Best Theater Company (2004)
Now in its third season of plays and musicals at the Trinity River Arts Center, the Uptown Players upped the ante this year with more ambitious work and higher-quality productions. This company, founded by co-producers Jeff Rane and Craig Lynch, performs gay-themed shows for a dedicated audience composed mostly of young gay theatergoers (everyone's welcome, of course). To their small stage they attract the best local talent--Denise Lee, Coy Covington, Nye Cooper, Regan Adair, Donald Fowler, BJ Cleveland--to casts of musicals such as Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Life and the cross-dressing comedies of Charles Busch (this year's Red Scare on Sunset was a winner). At least once a season they stage a sprawling, large-cast drama. The recent production of Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion!, featuring more nudity than Dallas stages have seen in many a moon, played to sell-out crowds. Finishing out the current season is The Wild Party (through October 24). Next year's slate includes A Man of No Importance, Mambo Italiano, Southern Baptist Sissies and The Who's Tommy. Snaps all around!