Best on the Boards: DFW Theatre Critics Forum 2015

Shakespeare in the Bar at Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff. ~Christopher Dontrell Piper and Abel Flores in Love’s Labour’s Lost

Shakespeare in the Bar at Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff. ~Christopher Dontrell Piper and Abel Flores in Love’s Labour’s Lost

Another year of outstanding D/FW thespian endeavor rolls by. Herein I post the decisions arrived at by the Dallas-Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum after three hours of deliberation, negotiation, advocacy and munching David Novinski’s delicious gluten-free brownies to finish our potluck meal at Martha’s. I’m stoked by the diversity and quality of performance art in the region. Happy as a clam (Are clams happy? How would one know?) to put this out today….

I don’t know why, but we considered shows that opened between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015. Selections listed in alphabetical order.

Outstanding Direction/Productions:

11150679_10152913610381376_5596792428793874622_n

Akín Babatundé, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope and The Color Purple, Jubilee Theatre

Bruce R. Coleman, The Nance, Uptown Players

Cheryl Denson, Catch Me If You Can, Uptown Players

Jeremy Dumont, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Uptown Players

Blake Hackler, The Flick, Undermain Theatre

Katherine Owens, Tomorrow Come Today and The Testament of Mary, Undermain Theatre

Matthew Posey, The Egg Salesman, The Ochre House

vickie washington, Mississippi Goddamn, South Dallas Cultural Center

 

Outstanding New Play/Musical:

The Show About Men Danielle Georgiou Dance Group (DGDG)

The Show About Men Danielle Georgiou Dance Group (DGDG)

Mississippi Goddamn by Jonathan Norton, South Dallas Cultural Center

The Show About Men by Danielle Georgiou, Justin Locklear and Trey Pendergrass, DGDG, Festival of Independent Theatres; NICE at the AT&T Elevator Project at the Wyly Theatre

Standing Eight Count by Van Quattro, Rite of Passage Theatre Company, Out of the Loop Fringe Festival and Dallas Solo Fest

 

Outstanding Acting Performance:

Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso, Lydia, Cara Mía Theatre Company

B.J. Cleveland, The Nance, Uptown Players

David Coffee, King Lear, Trinity Shakespeare Festival

David Coffee as Lear in King Lear at Trinity Shakespeare

David Coffee as Lear in King Lear at Trinity Shakespeare

Hassan El-Amin, Radio Golf and A Soldier’s Play, African American Repertory Theater

Anthony Fortino, Catch Me If You Can, Uptown Players

Kyle Igneczi, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Uptown Players

Kyle Igneczi as Hedwig in Uptown Players' Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Kyle Igneczi as Hedwig in Uptown Players’ Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Shannon Kearns, The Testament of Mary, Undermain Theatre

Jenny Ledel in:

Emilia confronts Iago (Jenny Ledel, Alex Organ)

Emilia confronts Iago (Jenny Ledel, Alex Organ)

  • The Arsonists, Kitchen Dog Theater
  • Belleville, Second Thought Theatre
  • Othello, Second Thought Theatre
  • Wilde/Earnest, Kitchen Dog Theater

David Lugo, Catch Me If You Can, Uptown Players

Janelle Lutz, Lady in the Dark and South Pacific, Lyric Stage

Janelle Lutz in South Pacific at Lyric Stage with Sonny Franks

Janelle Lutz in South Pacific at Lyric Stage with Sonny Franks

Ebony Marshall Oliver, In Real Life and The Color Purple, Jubilee Theatre

Sally Nystuen Vahle, Medea, Dallas Theater Center

Allison Pistorius, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, Stage West

Paul Taylor, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Stage West; and The Hot Mikado, Theatre

Three

Paul Taylor, center, in Mr. Burns at Stage West

Paul Taylor, center, in Mr. Burns at Stage West

Lulu Ward, The Two-Character Play, WingSpan Theatre Company

Sherry Jo Ward, Precious Little, Echo Theatre

Pat Watson, Streamers, L.I.P. Service at The Firehouse Theatre

Pat Warson in L.I.P.Service's Streamers at The Firehouse Theatre

Pat Watson in L.I.P.Service’s Streamers at The Firehouse Theatre

 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble:

B.J. Cleveland and Bob Hess in The Nance at Uptown Players

B.J. Cleveland and Bob Hess in The Nance at Uptown Players

The Brothers Size, Jubilee Theatre

The Egg Salesman, The Ochre House

The Flick, Undermain Theatre

Hands on a Hardbody, Theatre Three

Mississippi Goddamn, South Dallas Cultural Center

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Stage West

The Nance, Uptown Players

 

Outstanding Achievement in Design or Creative Contribution:

Robin Armstrong, fight choreography, Lovers and Executioners, Circle Theatre

Clare Floyd DeVries, set design, The Explorers Club, Stage West and WaterTower Theatre

Dana Schultes and in The Explorers' Club at Stage West

Dana Schultes and Michael Ulrie in The Explorers’ Club at Stage West

Danielle Georgiou, choreography, NICE and The Show About Men, DGDG

Bob Lavallee, set design, The Rocky Horror Show, Dallas Theater Center

Joshua L. Peugh, choreography/movement, Colossal, Dallas Theater Center

Adam C. Wright, original composition, The Nance, Uptown Players

 

Outstanding touring production:

Buyer & Cellar, AT&T Performing Arts Center

Endurance, Split Knuckle Theatre, The Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts

The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, The Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts

Once, AT&T Performing Arts Center and Performing Arts Fort Worth

Pippin, Dallas Summer Musicals and Performing Arts Fort Worth

 

Special Citations:

To Lyric Stage and musical director Jay Dias for their contributions to the musical restoration of The Golden Apple and Lady in the Dark, and for the first cast recording of the complete score of The Golden Apple.09_music_broadway_2515_lrg

To Audacity Theatre Lab and Brad McEntire for bringing quality local and national performances to the second annual Dallas Solo Fest at the Margo Jones Theatre, and for advancing the art of solo performance in North Texas.

To the producers of Shakespeare in the Bar for attracting new and large audiences to non-traditional spaces and reminding us that Shakespeare can be unexpected and fun. A video clip: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/65550556

 

Participating Critics:

Alexandra Bonifield, CriticalRant.com

Nancy Churnin, The Dallas Morning News

Jan Farrington, TheaterJones.com

Martha Heimberg, The Dallas Weekly and TheaterJones.com

Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice

Elaine Liner, The Dallas Observer

Mark Lowry, TheaterJones.com and Fort Worth

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2 thoughts on “Best on the Boards: DFW Theatre Critics Forum 2015

  1. In a blog post touching on the Emmys a few days ago, I spoke in favor of the approach that the DFW theater critics are applying: announcing a handful of outstanding performances (or what have you) and stopping short of choosing one so-called best. It may be that I contributed to your group’s method: in the 80s, when I was writing for Dallas Observer, I helped establish a set of theater awards that worked that way. Whether or not there’s a connection between then and now, I like the idea. Keep it up!

    Like

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