Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best of the Best in South Sound Theater

More than a year in review, this is a look back at my entire career as a theater critic . . . so far, to honor some of the best actors on South Sound stages.
This is not a competition, and I am sure I will forget some deserving actors. My memory is spotty at best, and even after reviewing all my old “Critic’s Choice” columns and skimming years of reviews posted here, I’m sure I missed some.
By category and not in any particular order, the best of the best are:
Dennis Rolly in Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol at Olympia Little Theatre, Chris Cantrell in background,
Best actors, male
Scott C. Brown for his performances as Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and as Saliari in Amadeus at Lakewood Playhouse.
Christian Carvajal as the professor in Oleanna, a Theater Artists Olympia production at Olympia Little Theatre.
Steve Tarry as Richard M. Nixon in “Frost/Nixon” at Tacoma Little Theatre.
Brian Wayne Jansen as Renfeld in Dracula at Tacoma Little Theatre.
Ryan Holmberg as Bogle in Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol at Olympia Little Theatre.
Dennis Rolly as Marley in Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol at Olympia Little Theatre and as Captain Ahab in Moby Dick at the Assemblage Theatre.
Jason Hawes as Sharky in The Seafarer at Harlequin Productions.
David Wright as Richard Harken in The Seafarer at Harlequin Productions.
Liberty Evans-aqgnew as Helen Keller and Deya Ozburn as Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker at Lakewood Playhouse; photo by Kate Paterno-Lick 

Best actors, female
Deya Ozburn as Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker at Lakewood Playhouse.
Pug Bujeaud as Sara in The Ascetic at Theater Artists Olympia.
Samantha Story-Camp as Artie in Eleemosynary at Tacoma Little Theatre Samantha and as Tamora in Theatre Artists Olympia’s Titus Andronicus.
Brynne Garman as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Lakewood Playhouse
Sara Beth Puett as Daisy in Driving Miss Daisy at Dukesbay Theatre.
Best actors in a musical or comedy, male
Rafe Wadleigh as Che “Everyman” in Evita at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
Bruce Haasl as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar at Capital Playhouse, and as Jesus in the same show at Harlequin.
Mathew Posner as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
John Serembe as the creature in the closet in The Head That Wouldn’t Die at Theater Artists Olympia.
Smantha Story-Camp as Tamora in Titus Andronicus
Best actors in a musical or comedy, female

Kristin Burch as Nancy in Oliver at Capital Playhouse and as Roxie Hart in Chicago at Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
Stacie Calkins as Effie White in Dreamgirls at Tacoma Little Theatre and as Celie in The Color Purple, also at Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Cayman Ilika as Patsy Cline in Always Patsy Cline at Centerstage.
Finally, here’s another category I threw in just for fun.
Helen Harvester in Hedda Gabler at Harlequin Productions
Sexiest actors
Michael Christopher in Macbeth at Olympia Little Theatre and as Tartuffe in Tartuffe at Theater Artists Olympia.
Brian Wayne Jansen in the title role in Agamemnon at Dukesbay Productions.
Jessie Smith as Tommy in Tommy at Centerstage.
Alison Monda as Poonah in Poona the Fuck Dog (yes, that was really the title) at Theater Artists Olympia and as Kia in The Last Schwartz at Harlequin Productions.
Helen Harvester as Abby in Mating Dance of the Werewolf and in the title role in Hedda Gabler at Harlequin Productions.
Heather Christopher in Reefer Madness at Theater Artists Olympia.
Jenifer Rifenbery as Brooke in Noises Off at Tacoma Little Theatre
Jess Allan as Martine in The Physician in Spite of Himself at Theater Artists Olympia.

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