The Drammys: a night for all-out applause

A kids' musical and a special sendoff for Allen Nause top the evening's awards

Cast and crew of "Ablaze" celebrate en masse. Win Goodbody | portlandtheatrescene.com

Cast and crew of “Ablaze” celebrate en masse. Win Goodbody | portlandtheatrescene.com

It was a night for amphibians, songs, kids, and grand old men.

Portland’s 34th annual Drammy Awards for the season’s top theatrical achievements went off with hardly a hitch Monday night at the Crystal Ballroom, thanks partly to the firm and funny hand of Nicole Gladwin as master of ceremonies. A popular and well-respected stage manager, Gladwin kept the evening going in tick-tock fashion, minding the clock and shushing the rowdies in the crowd while also allowing for a good deal of genuine and sometimes astonished enthusiasm on the part of the winners. Speeches were short and excited and often eloquent, and a surprising number of winners sprinted to the stage like 100-meter racers on the Oregon Ducks track team. “Way to go. Two hours,” someone congratulated Gladwin at the end of the evening. She grinned and replied, in true stage-manager fashion: “Two hours and one minute!”

Allen Nause accepting his lifetime achievement award. Win Goodbody | portlandtheatrescene.com

Allen Nause accepting his lifetime achievement award. Win Goodbody | portlandtheatrescene.com

And, yes, those amphibians ruled. Oregon Children’s Theatre’s musical “A Year with Frog and Toad” walked off with seven awards, including one of three best-production nods, and had much of  the capacity crowd wondering what it had missed. It shared the top-show award with the musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” at Broadway Rose and the small-cast drama “Body Awareness” at CoHo Productions.

Young people’s fare also scored with the Staged! production of Matthew B. Zrebski’s young-adult musical mystery drama “Ablaze: an a cappella musical thriller,” which won awards for Zrebski (original script and score), Jessica Wallenfels (choreography), Eric Nordin (music direction) and the cast for ensemble performing.

Perhaps the evening’s most heartfelt applause went to Allen Nause, retiring after 25 years as artistic director of Artists Repertory Theatre, who received a lifetime achievement award. Director Jon Kretzu, his associate at Artists Rep for many years, introduced Nause, saying in part: “He is the epitome of two very rare qualities in the theater – humility and truth.” Nause, in turn, praised his longtime fellow workers Stephanie Mulligan, Kretzu, and Vana O’Brien; declared that “Of course, theater is an ensemble”; and added: “I’m also grateful to the audience in this town that supports challenging work and shows up.”

Ronni Lacroute: delighted and gracious.

Ronni Lacroute: delighted and gracious. Win Goodbody portlandtheatrescene.com

Another special-award recipient, Ronni Lacroute, whose money, advice, and unstinting support have aided dozens of companies small and large, received a warm and enthusiastic standing ovation. “I just want to hug you all,” she told the crowd. A special award also went to Steve Smith, who has tirelessly shepherded the Drammy committee’s deliberations since 1996 and is stepping down. Smith unfortunately was sick and, for the first time in many years, missed the ceremony.

Perhaps the most succinct acceptance speech came from Kristin Mun, who won the fight-choreography award for her work on “Henry IV, Part I” at Post5 Theatre Company. “Thank you,” she said, “for letting me beat you up in our living room.”

(For more coverage and photos, visit portlandtheatrescene.com)

The 2013 winners:

 

ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE

  • Danny Wolohan, “The Body of an American,” Portland Center Stage
  • Don Kenneth Mason, “Blood Knot,” Profile Theatre
  • Don Alder, “A Steady Rain,” Hellfire Productions
  • Bruce Burkhartsmeier, “A Noble Failure,” Third Rail Repertory Theatre

 

ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE

  • Eileen DeSandre, “The Road to Mecca,” Profile Theatre
  • Crystal Muñoz, “The Clean House,” Lunacy Stageworks
  • Ginny Myers Lee, “Venus in Fur,” Portland Center Stage
  • Sharonlee McLean, “Body Awareness,” CoHo Productions

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ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Luke Bartholomew, “Mother Teresa is Dead,” Portland Playhouse
  • Joshua Weinstein, “Body Awareness,” CoHo Productions
  • David Bodin, “The Road to Mecca,” Profile Theatre

 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Kerry Ryan, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Post5 Theatre Company
  • Brooke Fletcher, “Mother Courage and Her Children,” Theatre Vertigo

 

MUSICAL ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE

  • Joel Walker, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Broadway Rose Theatre Company
  • James Sharinghousen, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

MUSICAL ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE

  • Rebecca Teran,” Little Shop of Horrors, Broadway Rose Theatre Company

 

MUSICAL ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Norman Wilson, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Broadway Rose Theatre Company
  • Eric Little, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

MUSICAL ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Amy Jo Halliday, “Legally Blonde,” Pixie Dust Productions

 

YOUNG PERFORMER

  • Bryce Earhart, “The Aliens,” Third Rail Repertory Theatre
  • Haley Ward, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

ENSEMBLE

  • “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Broadway Rose Theatre Company
  • “Clybourne Park,” Portland Center Stage
  • “Ablaze: an a cappella musical thriller,” Staged!

 

SCENIC DESIGN

  • Tony Cisek, “The Whipping Man,” Portland Center Stage
  • Richard Hay, “Red Herring,” Artists Repertory Theatre
  • Tal Sanders, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Oregon Children’s Theatre
  • Kristeen Willis Crosser, “‘Master Harold’… and the boys,” Profile Theatre

 

LIGHTING DESIGN

  • Diane Ferry Williams, “The Whipping Man,” Portland Center Stage
  • Miranda K. Hardy, “R3,” Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble

 

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Oana Botez, “R3,” Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble
  • Elizabeth Huffman, “The Seagull,” Northwest Classical Theatre Company
  • Sarah Gahagan, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

MASK DESIGN

  • John Ellingson, “Roald Dahl’s The BFG (Big Friendly Giant),” Northwest Children’s Theater

 

SOUND DESIGN

  • Richard E. Moore, “The Velvet Sky,” Theatre Vertigo

 

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY

  • Kristin Mun, “Henry IV, Part I,” Post5 Theatre Company

 

CHOREOGRAPHY

  • Jessica Wallenfels, “Ablaze: an a cappella musical thriller,” Staged!
  • Sara Mishler Martins, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Oregon Children’s Theatre

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MUSIC DIRECTION

  • Rick Lewis, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Portland Center Stage
  • Eric Nordin, “Ablaze: an a cappella musical thriller,” Staged!

ORIGINAL SCRIPT AND SCORE

  • Matthew B. Zrebski, “Ablaze: an a cappella musical thriller,” Staged!

 

DIRECTOR

  • Aaron Posner, “And So It Goes,” Artists Repertory Theatre
  • Caitlin Fisher-Draeger and Erica Terpening-Romeo, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Post5 Theatre Company
  • Pat Patton, “A Steady Rain,” Hellfire Productions

 

PRODUCTION

  • “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Broadway Rose Theatre
  • “Body Awareness,” CoHo Productions
  • “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Oregon Children’s Theatre

 

OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP

  • Steve Smith, Drammy Committee

 

LIFETIME SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

  • Allen Nause, retiring artistic director, Artists Repertory Theatre

 

Nicol Gladwin: master of ceremonies, minister of fun. Win Goodbody | portlandtheatrescene.com

Nicole Gladwin: master of ceremonies, minister of fun. Win Goodbody | portlandtheatrescene.com

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