DCPA, Arvada Center lead balanced Henry Awards field

Joyce Cohen and Mike Hartman are both nominated for Henry Awards for their performances in the DCPA's 'Benediction.' Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.
Joyce Cohen and Mike Hartman are both nominated for Henry Awards for their performances in the DCPA’s “Benediction.” Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company unveiled two new musicals last season that are both nominated for Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards, it was announced today.

The newly refreshed The Unsinkable Molly Brown leads all plays and musicals from 2014-15 with 12 nominations. The 12, a look at what might have happened when the disciples went into hiding following the crucifixion of Christ, earned three. Both are nominated for Best musical of 2014-15.

The DCPA’s three true world premieres – The 12, Benediction and Appoggiatura  – are all nominated for best original production.

For the second straight year, the DCPA Theatre Company leads all companies with 21 Henry Award nominations, including best season. The Arvada Center follows with 19 in what turns out to be one of the most evenly distributed fields in the 10 years of the Colorado Theatre Guild’s annual awards program. Buntport Theatre received 12 nominations, Town Hall Arts Center received 10 and eight went to Theatre Aspen.  BDT Stage of Boulder and Midtown Arts Center of Fort Collins got seven each.

In all, 25 Colorado companies received at least one nomination, spread out from Colorado Springs to Dillon to Aspen to Breckenridge. The winners will be announced at the Colorado Theatre Guild fundraising gala on July 20 at the Arvada Center. Click here for information

Following Molly Brown, the most nominated musical is the Arvada Center’s Memphis, with 10. The most nominated plays are Buntport Theatre’s original Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes, with 7, followed by Curious Theatre Company’s Charles Ives Take Me Home and Vintage Theatre’s ‘Night, Mother, with five each.

Three-time Henry Award nominee Billie McBride in Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' 'The Lying Kind.'

Three-time Henry Award nominee Billie McBride in Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “The Lying Kind.”

Billie McBride, who won the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award last summer, is back with three nominations this year: Twice for best supporting actor in a play (DCPA’s Benediction and Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ The Lying Kind), and for directing Vintage Theatre’s ‘Night Mother

The other three-time individual nominee this year is Arvada Center scenic designer Brian Mallgrave (She Loves Me, Harvey and The Archbishop’s Ceiling.)

This year’s two-time Henry nominees include Donna Debreceni, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Haley Johnson, Wayne Kennedy, Kathleen Marshall, Jordan Nichols, Erin Rollman, Nick Sugar and David Thomas.

Johnson’s two awards come for her performances in Vintage Theatre’s ‘Night Mother and A Streetcar Named Desire. Kennedy pulled off an unusual feat for BDT Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof: He’s up for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Tevye) and best sound design.

And if there were a most adorable nomination category, it would have to be the husband-and-wife team of Bob Moore (lead actor in a play) and Wendy Moore (direction) both being nominated for Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s Freud’s Last Session.

And in another interesting twist: The field includes two actors with Colorado ties currently performing on Broadway: Castle Rock native Beth Malone (Fun Home) is nominated as best actress in a musical for Molly Brown, and University of Northern Colorado graduate Aisha Jackson (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) has been singled out for her performance in Memphis.

Melissa Swift-Sawyer, who originated the titular role in the DCPA’s long-running cabaret hit Always Patsy Cline, is nominated as best supporting actress in a musical for her portrayal of a racist mother who reforms in Memphis. She also reprised that iconic Patsy Cline role this year for the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, and her co-star in Johnstown, longtime BDT Stage favorite Alicia Dunfee, has been nominated as best supporting actress in a musical – an odd categorization of her performance, given that Dunfee has all the speaking lines in the play.

Longmont Theatre Company earned its first-ever Henry Award nomination: Michael O’Shea for supporting actor in a play (Driving Miss Daisy). Ignite Theatre scored its second nomination: Anna High for lead actress in a musical (Dreamgirls). Springs Ensemble Theatre pulled two nominations for The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

The oft-honored Steve Wilson, who has retired as longtime artistic director of the handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company, is again nominated for best direction for Phamaly’s revisiting of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Annie Dwyer, who is performing around the metro area for the first time after spending more than 20 years at the now closed Heritage Square Music Hall in Golden, was cited for her performance as Frau Bleucher in Town Hall Arts Center’s Young Frankenstein.

The four design categories are again split into two tiers divided by each company’s annual overall operating budget. Companies with annual budgets above $1.2 million are considered for “big budget” awards in lighting, costuming, scenic design and sound (The DCPA, Arvada Center, Curious Theatre, Theatre Aspen and TheatreWorks among them), and the rest are considered for the “smaller budget” category.

The field again is populated with many first-time companies and individuals, among them A & A Productions’ nod for Benjamin Cowhick (supporting actor in a play for Good Television); and the brand new Ripple Effect Theatre Company’s recognition of Tucker D. Johnston’s supporting actor performance as the abused slave Lucky (Waiting For Godot).

To be eligible for Henry Awards consideration, a presenting company must be a dues-paying member of the Colorado Theatre Guild – a statewide theatre advocacy organization. Shows are adjudicated throughout the year by a team of about 30 statewide professional and citizen judges who score each show in all categories using a 50-point scale. A show must have been seen by six adjudicators in order to be eligible.

In the event more than six adjudicators scored a show, Guild officials chose six completed ballots at random. This was the first year under this scoring system that ballots from the region’s diminishing pool of theatre reviewers were not guaranteed to be among a production’s six official scorecards.

Any awards program comes with its share of disappointments, and this year the most obvious omissions include the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Creede Repertory Theatre, Aurora Fox and Colorado Shakespeare Festival, none of which received a nomination. BETC’s True West Award-winning Grounded, which starred 2013 Henry winner Laura Norman, was perhaps the best-reviewed play of the year.

After sweeping the Henry Awards last year with eight awards for The Whipping Man, Curious Theatre Company received no 2014-15 nominations outside of Charles Ives Take Me Home, a slate that included All the Rage, Lucky Me, Venus in Fur, In the Red and Brown Water and Detroit.

The Edge Theatre had what many consider to be its breakout season but other than its four nods for Jerusalem, it received only one, for Cock. Its only acting recognition was Augustus Truhn for lead actor in a play (Jerusalem).

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center produced what many believe were two of the best productions of the season – Mary Poppins and 4000 Miles, but Artistic Director Scott Levy pulled his company out of consideration for the awards.

2014-15 Henry Awards
6 p.m. Monday, July 20
Arvada Center. 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
Tickets: $23 for CTG members, $30 non-members or $50 VIP. Tickets go on sale July 6 through the Arvada Center website or by calling the box office at 720-898-7200. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $35.

Jim Higan and Aisha Jackson are among 10 nominees for the Arvada Center's 'Memphis.' Photo by P. Switzer.
Jim Hogan and Aisha Jackson are among 10 nominees for the Arvada Center’s “Memphis.” Photo by P. Switzer.

2014-15 COLORADO THEATRE GUILD HENRY AWARDS NOMINATIONS

Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company
Arvada Center
Buntport Theater
DCPA Theatre Company
Town Hall Arts Center
Theatre Aspen

 Outstanding Production of a Play
“Charles Ives Take Me Home,” Curious Theatre Company, Christy Montour-Larson, Director
“The Cripple of Inishmaan,” Miners Alley Playhouse, Len Matheo, Director
“The Goat, or Who is Sylvia,” Springs Ensemble Theatre Company, Max Ferguson, Director
“Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes,” Buntport Theater, Buntport Theater, Director
“‘Night, Mother,” Vintage Theatre Productions, Billie McBride, Director

Outstanding Production of a Musical
“The 12,” DCPA Theatre Company, Richard Seyd, Director; Michael Mancini, Musical Direction
“Anything Goes,” Town Hall Arts Center, Nick Sugar, Director; Donna Kolpan Debreceni, Musical Direction
“She Loves Me,” Arvada Center, Gavin Mayer, Director; David Nehls, Musical Direction
“Spamalot,” Midtown Arts Center, Jordan Nichols, Director; Casey Cropp & Nigel Huckle, Musical Direction
“The Unsinkable Molly Brown” DCPA Theatre Company, Kathleen Marshall, Director; Michael Rafter, Musical Direction

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Buntport Theater, “Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes,” Buntport Theater
Geoffrey Kent, “The Lying Kind,” TheatreWorks
Robert Kramer, “Cock,” The Edge Theater Company  
Billie McBride, “‘Night Mother,” Vintage Theatre Productions
Christy Montour-Larson, “Charles Ives Take Me Home,” Curious Theatre Company
Wendy Moore, “Freud’s Last Session,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Michael J. Duran, “Fiddler on the Roof,” BDT Stage
Rod A. Lansberry, “Memphis,” Arvada Center
Kathleen Marshall, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company
Jordan Nichols, “Spamalot,” Midtown Arts Center
Nick Sugar, “Anything Goes,” Town Hall Arts Center
Steve Wilson, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Phamaly Theatre Company

Outstanding Musical Direction
Donna Kolpan Debreceni, “Anything Goes,” Town Hall Arts Center
Donna Kolpan Debreceni, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Phamaly Theatre Company
David Dyer, “Little Women,” Theatre Aspen
David Nehls, “Memphis,” Arvada Center
Michael Rafter, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography
Stephen Bertles, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, “She Loves Me,” Arvada Center          
Kathleen Marshall, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company            Matthew D. Peters, “Mary Poppins,” BDT Stage
Nick Sugar & Kelly Kates, “Anything Goes,” Town Hall Arts Center

Outstanding Actor in a Play
John DiAntonio, “The Liar,” TheatreWorks
Mike Hartman, “Benediction,” DCPA Theatre Company             
Steven Cole Hughes, “The Lying Kind,” TheatreWorks
Bob Moore, “Freud’s Last Session,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company          
Cody Schuyler, “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” Miners Alley Playhouse
Augustus Truhn, “Jerusalem,” The Edge Theater Company

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Kate Berry, “Charles Ives Take Me Home,” Curious Theatre Company
Amy Brooks, “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia,” Springs Ensemble Theatre Company   
Joyce Cohen, “Benediction,” DCPA Theatre Company
Haley Johnson, “‘Night, Mother,” Vintage Theatre Productions
Haley Johnson, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Vintage Theatre Productions
Emma Messenger, “‘Night, Mother,” Vintage Theatre Productions

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Dane Agostinis, “The Full Monty,” Theatre Aspen
Jim Hogan, “Memphis,” Arvada Center
TJ Hogle, “Shrek the Musical,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
Tim Howard, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Town Hall Arts Center
Wayne Kennedy, “Fiddler on the Roof,” BDT Stage
Burke Moses, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Anna High, “Dreamgirls,” Ignite Theatre
Aisha Jackson, “Memphis,” Arvada Center
Alison Luff, “Little Women,” Theatre Aspen
Beth Malone, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company
Norrell Moore, “Anything Goes,” Town Hall Arts Center             

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
Brian Colonna, “Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes,” Buntport Theater
Benjamin Cowhick, “Good Television,” A & A Productions
Erik Edborg, “Naughty Bits,” Buntport Theater
Jim Hunt, “Charles Ives Take Me Home,” Curious Theatre Company
Tucker D. Johnston, “Waiting for Godot,” Ripple Effect Theatre Company
Michael O’Shea, “Driving Miss Daisy,” Longmont Theatre Company                  

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
Hannah Duggan, “Naughty Bits,” Buntport Theater                 
Billie McBride, “Benediction,” DCPA Theatre Company             
Billie McBride, “The Lying Kind,” TheatreWorks
Erin Rollman, “Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes,” Buntport Theater
Erin Rollman, “Naughty Bits,” Buntport Theater                            

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Constantine Germanacos, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company      
Damon Guerrasio, “Shrek the Musical,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
Ken Krugman, “Little Women,” Theatre Aspen
Andy McCain, “Spamalot,” Midtown Arts Center
Michael Wordly, “Memphis,” Midtown Arts Center

 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Alicia Dunfee, “Always, Patsy Cline,” Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
Annie Dwyer, “Young Frankenstein,” Town Hall Arts Center
Emily Jansen, “Spamalot,” Midtown Arts Center
Melissa Swift-Sawyer, “Memphis,” Arvada Center
Alie Walsh, “Little Women,” Theatre Aspe

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
“Little Women,” Theatre Aspen, Paige Price, Director; David Dyer, Musical Director
“Memphis,” Arvada Center, Rod A. Lansberry, Director; David Nehls, Musical Director
“Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes,” Buntport Theater; Buntport Theater, Director
“Spamalot,” Midtown Arts Center, Jordan Nichols, Director; Casey Cropp & Nigel Huckle, Musical Direction                               
“The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company, Kathleen Marshall, Director; Michael Rafter, Musical Direction

 Outstanding New Play or Musical
“The 12” Book and Lyrics by Robert Schenkkan; Music and Lyrics by Neil Berg; Richard Seyd, Director; Michael Mancini, Musical Direction; Produced by DCPA Theatre Company

“Appoggiatura” by James Still; Directed by Risa Brainin; Produced by DCPA Theatre Company                                           

“Benediction” by Eric Schmiedl. Directed by Kent Thompson; Produced by DCPA Theatre Company                                           

“Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes” by Buntport Theater; Directed and Produced by Buntport Theater

“Naughty Bits” by Buntport Theater; Directed and Produced by Buntport Theater

“Slab” by Adapted by Gleason Bauer and Emily K. Harrison from the novel by Selah Saterstrom; Directed by Gleason Bauer; Produced by square product theatre       

Outstanding Costume Design: Larger budget
Chris Campbell, “Memphis,” Arvada Center
Hugh Hanson, “The Liar,” TheatreWorks
Liz Jasperse, “She Loves Me,” Arvada Center
Paul Tazewell, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company

Outstanding Costume Design
Lisa DeVeux, “The Lion in Winter,” Firehouse Theater Company
Cindy Franke, “42nd Street,” Performance Now & Lakewood Cultural Center
Nikki Harrison, “Anything Goes,” Town Hall Arts Center
Linda Morken, “Mary Poppins,” BDT Stage    

Outstanding Lighting Design: Larger budget
Lap Chi Chu, “The 12,” DCPA Theatre Company
Donald Holder, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company
Vance McKenzie, “She Loves Me,” Arvada Center
Shannon McKinney, “Memphis,” Arvada Center

Outstanding Lighting Design: Smaller budget
Seth Alison, “Young Frankenstein,” Town Hall Arts Center
Brett Maughan, “Mary Poppins,” BDT Stage
Stephen D. Mazzeno, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Phamaly Theatre Company
Kevin Taylor, “Jerusalem,” The Edge Theater Company

Outstanding Scenic Design: Larger budget
Derek McLane, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company
Brian Mallgrave, “The Archbishop’s Ceiling,” Arvada Center     
Brian Mallgrave, “Harvey,” Arvada Center    
Brian Mallgrave, “She Loves Me,” Arvada Center         

Outstanding Scenic Design: Smaller budget
Amy Campion, “Mary Poppins,” BDT Stage
Douglas Clarke, “‘Night, Mother,” Vintage Theatre Productions
Jared Grohs, “Freud’s Last Session,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company
Christopher Waller, “Jerusalem,” The Edge Theater Company

Outstanding Sound Design: Larger budget
Craig Breitenbach, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” DCPA Theatre Company
Jason Ducat, “Charles Ives Take Me Home,” Curious Theatre Company
David Thomas, “Memphis,” Arvada Center                   
David Thomas, “She Loves Me,” Arvada Center

Outstanding Sound Design: Smaller budget
Buntport Theater, “Middle Aged People Sitting in Boxes,” Buntport Theater
Mercedes Gil & R. Todd Hoven, “Romeo and Juliet,” OpenStage Theater & Company
Wayne Kennedy, “Fiddler on the Roof,” BDT Stage
Ren Manley, “Jerusalem,” The Edge Theater Company               

 Additional Special Awards for Life Time Achievement and Outstanding Stage Manager will be announced in July.        

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