Announcement: Portland will be participating in Free Night of Theater this year. The program asks participating theaters to provide free tickets to new theater goers. And then people go see a play, and hopefully like it, and come back and see more theater and pay for it. That's great news.
Gracie Starr is presenting the award for Best Young Performer. She is precious. I feel bad that she had to hear Eleanor's joke.
Oustanding Young Performer: Eli Hirsh, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, Oregon Children's Theatre.
Portland Civic Theatre Guild's Mary Brand Scholarships, two $250 scholarships to young actors (backstory here), go to Robert Halprin (?) and Destiny Stigall (I know I butchered those names, sorry).
Q: What is the difference between an actor and a mutual fund?
A: A mutual fund will actually mature and make money.
More hilarity—and a full list of the winners—after the jump.
Oustanding Vocal Direction: Alan Lytle for Plaid Tidings at Broadway Rose.
Oustanding Musical Direction: Lyle wins again!
Oustanding Sound Design: Jen Raynak for Third Rail Repertory's Grace. That show was incredibly well designed. I remember the lighting and sound better than I remember the script itself. Good call.
Cynthia Kirk from the Oregon Cultural Trust wants our monies. Sorry lady, I need it for bus fare.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Brittany Burch, for Artist Rep's House. (The slide presented, however, puts the show at Portland Center Stage. Fact check much? They need a Courtney.)
Oustanding Work in Puppeteering: Vertigo wins it for The Long Christmas Ride Home. Of course they do! That shit was fantastic, strange little kid puppets that were somehow more sympathetic than the flesh and blood actors. Crowd loves it. Gary Norman says, "I've been wanting one of these for a while, but I never thought it would be for puppeteering." Someone tells us it's important to "love your puppet."
Oustanding Supporting Role in a Musical: Michele Mariana, Cabaret at Portland Center Stage. She played Fraulein Schneider. Mariana is a downer. She's crying and talking about evil and self-loathing and how theater can "open minds and create dialogue... And vote this year, it's really important."
Vana introduces the next presenter, John Morrison, with some reminiscing about Portland theater back in the days of the Storefront Theater: "When they called for a line, they weren't necessarily referring to the script."
Outstanding Lighting Design: Dan Covey for PCS' Sometimes a Great Notion. The was a beautifully designed show, the light was gorgeous.
Outstanding Lighting Design: Don Crossley, Einstein is a Dummy (he won last year too, for A Lesson from Aloes)
Oustanding Lighting Design: Michael Mazzola, Grace at Third Rail. Yep yep.
Portland Civic Theatre Fellowships and Leslie O Fulton Fellowships: Third Rail gets one, $1500, agh I didn't catch what for... and Stumptown Stages gets $1500 for body mics. Sensible, sensible. $5000 goes to Victoria Parker Pohl, to "reinvest herself in playwriting, directing, residencies..." and Jennifer Raynak snags one too, to go to conventions and learn things and come back to Portland and teach us things. At least the ladies are making out with some loot! We're about halfway done.
Presenter Sharonlee McLean is pleased she's "about to make four men very happy tonight."
Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role: Ken Albers, Twelfth Night at Portland Center Stage.
Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role: Brad Bellamy, Twelfth Night, PCS.
Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role: Garfield Wedderburn, Streamers at Sowelu. He just thanked Barry White—then corrected himself. Barry Hunt, Barry Hunt.
Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role: Tyler Caffall for Garden at the Artist's Repertory Theater.
Outstanding Costume Design: Deborah Trout, Twelfth Night, PCS. Ha, Chris Coleman has to accept all the PCS awards 'cause they're going to out of towners.
Outstanding Costume Design: Claudie Jean Fischer, The Clean House, ART
Outstanding Costume Design: Mary Rochon, Go, Dog, Go!, NW Children's Theatre
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Mike Barber, Good, Sojourn Theatre. Nice. Good was set in a Subaru dealership—points for difficulty.
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Robert Guitron, The Wild Party at Live on Stage
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography: Jessica Wallenfels, Sometimes a Great Notion at Portland Center Stage. She thanks her cast of "almost all Portland loggers."
Oustanding Musical Actress in a Lead Role: Erin Charles, The Wild Party, Live on Stage.The crowd loooves her.
Gretchen Corbett presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob Hicks. "A top notch theater reviewer sets the bar for excellent theater... We in the theater community are grateful to him for bringing out the best we had to offer." The whole room is on their feet—no one is throwing any plates that I can see.
Hicks says thank you, very sincerely. He doesn't have a prepared speech, he's kind of meandering sentimentally, which is sweet.
"My advice is, don't try to quit a job you've had for 34 years, and move out of a house you've had for 20 years, and replace a knee you've had for 60 years, at pretty much the same time... It's great not to go into the office every day. People have asked me, How in the world did you get to be a theater critic? And the real answer is that I stumbled into it. I didn't really have any qualifications, but I was willing to watch and learn. Somebody once said that a critic is someone who gets his education in public, and you are the ones who educated me. I've spent my career writing stories, but you... get to be inside stories, and that's even better."
Chris Murray ("best known for his work with the Oregon Lottery—you may recognize him from bus stops around the city, with or without a graffitied phallus in his mouth"), the next presenter, reads a poem called "Ode to the Anonymous Followspot Poster." Ohh, the internet makes people so angry! Lots of righteous clapping.
Outstanding Scenic Design: Tony Cisek, Sometimes A Great Notion at Portland Center Stage. Oh, why if it isn't Chris Coleman again! He wants us to go to this website.
Outstanding Scenic Design: Sean O'Skea, No Way to Treat a Lady, Broadway Rose
Outstanding Scenic Design: William Bloodgood, Twelfth Night, Portland Center Stage. Chris Coleman made somebody else go up this time.
Outstanding Scenic Design: Curt Enderle, Nobody Here but Us Chickens, Third Rail.
Outstanding Musical Actor in a Lead Role: Joe Theissen, No Way to Treat a Lady, Broadway Rose. "Musical theater tells a story the same way any other kind of theater does, it's just in a different part of the palate. That's a pun, thank you."
Outstanding Musical Actor in a Lead Role: Todd Hermanson, The Wild Party, Live on Stage.
Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role: Luisa Sermol, 9 Parts of Desire (a Coho/Cygnet Coproduction)—so surprises there, I didn't see the one-woman show but I sure have heard great things about Sermol's portrayal of 9 different Iraqi women.
Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role: Brent Harris, Beard of Avon, Portland Center Stage. Hi Chris Coleman! Oh, Harris enjoyed his time in Portland? That's good. I think Coleman is aware that a lot of the people in the audience hate him right now.
Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role: Bruce Burkhartsmeier, Shining City at Third Rail.
Outstanding Actor in a Lead RoleLeif Norby, Grace, Third Rail. Nice.
Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role: The Beard of Avon, Darius Pierce, Portland Center Stage. He earned that one... He thanks the community, and Theater Vertigo. Portland is wonderful. Etc.
Outstanding Direction: Jane Jones, Twelfth Night, Portland Center Stage. "I cannot wait to go call Jane. She is gonna be amazed, and we loved having her in the house."
Outstanding Direction: Slaydon Scott Yarbrough, Grace, Third Rail. Totes. "I want to give a long overdue thanks to the folks at the IFCC"—Third Rail is moving downtown to the World Trade Center next year. He thanks the company: "Theater's hard. People in the audience don't know what everybody in the show does to make it look effortless."
Outstanding Direction: Sarah Jane Hardy, The Lesser Magoo, defunkt. Oh, that's great. I'm glad to see the small, weird company get recognized, esp. since this night has been so PCS-heavy.
Todd Van Voris is up to present the Outstanding Production Award. He says he's no good at telling jokes, but "There is something in my life that I have always found deeply funny, and that is anything to do with the country Belgium." He says he is going to tell us the funniest joke in Belgium.
Why does a duck have webbed feet? To stamp out fires.
Why does an elephant have flat feet? To stamp out burning ducks.
Outstanding Production: Good, Sojourn Theatre. Excellent.
Outstanding Production: Grace, Third Rail Repertory Theater. Can't complain!
Outstanding Production: Twelfth Night, Portland Center Stage. I can't argue with that, either. I loved that show—so sharp, so accessible.
The Starlight Awards recognizes behind the scenes contributions. Stage managers and marketing folks and the like. Beebe Walton wins one for her work with the Northwest Classical Theater Company. Samantha Currin wins one. Nicole Gladwin gest the stage manager award. (Sorry if I butchered those names.)
Aaaand we're done. Phew. Let's wait until tomorrow to process that, shall we? Over and out.