All Good Things

Earlier this week, the Marquee Theater Journalist Association held a party at Confluence Taproom in Santa Rosa, announcing the winners of the second annual MTJA awards. I was one of the presenters, along with fellow MTJA members Harry Duke, Alexa Chipman and Barry Willis.

A total of 15 recipients were named. Santa Rosa Junior College’s production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights took the prize for Outstanding Musical, the certificates going to director John Shillington and musical director Janis Wilson. Also awarded for SRJC’s vibrant, refreshingly multicultural musical was Peter Crompton, for his stunningly good set design.

The award for Outstanding Drama went to director David Yen for 6th Street Playhouse’s insightful, emotional staging of Jeff Baron’s Visiting Mr. Green. Actor Alan Kaplan, as the title character, picked up the award for outstanding lead performance in a drama.

And the prize for Outstanding Comedy Production went to Sonoma Arts’ Live’s energetic and hilarious production of Steven Dietz’s Becky’s New Car, directed by Carl Jordan. Melissa Claire was also awarded for her work on the play, taking Outstanding Performance in a Comedy. (The full list of nominees and winners appears on page two.)

Now, I’d like to make one additional announcement.

I have been serving as a weekly theater critic for over 16 years, beginning with my review of Poona the Fuckdog at Actors Theatre in June 2001. Reviewing (certain complications aside) has been a constant joy and challenge, an awesome responsibility and a truly life-changing privilege, one I’ve taken very seriously. I’ve loved every minute of it.

But every good show comes to an end eventually—even Poona the Fuckdog. And even this, my long and thoroughly enjoyable run as the Bohemian‘s weekly theater critic.

I have decided that, at the close of this year, I will be jotting down my final note in my ever-present notebook, and will be stepping down as this paper’s reviewer, excitedly turning my full attention to other pursuits: artistic, journalistic, theatrical and otherwise.

I am not leaving the Bohemian, however, for which I will continue to write about the arts, including an occasional piece about the amazing and quirky artists who create Sonoma County theater. I just won’t be the one adding the little stars to the ends of the reviews.

So this is not goodbye. For one thing, I’m not leaving yet. I still have two months of local theater to observe, and to comment on. Then one final Top 10 Torn Tickets to write. Between now and then, I’ll see you at the theater.

I’ll be the grateful guy with the notebook.

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OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION

Nominees:

1776 (Larry Williams, director; Spreckels Theatre Company)

Gypsy (Michael Ross, director; Sonoma Arts Live)

In the Heights (John Shillington, director; SRJC)

In the Mood (David Lear, director; Shakespeare in the Cannery)

Titanic (Gene Abravaya, director; Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awarded: In the Heights

OUTSTANDING COMEDY PRODUCTION

Nominees:

Baskerville (David L. Yen, director; Spreckels Theatre Company)

Becky’s New Car (Carl Jordan, director; Sonoma Arts Live)

From Both Hips (John Craven, director; Main Stage West)

A Masterpiece of Comic Timing (Craig Miller, director; 6th Street Playhouse)

Zombietown (Nick Sholley, director; Left Edge Theater)

Awarded: Becky’s New Car

OUTSTANDING DRAMA PRODUCTION

Nominees:

The Birds (Beth Craven, director; Main Stage West)

Dancing at Lughnasa (Molly Noble, director; Main Stage West)

Race (Carl Jordan, director; Left Edge Theater)

Visiting Mr. Green (David L. Yen director; 6th Street Playhouse)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (David Lear, director; Main Stage West)

Awarded: Visiting Mr. Green

OUTSTANDING LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL

Nominees:

Jeff Coté (1776, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Shawna Eiermann (Tarzan: The Musical, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Daniella Innocenti-Beem (Gypsy, Sonoma Arts Live)

Joseph Miranda (In the Heights, SRJC)

Ellen Toscano (Evita, Sonoma Arts Live)

Awarded: Daniella Innocenti-Beem

OUTSTANDING LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY

Melissa Claire (Becky’s New Car, Sonoma Arts Live)

Mary Gannon Graham (The Sugarbean Sisters, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Chris Ginesi (From Both Hips, Main Stage West)

Chris Schloemp (A Masterpiece of Comic Timing, 6th Street Playhouse)

Chris Schloemp (Baskerville, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awarded: Melissa Claire

OUTSTANDING LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A DRAMA

Liz Jahren (The Birds, Main Stage West)

Alan Kaplan (Visiting Mr. Green, 6th Street Playhouse)

Dorian Lockett (Race, Left Edge Theater)

Ivy Miller (Dancing at Lughnasa, Main Stage West)

Illana Niernberger (Capacity, Main Stage West)

Awarded: Alan Kaplan

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A DRAMA

Robert Bauer (The Diary of Ann Frank, Raven Players)

Kevin Kieta (Visiting Mr. Green, 6th Street Playhouse)

Rose Roberts (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Main Stage West)

Nick Sholley (The Birds, Main Stage West)

Joe Winkler (The Big Meal, Left Edge Theater)

Awarded: Rose Roberts

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL

Gene Abravaya (1776, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Cooper Bennett (In the Heights, SRJC)

Jacob Bronson (Titanic, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Erik Weiss (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 6th Street Playhouse)

Amy Webber (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 6th Street Playhouse)

Awarded: Erik Weiss

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A COMEDY

Heather Gordon (The Money Shot, Left Edge Theater)

Rose Roberts (A Masterpiece of Comic Timing, 6th Street Playhouse)

Chad Yarish (The Odd Couple, Cinnabar Theater)

Zane Walters (Baskerville, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Matt Witthaus (Becky’s New Car, Sonoma Arts Live)

Awarded: Heather Gordon

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY

Alia Beeton (In the Mood, Shakespeare in the Cannery)

Sam Browne, Casandra Hillman, Anakarina Swanson (In the Heights, SRJC)

Sandi Lang (Anything Goes, Raven Players)

Marilyn Murray, Melinda Murray (George M!, 6th Street Playhouse)

Michella Snider (Disney’s Musical Tarzan, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awarded: Sam Browne,

Casandra Hillman, Anakarina Swanson

OUTSTANDING POSTER/PROGRAM DESIGN

The Children’s Hour (Ty Donaldson, 6th Street Playhouse)

The Clean House (Richard Sheppard, Raven Players)

Pagliacci (Victoria Von Thal, Cinnabar Theater)

Sweeney Todd (Richard Sheppard, Raven Players)

Zombietown (Argo Thompson, Left Edge Theater)

Awarded: Pagliacci

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN

Peter Crompton (In the Heights, SRJC)

Eddy Hansen/Elizabeth Bazzano (The Sugarbean Sisters, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Eddy Hansen/Elizabeth Bazzano (Titanic, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Bruce Lackovic (Becky’s New Car, Sonoma Arts Live)

Michael Mingola (The Diary of Ann Frank, Raven Players)

Awarded: Peter Crompton

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

Michael R. J. Campbell (The Threepenny Opera, 6th Street Playhouse)

Pamela Enz (1776, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Pamela Enz (Titanic, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Maci Cae Hosler (Fairyworlds!, 6th Street Playhouse)

Pamela Johnson (The Sugarbean Sisters, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Awarded: Maci Cae Hosler

OUTSTANDING LIGHT DESIGN

April George (Fairyworlds! 6th Street Playhouse)

Yave Guzman (Agnes of God, Cloverdale Performing Arts Center)

Eddy Hansen (The Sugarbean Sisters, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Vincent Mothersbaugh (In the Heights, SRJC)

Missy Weaver (The Birds, Main Stage West)

Awarded: Eddy Hansen

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN

Doug Faxon (The Birds, Main Stage West)

Jessica Johnson (The Sugarbean Sisters, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Jessica Johnson (Titanic, Spreckels Theatre Company)

Tom Luekens (The Diary of Ann Frank, Raven Players)

Craig Miller (Visiting Mr. Green, 6th Street Playhouse)

Awarded: Doug Faxon

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