I wasn’t going to do a Critic’s Choice this year because there are too many plays I did not review in the 2013-2014 season. But there are plays, actors and directors I would like to acknowledge.
Starting with last year’s Critic’s Choice my selections have not been of the best-in-category variety, but simply acknowledgement of actors, directors, set designers and so forth whose work is worthy of special recognition. I’m sorry that those recognized won’t be able to list best actor, etc. on their resumes.
Plays – Fighting Over Beverly at Harlequin Productions. This was an outstanding play by the great Israel Horovitz, an outstanding ensemble piece with Dennis Rolly, David Wright, Karen Nelsen and Ann Flannigan. Twelve Angry Men at Lakewood Playhouse – outstanding drama; tour de force for ensemble cast led by Bruce Story-Camp in his best dramatic outing ever and with standout performances by Christian Carvajal, Ronnie Hill and Rob Reed, among others. Directed by Victoria Webb. Middletown at Harlequin Productions. Written by Will Eno, this is a sharp, intelligent and beautifully staged play mixing equal doses of comedy and tragedy.
Actors (drama) – Brynne Garman for her mesmerizing depiction of Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Lakewood Playhouse; Sara Beth Puett in the title role of Driving Miss Daisy at Dukesbay Theatre; Gabriel McClelland as Finbar and David Wright as Jack in The Weir at Tacoma Little Theatre, and Mike Dooley and Bill Johns for Middletown at Harlequin Productions .
Directing (drama) – Pug Bujeaud for The Weir at Tacoma Little Theatre, Victoria Webb for Twelve Angry Men at Lakewood Playhouse.
Actors (musical) – Cole Hagerman as Patsy in Spamalot at at Lakewood Playhouse and Andrew Fry as Georges and Jeffrey Bassett as Albin in La Cage Aux Folles at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
Musicals – The best of the best were La Cage Aux Folles at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, directed and choreographed by Jon Douglas Rake; and Spamalot at Lakewood Playhouse, with outstanding direction by John Munn and choreography by Casi Wilkerson.
Set, Lighting and Costumes –Judy Cullen (set), John Chenault (lighting) and by Margot Webb and Grace Stone (costumes) for La Cage Aux Folles at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
Children’s Plays – Lyle the Crocodile and The House at Pooh Corner by Olympia Family Theatre.
Special Category writing and acting– Peter Serko for writing and performing the amazing one-man show My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg at Dukesbay Theatre.
Special Category Notable Knockoff of William Shakespeare – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Twelfth Night at Harlequin Productions.
Special Category riskiest play – American Roulette, a joint production by Theater Artists Olympia and Animal Fire written by Christopher Evans and Fredric Hendricks and directed by Brian Hatcher.
Great stuff. We all need to work hard to bring more awareness to local theatre. Is there any way you can add the Evergreen Playhouse in Centralia to your list this season? Just a short drive from Olympia. Our season starts soon and is listed here: www.evergreenplayhouse.com
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