Take a bow

Take a bow

DayTonys Awards for recent local theatre season

By Brian P. Sharp

The theatres from the Miami Valley area gathered together on Aug. 11, 2012 to celebrate the best of the best from the last theatre season. A night of celebration it was, as 157 awards were presented.  There were 11 participating theatres, 44 productions under consideration, 32 award categories, 220 respondents, 715 nominations and over 2,000 people involved.

One of the highlights of the evening every year is the Hall of Fame induction.  This year, Carol Finley had the opportunity to induct her friend, Bruce Brown.  Brown, who loved the art of theatre from a young age, has worked in nearly every theatre in the community, building sets and painting scenery.  Brown, who was kicked out of college for being gay, went on to finish a degree, became an ordained minister and then ended up in Dayton where he once again found his love of theatre.  Brown thanked directors for challenging him to be a better designer and painter.

The overall production awards celebrate those productions that garnered the highest points.  Those were: The Dayton Theatre Guild’s productions of “Souvenir,” “The Story of My Life” and “Wittenberg”; Beavercreek Community Theatre’s production of “Evil Dead: The Musical,” Clark State Community College’s production of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and The University of Dayton’s production of “Eleemosynary.”

Ensemble performances from the following shows were given Awards of Merit: The Dayton Playhouse’s productions of “Nunsense” and “Abie’s Irish Rose”; The Dayton Theatre Guild’s production of “The Oldest Profession”; Troy Civic Theatre’s production of “Ravenscroft,” and The Beavercreek Community Theatre production of “Chicago.”

Awards of Excellence in Community Theatre were presented in the following areas:

Design and Production  

Choreography – Annette Looper: “Chicago” – Beavercreek Community Theatre.

Costume Design – Robin Fairnet: “Souvenir” – Dayton Theatre Guild; Linda Sellers: “Chicago” – Beavercreek Community Theatre.

Direction – Greg Smith: “The Oldest Profession” – Dayton Theatre Guild; Chris Harmon: “Evil Dead: The Musical” – Beavercreek Community Theatre; Greg Smith: “Going to St. Ives” – Dayton Theatre Guild.

Musical Direction – Dr. James Tipps: “Evil Dead: The Musical” – Beavercreek Community Theatre.

Lighting Design – John Falkenbach: “Evil Dead: The Musical” – Beavercreek Community Theatre.

Scenic Design – Geoffrey Moss: “A Streetcar Named Desire” – Xenia Area Community Theatre; Fred Blumenthal: “Wittenberg” – Dayton Theatre Guild; Blake Senseman: “Dividing the Estate – Dayton Theatre Guild.

Sound Design – KL Storer: “Souvenir” – Dayton Theatre Guild; KL Storer: “Wittenberg” – Dayton Theatre Guild.

Performance

Acting in a Leading Role in a Play – John Bukowski as Elwood: “Harvey” – Beavercreek Community Theatre; Juliet Howard-Welch as Stella Kowalski: “A Streetcar Named Desire” – Xenia Area Community Theatre; Chuck Larkowski as Cosme McMoon: “Souvenir” – Dayton Theatre Guild; David Shough as Faustus: “Wittenberg” – Dayton Theatre Guild; Katrina Kittle as Dr. Cora Gage: “Going to St. Ives” – Dayton Theatre Guild; Jared Mola as Claudio: “Much Ado about Nothing” – Xenia Area Community Theatre.

Acting in a Leading Role in a Musical – Jonathon Berry as Ash: “Evil Dead: The Musical” – Beavercreek Community Theatre; Josh Lurie as William Barfee: “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” – Troy Civic Theatre; Ellen Finch as Sister Mary Hubert: “Nunsense” – Dayton Playhouse; Natalie Sanders as Eve/Mama: Children of Eden – Playhouse South; Mike Embree as Peter: Bare – Playhouse South.

Acting in a Supporting Role in a Play – Tony Copper as Detective Porterhouse: “Run for Your Wife” – Xenia Area Community Theatre.

Acting in a Supporting Role in a Musical – Freda McKinney as Mother Abbess: “The Sound of Music” – Epiphany Players; Bobby Mitchum as Cain/Japeth: “Children of Eden” – Playhouse South.

Guest Performance – Marianna Harris as May N’Kame: “Going to St. Ives” – Dayton Theatre Guild. 

Ensemble Performance – The Cast of “Evil Dead: The Musical” – Beavercreek Community Theatre; The Cast of “Wittenberg” – Dayton Theatre Guild. 

A full listing of the awards can be found on the Facebook page of the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.  Congratulations to all of the winners.

“Side by Side”: A Season Extra at The Dayton Playhouse

Dayton Playhouse will present “Side by Side by Sondheim” as its 2012-2013 Season Extra, Sept. 7-16. This energetic musical, highlighting the most endearing of Sondheim’s early work, will be directed by Brian Sharp with musical direction by Ron Kindell, both of whom won acclaim for last season’s sold-out production of “The Sound of Music.”

“Side by Side by Sondheim” is unique in that it is the only revue of Sondheim’s work to include music from “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” shows for which Sondheim wrote the lyrics but did not compose the music. It is also one of the only places for audiences to hear some of his lesser-known works such as “Love is in the Air,” which was initially intended to be the opening number for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” but was replaced with the well-known “Comedy Tonight.”  The show features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, music by Leonard Bernstein, Mary Rodgers, Richard Rodgers and Jule Styne, and “Continuity” by Ned Sherrin. It was produced on Broadway by Harold Prince, in association with Ruth Mitchell.

“Side by Side by Sondheim” opens September 7th and runs through September 16th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets, priced at $17.00 for adults and $15.00 for students and seniors, are available at www.DaytonPlayhouse.com or through the Dayton Playhouse box office at 937-424-8477.

Reach DCP theatre critic Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com

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