Arts and entertainment columnist
Next month more actors, directors and producers than ever from local theater companies will fill the aisles of SacramentoÕs Crest Theatre to await the names of coveted Elly Award winners, with a disproportionately high number of nominations going to El Dorado Musical Theatre, Oak Ridge High School and Sutter Street Theatre (formerly Stage Nine/GarbeauÕs).
The Elly Awards are named after the late Eleanor McClatchy, who was a patron of the theatrical arts. The Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance (SARTA) is the organization that presents the annual Elly Awards. Judges for the various categories, including high school musicals, childrenÕs plays and so on, agree to attend every play in their category. After they have seen everything they vote for their favorites.
Elly-worthy performances arenÕt just good. TheyÕre memorable.
Space does not permit me to list every category Ñ a complete list of Elly nominees is available at sarta.com. El Dorado Musical Theatre received a staggering 43 nominations, which tells me EDMT is back in favor with the judges in a big way.
A few years ago there was some Òweeping and gnashing of teethÓ in the childrenÕs musical theater world because EDMT raised the bar so high that there really was no competition. EDMT swept the Ellys for several years.
Then, the tide seemed to turn as other theatrical productions in the region Òstepped upÓ and won a fair number of nominations and awards the past couple of years. EDMT responded by continuing to do what it does best: Making audiences forget that what they are viewing is a childrenÕs musical production. At EDMT, every aspect of the production is of such a high caliber, imaginations simply soar.
Best Young Peoples Musical nominations
This year the pendulum seems to be swinging in EDMTÕs favor, at least in the nominations category for Young PeopleÕs Musical. EDMTÕs productions of ÒCats,Ó ÒLes MiserablesÓ and ÒThe Wizard of OzÓ are each nominated for best overall production.
Debbie Wilson of EDMT received eight nominations, four for choreography and four for direction in ÒCats,Ó ÒGrease,Ó ÒLes MiserablesÓ and ÒThe Wizard of Oz.Ó
Christine Martorana of EDMT received two nominations for costume design in ÒCatsÓ and ÒThe Wizard of Oz.Ó
EDMT actors receiving Elly nominations for best adult leading actor include Matt Provencal (ÒLes MiserablesÓ), Spencer Borup (ÒGreaseÓ) and Terry Hicks (ÒThe Wizard of OzÓ).
EDMT child actors who received nominations for best leading child actor include Andrew Wilson, Brian Farmer and Stefan Sorgea, all for ÒThe Wizard of Oz.Ó
Best adult actress nominations for Young PeopleÕs Musical were received by EDMTÕs Heather Clark (ÒCats,Ó ÒLes MiserablesÓ), Katherine Sorgea (ÒLes Miserables,Ó ÒThe Wizard of OzÓ) and Savannah Argyle (ÒLes MiserablesÓ).
Krista Mackin of EDMT received a nomination for best child actress for her performance in ÒThe Wizard of Oz.Ó
Best supporting child actor nominations went to EDMTÕs Andrew Wilson (ÒCatsÓ), Braiden Wells (ÒGreaseÓ), Christopher Meissner (ÒGrease,Ó ÒLes MiserablesÓ) and Jacob Goodyear (ÒLes MiserablesÓ).
Best supporting adult actress nominations went to EDMTÕs Heather Clark (ÒGreaseÓ), Katherine Sorgea (ÒHoliday ReunionÓ) and Lauryn Caruso (ÒLes MiserablesÓ).
EDMTÕs nominees for best supporting child actress are Jordan Sharp and Maddy Frey, both for ÒThe Wizard of Oz.Ó
Louis Hudson (best lighting design) and Jennifer Martin (best musical direction) received three nominations each for their work in EDMTÕs productions of ÒCats,Ó ÒLes MiserablesÓ and ÒThe Wizard of Oz.Ó Louis Hudson (ÒLes MiserablesÓ) and Stephanie Hudson (ÒThe Wizard of OzÓ) each received a nomination for best set design.
Best Young PeopleÕs Play nominations
Receiving nominations for Young People Play Elly awards is FolsomÕs local theater on Sutter Street, which changed its name several times during the 2009Ð10 season.
Brady Tait received a nomination for best leading child actor for his performance in ÒJack and the BeanstalkÓ (Sutter Street Theatre).
Best leading child actress nominations were received by Hannah Hurst (ÒAlice in WonderlandÓ) and Ireland Bond (ÒJack and the BeanstalkÓ), both at Sutter Street Theatre. Additional nominees for best leading child actress are Miriam Mars (ÒCharlotteÕs WebÓ Ñ Stage Nine Theatre) and Sage Inneraity (ÒA Laura Ingles Wilder ChristmasÓ Ñ Stage Nine Theatre/GarbeauÕs).
Sutter Street TheatreÕs Joshua Huston received a nomination for best supporting adult actor (ÒCharlotteÕs WebÓ) and Brady Tait (ÒThe Surprising Story of the Three Little PigsÓ) and Zach Meyers (ÒRobin HoodÓ) each received a nomination for best supporting child actor.
Sutter Street TheatreÕs Connie Mockenhaupt received a nomination for best adult supporting actress for ÒJack and the Beanstalk,Ó while Elizabeth Poore received a nomination for best supporting child actress for her work in ÒRobin Hood.Ó
Colin Hoyt received three nominations for best lighting design (ÒCharlotteÕs Web,Ó ÒAlice in WonderlandÓ Ñ Stage Nine Theatre, ÒA Laura Ingalls Wilder ChristmasÓ Ñ Stage Nine Theatre/GarbeauÕs). Mike Jimena was nominated for best set design for ÒCharlotteÕs Web.Ó
Sutter Street Theatre received a nomination for best overall production of a young peopleÕs play with ÒAlice in Wonderland.Ó
High School education musicals
Ponderosa High School has an impressive nine nominations for high school education musical this year. Oak Ridge High School has three nominations and Folsom High School has two.
Christopher Meissner of Oak Ridge received his nomination for best leading actor for his performance in ÒOnce Upon a Mattress.Ó Aly Chavez received a nomination for best leading actress for her work in the same performance. Janet Henke is nominated for best costume design in ÒOnce Upon a Mattress.Ó
PonderosaÕs production of ÒSeussical: The MusicalÓ resulted in nine nominations: Spencer Reed (best leading actor), Allison Sept (best leading actress), Jordan Peck (best supporting actor), Lily Blackburn (best supporting actress), Jennifer Schmeltzer (best lighting design) and Janet Matranga (best musical direction). ÒSeussicalÓ also received a nomination for best overall production of a high school musical.
Folsom HighÕs sole nomination in the high school musical category is for best set design by Charles Davidson (ÒSound of MusicÓ).
To view the list of high school education play nominees and all the other categories visit sarta.com.
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