Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Sparkle Recognition 2018 - 2019



As I See It ...
Dennis Sparks

Once again, I have accumulated what I believe are unique, artistic achievements for the Season (September 1st, 2018 to August 31st, 2019) and awarded each of them a Sparkle Recognition mention in the list of about 100 shows I personally review in a Season.  But, as you will note, unlike other award lists, I do not pick a “winner,” nor is my list confined to necessarily “5 nominees” in each category.  My list contains as many, or as few, as I deem “special” or “unique” in some way(s).

I do not believe you can compare, for instance, one actor’s performance in a play against another actor’s role in a totally different part and play.  Nor do I understand why there has to be only 5 nominees in category.  For example, I pick a person for a uniqueness that they seem to have, both as a creator and in the role/job they are performing.  That is not to say that there were not a wealth of fine artistic achievements done.  There were.  But these particular individuals and/or productions moved me in special, unforgettable ways.


Granted, this is my take alone on the shows this season and, I’m sure, you will note, doesn’t agree with most award lists of “nominees/winners.”  Also it doesn’t encompass all the fine theatres that exist in the Northwest.  All the theatres I do include, have invited me to review their shows.  And, being only one person, I can only review so many at a time.

Also, I do not restrict in any way, the people/companies that I review or are included in my Sparkle list.  The list includes schools, professional theatres, semi-professional, community, et. al. in the Greater Portland area and as far South as OSF in Ashland, OR.  In my opinion a good performance/production is simply good, no matter its pedigree
 
I unashamedly admit that I am a supporter of the Arts, having over 40 years myself in all aspects of it.  I attend a production expecting it to be good and, if it falls short, in my opinion, I try to be constructive in my criticism.  Also, you will note in my reviews, that I tend not to spend a lot of time describing the plot but, instead, try to give a flavor of the piece.  I, also, try to make comparisons to similar venues or historical, philosophical or personal histories of the times to, hopefully, enlighten the audience, as to what they may be seeing/experiencing.

Some of the most unique productions for this period are:   Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Hairspray, totally captivating and thoroughly entertaining production.
Also, note-worthy are OCT’s Young Professionals with Shiver and Good Kids, both very provocative and inventive.  And, very clever and powerful was Crave’s Red in presentation, direction, choreography and acting.  Another favorite was Experience Theater Project’s, The Picture of Dorian Gray in its direction, adaptation and especially actor in the title role.  And, finally, Twilight’s How I Learned To Drive in lead actors, and directing….and many others are listed below.  In short, a very good year for the performing arts!


(Some personal observations regarding recognizing the Arts:  The Media gives a lot of attention to current events, sports and weather, etc. but almost none that focuses on the Arts.  Likewise, many land/building owners seem to be following that lead in downgrading the Arts and raising prices that, I’m sure they realize, Art groups cannot afford with their extremely limited budgets. 
Also, parking is a problem in many parts of town where theatre spaces reside and it would behoove a business or religious institution to reach out and offer their parking lots when they are not in operation.  So, please, if you are one of these organizations or know one, go the extra mile and give this precious commodity, the Arts, a chance to survive!)
My blog now has over 400,000 views, which is not too shabby in the seven+ years and over 700 reviews.  I have also been asked to join the American Theatre Critics’ Organization.   And other champions around the Arts are an unending gratitude to my electronic muse, Jennifer, for creating my blog and Dave for maintaining it.  A special “shout-out,” too, to Ronnie Lacroute and the WillaKenzie Estate, who may be the most priceless supporter local theatre has!  And when theatres/artists put links to my reviews on their sites, it only enhances the readership and, hopefully, your audiences.  In case you’d rather scan the list to find your own company, the theatres (right-hand column) are listed alphabetically (more or less). 

So, without any further exposition, may we have the envelopes please . . .

Outstanding Productions -- Musical
Play
Theatre
Ordinary Days
Broadway Rose
Into the Woods
Broadway Rose
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Hair
Staged!
Marat/Sade
Twilight Theater Company
Shiver
Young Professionals Company (OCT)

Outstanding Directors – Musical

Director
Play
Theatre
Isaac Lamb
Ordinary Days
Broadway Rose
Jessica Wallenfels
Into the Woods
Broadway Rose
Paul Angelo
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Christopher Liam Moore
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
James Charles
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Katie McLoughlin
Hair
Staged!
Dorinda Toner
Marat/Sade
Twilight Theater Company
Matthew B. Zrebski
Shiver
Young Professionals Company (OCT)

Outstanding Choreographers

Choreographer
Play
Theatre
Jessica Wallenfels
Into the Woods
Broadway Rose
Rachael Singer
From the Ruby Lounge
Berk Theatre
Rachael Singer
Red (non-musical)
Crave Theatre
Jorie Jones
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Jaclyn Miller
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Diana Schultz
Hair
Staged!
Christopher George Patterson
Jesus Christ
Superstar
Stumptown Stages

Outstanding Musical Directors

Musical Director
Play
Theatre
Eric Nordin
Ordinary Days
Broadway Rose
Eric Nordin
Into the Woods
Broadway Rose
Andrew Bray
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Gregg Coffin
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Andrew Bray
Hair
Staged!
Adam Young
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages



Outstanding Ensembles – Musical
Play
Theatre
Ordinary Days
Broadway Rose
From the Ruby Lounge
Berk Theatre
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Not Another Christmas Letter!
Portland Musical Theater Company
There’s No Business Like Show Business
Portland Musical Theater Company
Hair
Staged!
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Shiver
Young Professionals Company (OCT)

Outstanding Performances in a Leading Role, Male – Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Eric Michael Little
The Baker
Into the Woods
Broadway Rose
Danielle Valentine
Mr. Wormwood
Matinlda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Daniel T. Parker
Edna
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Morgan Mallory
Jesus
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Gabriel Lawson
Judas
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Jarvis Sam
Jimmy Early
Dreamgirls
Stumptown Stages
Gary Wayne Cash
Scrooge
A Christmas Carol
Stumptown Stages
Jeff Gibberson
Herald
Marat/Sade
Twilight Theater Co.
John Brunner
Dick
Whiskey Dixie…
Whiskey Dixie Musical


Outstanding Performances in a Leading Roll, Female – Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Erin Tamblyn
The Witch

Into the Woods
Broadway Rose
Cora Craver
Matilda
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Andy Lindberg
Miss Trunchbull
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Katy Geraghty
Tracy
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Hannah Sapitan
Mary
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Julianne Johnson
Effie
Dreamgirls
Stumptown Stages
Amanda Richards
Whiskey
Whiskey Dixie…
Whiskey Dixie Musical

Outstanding Performances in a Supporting Role, Male – Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
David Kelly
Wilbur
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Bruce R. Kyte
Pilate
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Steve Coker
Herod
Jesus Christ Superstar
Stumptown Stages
Collin Carver
Miss West Coast
Pageant
Triangle Productions!

Outstanding Performances in a Supporting Role, Female – Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Greta Oglesby
Motormouth
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Kelly Stewart
Ghost of Christmas Past
A Christmas Carol
Stumptown Stages
Brandie Sylfae
Trish
Whiskey Dixie…
Whiskey Dixie Musical

Outstanding Productions – Non-Musical
Play
Theatre
Speed-the-Plow
Asylum Theatre
Red
Crave Theatre
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Experience Theatre Project
Wolf at the Door
Milagro
Equus
Twilight Theater Company
How I Learned To Drive
Twilight Theater Company
Good Kids
Young Professionals Company (OCT)

Outstanding Directors – Non-Musical

Director
Play
Theatre
William (Bill) Earl Ray
Skeleton Crew
Artists Rep
Don Alder
Speed-the-Plow
Asylum Theatre
Sarah Andrews
Red
Crave Theatre
Alisa Stewart
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Experience Theatre Project
Rebecca Martinez
Wolf at the Door
Milagro
Tobias Andersen
Equus
Twilight Theater Company
Dorinda Toner
How I Learned To Drive
Twilight Theater Company


Outstanding Ensembles – Non-Musical               
Play
Theatre
Small Mouth Sounds
Artists Rep
It’s a Wonderful Life
Artists Rep
Hurl
Corrib Theatre
Jesus Hopped the A Train
CoHo Productions
zoozoo
Imago Theatre
Leonard Cohen Is Dead
Imago Theatre
Pebble
Imago Theatre
Church and State
Lyon Theatre
Tiger Be Still
Lyon Theatre
¡alebrijes!...
Milagro
Wolf at the Door
Milagro
Crossing Mnisose
Portland Center Stage
Escaped Alone
Shaking-the-Tree
A Dark Night Full of Stars
Theatre Vertigo
Good Kids
Young Professionals Company (OCT)

Outstanding Performances in a Leading Role, Male – Non-Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Darius Pierce
Ned
Small Mouth Sounds
Artists Rep
Michael Mendelson
“Everybody”
Everybody
Artists Rep
Christopher Imbrosciano
Richard
Teenage Dick
Artists Rep
Michael Mendelson
Torvald
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Artists Rep
Jason Maniccia
Gould
Speed-the-Plow
Asylum Theatre
Lawrence Siulagi
Sidney
Deathtrap
Bag & Baggage Productions
Andrew Beck
Clifford
Deathtrap
Bag & Baggage Productions
Phillip J. Berns
Peter
Peter/Wendy
Bag & Baggage Productions
Joshua J. Weinstein
Torch
Beirut
Beirut Theatre
Todd Van Voris
Grant
Pontypool
CoHo Productions
Katherine Grant-Suttie
Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Experience Theatre Project
Allen Nause
Henry Drummond
Inherit the Wind
Lakewood Theatre Company
Todd Van Voris
Matthew Harrison Brady
Inherit the Wind
Lakewood Theatre Company
Gerry Birnbach
James
Dealing With Clair
Public Citizen Theatre
Nick Ferrucci
Young Man
Arlington
Third Rail
James Sharinghousen
Casey
The Legend of Georgia McBride
Triangle Productions!
Skye McLaren Walton
Alan
Equus
Twilight
Theater Company
Michael J. Teufel
Uncle Peck
How I Learned To Drive
Twilight Theater Company




Outstanding Performances in a Leading Role, Female – Non-Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Mamie Colombero
Blue
Beirut
Beirut Theatre
Alexandria Casteele
Jane
Four Last Things
Corrib Theatre
Dana Green
Sugar
Tiny Beautiful Things
Portland Center Stage
Megan Skye Hale
Ariel
The Tempest
Steep & Thorny Way to Heaven
Rebecca Lingfelter
Isla
Arlington
Third Rail
Adria Malcolm
Li’l Bit
How I Learned To Drive
Twilight Theater Company

Outstanding Performances in a Supporting Role, Male – Non-Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Danny Bruno
Fox
Speed-the-Plow
Asylum Theatre
Norman Wilson
Nick
Bell, Book & Candle
Bag & Baggage
Fredrick Williams-T’Kara
Miss Tracy/Bobby
The Legend of Georgia McBride
Triangle Productions!
Colin Kane
Rexy/Jason
The Legend of Georgia McBride
Triangle Productions!

Outstanding Performances in a Supporting Role, Female – Non-Musical
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Mandana Khoshnevisan
Helga
Deathtrap
Bag & Baggage
Kymberli Colbourne
Miss Holroyd
Bell, Book & Candle
Bag & Baggage
Vana O’Brien
Anne
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Artist Rep
Barbie Wu
Emmy
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Artists Rep
Lauren Modica
Mrs. Jennings
Sense & Sensibility
Portland Center Stage
Jane Bement Geesman
Judy
In the Wake
Profile Theatre
Jamie M. Rea
Amy
In the Wake
Profile Theatre
Kayla Hanson
Young Woman
Arlington
Third Rail




Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role, Male – Small Cast (one to three people)
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Jon Gennari
Travis
Care of Trees
enso theatre ensemble
Heath Koerschgen
Josh, et. al.
Jason and the Argonauts
Oregon Children’s Theatre
James Sharinghousen
Andy, et. al.
Jason and the Argonauts
Oregon Children’s Theatre
Michael O’Connell
Guy
Wakey Wakey
Portland Playhouse

Outstanding Performances in a Leading Role, Female – Small Cast (one to two people)
Actor
Role
Play
Theatre
Merideth Kaye Clark
Em
Tonight Nothing
CoHo Productions
Katherine Murphy Lewis
Kaye
Tonight Nothing
CoHo Productions
Sara Hennessy
Sonya
How to Keep an Alien
Corrib Theatre
Amy Katrina Bryan
Stage Manager
How to Keep an Alien
Corrib Theatre
Maia McCarthy
Mark
Red
Crave Theatre
Kylie Jenifer Rose
Ken
Red
Crave Theatre
Megan Gotz
Georgia
Care of Trees
enso theatre ensemble
Helen Raptis
Sue
I’ll Eat You Last
Triangle Productions!
Margie Boule’
Gov. Ann Richards
Ann
Triangle Productions!
Daria Eliuk
Cindy Lou Who
Who’s Holiday!
Triangle Productions!

Outstanding Technical Designers – Scenic/Lighting/Sound/Music

Designer
Play
Theatre
SETS


Tyler Buswell (scenic)
Dial M for Murder
Bag & Baggage Productions
Tyler Buswell (scenic)
Deathtrap
Bag & Baggage Productions
Jim Ricks-White (scenic)
Peter/Wendy
Bag & Baggage Productions
Tyler Buswell (scenic) & Gabriel Costales (lighting)
Much Ado About Nothing
Bag & Baggage Productions
Sundance Wilson Henry (scenic)
The Diary of Anne Frank
Battle Ground Drama Club
Jennifer Lin (scenic)
Pontypool
CoHo Productions
Rusty Tennant (scenic)
Jesus Hopped the A Train
CoHo Productions
Tyler Buswell (set)
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Experience Theatre Project
Emily Wilken (scenic design)
Wolf at the Door
Milagro
Palmer Hefferan (music composer)
As You Like It
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
John McDermott (scenic)
Sense & Sensibility
Portland Center Stage

Outstanding Designers – Costumes/Props/Make-up/Combat, et. al.

Designer
Play
Theatre
Portrait by Raziah Roushan
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Experience Theatre Project
Carol Triffle & Jerry Mouawad  (costumes/masks)
Zoozoo
Imago Theatre
Children Chorus/Dancers
Matilda
Lakewood Theatre Company
Mindy Escobar-Leanse (puppets)
¡alebrijes!...
Milagro
Susan Tsu (costumes)
Hairspray
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Helen Q. Huang (costumes)
Alice in Wonderland
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Margaret Louise Chapman (costumes)
A Christmas Carol
Stumptown Stages
Costumes—Donald Horn
The Legend of Georgia McBride
Triangle Productions!


Special Recognition

Ronni Lacroute
For her generous support of theatre in this area—you are special!
Willakenzie Estate!
Jennifer Larson-Cody
For having faith in me, thank you—you are my electronic muse!
My Blog Creator & Manager
David Hudkins
Good friend and current blog manager
Blog Manager




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