“And The Award Goes To…” Most Oft Five Words Heard At The Inaugural St. Louis Theater Circle Awards

Judy Newmark and Mark Bretz open the ceremonies at the inaugural St. Louis Theater Circle Awards

Judy Newmark and Mark Bretz open the ceremonies at the inaugural St. Louis Theater Circle Awards

It was a fun evening for all- even the nominees who didn’t hear their name mentioned after those five words- “and the award goes to…” It was a chance for the theater community to gather, party and even (just a little, I hope) appreciate the local theater critics. Despite what we occasionally (but not often) feel compelled to say, we love our local actors, directors, tech folks and everyone who has a hand in producing excellent presentations on the stages around St. Louis.

With the decline of the Kevin Klines, we decided to gather several months ago and at least try to honor local theatre with as little effort as possible and for a minimal fee for everyone who wanted to attend (including the critics- who ponied up their $10 to get in). If what everyone was saying throughout the evening and at the “largest cast party in town” afterwards, this first try was a huge success.

theater circle logo 2013-01-19 at 7.03.59 AMFirst we must thank Judy Newmark and Mark Bretz for hatching the idea. Also, Eleanor Mullin for coordinating all the particulars along the way and to Lisa Caplan for guiding us through a smooth evening at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre. Carol Schmidt for providing the music for the event and Gabe Hartwig for creating the official St. Louis Theater Circle logo additionally deserve our praise. And, of course, my fellow critics who amazed as co-masters of ceremonies throughout the evening. They are Andrea Braun, Mark Bretz, Robert Cohn, Chris Gibson (who unfortunately could not make the ceremony), Harry Hamm, Gerry Kowarsky, Chuck Lavazzi, Judith Newmark, Andrea Torrence, Lynn Venhaus and Bob Wilcox.

Antonio Rodriguez accepts his award for "Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy."

Antonio Rodriguez accepts his award for “Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy.”

For those who missed the festivities, here’s a list of the award recipients:

– Outstanding Ensemble In A Comedy- “Jacob and Jack”- New Jewish Theatre

-Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy- (tie) Teresa Doggett- “Season’s Greetings”- St. Louis Actors’ Studio and Kirsten Wylder- “The Divine Sister”- HotCity Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy- Antonio Rodriguez- “The Violet Hour”- Max & Louie Productions

Outstanding Actress In A Comedy- Meghan Maguire- “Talley’s Folly”- New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Actor In A Comedy- Greg Fenner- “Fully Committed”- Stray Dog Theatre

Outstanding Director Of A Comedy- Paul Mason Barnes- “The Comedy of Errors”- Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Production Of A Comedy- “The Comedy of Errors”- The Rep

Outstanding Ensemble In A Drama- “Clybourne Park”- The Rep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama- Laura Kyro- “Angels In America”- Stray Dog Theatre

Meghan Maguire accepts her "Best Actress In A Comedy" Award from yours truly.

Meghan Maguire accepts her “Best Actress In A Comedy” Award from yours truly.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama- David Wassilak- “Angels In America”- Stray Dog Theatre

Outstanding Actress In A Drama- (tie) Nancy Bell- “Clybourne Park”- The Rep and Patrese D. McClain- “No Child…”- The Black Rep

Outstanding Actor In A Drama- Michael Scott Rash- “9 Circles”- R-S Theatrics

Outstanding Director Of A Drama- Timothy Near- “Clybourne Park”- The Rep

Teresa Doggett charmed us as she took the award for "Best Supporting Actress In A Comedy" (in a tie with Kirsten Wylder).

Teresa Doggett charmed us as she took the award for “Best Supporting Actress In A Comedy” (in a tie with Kirsten Wylder).

Outstanding Production Of A Drama- “Clybourne Park”- The Rep

Outstanding New Play- Ayad Akhtar- “The Invisible Hand”- The Rep

Outstanding Set Design Of A Play- Scott Neale- “Clybourne Park”- The Rep

Outstanding Costume Design Of A Play- Margaret E. Weedon- “The Comedy Of Errors”- The Rep

Outstanding Lighting Design Of A Play- (3-way tie) Steve Carmichael- “The Hairy Ape”- Upstream Theater, Nathan Schroeder- “Talley’s Folly”- New Jewish Theatre and Michael Sullivan- “Way To Heaven”- New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design Of A Play- Robin Weatherall- “Way To Heaven”- New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Set Design Of A Musical- Adrian Jones- “Sunday In The Park With George”- The Rep

Outstanding Costume Design Of A Musical- Alejo Vietti- “Sunday In The Park With George”- The Rep

Outstanding Lighting Design Of A Musical- John Lasiter- “Sunday In The Park With George- The Rep

Outstanding Musical Direction- (tie) Stephen Lord- “Sweeney Todd”- Opera Theatre of St. Louis and F. Wade Russo- “Sunday In The Park With George”- The Rep

Outstanding Choreographer- Dana Lewis- “My One And Only”- Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Ensemble In A Musical- “Sunday In The Park With George”- The Rep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Musical- Anna Skidis- “Spring Awakening”- Stray Dog Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Musical- Dean Christopher- “Chicago”- The Muny

Outstanding Actress In A Musical- Jennifer Theby- “Urinetown-The Musical”- Stray Dog Theatre

Steve Woolf accepts one of multiple awards for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

Steve Woolf accepts one of multiple awards for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

Outstanding Actor In A Musical- (tie) Ron Bohmer- “Sunday In The Park With George”- The Rep and Rod Gilfry- “Sweeney Todd”- Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Director Of A Musical- Rob Ruggiero- “Sunday In The Park With George”- The Rep

Outstanding Production Of A Musical- “Sunday In The Park With George”- The Rep

Steve Woolf, Artistic Director of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis climbed those steps to the stage a lot as he accepted for himself and folks from his productions that could not make the ceremony. He described “Sunday In The Park With George” as their landmark production and I believe most of the reviewers and

Anna Skidis basks in the glow of congratulations in the lobby after the ceremony for her award for "Best Supporting Actor In A Musical."

Anna Skidis basks in the glow of congratulations in the lobby after the ceremony for her award for “Best Supporting Actress In A Musical.”

probably the audiences who saw it would have to agree. But other than the Reps’ sweep in many categories, the awards also went to many other deserving people and theatre companies as well. We, as the critics who painstakingly went through the processes of voting to reach the final tabulations were very pleased with the diversity of our final nominees. We, of course, did not know the results as they were tabulated by individuals not involved in St. Louis theatre including lawyers and accounting firms. So we had some jaw-dropping moments along with the rest of the crowd a this first-ever St. Louis Theater Circle Awards program.

We hope you all had fun. We anticipate another ceremony next year and, hopefully, many years after that. Keep attending the local live theatre scene in St. Louis. I’ve noticed a significant upswing in the audiences in most houses around the area and everyone is having a good time. Join the crowd and consider season tickets to whoever is providing you with the most fun for your price of admission. You know you can’t go wrong with an investment in the theatre.

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