THEATER

PAMTAs: a little song and dance

Portland Center Stage scores big at musical-theater awards with 'Fiddler,' 'Lizzie'; 'Zombie' and 'Piazza' also take home hardware

The enduring and still radical classic Fiddler on the Roof led the parade Monday night at the seventh annual Portland Area Musical Theater Awards, scoring wins in six categories, including best production, actor (David Studwell as Tevye the milkman), and director (Chris Coleman). Center Stage dominated the evening, taking three more awards for its current Lizzie Borden rock musical, Lizzie, including outstanding song (House of Borden), score, and orchestrations.

David Studwell took top actor honors for his Tevye in best-production winner "Fiddler on the Roof." Photo: Patrick Weishampel

David Studwell took top actor honors for his Tevye in best-production winner “Fiddler on the Roof.” Photo: Patrick Weishampel

Portland Playhouse’s The Light in the Piazza, which beat out Fiddler for best musical production just two weeks ago at the larger Drammy Awards, took four wins in three categories, including a tie for best actress for Meredith Kaye Clark and Susannah Mars. And Oregon Children’s Theater’s sweet little high school comedy Zombie in Love, another multiple winner at the Drammys, won for best original musical and best performance by a young actor (the rubber-limbed zombie in question, Blake Peebles). Peebles tied with his Zombie costar, Madison Wray, who won for her starring role in OCT’s Fancy Nancy.

A crowd of about 250 settled into downtown’s Dolores Winningstad Theatre for the ceremony, a swift and generally entertaining affair that lasted a little longer than two hours – a veritable 40-yard dash compared to the marathon Tonys and Oscars. Master of ceremonies was the wryly funny actor Darius Pierce, who kept things clipping with a finely calibrated internal stopwatch and an ear for improvisational comedy to go along with his prepared jokes. He noted drily that next year’s PAMTA winner for sound design (Monday night’s went to Brian Moen for Stumptown Stage’s Ain’t Misbehavin’) will make eight in eight years – or one more than the Tonys, which began naming a sound winner just seven years ago and lately announced to considerable protest its plans to drop the category – will have awarded in its entire existence.

Young performer co-winner Blake Peebles in original musical winner "Zombie in Love." Photo: Owen Carey

Young performer co-winner Blake Peebles in original musical winner “Zombie in Love.” Photo: Owen Carey

The mood at the ceremony was convivial and upbeat, lifted by performances of several songs from nominated shows and the smooth onstage accompaniment of a lightly jazzy trio: pianist Reece Marshburn, drummer Ken Ollis, and acoustic bassist Brett McConnell. Singer Julianne Johnson brought the house down with a bluesy, gospelly, sometimes scatted performance of Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, egging the trio on playfully as she shifted tempos.

But the festivities also carried a bit of an unnerving echo underneath. Many winners weren’t on hand to accept their statues, an MIA pattern that dampened the fun. It was especially notable when Portland Center Stage’s name kept being announced. Company manager Don Mason, who once wrote an entertaining essay about the pleasures of being a perennial bit player, filled in at, well, center stage, popping up from his front-row seat in category after category to accept the company’s hardware.  It became a running gag, and he milked it well, at one point promising all of the PAMTA winners that if they brought their statues to the theater, he’d see they got free tickets to Lizzie. Toward the end, under prompting from the audience, he expanded the offer to all of the nominees, too – and joked about whether he’d still have a job in the morning.

Actress co-winners Merideth Kaye Clark (left) and Susannah Mars in "The Light in the Piazza." Photo: Brud Giles

Actress co-winners Merideth Kaye Clark (left) and Susannah Mars in “The Light in the Piazza.” Photo: Brud Giles

The PAMTAs began seven years ago partly to celebrate the achievements of musical theater specifically and partly as a response to the broader-based Drammy Awards, which some musical-theater people felt didn’t pay sufficient attention to musicals. The makeup and methods of the awards are somewhat secretive, although Portland performer and Broadway producer Corey Brunish is acknowledged as their driving force. “The [voting] members are anonymous, even to one another,” PAMTA’s website says. “This way members cannot be influenced by performers, designers, theatre companies or even each other. Opinions cannot be swayed at meetings because there are none. Voting is done by secret ballot. All members see all productions to the degree that it is humanly possible. Members purchase their tickets. No member of the committee is active in the theatre community.”

Monday evening, the crowd was there to celebrate. As Emily Sahler put it after bounding onstage with costar Lisamarie Harrison to accept the best-ensemble award for Broadway Rose’s The Bikinis: “Unbridled joy and love is valid, and we need lots of it.”

PAMTA winners are listed below. You can see the list of nominees (five in each category) here.

 

PRODUCTION

Fiddler on the Roof, Portland Center Stage

 

ORIGINAL MUSICAL 

Zombie in Love, Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

DIRECTOR

Chris Coleman, Fiddler on the Roof, Portland Center Stage

 

ACTRESS (tie)

Meredith Kaye Clark, The Light in the Piazza, Portland Playhouse

Susannah Mars, The Light in the Piazza, Portland Playhouse

 

ACTOR

David Studwell, Fiddler on the Roof, Portland Center Stage

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Pam Mahon, Beauty and the Beast, Pixie Dust Productions

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR (tie)

Burl Ross, Spamalot, Lakewood Theatre

Ben Farmer, Spamalot, Lakewood Theatre

 

ENSEMBLE

The Bikinis, Broadway Rose

 

YOUNG PERFORMER (tie)

Blake Peebles, Zombie in Love, Oregon Children’s Theatre

Madison Wray, Fancy Nancy, Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

SCORE

Alan Stevens Hewitt, Tim Maner, Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Lizzie, Portland Center Stage

 

SONG

House of Borden, Alan Stevens Hewitt, Tim Maner, Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Lizzie, Portland Center Stage

 

MUSICAL DIRECTION

Eric Nordin, The Light in the Piazza, Portland Playhouse

 

ORCHESTRATION

Alan Stevens Hewitt, Lizzie, Portland Center Stage

 

CHOREOGRAPHY

Wes Hanson, Kiss Me Kate, Clackamas Repertory Theatre

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Allison Dawe, The Light in the Piazza, Portland Playhouse

 

SET DESIGN

G.W. Mercier, Fiddler on the Roof, Portland Center Stage

 

LIGHT DESIGN

Ann Wrightson, Fiddler on the Roof, Portland Center Stage

 

SOUND DESIGN

Brian Moen, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Stumptown Strages

 

PLAYBILL COVER DESIGN

Julia McNamara, Fiddler on the Roof, Portland Center Stage

 

JAMES PEPPERS MEMORIAL AWARD (three)

Eric Little

John Quesenberry

Drew Harper

The Shedd’s Oh, Kay!: Restoring an American Original

New production revives the Gershwins' original vision.

by JAMES RALPH

Editor’s note: This weekend, The Shedd in Eugene opens the latest in its delightful series of classic American musical revivals: a new production of George and Ira Gershwin’s bubbly 1926 musical, Oh, Kay! — but not the version everyone knows. In putting together the show, the producers learned that the version that premiered on Broadway, which is what’s seen when it’s (rarely) revived, was in fact seriously compromised from the creators’ original vision. The story of how they fixed it, resulting in a made-in-Oregon premiere, is so fascinating that ArtsWatch asked Shedd executive director James Ralph for permission to follow his lead with the musical, and adapt his program notes into this post.

Oh, Kay! began as the great musical theatre playwright Guy Bolton’s effort to create a “book show” for the sparkling young English actress Gertrude Lawrence. Bolton had more or less invented the American musical comedy through a set of decidedly non-European shows written from 1915-18 at the Princess Theatre with composer Jerome Kern and his lifelong colleague and friend P. G. Wodehouse — light, believably contemporary stories involving everyday folk, with well-integrated (and well-written) songs — and by the mid-1920s he was the established master of the form, eventually working on over 50 shows.

Oh, Kay! opens this weekend at The Shedd.

“Oh, Kay!” opens this weekend at The Shedd in Eugene.

Bolton summoned Wodehouse from England to write the book with him (the lyric writing, Wodehouse’ forte, being already claimed by the elder Gershwin). By mid-October, 1926, the original 3½ hour Oh, Kay! was previewed in Philadelphia and on November 8, after the usual heavy editing, it opened at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. Lawrence became the first English actress to star in an American musical. Which she knocked dead. Oh, Kay! was a great start for her, with a strong run both on Broadway and in the West End.

What made Oh, Kay! successful? Gershwin’s score, to begin with, is absolutely wonderful. And so is the Bolton-Wodehouse book, even if somewhat compromised in its final form. Bolton’s style has been described variously as “frothy,” fast-paced, intelligent, peppered with contemporary and literary references, and loaded with an amazing, endless assortment of “excruciating puns.” That pretty much describes Oh, Kay! to a tee, and in an age and milieux (New York and London in the 1920s) perfectly comfortable with non-serious theatrical confections so long as they were filled with wit, literacy and plenty of smart wordplay, that was perfect.

So why produce the preview version of the show when the Broadway cut was a success?

Continues…

Preview: Bringing Anima Mundi’s “Canticle of the Black Madonna” to life

New Oregon opera chronicles love and healing in a time of war.

by GARY FERRINGTON

Adam, an Afghanistan war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), returns to costal Louisiana at the height of BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Against this background of environmental disaster, Adam’s young wife, Mara, struggles to understand his grief and thoughts of suicide, while trying to hold together their marriage and to protect herself from his outbursts of anger and rage.

Adam, Mara, and the Black Madonna confront life after the trauma of war. Photo: Anima Mundi Productions.

Adam, Mara, and the Black Madonna confront life after the trauma of war. Photo: Anima Mundi Productions.

That’s the set up for the story told in The Canticle of the Black Madonna, a new opera by Portland composer Ethan Gans-Morse with libretto by Tiziana DellaRovere. The world premiere production takes place September 5-6 at Portland’s Newmark Theatre. But the opera and the ancillary community initiatives the producers have created to accompany it are already moving Oregonians to tears and to action even before the curtain rises.

Continues…


by KATIE TAYLOR

French actress and cabaret star Jacqueline Dufresnoy, called by a friend “a faithful child of the Catholic church,” booked Notre Dame cathedral for her first marriage in 1960 to a handsome and somewhat racy sports journalist. The huge crowd waiting on the steps outside gave the happy couple a terrific sendoff, except for the ones who threw garbage at them.

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On stage, on screen and on vinyl, Dufresnoy was known as La Coccinelle — Ladybird — either a cute reference to her favorite polka-dotted dress as a child or a derogatory French term for a transvestite, depending on which account you read. She was born Jacques Charles Dufresnoy in Paris in 1931.

Scene from Europa di Notte — a truly terrible movie, but a good example of Dufresnoy’s stage charisma.

Prurient little Italian news clip from the early ‘60s.

Bonus shot: “Avec mon p’tit faux cul” (With my little fake ass). Best song title ever.

Previous Double Shot: Barrel of Monkeys

Your barista is Katie Taylor, a Portland-based writer, opera singer, director and librettist. Contact Katie at mondaydoubleshot@gmail.com.

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Review: Imago Theatre’s ‘Pimento + Pullman’

Angels, clowns, and cosmic questions in a Thornton Wilder/Jerry Mouawad double feature

For four nights only ending Sunday, with a free ticket promotion for its newsletter subscribers, Imago presents Pimento & Pullman, a lighthearted living-room short that Imago’s Jerry Mouawad has written in-house followed by a haunting train tale by the playwright perhaps best known for Our Town, Thornton Wilder.

Woods, Triffle, Mullaney: three clowns in a fountain. Photo: Jerry Mouawad

Woods, Triffle, Mullaney: three clowns in a fountain. Photo: Jerry Mouawad

Pimento

A pimento, as you probably know, is a pepper, most easily recognized as the red chunk in a green olive. Imago’s Pimento, too, is a spicy nugget served with a grain of salt. In this uproarious little short by artistic director Mouawad, a mother (Carol Triffle) tries to encourage, yet manage, a courtship between her young daughter (Stephanie Elizabeth Woods) and her suitor, a decorated young soldier (Mark Mullaney). Using commedia dell’arte style clowning techniques, falling all over each other and babbling variously in fake German, fake French, and fake Japanese, the trio still manages to embody the many micro-emotions that would accompany that scenario in real life…and eventually, believe it or not, they play beautiful music together.

This piece is an appetizer for, or a garnish on, the longer work of the evening, Wilder’s Pullman Car Hiawatha…and as such, it’s not meant to match but to augment and contrast. Like its namesake, it could go with a lot of things. It’s tonally in-mode with Imago’s signature Frogz and Big Little Things, though its “adult” content puts it at odds. Its theme goes with the more serious fare it’s set with here…but its antics are much sillier. In this way, it’s most similar to touring group Wonderheads’ Grim and Fischer, a sprightly mask show about an old woman battling death. At any rate, Pimento brings its own piquant flavor and whets the appetite for the next offering, making great use of its 15-minute runtime.

Pullman Car Hiawatha

“Let’s get everyone together here,” prompts the narrator (played by Bill Barry) of Thornton Wilder’s Pullman Car Hiawatha. He apparently means not only the passengers and porter on a 1930 train from New York to Chicago…but also the conversations they’re having, the train cars that hold them, the fields and towns the train happens to pass, the planets of the universe, “the weapon,” and two silent “archangels” who seem to have been running the show from the get-go.

Oh, Wilder. What a pantheist, seeing the sublime in literally every thing. Or arguably a deist, letting an omniscient narrator observe the proceedings with minimal interference. At any rate, Pullman mimics Wilder’s more popular Our Town in these key ways.We even get a character here, as in Our Town, who’s transformed into a ghost and observes the retreating world with a new appreciation for the little things.

The passengers’ clothes and suitcases, which mostly adhere to the script’s suggestion of era, give the show an antique distance and also nod to classic noir: here a fur coat, there some heeled maryjanes, everywhere a fedora. Scene changes are accompanied by a rumble of jazz, and sometimes, of course, the rhythm of the train as lights speed across the stage to show movement.

The passengers move around plenty, changing their seating arrangement in a flurry of clockwork-tight chair dances to present their travel from multiple angles. Some even switch character and accent midstream…we’re just getting a sense of the variety of lives. A mentally fragile woman (Sascha Blocker) struggles with a ham-handed doctor (Cedar Braasch) and a reassuring nurse (Laura Loy). A young man (Mark Mullaney) muses about his love, Lillian. An older couple (Terry Lybecker and Carol Triffle) bicker, and an Asian porter (Samson Syharath) complains in his native tongue about the passengers’ needy demands.

Where the passengers are era-bound and complex, the chairs and one long diagonal staircase are simple, stark, and modern. So are the “archangels,” dressed in slim suits and dark glasses like modern FBI, CIA, or Secret Service agents. They’re agents of something, all right, manning the lights and cuing the tunes that permeate the train passengers’ fitful night.

It’s these two characters (played by Rafael Miguel and Sam Bridgnell) that lead the willing into a philosophical rabbit-hole. It’s unclear in this production whether the agents are sinister, like the manipulators of The Matrix, or benevolent like most angels are storied to be…or simply in limbo like Dogma‘s Bartleby and Loki. They hardly speak, but their angular movements range from coldly procedural, to tender, to almost homoerotic. This brings to mind another pair of angels: the Biblical ones who visited Lot in Sodom (incidentally, a silent film titled just that came out in 1933…and bear with me…).

In the Bible story, Lot receives angels as guests in his home, but the citizens of Sodom surround his house and threaten to assault them, then settle for abusing his daughters. Turns out the angels are on a spy mission to decide the fate of the city, and once they observe the townspeople’s aggressive behavior, they declare the place fit for demolition. Although theologians have overemphasized the supposed genders of the characters involved…what we really have is a morality tale against a society that puts rabid individual self-interest over the safety and sovereignty of others — a rape culture, if you will.

Now, Wilder’s troubled little train-people are way less messed up than the ones in this older story. They may obsess over their own needs, but not at others’ peril. Still, In Pullman just as in Sodom, angels deliberate over who deserves to “go” with them and who must stay, and whether to “take” the whole train. Scorched earth policy, or careful selection? Choose those who are mistakenly eager, or take the wisely reluctant? Suffice to say, these archangels’ dilemmas have a long literary precedent.

Less obvious is the story’s connection to Song of Hiawatha, a Native American myth set to verse by Longfellow. While this story is about surrender and community, that one seems much more about individualism and righteous conquest…but it’s probably quoted along with a barrage of other literature midway through the play. Actors portraying fields and other atmosphere recite and credit passages while crossing the stage on a porter-operated handcar, their words almost too fleeting to catch.

Novel staging elements at Imago are like a gun in Chekhov: if they’re there, they will be used. Therefore, view the stair steps that crane dangerously into the rafters with appropriate suspense. Someone is either going up, or coming down.

Review: The Hen Night Epiphany

Corrib Theatre's first complete play fully fledges.

 

Among ladies who call each other “Lads” and toast each other with “bitch whiskey,” you’d think there’d be no secrets, no topics too taboo. But you’d be wrong, as we gradually learn in Jimmy Murphy’s The Hen Night Epiphany.

HEN NIGHT 3

Bride-to-be Una has decided to spend her hen night (aka bachelorette party) introducing her friends to her future home, a real fixer-upper in the hills outside of Dublin. After kicking up a fuss about their hike from the car, the remoteness of the place, and the accommodations (tents in an overgrown and littered yard), the gang settles in for a long evening of drinking…but each of their thoughts are elsewhere. Triona has been arguing with her long-term live-in man-child boyfriend, and this event has keened her worry that they’ll never marry. Kelly, a serial short-term dater, has just split with a would-be wedding escort who she’d seemed to really like. Anta, Una’s godmother, is racked with lingering guilt about her late husband. And Olive, Una’s future mother-in-law, has doubts about the match and the house; she resents Una for spiriting her son away from town. All subsequent plot details would be spoilers—not of action, but of the various revelations that surface as the evening wares on, leaving the characters with nothing to do but talk.

This show is a milestone for the relatively new Corrib Theatre: it’s the company’s first fully-staged production in a true theater space. Where prior shows have been fully acted but staged in tastefully bare rooms, for this one Kristeen Willis Crosser packs the CoHo set chock full of scenic elements that double as props. Summer Olsson chooses simple, modern costuming (knit casual separates, Teva sandals) and a dab of special-effects makeup to help sell the story.

“I like that Jimmy Murphy sets the play squarely in the 21st century,” remarks director Gemma Whelan. To wit: Una obtained the house after tenants who couldn’t pay their mortgage during the recent crisis were hastily evicted. The yard is still littered with their children’s toys. The other modern touch is equally impossible to miss: the women frequently excuse themselves to talk on their cell phones, demonstrating that there’s no longer any such thing as a true “getaway.” Even so…some distance from Dublin seems to provide perspective on problems that are not at all contemporary, but rather timeless and undeniably gendered.

Murphy’s capture of a female group dynamic is amazingly acute—and in this cultural moment, it has to be. With growing awareness of the Bechdel Test and a TV climate forever impacted by the strong female roles in Jenji Cohen’s Orange is the New Black, there’s a sense that storytelling can’t default back to man-centricity to the same extent that it so often has in the past. Though most of Hen Night‘s conversation (in defiance of Bechdel) is about men, its loyalties lie with the female perspective…and anyway, since they’re talking about a wedding, the women’s romantic relationships dominate the conversation more naturally than they otherwise might.

There’s a faintly discernible divide in this production along Actors’ Equity lines: those who happen to have it also happen to give slightly stronger performances. Jacklyn Maddux is compelling as the haunted, tentative Anta, painstakingly deciding how much she should or shouldn’t say. Luisa Sermol as Olive reprises some of her no-nonsense pluck from Xmas Unplugged, but this time it’s ominously overshadowed by the demon of denial. Amanda Soden as Una favors us with a variation of the loyal friend she played in Foxfinder…only this time she’s the somewhat reluctant center of attention, desperate to laugh off the group’s growing concerns with a tomboyish charisma that makes her appropriately hard for the others to oppose. Dana Millican as the high-strung, conservative Triona and Jamie M. Rea as Kelly are each plenty credible, but here and there a facial flicker betrays them. Rea, however, is particularly coordinated in her use of props, balancing unwieldy stacks of yard debris adeptly with the rigors of her role. In the small theater, such persona-inhabiting work puts everyone on the spot.

For those who’ve been following Corrib’s season, Hen Night falls squarely between the bawdy, elated energy of A Night in November and the poetic hopelessness of Tales of Ballycumber. Like the milk and liquor that combine to make “bitch whiskey,” it’s a heady mix.

Drammy Awards: a Playhouse double play

Portland Playhouse's 'Light in the Piazza' and 'A Christmas Carol' take both top production trophies

Portland Playhouse pulled off a tough double play at Monday night’s Drammy Awards, taking top honors in both major production categories – best play of the season for its stripped-down version of A Christmas Carol, and best musical play for The Light in the Piazza. 

The crowd gets into the action for the opening puppet-show strut to "The Circle of Life." Photo: Henk Pander

The crowd gets into the action for the opening puppet-show strut to “The Circle of Life.” Photo: Henk Pander

The celebration of the best achievements in Portland theater during the 2013-14 season packed the house at the Crystal Ballroom with theater folk and theater fans, many dressed to the nines and others to the twos or threes. The mood was convivial verging on rowdy, punctuated during one long stretch by the drone of a punk band playing loudly somewhere downstairs, and hosted with wit and dash by actor Isaac Lamb, who occasionally ceded the spotlight to his vigorously tap-dancing wife-to-be, Amy Beth Frankel. If anyone caught their act on videotape, it could go viral.

Dapper Isaac Lamb, the Drammys' emcee. Photo: Owen Carey

Dapper Isaac Lamb, the Drammys’ emcee. Photo: Owen Carey

Piazza was the evening’s closest thing to a runaway, walking off with five prizes: best production, actress in a musical (Meredith Kaye Clark), supporting actress in a musical (Jennifer Goldsmith), supporting actor in a musical (David Meyers), and musical direction (Eric Nordin). A Christmas Carol took top awards for ensemble in a play and director in a play (Cristi Miles) in addition to best production.

Well Arts Institute's Youth Program accepted the Mary Brand Award. Photo: Ann Singer

Ann Singer, Well Arts Institute’s youth program coordinator, accepted the $2,000 Mary Brand Award from Julie Accuardi of the Portland Civic Theatre Guild.

Oregon Children’s Theatre took four awards for its sweet and funny high school outcast musical Zombie in Love, and Kristeen Willis Crosser was a double individual winner, taking home the hardware for scenic design (Gidion’s Knot) and lighting design (A Bright New Boise), both at Third Rail Rep. One category, best actress in a play, ended in a tie vote. Amy Newman (Gidion’s Knot) and Maureen Porter (Crooked, CoHo Productions) shared the prize.

After an hour of drinking, preening, and general hobnobbing, the ceremony got off to a rousing start with a long Irish yowl of a song from Chris Murray, who’s starring as the not-quite-murderous Irish lad Christy in The Playboy of the Western World at Artists Rep, followed by a Lion King-style puppet show threading rambunctiously through the crowd. Among the costumed paraders were a donkey, a latke, a fish, a teapot, a snake, and several bottles of booze. They set the tone for much of the rest of the evening: congenial, creative, a little outrageous, fun, and quite long. At the end of the ceremony, Lamb performed a hilarious Portlandified riff on the “River City” song from The Music Man that would’ve made a knockout opening number. By the time it finally came, much of the crowd was already heading for the bars or home – a shame, but an understandable one.

Horsing around at the opening puppet parade. Photo: Henk Pander

Horsing around at the opening puppet parade. Photo: Henk Pander

The 17-member Drammy Committee of writers and theater professionals considered almost 120 productions from the awards’ 36th season. Several current shows opened too late for consideration. This year, after several years of choosing multiple winners in each category, the committee returned to picking a single winner from a pre-announced list of finalists in each category, making the Drammys feel more like the Oscars or Tonys. The finalists in each category are listed here.

The cast of Portland Playhouse's "A Christmas Carol" celebrate their best-production Drammy. Photo: Owen Carey

The cast of Portland Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol” celebrate their best-production Drammy. Photo: Owen Carey

Grant Turner, founder of Northwest Classical Theatre,  drew appreciative nods during his acceptance speech for his Special Achievement Award. “Take the time to hone your craft,” he advised, “and don’t take (a play) on until you’re able.” He continued: “Believe in your authors, and your audience will believe in you.”  Turner, who started the Shakespeare-centric classical company more than 15 years ago, is moving to eastern Oregon but will return to Portland for specific projects.

Van Voris (left) and Hoffman indulge in some interpretive oratory. Photo: Owen Carey

Van Voris (left) and Hoffman indulge in some interpretive oratory. Photo: Owen Carey

Actors Todd Van Voris and Gavin Hoffman sent titters racing around the room with their dramatic readings of “actual posts on PDX Backstage.” And when the Light in the Piazza company gathered onstage to accept the best-musical award, Susannah Mars drew extended cheers and a couple of boos when she proudly announced, “We did a musical without microphones!

It was that kind of night.

 

2014 DRAMMY AWARD WINNERS

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Michael Fisher-Welsh
The Quality of Life
Artists Repertory Theatre

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN

Kristeen Willis Crosser
Gidion’s Knot
Third Rail Repertory Theatre

 

BEST PROPERTIES DESIGN

Drew Dannhorn
The Giver
Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

BEST DESIGN AND FABRICATION AWARD

John Ellingson
James and the Giant Peach
Northwest Children’s Theater

 

SPECIAL THEATRICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Atomic Arts
Trek in the Park
2009-2013

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Jennifer Goldsmith
The Light in the Piazza
Portland Playhouse

 

BEST SOUND DESIGN

Annalise Albright Woods
pool (no water)
Theatre Vertigo

 

BEST YOUNG PERFORMER

Blake Peebles
Zombie in Love
Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

David Meyers
The Light in the Piazza
Portland Playhouse

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY 

Dan Murphy
Plaid Tidings
Broadway Rose Theatre Company

 

BEST PIT ENSEMBLE

9 to 5: The Musical
Stumptown Stages

 

PATA SPOTLIGHT AWARDS

Stage Manager: Emma Lewins
Crew Member: Don Crossley
Ballyhoo (formerly known as “Other”): Val and Jim Liptak

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Jen LaMastra
James and the Giant Peach
Northwest Children’s Theater

 

BEST MAKE UP DESIGN

Caitlin Fisher-Draeger
The Revenants
The Reformers

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Meghan Chambers
Crooked
CoHo Productions / Philip Cuomo and Maureen Porter

 

BEST PROJECTION DESIGN

Jeff Kurihara
The Giver
Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Kristeen Willis Crosser
A Bright New Boise
Third Rail Repertory Theatre

 

Catherine Egan accepts her award for movement design for Push Leg's "Nighthawks." Photo: Owen Carey

Catherine Egan accepts her award for movement design for Push Leg’s “Nighthawks.” Photo: Owen Carey

BEST MOVEMENT DESIGN

Catherine Egan
Nighthawks
Push Leg

 

BEST DEVISED WORK

Nighthawks
Push Leg

 

Special Achievement Award winner Grant Turner. Photo: Owen Carey

Special Achievement Award winner Grant Turner. Photo: Owen Carey

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 Grant Turner
Founding Artistic Director
Northwest Classical Theatre Company

 

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION

Eric Nordin
The Light in the Piazza
Portland Playhouse

 

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Marcella Crowson
Zombie in Love
Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

David Studwell
Fiddler on the Roof
Portland Center Stage

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Merideth Kaye Clark
The Light in the Piazza
Portland Playhouse

 

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL

Plaid Tidings
Broadway Rose Theatre Company

 

Solo performance winner Damon Kupper in front of an image from his show, "Last November." Photo: Owen Carey

Solo performance winner Damon Kupper in front of an image from his show, “A Night in November.” Photo: Owen Carey

BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE

Damon Kupper
A Night in November
corrib theatre

 

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A PLAY

 A Christmas Carol
Portland Playhouse

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT

Michelle Elliott
Zombie in Love
Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE    

Danny Larsen, Music
Michelle Elliott, Lyrics
Zombie in Love
Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

 

PORTLAND CIVIC THEATRE GUILD AWARDS 

Mary Brand Award $2,000
Recipient: Well Arts Institute

Portland Civic Theatre Award in Support of Theatre $3,000
Recipient: Action/Adventure Theatre

The Leslie O. Fulton Fellowship $5,000
Recipient: Jill Westerby Gonzales

 

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

Cristi Miles
A Christmas Carol
Portland Playhouse

 

Best actor winner Allen Nause," "The Caretaker" at Imago. Photo: Owen Carey

Best actor winner Allen Nause,” “The Caretaker” at Imago. Photo: Owen Carey

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY

Allen Nause
The Caretaker
Imago Theatre

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY (tied)

Amy Newman
Gidion’s Knot
Third Rail Repertory Theatre

Maureen Porter
Crooked
CoHo Productions / Philip Cuomo and Maureen Porter

 

Best actress co-winner Maureen Porter, "Crooked," CoHo Productions. Photo: Owen Carey

Best actress co-winner Maureen Porter, “Crooked,” CoHo Productions. Photo: Owen Carey

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL

The Light in the Piazza
Portland Playhouse

 

BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY

A Christmas Carol
Portland Playhouse

 

 

 

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