Best of Theatre nods from Bryan VanDriel:
Here are my choices for the best of 2013:
Peter Mueller’s set for the Stampede Troupe’s “Arsenic and Old Lace” and J. David Blatt’s design for the University of Northern Colorado’s “On Golden Pond” were both nicely decorated and realistic sets, while Blatt’s work for UNC’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” and Brian Hapcic’s “Medea” at UNC were highly stylized. All four represented excellent artistic work, and I can’t pick a favorite among the four.
Best Actor (Play)
There are three actors representing five roles I considered in this category. Noel Johnston for his roles in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Escanaba in da Moonlight”, along with Luke Corliss for “Arsenic” were all entertaining. David San Miguel probably displayed the widest range of abilities and styles with his many roles on the UNC stage this year, with his characters in “As You Like It” and “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” being the best. The nod here goes to San Miguel for “Picasso.”
Best Director (Play)
This is always a tough category for me. Peter Mueller’s direction of Stampede Troupe’s “Arsenic and Old Lace” resulted in one of the troupe’s best efforts in years. At UNC, Shelly Gaza (“As You Like It”), Mary Schuttler (“Medea”), Tom McNally (“On Golden Pond”) and Ken Womble (“Picasso at the Lapin Agile”) all resulted in powerful, moving productions. But the most creative of all was Matthew Herrick for UNC’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.”
Best Director (Musical)
Brian Burron (“Molly Brown”), John Leonard (“Little Shop”), Matthew Herrick (“The Fantasticks”), and Brian Clay Luedloff (Stampede Troupe’s “South Pacific”) all gave us excellent productions of relatively safe shows, but first-time nominee Don Berlin of Candlelight’s “She Loves Me” rose a step above the rest. Berlin presented a previously unseen work that was both fun and charming.