The Drammys are Portland's local theater awards—there's a big ceremony every year at the Crystal Ballroom, and all of Portland's theater community gets dressed up and gets tipsy. This year, for the first time since 1999, nominees have been announced in advance, so we can all place bets ahead of time on whether Allen Nause or Michael Mendelson is gonna snag best actor. (Mendelson, probably, though Nause has been doing terrific work all over town since he stepped down as Artistic Director of Artist's Rep.)
It's not a terrifically surprising list, though it is a bit of a brain-stretch to think all the way back to shows I saw in May of 2013. Of the best-show nominees, I guess I'm pulling for the CoHo's Crooked—but I never made it to Imago's The Caretaker, and heard good things, so I don't want to discount that one. A bit surprised that Badass Theatre Co's Invasion!* didn't get a best show nod, and I also think Bright New Boise at Third Rail should've made the short list—I loved that show. I managed to not see a single show in the devised work category, so I guess I've got no business being surprised that PETE or Hand2Mouth didn't land on that list.
All four best actress nominations come from the same two plays: Crooked and Gidion's Knot. Both of those scripts were written by women; it is not remotely surprising that shows written by women have meaty roles for women. (And I'm pulling for either of the Crooked actresses; the acting in that show was just about perfect.) I'd also like to see Blake Peebles win a best young performer nod for his all-in performance in Oregon Children's Theatre's ridiculously fun Zombie in Love*
The Drammys are June 9 at the Crystal Ballroom, open to the public, and free to attend.
*I admit I'm a bit disappointed to see that Badass is relaunching Invasion! this summer. Yes, it was fun and everybody loved it, but I wanna see what an exciting, brand-new theater company does next.
**full disclosure: my boyfriend works at OCT, though as far as I know he didn't work directly on Zombie.