Spotlight: 2017 Year In Review

By John Townsend December 7, 2017

Categories: Arts & Culture, Featured - Home Page, Our Scene

How to Use a Knife. Photo by Rich Ryan

GLBT content wove itself boldly and subtly into Twin Cities Theater in 2017. Homophobic shame haunted Theatre in the Round Players’ breathtaking Suddenly Last Summer and the enduring love between Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein exuded throughout PRIME Productions’ Little Wars. In contrast, gay content blended into larger contexts: a web-surfer’s homoerotic yearnings in the Jungle’s electrifying The Nether. Moments of workplace homophobia in Mixed Blood’s crackling How to Use a Knife. LBJ’s abandonment of a loyal gay aide in History Theatre’s dazzling All the Way.

Then there is codified commentary: Theatre Coup d’Etat’s The Baltimore Waltz, impelled by the 1988 death by AIDS complications of playwright Paula Vogel’s gay brother. The same troupe also rendered the year’s best cross-gender production, Moby Dick, adapted from gay master novelist Herman Melville’s classic. Cross-gender casting was also vibrantly featured in Theater Latté Da’s Peter and the Starcatcher.

5 Weeks. Photo by Bruce Silcox

Major gay sources were also produced. Craig Lucas’s book for the musical, An American in Paris at the Ordway. Composer Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George at the Guthrie. The late gay composer Michael Friedman’s boys hockey musical, The Abominables at Children’s Theatre Company. And Margaret Edson’s profound Wit, staged by Artistry, just feels like a work only a lesbian could have written.

The Nether. Photo by William Clark

Performance of the Year
Kimberly Richardson, The Red Shoes in a solo portrayal, Open Eye Theatre

Best Productions

1. How to Use a Knife, Mixed Blood Theatre

2. Suddenly Last Summer, Theatre in the Round Players

3. The Nether, Jungle Theater

4. Watch on the Rhine, Guthrie Theater

5. Moby Dick, Theatre Coup d’Etat

6. The Bluest Eye, Guthrie Theater

7. All the Way, History Theatre

8. Life’s a Parade, Red Eye Theater

9. The Abominables, Children’s Theatre Company

10. (3-way tie)
5 Weeks
, Pangea World Theater, Peter and the Starcatcher, Theater Latté Da and Wedding Band, Penumbra Theatre

Moby Dick. Photo by Craig James Hostetler

Best Shows from Out of Town
An American in Paris, Ordway Center
The King and I, Hennepin Theatre Trust
Mala, Guthrie Theater

Best Director
Allen Hamilton, Suddenly Last Summer, Theatre in the Round Players

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Photo by Dan Norman

Best Lead Actor (tie)
Zack Myers, How to Use a Knife, Mixed Blood Theatre
Stephen Yoakam, The Nether, Jungle Theater

Best Lead Actress (tie)
Annette Kurek, Suddenly Last Summer, Theatre in the Round Players
Sally Wingert, Wit, Artistry

Best Supporting Actor (tie)
Ansa Akyea, How to Use a Knife, Mixed Blood Theatre
Eric Knutson, Idiot’s Delight, Girl Friday Productions

Wit. Photo by Hilary Roberts

Best Supporting Actress (tie)
Stephanie Berry, The Bluest Eye, Guthrie Theater
Sun Mee Chomet, King Lear, Guthrie Theater
Miriam Laube, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mixed Blood Theatre

Masterful Performances in the Interpretation of Language
Charity Jones, King Lear & Romeo and Juliet, Guthrie Theater
Annette Kurek & Ryan D. Maddux, Suddenly Last Summer, Theatre in the Round Players

Best Cross-Gender Performance (tie)
Meagan Kedrowski, Moby Dick, Theatre Coup d’Etat
Craig Johnson, Peter and the Starcatcher, Theater Latté Da

Best Movement Direction
Sandra Augustin, 5 Weeks, Pangea World Theater

Best Music Direction
Jamie White Jachimiec and Alison Keller, Moby Dick, Theatre Coup d’Etat

Man of La Mancha. Photo by Allen Weeks

Best Set Design
Lee Savage, The Nether, Jungle Theater

Best Costume Design (tie)
Lauren Diesch, Moby Dick, Theatre Coup d’Etat
Swapna Haldar and Kuljeet Kaur, 5 Weeks, Pangea World Theater

Best Lighting
Michael Wangen, 5 Weeks, Pangea World Theater

Best Sound Design
Skyler Nowinski, Life’s a Parade, Red Eye Theater

Best Projections Design
Kathy Maxwell, The Nether, Jungle Theater

Wedding Band. Photo by Allen Weeks

Best Romantic Chemistry
Christian Bardin and JuCoby Johnson, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly, Jungle Theater
Jacqueline Correa and Dan Domingues, Native Gardens, Guthrie Theater

Outstanding Playwriting
James Napoleon Stone, Moby Dick, an adaptation of the Herman Melville novel, Theatre Coup d’Etat

Outstanding New Musical Creation
Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman, The Abominables, Children’s Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actresses
Candace Barrett Birk, Little Wars, PRIME Productions
Dame-Jasmine Hughes, Wedding Band, Penumbra Theatre
Meghan Kreidler, Man of La Mancha, Theater Latté Da
Erin Mackey, Sunday in the Park With George, Guthrie Theater
Miriam Must, Life’s a Parade, Red Eye Theater
Mo Perry, The Nether, Jungle Theater
Stacia Rice, Idiot’s Delight, Girl Friday Productions

Life’s a Parade. Photo by Søren Olsen

Outstanding Lead Actors
MacGregor Arney, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mixed Blood Theatre
Jason Ballweber, One Man, Two Guvnors, Yellow Tree Theatre
Pearce Bunting, All the Way, History Theatre
Nathaniel Fuller, King Lear, Guthrie Theater
Martin Sola, Man of La Mancha, Theater Latté Da

Outstanding Supporting Actresses
Jamila Anderson, All the Way, History Theatre
Muriel J. Bonertz, Suddenly Last Summer, Theatre in the Round Players
Elizabeth Efteland, Red Velvet,  Walking Shadow Theatre Company
George Keller, Wedding Band, Penumbra Theatre
Karen Wiese-Thompson, Idiot’s Delight, Girl Friday Productions

Outstanding Supporting Actors
Thomas Brazzle, King Lear, Guthrie Theater
Patrick Coyle, Fool for Love, Dark & Stormy Productions
Kip Dooley, The Baltimore Waltz, Theatre Coup d’ Etat
Shawn Hamilton, The Bluest Eye, Guthrie Theater
Adam Scarpello, Moby Dick, Theatre Coup d’Etat

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