The Little Theatre of Alexandria tied with Herndon's Elden Street Players with the second-most nominations for the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors awards this year. The theater received 24 nominations, just one shy of the 25 that the Reston Community Players drew out of the 152 total nominations.
The WATCH award program was established in 2000 to recognize outstanding work at community theaters in Virginia, Maryland and Washington. The organization now has 25 participating theaters from throughout the region.
Each organization provides judges who see the work of other companies and cast their ballots in 28 different categories.
The Little Theatre of Alexandria's 24 nominations included seven for the comedy "Run For Your Wife" including Outstanding Play, Roland Branford Gomez for Outstanding Direction and Mark Adams for Outstanding Lead Actor. The
show's set also earned nominations for its design, construction, decoration and painting.
Six nominations went to both of the theater's musicals, "Das Barbecü" and "The Who's Tommy." "Das Barbecü" was nominated for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Choreography by Grace Manly Mechanic, Outstanding Featured Actress Kristen Jepperson and Outstanding Musical Direction by Christopher A. Tomasino, as well as both hair and makeup design. Tomasino was also nominated for Outstanding Musical Direction for "The Who's Tommy" which also drew a nomination for Outstanding Musical. Ryan Talbot was nominated for Outstanding Cameo in a Musical for that show along with nominations for Jack Stein for Outstanding Direction of a Musical and Ken and Patti Crowley for
Outstanding Lighting Design.
The Little Theatre of Alexandria's "Biloxi Blues" drew three nominations for director Howard Vincent Kurtz and featured actors Ken Clayton and Michael Pranikoff, and "The Gin Game" drew two nods for lighting and set painting.
TWO OF Port City Playhouse's productions received a total of six nominations. "Hauptman" was nominated for Outstanding Play, Gloria DuGan for Outstanding Direction, Michael Kharfen for Outstanding Lead Actor and Anna Hawkins for her sound design. Two lead actresses from "Collected Stories," Eleanor Morrison and Patricia Jordan are among the nominees for the Outstanding Lead Actress award.
"Arsenic and Old Lace" at the Aldersgate Church Community Theatre drew three nominations including ones for properties and set direction. Bonnie Jourdan was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress.
The winners will be announced at the gala awards ceremony which has become the social highlight of the year for community theatre. It will be held the evening of Feb. 26 at the Birchmere in Alexandria.
Brad Hathaway reviews theater in Virginia, Washington and Maryland as well as Broadway, and edits Potomac Stages, a Web site covering theater in the region, which is available at www.PotomacStages.com. He can be reached at Brad@PotomacStages.com.