February 28, 2008

Honorable Mentions

The Helen Hayes Award nominations (Tony Award : Helen Hayes Award :: NYC : DC) were announced this week, and two former schoolmates received noms: Andrew Sonntag (BA, '06) for Best Male Lead, Resident Musical, in "Reefer Madness" at Studio Theatre 2ndstage, and Jessie Dukes (MFA, '05) for Best Female Lead, Resident Musical, for "Spunk" at African Continuum Theatre. Kudos to both!

No productions with which I was associated received any nominations, but in yesterday's Washington Post, Jane Horwitz's "Backstage" column (here, scroll down) devoted a section to the best plays & performances that were overlooked. Happily, Arabian Nights and Kafka's Dick were both mentioned. Arabian Nights was ineligible, due to Constellation Theatre Co. being a fledgling company, though I'd like to think that if we were eligible we'd be in the running for Best Ensemble. Christopher Henley was singled out for his performance as Kafka, though I find it entirely amusing that the Post couldn't print the full title of the play...

I would add to the list of overlooked productions: Chris Dinolfo and Michael Innocenti in "Mojo Mickeybo", with Keegan Theatre/New Island Project.

I never met Bill Hamlin, the actor whose passing was noted at the top of the article; nonetheless I find something wonderfully romantic in the idea of that kind of life. A solid character actor who spent his life in regional and small professional theatre, working virtually up to the day he died. I look at some of my aging veteran actor friends back home, some who are gone and some who remain, who also embody that life. To those who are gone (Bernie Tato, Phip Barbour, Jaime James, Alan Jasper, Gary Newton and others) and those who will keep trodding the boards to their last breath (Tim Robinson, Bruce Allen, Chuck Galle, Anne Rehner, Susan Turner, Peggi McCarthy, Alan Huisman, Ralph Murphy, Edouard Langlois and many many others), I salute you.

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