by DICK KEREKES
There’s one August event that actors look forward to all year. That is the annual Pelican Awards presented to the performers and volunteers of Players by the Sea. It is an occasion I look forward to as it is a celebration of the past year and a chance to meet many of whose is who in the local theatre world.
This year was truly a grand celebration for one of the most successful seasons Players has had in its stellar history. They produced three big musicals, Sweeney Todd, Urinetown and Hair, all of which were complete sellouts and truly artistic achievements. In addition their 2nd stage, The 75 seat Studio Theatre, played to mostly sold out performances for their productions.
The free event to theatre members and friends, kicked off at 7pm Sunday night, with Musical Director Samuel Clein on the key board and actors from the various musicals doing a couple numbers to warm up the audience. The Masters of Ceremonies, Lee Hamby and Zeina Saleme provided ongoing humor as they introduced each category. Slides from the productions, taken by Redgie Gutshall and Anthony Hodge flashed on a large screen to rekindle our memory of the various plays and the actors. This year’s Miss Pelican, Miranda Lawson, assisted the proceedings by presenting the engraved glass “trophy” to each of the recipients as they came up and made brief acceptance speeches.
A special award category initiated this year: Best Ensemble. The entire cast of the recently produced, attendance setting Hair, all received a coveted individual award. Having seen this production of Hair twice, I most hardily agree, the award certainly acknowledged the contribution of a remarkable cast and their efforts.
The on stage activities concluded with the cast members of Hair going on stage and singing “Let the Sunshine In” and most of the audience joining them in a rousing and emotion filled climax to a great evening. But it was not over, we all moved to the lobby for food and drink, with lots of great conversation and hugs and goodbyes to many of the cast members who are leaving for collages all over the country.
A committee of 20 nominated all the participants and then voted in secret. I am glad I was not on that committee and had the difficult task of choosing between so many excellent nominees. I do think the choices were excellent. See you next year Pelicans.
BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
BEST DIRECTOR – MAINSTAGE
Lee Hamby – Sweeney Todd
BEST ACTOR – MAINSTAGE
Derek Coghlan – Othello
BEST ACTRESS – MAINSTAGE
Holly Gutshall – The Price
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – MAINSTAGE
Greg Leute – The Price
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – MAINSTAGE
Tracy Olin – Othello
BEST STUDIO PRODUCTION Barbra’s Wedding
BEST DIRECTOR – STUDIO
Rebecca Williams – Barbra’s Wedding
BEST ACTOR – STUDIO
Jon Fine – Barbra’s Wedding
BEST ACTRESS – STUDIO
Barbara Colaciello Williams – Barbra’s Wedding
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – STUDIO
Steve Anderson, Jr. – Gee’s Bend
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – STUDIO
Laura Peterson – Doubt
OUTSTANDING YOUNG PERFORMER
Katie Sacks – Urinetown
OUTSTANDING CAMEO PERFORMANCE
Joanna Yeakel – Hair
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Matthew Jay Campbell – Sweeney Todd
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Dana Branch – Sweeney Todd
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Bill Ratliff – Sweeney Todd
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Jaclyn Hoffman – Hair
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL DIRECTION
Samuel Clein – Sweeney Todd
Niki Stokes Urinetown and Hair
BEST SET DESIGN – MAINSTAGE
Lee Hamby & David Paul – Sweeney Todd
Players by The Sea Theatre Awards – The Pelicans
by DICK KEREKES