And the Drammy goes to …

Broadway Rose, "Tender Napalm" and a not-so-friendly gong rule the Portland theater scene's 2018 Drammy Awards

How about that gong? This year’s Drammy Awards ceremony Monday night at The Armory may have been an epic affair packed with tearful acceptance speeches, technical difficulties and even bingo, but the unofficial star of the night was the golden, disc-shaped gong that was on hand just in case any long-winded winners needed a nudge to get off stage.

In many ways, the gong embodied the spirit of the show, which honored the best achievements on Portland area theater stages in the 2017-18 season: It was playful, but added a simmering tension to the night. The show was two hours shorter than Artists Rep’s Magellanica (which should have been a contender, but Artists Rep, like Portland Center Stage, doesn’t participate in the awards) but felt longer and didn’t exactly spread the wealth around (at times it felt like the Drammy Committee’s main goal was to honor Broadway Rose and Broadway Rose). But there were entertaining, human moments as well, thanks to some powerful speeches as the comedic verve of host Claire Willett.

Lisamarie Harrison as Morticia in Broadway Rose’s “The Addams Family,” winner of the best musical production Drammy. Photo: Sam Ortega

So who won? The aforementioned Broadway Rose took home an armload of prizes for two musicals, The Addams Family (best production/musical)and Trails. Dancing Brain’s Tender Napalm also dominated with awards in, to name a few, the best production/play, directing, acting, and fight choreography categories. And the biggest loser of the night was easily Donald Trump, who was the subject of several oblique but unmistakable criticisms (side note: did the night really pass without a single thank you to Ronni Lacroute?).

At the end of the day, what I savored the most were the moments that peeked through the show’s structure. I’m thinking of Trisha Mead’s fearless onstage reckoning with her mortality (Mead founded Fertile Ground, which received a special achievement award). I’m thinking of Charles Grant winning best actor in a musical for his performance in Oregon Children’s Theater’s A Year With Frog and Toad and describing the letter that a young black girl who saw the show sent him: “Dear Frog: I love you and you are dark-skinned.”

And then there was Fertile Ground Director Nicole Lane, who delivered the best line of the night: “Please don’t gong me, Agatha.” It was a perfect moment because it was a reminder that the Drammys are capable of delivering the kind of onstage action that makes them an entertaining play in their own right.

The nominees and winners in each category, with the winner listed in boldface:

 

Best Actor in a Musical

Charles Grant, A Year with Frog and Toad, Oregon Children’s Theatre

John Ellingson, Cinderella, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

Joel Walker, Trails, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

James Sharinghousen, A Year with Frog and Toad, Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

Best Actor in a Play

Josh Weinstein, Tender Napalm, Dancing Brain Productions

La’Tevin Alexander, And in This Corner: Cassius Clay, Oregon Children’s Theatre

Wrick Jones, Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

Ted Rooney, Quietly, Corrib Theatre

 

Best Actress in a Musical

Sara Catherine Wheatley, Always, Patsy Cline, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Casi Q Kohl, The Pirates of Penzance, Mocks Crest Productions

Sharon Maroney, Always, Patsy Cline, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Rebecca Teran, Scarlet, Portland Playhouse

 

Best Actress in a Play

Beth Thompson, Tender Napalm, Dancing Brain Productions

Sharonlee McLean, Luna Gale, CoHo Productions and Danielle Weathers

Verónika Nuñez, Astucias por heredar un sobrino a un tío, Miracle Theatre Group

Julana Torres, Water by the Spoonful, Profile Theatre

 

Best Choreography

Peggy Taphorn, The Addams Family, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Sara Jane Hardy, Cinderella, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

Lane Hunter, John Hughes High: The 1980s Teen Musical, Staged!

Anita Menon, Chitra: The Girl Prince, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

 

Best Costume Design

Mary Eggers and Suvarna Menon, Chitra: The Girl Prince, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

Jenny Ampersand, Uncle Vanya, Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble

Shannon Targosz, Always, Patsy Cline, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Wanda Walden, Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company


Best Director of a Musical

Dani Baldwin, A Year with Frog and Toad, Oregon Children’s Theatre

Brian Schnipper, Trails, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Peggy Taphorn, The Addams Family, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Samantha Van Der Merwe, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Shaking the Tree Theatre

 

Best Director of a Play

Jen Rowe, Tender Napalm, Dancing Brain Productions

Tamara Carroll, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Does Nothing, CoHo Productions, Tamara Carroll & Beth Thompson

Stan Foote and Jerry Foster, And in This Corner: Cassius Clay, Oregon Children’s Theatre

William Earl Ray, Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

 

Best Ensemble in a Musical

The Addams Family, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Chitra: The Girl Prince, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

Cinderella, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Shaking the Tree Theatre

 

Best Ensemble in a Play

Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

And in This Corner: Cassius Clay, Oregon Children’s Theatre

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Does Nothing, CoHo Productions, Tamara Carroll & Beth Thompson

Water by the Spoonful, Profile Theatre

 

Best Fight Choreography

Kristen Mun, Tender Napalm, Dancing Brain Productions

Alwynn Accuardi, Nesting: Vacancy, Natalie Heikkinen and Joel Patrick Durham

Kristen Mun, Year of the Rooster, CoHo Productions and Rolland Walsh

Damaris Webb, And in This Corner: Cassius Clay, Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

Best Lighting Design

Carl Faber, Trails, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Don Crossley and James Mapes, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Oregon Children’s Theatre

Nia Fillo, Nesting: Vacancy, Natalie Heikkinen and Joel Patrick Durham

Jennifer Lin, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Does Nothing, CoHo Productions, Tamara Carroll & Beth Thompson

 

Best Music Direction

Jeffrey Childs, A Year with Frog and Toad, Oregon Children’s Theatre

Eric Nordin, Trails, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Joellen Sweeney, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Shaking the Tree Theatre

Andrei Temken, Uncle Vanya, Portland Experimental Theatre Company

 

Best Original Script

Ellen Margolis, Pericles Wet, Portland Shakespeare Project

Liz Mogan, The Clark Doll, Syde-Ide Collaboations

C.S. Whitcomb, Parnassus on Wheels, Lakewood Theatre Company

 

Best Original Musical

Mark LaPierre and Eric Nordin, John Hughes High: The 1980s Teen Musical, Staged!

Sarah Jane Hardy, John Ellingson, Sam Burns, Reece Marshburn, Marianna Thielan, and The Starlings, Amelia Earhart’s First Flight, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

Michelle Horgan, Scarlet, Portland Playhouse

 

Best Pit Ensemble

Uncle Vanya, Portland Experimental Theatre Company

Always, Patsy Cline, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Cabaret, Lakewood Theatre Company

Trails, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

 

Best Production of a Musical

The Addams Family, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

A Year with Frog and Toad, Oregon Children’s Theatre

Cinderella, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

John Hughes High: The 1980s Teen Musical, Staged!

 

Best Production of a Play

Tender Napalm, Dancing Brain Productions

Luna Gale, CoHo Productions and Danielle Weathers

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Does Nothing, CoHo Productions, Tamara Carroll & Beth Thompson

Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

 

Best Scenic Design

Aran Graham, Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

Kaye Blankenship, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Does Nothing, CoHo Productions, Tamara Carroll & Beth Thompson

Peter Ksander, Water by the Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last, Profile Theatre

Daniel Meeker, The Language Archive, Portland Playhouse

 

Best Sound Design

Em Gustason, The Language Archive, Portland Playhouse

Andrew Bray, Nesting: Vacancy, Natalie Heikkinen and Joel Patrick Durham

Cameron McFee, Tender Napalm, Dancing Brain Productions

Rodolfo Ortega, And in This Corner: Cassius Clay, Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

Colin Kane, A Year with Frog and Toad, Oregon Children’s Theatre

Kimo Camat, Cinderella, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School

Isaac Lamb, The Addams Family, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Dan Murphy, Billy Elliot, Pixie Dust Productions

 

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Sam Dinkowitz, Year of the Rooster, CoHo Productions and Rolland Walsh

Duffy Epstein, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Profile Theatre

Tim Golden, Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

William Earl Ray, Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

 

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

Amy Jo Halliday, The Addams Family, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

Susannah Mars, Scarlet, Portland Playhouse

Jessica Tidd, Under the Influence: All Trumped Up, Fuse Theatre Ensemble and The OUTright Theatre Ensemble

Danielle Weathers, Trails, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

 

Best Supporting Actress in a Play

Foss Curtis, The Language Archive, Portland Playhouse

Cycerli Ash, Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A Theatre Company

Caren Graham, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lakewood Theatre Company

Kerry Ryan, Men on Boats, Third Rail Repertory Theatre

 

Best Young Performer

Brendan Long, John Hughes High: The 1980s Teen Musical, Staged!

Callan Barth, Billy Elliot, Pixie Dust Productions

Martin Hernandez, John Hughes High: The 1980s Teen Musical, Staged!

Aida Valentine, Pete the Cat, Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

Special Achievement Award

Fertile Ground Festival

 

Outstanding Achievement in Movement Design

Matthew Kerrigan, Tender Napalm, Dancing Brain Productions

 

Outstanding Achievement in Properties Design

Emily Wilken, Men on Boats, Third Rail Repertory Theatre

 

Outstanding Achievement in Puppetry

The Cast, Marcella Crowson, and Tony Feummeler, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

Outstanding Achievement in Solo Performance

Todd Van Voris, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, Triangle Productions!

2 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Kristen Mun says:

    Hello, you spelled my name wrong. Could you please edit it? My name is Kristen Mun, with an M. Thank you.

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