Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards

… And the show goes on

With joy and poignance, the PAMTA musical-theater awards show went virtual on Thursday night. The winners, and the moments to remember.

“You can have all the bells and whistles or you can have none of them and you can still move an audience. You can still reach an audience and make them laugh and cry. It’s what the actors are saying and doing that really makes theater theater.”

Those are the words of Corey Brunish—and they perfectly capture the thirteenth edition of the Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards,known as the PAMTAs. While the show, which Brunish founded and produces, drew more than 300 people to the Winningstad Theatre in 2019, this year’s audience had to experience the ceremony via YouTube. And it didn’t feel unplugged.

Triangle Productions’ “That’s No Lady,” based on the life of legendary drag queen Darcelle XV, was a multiple award-winner at the PAMTAs.


Update: PAMTA musical theater awards postponed

Theater curtains closed? No problem. On Sunday night, Portland's annual musical-theater awards celebration takes the show to YouTube.

UPDATE: The PAMTA awards ceremony has been postponed indefinitely to not conflict with Black Lives Matter protests, producer Corey Brunish announced Wednesday. No new date has been set. “The PAMTAS fully supports the movement towards BIPOC equality and out of respect we have elected to postpone our annual celebration of the arts,” Brunish said.


You can keep ’em out of the theater for a few months, but you can’t keep a good song and dance down. This year’s PAMTAs – the Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards – will stream live on YouTube at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 14. (The YouTube link will be posted later on the PAMTA link above: Keep checking.) Musical theater people know how to have a good time, and the PAMTA celebration, generally a dress-up, strut-your-stuff, hoot-and-holler showcase that’s one of the best public theater parties of the year, has been forced online because of pandemic restrictions: It should be fun to see how the song & dance make the transition from stage to screen.

A double lineup of PAMTA trophies, waiting to be engraved and awarded.

This year’s awards, produced by three-time Tony Award winning producer and longtime Oregon resident Corey Brunish and covering the 2019-2020 season, are the thirteenth annual ceremony celebrating the best of musical theater in Portland area theaters.

Nominees were announced Monday, and are listed below. Seven shows are in the running for outstanding production: Once, Into the Woods, and Footloose, each from Broadway Rose Theatre Company; West Side Story and Mama Mia, both from Stumptown Stages; Newsies, from Journey; and The Rocky Horror Show, from Lakewood Theatre Company. In addition, two productions are nominated for outstanding original show: Broadway Rose’s It Happened One Christmas, and Triangle Productions’ That’s No Lady, the bio-musical about the legendary Portland drag performer and club owner Darcelle.

Among other interesting tidbits on the nominee list: The musical-theater adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda drew nominations for productions at two companies – Lakewood Theatre and Northwest Children’s Theater & School. And Brian Karl Moen scooped up four of the eight nominations for outstanding sound design, giving him at least a chance to win, place, and show.

The nominees:


PAMTAs: and the nominees are …

Portland's musical theater awards gala will be Monday, June 3, in the Winningstad Theatre. Here are the nominees.

Broadway Rose’s Guys and Dolls and Mamma Mia!, Portland Playhouse’s Crowns, Stumptown Stage’s Urinetown, and Triangle Productions’ Hedwig and the Angry Inch lead the nominations for this year’s Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards, duking it out for the best-production statuette. Each company scored multiple additional nominations.

The 2019 PAMTAs, the 12th annual awards ceremony, will be at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, in the Winningstad Theatre of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. Six special PAMTAs also will be awarded. Admission is free, and with plenty of musical performances and the return of Darius Pierce as master of ceremonies, it promises to be a good party.

Darius Pierce at the 2018 PAMTA ceremony in the Winningstad Theatre. He’ll return as emcee of this year’s gala June 3.

The city’s two major children’s theater companies, Oregon Children’s Theatre and Northwest Children’s Theater and School, fared well in the nominations, each scoring two nominees in the best original musical category – Dinosaurs! and Tenali for NWTC, Shiver and The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors for OCT. Whiskey Dixie took the fifth slot in that category with Whiskey Dixie and the Big Wet Country.


PAMTAs: a night for song & dance

On the hottest night of the year, Portland's musical-theater crowd puts on a sizzling show of its own. Topping the list: a beauty and a beast

On the hottest night of the year (so far) on Sunday, the Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards set off a little steam heat of their own in the Winningstad Theatre, where the dapper and funny Darius Pierce hosted the 10th annual awards ceremony.

Beauty and the Beast took home the hardware for best production, 1776 for best ensemble, and The Tail of Sleeping Beauty for outstanding original musical. The second big theater awards ceremony, the 39th annual Drammys, follows on Monday night in Smith Memorial Center at Portland State University.

Emcee Darius Pierce running the show. Photo: David Kinder

Here’s a full list of this season’s PAMTA nominees. The list of winners, supplied by PAMTA producer Corey Brunish:


PAMTAs: a night for windmills, misbehavin’, Cuban rhythms, and a big green ogre

Lakewood's "Man of La Mancha" takes home the trophies in Monday night's Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards celebration in the Winnie

What do you get with a packed house full of theater lovers celebrating musicals? The ninth annual Portland Area Musical Theater Awards celebration, which took over the Dolores Winningstad Theatre on Monday night to celebrate the best of the 2015-16 season. For one night the Winnie had the cream of Portland’s crop of golden pipes filling the air with some of the best musical numbers of the year.

The evening’s big winner was Don Quixote, who tilted at enough windmills to bring the house down. Lakewood Theatre’s Man of La Mancha took home a helmetful of hardware, winning for best production, actor and supporting actor (Leif Norby as Quixote, Joey Cote as his sidekick Sancho Panza), musical direction (Alan B. Lytle), and sound design (Marcus Storey and Timothy Greenidge).  In addition, Greg Tamblyn was named best director, sharing the award with Chris Coleman, who won for Ain’t Misbehavin‘.

Matthew Brown sings "More Than I Can Say" from "Falsettos," holding the PAMTA audience spellbound. Photo: David Kinder/kinderpics photography

Matthew Brown sings “More Than I Can Say” from “Falsettos,” holding the PAMTA audience spellbound. Photo: David Kinder/kinderpics photography

Portland Center Stage’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ also won for scenic design (Tony Cisek) and lighting design Diane Ferry Williams). The evening’s third big winner was Cuba Libre, the ambitious premiere musical at Artists Repertory Theatre featuring the music of Tiempo Libre. It won for best original production, choreography (Maija Garcia) and original score (Jorge Gomez). Northwest Children’s Theatre’s Shrek: The Musical was a double winner, for outstanding ensemble and costumes (Mary Rochon).


PAMTA nominees: the musical-theater awards list

It's awards season in Portland theater, and the PAMTA nominees join the previously announced Drammy finalists in the spotlight

With the traditional season wrapping up (although theater’s become a whole-calendar sport in Portland) it’s coming up on award season in Portland theater.

Last week, the Drammy Awards announced nominees for this year’s 37th annual awards ceremony, which will be at the Newmark Theatre on Monday, June 29. You can recap the nominees here.

"Mary Poppins" scores 13 PAMTA nominations, including best production: Photo: Northwest Children's Theater

“Mary Poppins” scores 13 PAMTA nominations, including best production: Photo: Northwest Children’s Theater

Today, the city’s musical-theater awards group announced its nominees for the eighth annual PAMTAs, Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards, which will be Monday, June 15, in the Winningstad Theatre, downstairs from the Newmark. There’s some crossover in the listings (the Drammys consider musical-theater productions in addition to other kinds of theater, but the PAMTAs dig more deeply into the metropolitan area’s active musical-theater scene.

Here’s today’s release listing the PAMTA nominees:


Tony Winning Producer Corey Brunish announces the 8th Annual Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards for the 2014-2015 season.

11267305_10152981423017123_1960198894_nThe ceremony will take place June 15 at 7pm at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts in the Winningstad Theatre. There will be 10 surprise musical performances. Open to the public. Free admission. No tickets required. Gold-plated trophies will be presented in 20 categories and all nominees will be presented with gold-plated medallions of recognition.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Lead Role:
John Ellingson, Mary Poppins
Drew Harper, tick, tick….BOOM!
Nartan Woods, The Rocky Horror Show
Joe Theissen, La Cage aux Folles
Evan Howells, Young Frankenstein

Outstanding Female Actor in a Lead Role:
Chrissy Kelly-Pettit, Mary Poppins
Nattalyee Randall, Dreamgirls
Monica Rodrigues, Soul Harmony
Dru Rutledge, She Loves Me
Cassi Q Kohl, She Loves Me

Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Burl Ross, Young Frankenstein
Eric Little, The Rocky Horror Show
Joe Theissen, It’s A Wonderful Life
Jonathan Quesenberry, Carousel
Collin Carver, Grease

Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Jennifer Goldsmith, WHODUNIT
Claire Rigsby, Grease
Lisa Knox, Young Frankenstein
Emily Sahler, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Annie Kaiser, The Music Man

Outstanding Ensemble:
Parade, Staged!
La Cage aux Folles, Pixie Dust
Dreamgirls, Portland Center Stage
tick, tick…BOOM!, Triangle
The Music Man, Broadway Rose

Outstanding Young Performer:
Kaylee Bair, Mary Poppins
Libby Rouffy, Mary Poppins
Austin Emmett, Mary Poppins
Kieran Gettel-Gilmartin, Mary Poppins
Josiah Bartell, The Music Man
Alexa Kelly Shaheen, Ruthless!

Outstanding Director:
Sarah Jane Hardy, Mary Poppins
Chris Coleman, Dreamgirls
Greg Tamblyn, La Cage aux Folles
Paul Angelo, Parade
Tobias Andersen, She Loves Me

Outstanding Choreographer:
Sarha Jane Hardy, Mary Poppins
Peggy Taphorn, The Music Man
Anita Menon & Sarah Jane Hardy, The Jungle Book
Jacob Toth, Grease
Laura Hiszcynskiyj, She Loves Me

Outstanding Musical Director:
Cyndy Ramsey-Rier, Young Frankstein
Alan D. Lytle, The Music Man
Jeffrey Childs, The World Goes ‘Round
Rick Lewis, Dreamgirls
Darcy White, The Rocky Horror Show

Outstanding Costume Designer:
Sydney Roberts, Dreamgirls
Mary Rochon, Mary Poppins
Pat Rohrbach, She Loves Me
Shana Targosz, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Darrin J Pufall, The Rocky Horror Show

Outstanding Set Designer:
G. W. Mercier, Dreamgirls
John Ellingson, The Little Mermaid
John Ellingson, Mary Poppins
Owen Walz, Grease
John Gerth, She Loves Me

Outstanding Light Designer:
Jeff Woods, She Loves Me
Chris Whitten, Carousel
Carl Faber, Mary Poppins
Kurt Herman, Young Frankenstein
Robert M. Wierzel, Dreamgirls

Outstanding Sound Designer:
Rodolfo Ortega, Mary Poppins
Casi Pacilio, Dreamgirls
Duane Rodakowski, La Cage aux Folles
Gordon Romei, Parade
Rory Breshears, The Rocky Horror Show

Outstanding Production:
Young Frankenstein, Lakewood
Dreamgirls, Portland Center Stage
Parade, Staged!
La Cage aux Folles, Pixie Dust
Mary Poppins, Northwest Children’s Theater

Outstanding Playbill Cover Design:
110 in the Shade, Lisa Johnston-Smith/Artslandia
The Rocky Horror Show, Jim Parker
Grease, Emily Dew
Iolanthe, Rachel Barry-Arquit, Joe Ercegg, Matt Erceg, Larry Larsen


Outstanding Original Orchestrations:
Soul Harmony, Michael Allen Harrison
The Jungle Book, Rodolfo Oretega and Archana Mungara
The Babes are Back!, Jonathan Quesenberry

Best Original Musical:
Soul Harmony, Michael Allen Harrison, Alan Berg, Janet Mouser
The Jungle Book, Anita Menon, Sarah Jane Hardy, Rodolfo Ortega, Archana Mungara
The Little Mermaid, Milo Mowery, Rodolfo Ortega
The Babes are Back!, Donald Horn, Teddy Deane

Best Original Song:
Soul Harmony, Michael Allen Harrison, Alan Berg, Janet Mouser
The Music Inside, Michael Allen Harrison, Alan Berg, Janet Mouser
Don’t Get In That Car, Teddy Deane
Sisters in the Ocean, Rodolfo Ortega

Best Original Score:
Soul Harmony, Michael Allen Harrison, Alan Berg, Janet Mouser
The Little Mermaid, Milo Mowery, Rodolfo Oretga
The Jungle Book, Rodolfo Ortega, Archana Mungara
The Babes are Back!, Teddy Deane

Special Awards:
De’Sean Dooley for Outstanding Debut
Kelly Jung for Breakthrough Performance
Portland Opera for Nurturing Musical Theatre
Benjamin Scheuer for Outstanding One-Man Show