Win a DFW Theater Critics Forum award and you get … absolutely nothing. No bronze trophy. No crystal gewgaw with your named etched into it. Not even a lousy parchment certificate with a gold sticker. Nope, the critics honor local actors with little more than an annual list of who we think did the best work over the past theater season. We didn’t even put the list in print this year. It’s online only, here (after the jump) and on the DFW Critics’ Facebook page.
This year’s list was compiled during a three-hour lunch and argument session last Saturday, which was marked by two near-walkouts over the nomination of a certain actor who some believed gave a fine performance that others of us (*cough*) deemed overly shout-y and gruff. (On the final tally, he didn’t make the list.) Critics are critical of each other -- and not just behind our backs.
Participating in this year’s voting: Glenn Arbery, People Newspapers and D (he’s now off the beat for two years, teaching at a college in Massachusetts); Martha Heimberg, Turtle Creek News; Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice; Perry Stewart and Mark Lowry, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Lowry leaves that paper September 19 in another round of buyouts); Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News; and me.
Note that The Who’s Tommy, currently playing at Dallas Theater Center, is included because performances began in the last week of August. Shows had to play in professional productions on local stages between Sept. 1, 2007, and August 31, 2008, to qualify for this year’s awards. Also, Tommy’s too damn good for us to wait a year to say so. So, the envelopes please ... --Elaine Liner
DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards 2007-’08
Phyllis Cicero, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Contemporary Theatre of Dallas)
Bruce R. Coleman, for his season of work: Dracula (ICT MainStage); The Goodbye Girl and House & Garden (Theatre Three)
Jim Covault, The Clean House (Stage West)
Christopher Carlos, Sick (Kitchen Dog Theater)
Cheryl Denson, Carousel (Lyric Stage) and A Year with Frog and Toad (Dallas Children’s Theater)
Kevin Moriarty, The Who’s Tommy (Dallas Theater Center)
Pam Myers-Morgan, The Ladies of the Camellias (Echo Theatre)
New Plays or Musicals:
Coco & Gigi by Isabella Russell-Ides (Echo Theatre)
Sick by Zayd Dohrn (Kitchen Dog’s New Works Festival)
Snake Eyes at the Mardi Gras Motel by Steven Walters (Second Thought Theatre)
Avenue Q (through Casa Manana)
The Drowsy Chaperone (through Dallas Summer Musicals)
It Goes without Saying (through WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Festival)
Jersey Boys (through Dallas Summer Musicals)
Performances by Actresses:
Emily Gray, for her season with Theatre Three: House & Garden, Popcorn, Season’s Greetings!
Emily Scott Banks and Pam Dougherty, The Clean House (SW)
M. Denise Lee, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (CTD)
Linda Leonard, The Play About the Baby (WingSpan Theatre Company)
Lydia Mackay and Jessica Wiggers, A Streetcar Named Desire (CTD)
Maxey Whitehead, Snake Eyes at the Mardi Gras Motel (Second Thought)
Performances by Actors:
Regan Adair, for his season: Edmond (Second Thought), House & Garden (T3), The Misanthrope (DTC), Right Ho, Jeeves (CTD)
Jakie Cabe, Chesapeake (Circle Theatre)
Russell DeGrazier, for his season: Almost, Maine and The Foreigner (WaterTower); The Oldest Living Graduate and A Streetcar Named Desire (CTD)
Sean Hennigan, As You Like It (WaterTower)
Gregory Lush, for his season: A Dog’s Life, The Goodbye Girl and Pygmalion (all T3); The Who’s Tommy (DTC)
Terry Martin, Blackbird (WaterTower)
Cedric Neal, for his season: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Jubilee Theatre), A Dog’s Life (T3), The Who’s Tommy (DTC)
Lee Trull, Rum & Vodka (independent)
Nick Venceil, Popcorn (T3)
Performances by Ensembles:
Carousel and Hello, Dolly! (Lyric)
Coco & Gigi (FIT)
A Year with Frog and Toad (CTD)
Creative Contributions (Design, Music, etc):
The Ghost Sonata (The Drama Club), for Lydia Mackay’s mask designs
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (WaterTower), for Randel Wright’s set design
The Ladies of the Camellias (Echo), for Clare Floyd Devries’ set design
The Long Christmas Ride Home (SW), for Michael O’Brien’s lighting design; Heather Jarry and Jennifer and Dana Schultes’ puppet designs
Richard III (KDT), for Clare Floyd DeVries’ set design and Bruce R. Coleman’s costume design
Right Ho, Jeeves (CTD), for Aaron Patrick Turner’s costume design
The Who’s Tommy (DTC), for Joel Ferrell’s choreography, Lindy Heath Cabe’s musical direction and Oso Closo’s musical performance
A Year with Frog and Toad (DCT), for Randel Wright’s set design
To the Dallas Theater Center and Casa Manana, both celebrating their 50th anniversary seasons.
To Echo Theatre, for 10 years of producing plays and staged readings exclusively by woman authors.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.