (yikes!) Storm Troopers, they managed these feats with gusto.

 

 

4. SOUTH PACIFIC: Garland Summer Musicals

I can think of few experiences as exhilarating as attending a musical at The Granville Arts Center. Even now, tunes like "Some Enchanted Evening," "Bali Ha'i" and "A Wonderful Guy" come back to me unbidden, sometimes, eliciting tears. Adapted from James Michener's Pulitzer Prize winning Tales of the South Pacific, it tells the story of two couples : Ensign Nellie Forbush (a nurse) and Emile de Becque (a planter) and Lieutenant Joseph Cable and Liat, a native ingenue and Bloody Mary's daughter. The interracial aspects of these two romances create the tension in South Pacific, and before it's all resolved, there will be much turmoil and heartbreak. And of course, the lush, overwhelming bliss of caring deeply for another, as only Rodgers and Hammerstein can evoke, without sap or cliché. Consider the simplicity of a line like "Younger than Spring am I." So direct, yet so poetic, so vibrant. Can anyone be younger than Spring? And yet this is how it feels to share that profound connection.

South Pacific uncovers racism as the impediment to these two pairs of lovers, so wise in every other aspect of their lives, yet blindly obedient to tacit cultural indoctrination. Oscar Hammerstein II was never shy about addressing social ills in his work on or off the stage, and used such content fearlessly to craft intensely altruistic, conscientious shows that were as compelling as they were pleasurable. To my mind, "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" remains one of the most visionary, incisive, poignant examples of social commentary to inform American Musical Theatre. It may not be as wry or enraged as Brecht or Sondheim, but is unmistakably powerful. How can I do justice to my afternoon at GSM's South Pacific? I cannot remember the last time I felt so profoundly moved. So overcome. From the vivid, witty costuming of Michael Robinson and Suzi Shankle, to the fresh, avid choreography of Joseph Jones, every detail of this production felt inspired, intuitive and spot on. The cast was thoroughly engaging, kinetic, involved and flowing with enthusiasm.

 

 

5. WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
Lakeside Community Theatre (in The Colony)

staged Albee's nightmarish descent into toxic marital recreation, an excruciating, merciless tragedy of an older couple, whose intense love for each other is eclipsed by the need to dominate and conquer. Peppered with punchy, tortured, jaundiced humor, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? dragged us through an interminable, compulsive, black night of the soul in which George and Martha rope an unsuspecting younger couple, Nick and Honey, into an abysmal romp where guests are essentially, sacrificial lambs.

Director Amanda Carson Green managed this dangerous territory with keen pacing and observation, collaborating with a cast that should win Olympic Medals for Demanding Theatre : George (David J. Wallis) Martha (Dena Dunn) Nick (Alejandro Sandoval II) and Honey (Laura L. Watson). LCT's Woolf was harrowing and glorious in the way that only live theatre can be, and the actors astonishing with their raw, fearless, insane voodoo therapy and unflagging stamina.

Through all Woolf's erudition and affectation, elemental metaphors of virility, timidity, sexual conquest and self-loathing continue to plague us at the very core. There is no compromise in George and Martha's turbulent attachment, only contempt for weakness and a sort of blunted cannibalism. Of course, Woolf begins in the earliest hours after midnight, and the characters fuel themselves with heavy drinking, jabs, jibes, confrontations and head games until the sun finally rises. After awhile, the storytelling, the explosions, the viciousness, the cathartic weeping, all blend into a cataclysmic, hypnotic montage. It's like seeing every fight your parents ever had, packed into one evening, and it was far beyond overwhelming. It was a solid dose of everything theatre can be and do.


 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
MARK-BRIAN SONNA'S
PICKS


 

With such great talent I have to commend the DFW theatre scene for putting on exceptionally great shows this year. I didn't get to review as much this year with my busy schedule, but I was able to catch more shows then I reviewed. This said there were some truly outstanding performers and designers that deserve accolades. While the list may seem repetitive because I mention only a few stage productions, these were all so well done that they must be singled out:

Linda Leonard for HELLO AGAIN at Uptown Players. She was riveting amongst a cast of very talented professionals.

Dana Harrison and Laura Jennings for creating comic gold on stage in Mesquite Art Council's DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW.

Abel Castillas, Richard Brown, Daniel Canon, and Dixie Brophy for their set design, construction and prop furnishing of Mesquite Art Council's DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW. It was simply spot on.

 

Daniel Tiner for his two memorable roles in Mesquite Art Council's.
DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW.

 

Bruce DuBose for a tour de force performance in the play AN ILIAD.
I'm sure Undermain Theatre will be surprised by this mention because while I didn't care for the play, Mr. DuBose's performance was riveting.

 

The Direction and Choreography by John de los Santos for HELLO AGAIN.
It was extremely theatrical, and extremely effective.

 

The production design by Allen Charles Klein for Dallas Opera's LA
TRAVIATA. He designed the sets, the costumes and the props, and it was a sumptuous feast. When the curtain was raised the audience burst into applause it was that spectacular.

 

Thomas Hase's lighting for Dallas Opera's LA TRAVIATA. The lighting became an additional character in the opera it was that good.

 

Myrto Papatasiu as Violetta in Dallas Opera's LA TRAVIATA. She redefined the role.

 

James Valenti as Alfredo in Dallas Opera's LA TRAVIATA. His performance will be compared to for many years to come.

 

The best play of the year had to be, hands down, SUPERIOR DONUTS at Theatre Three.


The entire production from the direction to the acting sparkled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best musical/opera of the year was Dallas Opera's LA TRAVIATA.


Every once in a blue moon does an Opera get redefined for a new generation and Dallas Opera set a new standard of the classic opera by Verdi.

 

 

 




 

John GarciaASSOCIATE THEATER CRITIC
JOEL TAYLOR'S
PICKS


 

BEST MUSICALS OF THE YEAR:

RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

SHE LOVES ME (Stage West)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST PLAYS OF THE YEAR:

XSR:DIE! (Pegasus Theatre)

MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP (Watertower Theatre)

THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE (Fun House Theatre & Film)

 

 

 

 


BEST ACTORS IN A MUSICAL:

Major Attaway as "Coalhouse Walker Jr" in RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Dennis Yslas as "Tateh" in RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

Daron Cockrell as "Mother" in RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

 

 

BEST ACTORS IN A PLAY:

Regan Adair in MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP (Watertower Theatre)

Bryan T. Donovan in MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP (Watertower Theatre)

James Chandler as "Ronald Reagan" in ULTIMATE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE (Fun House Theatre & Film)

Brad Weatherford as "Dan Quayle" in ULTIMATE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE (Fun House Theatre & Film)

 

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY:

Emily Scott Banks as "Myra Babbage" in GHOST WRITER (Circle Theatre)

 

BEST FEATURED PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL:

Whitney Coulter as "Sarah's Friend" RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

 

BEST ENSEMBLE OF THE YEAR:

RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

 

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY:

Terry Martin for MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP (Watertower Theatre)

Michael Serrecchia for XSR:DIE! (Pegasus Theatre)

 

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL:

G. Aaron Siler & Milette Siler for RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF THE YEAR:

Tina Barrus for RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Michael Robinson for MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP (Watertower Theatre)

 

BEST MAKE UP AND SPECIAL EFFECTS: XSR:DIE! (Pegasus Theatre)

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN:

Clare Floyd DeVries for GHOST WRITER (Circle Theatre) and MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP
(Watertower Theatre)

G. Aaron Siler for RAGTIME (Plaza Theatre Company)

Jason Domm for SHE LOVES ME (Stage West)