Onstage, August 2011

Onstage, August 2011

Theatre news and reviews

By Brian P. Sharp

The cast of ‘August: Osage County'

The cast of ‘August: Osage County'

As we close the “theater year” for most of our area theaters and we near the 2011 DayTony and Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame awards, we arrive at the look back on the year of theatre in Dayton.

This was a year of great loss in our theatre community. We lost our friends Marsha Hanna of the Human Race Theatre Company, Nelson D’Aloia of the Victoria Theatre Association and recently Kay Wean of Epiphany Lutheran Church. While the losses are significant, the memories of these fine artists will live on in our community.

Other friends will soon be inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame. Saturday, August 13 we will see long-time theatre patrons Don and Lois Bigler, as well as Dayton Theatre Guild Board Member Carol Finley and Director Doug Lloyd receive this well deserved honor. Additionally, that evening honors will be given at the DayTonys for outstanding directors, actors, productions and crewmembers.

Some of the outstanding highlights of the year, in my opinion, have been …

In the Best Supporting Actress in a Play category, we cannot forget Madeline Casto as Mattie Fae Aiken in August: Osage County or Sarah Caplan as Sisser Bean in The Sugar Witch or even Melissa Joyner as Kanika Weaver in Permanent Collection.

In the Best Supporting Actor in a Play category we recall Scott Stoney as Beverly Weston in August: Osage County and Bruce Cromer as Clown #1 in The 39 Steps as well as Dave Nickel playing Granddaddy Meeks in The Sugar Witch.

In the Best Supporting Actress in a Musical category there was Hannah Berry as Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Danika Haffenden as Ulla in The Producers as well as Lindsay Sherman in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

In the Best Supporting Actor in a Musical category we remember Gabriel Pyle as Cornelius Hackl in Hello Dolly and Dean Swann as Mr. William Cartwright and Mayor Thomas Sapsea in The Mystery of Edwin Drood as well as Charles Larkowski as Roger DeBris in The Producers.

In the Best Lead Actress in a Play category there was Claire Kennedy as Viola in Twelfth Night or Susanne Marley as Violet Weston in August: Osage County and Kristie Berger as Barbara Fordham in August: Osage County.

In the Best Lead Actor in a Play category we highlight Scott McGowan as Paul Barrow in Permanent Collection or Greg Smith as Fleeta Mae Bryte in Precious Heart and Alan Bomar Jones as Sterling North in Permanent Collection.

For the Best Lead Actress in a Musical category there were outstanding performances by Alyssa Hostetler as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street or Pam McGinnis as Hanna Ferguson in The Spitfire Grill and Jessica Diane Hickling as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly.

In the Direction of a Play category there were outstanding performances by Marsha Hanna for August: Osage County or Aaron Vega for Twelfth Night and Scott Stoney for August: Osage County.

In the Direction of a Musical category there was Bob and Ruth Clements for Hello Dolly and Chris Harmon for The Producers as well as Kay Francis Wean for Seussical.

In the Outstanding Production of a Play category there was August: Osage County – a partnership production of Wright State University and The Human Race Theatre Company or Permanent Collection at The Human Race Theatre Company and the special performance of Bill W. and Dr. Bob at the Dayton Playhouse as well as The Sugar Witch at The Dayton Theatre Guild.

In the Outstanding Production of a Musical there was 42nd Street at Wright State University or Hello Dolly at Cedarville University and The Producers at the Dayton Playhouse or The Drowsy Chaperone, a partnership production of The Human Race Theatre Company and The Victoria Theatre Association and The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Beavercreek Community Theatre.

Certainly we could not forget the annual musical performance by the Muse Machine,  Into the Woods. What an outstanding community asset the Muse Machine has been over the years. It is amazing what they get out of those very talented kids!

Finally, what would the year of highlights be without mentioning the record setting crowds that experienced Disney’s The Lion King at the Schuster Performing Arts Center?  The impact on our community was nothing short of impressive.

It has been a busy year … and we have seen many great performances. I can’t wait for the next season to start.

Bravo! to everyone involved.

Reach DCP freelance writer Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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