Quote of the Day: We need our arts to teach us how to breath. Ray Bradbury

The point is, art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job. That was never its function. Art cannot change events. But it can change people. It can affect people so that they are changed… because people are changed by art – enriched, ennobled, encouraged – then they act in a way that may affect the course of events… by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think. Leonard Bernstein

It’s so easy to lose faith and become lost in all of the politics of the world. That’s why we need the arts. To sublimate our frustration and anger into something beautiful. Freud called sublimation a virtuous defense mechanism because it is in the arts that we can find our humanity. Kamand Kojouri

Martin Sola as Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote and Meghan Kreidler as Aldonza/Dolcinea in Man of La Mancha at Theater Latte' Da in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Allen Weeks

Martin Sola as Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote and Meghan Kreidler as Aldonza/Dolcinea in Man of La Mancha at Theater Latte’ Da in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Allen Weeks

The Twin Cities Theater Bloggers have been a united force for several years, now. This is the third season that I have been part of the nominations for awards for performances in the twin cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and their vast and excellent theaters. I don’t live in the metro, but I gladly drive to the city whenever I can to support the theaters and artists. Thank you to all the PR people who have invited me to shows. I admire all of you for the work that you do. We could have lifted up many more performances and performers. Here are the nominations for 2017.

Announcing the Third Annual Twin Cities Theater Bloggers Awards! Ten bloggers* participated in the nomination process and will be voting on the winners this week. Winners will be announced on Monday January 15 on our Facebook page.

Favorite comedic performance by an individual
– Christian Bardin – The Importance Of Being Earnest ( Four Humors) AND Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley ( The Jungle Theater)
– Eric Sharp – Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery ( Mu Performing Arts)
– Joy Dolo – Fiddler On the Roof ( Ten Thousand Things) AND Fly By Night (Jungle) AND Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. ( Frank Theatre)
– Ryan Lear – The Importance Of Being Earnest (Four Humors) AND One Man Two Guvnors ( Yellow Tree Theatre)
– Sally Wingert – Blithe Spirit AND Native Gardens ( Guthrie Theater)
– Sun Mee Chomet – Vietgone ( Mixed Blood Theatre Company)

Favorite dramatic performance by an individual
– Dame-Jasmine Hughes – Wedding Band ( Penumbra Theatre Company)
– Jane Froiland – Marie Antoinette ( Walking Shadow Theatre Company) AND On the Exhale ( Market Garden Theatre)
– Meghan Kreidler – Vietgone (Mixed Blood)
– Mo Perry – Nether (Jungle)
– Paul Brissett – Facility ( Imagined Theatre at Minnesota Fringe)
– Stephen Yoakam – Nether (Jungle)

Favorite musical performance by an individual
– Alexis Sims – Girl Shakes Loose (Penumbra)
– Jim Lichtscheidl – Fly By Night (Jungle)
– Martin Sola – Man Of La Mancha ( Theater Latté Da)
– Meghan Kreidler – Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da)
– Michael Gruber – Music Man ( Artistry MN)
– Randy Schmeling – Jesus Christ Superstar ( Ordway Center for the Performing Arts)

Favorite comedic performance by an ensemble
– Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (Mu)
– Lone Star Spirits (Jungle)
– Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley (Jungle)
– Native Gardens (Guthrie)
– One Man Two Guvnors (Yellow Tree)

Favorite dramatic performance by an ensemble
– Bluest Eye (Guthrie)
– Nether (Jungle)
– Vietgone (Mixed Blood)
– Watch On the Rhine (Guthrie)
– Wedding Band (Penumbra)

Favorite musical performance by an ensemble
– Fly By Night (Jungle)
– Girl Shakes Loose (Penumbra)
– In the Heights (Ordway)
– Jesus Christ Superstar (Ordway)
– Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da)

Favorite director of a play
– Anne Byrd – One Man Two Guvnors (Yellow Tree)
– Casey Stangl – Nether (Jungle)
– Lileana Blain Cruz – Bluest Eye (Guthrie)
– Mark Valdez – Vietgone (Mixed Blood)
– Sarah Rasmussen – Lone Star Spirits (Jungle)

Favorite director of a musical
– James A Rocco – Jesus Christ Superstar (Ordway)
– Joseph Haj – Sunday In the Park With George (Guthrie)
– May Andrales – Girl Shakes Loose (Penumbra)
– Peter Rothstein – Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da)
– Sarah Rasmussen – Fly By Night (Jungle)

Favorite music director
– Andrew Bourgoin – Jesus Christ Superstar (Ordway)
– Denise Prosek – Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da)
– Jason Hansen – Sweet Land ( History Theatre)
– Mark Christine – Fly By Night (Jungle)
– Mark Hartman – Sunday In the Park With George (Guthrie)

Favorite choreographer
– Alberto Justiniano & James A Rocco – In the Heights (Ordway)
– Diane Laurenson – West Side Story (Ordway)
– Michael Gruber – Music Man (Artistry)
– Regina Peluso – Dracula ( Collide Theatrical)
– Tamara Kangas Erickson – Grease AND Sister Act ( Chanhassen Dinner Theatres)

Favorite scenic design
– Anna Louizos – In the Heights (Ordway) AND Romeo And Juliet (Guthrie)
– Joel Sass – Hamlet ( Park Square Theatre) AND Paper Dreams Of Harry Chin (History Theatre) AND Red Shoes ( Open Eye Figure Theatre)
– Joseph Tilford – Native Gardens (Guthrie)
– Lee Savage – Nether (Jungle)
– Michael Hoover – Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da) AND Whipping Man ( MN Jewish Theatre Company)

Favorite costume design
– Alex Jaeger – Sneetches ( Children’s Theatre Company)
– Mathew J Lefebvre – Nether (Jungle) AND Wedding Band (Penumbra)
– Rich Hamson – Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da) AND Sister Act (Chanhassen)
– Toni Leslie James – Sunday In the Park With George (Guthrie)
– Trevor Bowen – 365 Days/365 Plays ( Full Circle Theater Company) AND Electra AND Fiddler On the Roof (Ten Thousand Things) AND Fly By Night (Jungle)

Favorite lighting design
– Barry Browning – Anna In the Tropics AND Nether (Jungle)
– Jane Cox – Sunday In the Park With George (Guthrie)
– Marcus Dilliard – Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da)
– Mike Wangen – Citizen (Frank) AND Immigrant Journey Project (Mu) AND Wedding Band (Penumbra)
– Paul Whitaker – Jesus Christ Superstar (Ordway) AND Vietgone (Mixed Blood)

Favorite sound design
– C Andrew Mayer – Nether (Jungle) AND Vietgone (Mixed Blood)
– Jacob M Davis – Henry And Alice AND Nina Simone (Park Square)
– Kevin Springer – Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da)
– Scott W Edwards – Blithe Spirit AND Christmas Carol (Guthrie)
– Sean Healey – Red Shoes (Open Eye)

Favorite play
– Dot (Park Square)
– Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley (Jungle)
– Nether (Jungle)
– Vietgone (Mixed Blood)
– Watch On Rhine (Guthrie)

Favorite musical
– Girl Shakes Loose (Penumbra)
– In the Heights (Ordway)
– Jesus Christ Superstar (Ordway)
– Man Of La Mancha (Theater Latte Da)
– Sunday In the Park With George (Guthrie)

Favorite new work
– Girl Shakes Loose (Penumbra)
– Memory Box Of the Sisters Fox ( The Winding Sheet Outfit at Fringe)
– Promise Land ( Transatlantic Love Affair)
– Red Shoes (Open Eye)
– Sweet Land (History Theatre)

Favorite theater company
– Jungle
– Theater Latte Da
– Mixed Blood
– Mu Performing Arts
– Ten Thousand Things

Favorite theater venue
– Gremlin Theatre
– Guthrie
– Jungle
– Ritz Theater
– The Southern Theater

*Bloggers from the following blogs participated in the nomination process, in which each blogger submitted their list of nominees. Results were tabulated and the top 5 (or 6) nominees in each category are included. Ties were decided by a sub-committee of these bloggers.

Artfully Engaging
Cherry and Spoon
Compendium – Minneapolis
Life in Revue
Minnesota Theater Love
Play off the Page
Single White Fringe Geek
Talkin’ Broadway Minneapolis
Twin Cities Stages

Also, several of the above bloggers have round-ups and top picks of their favorite theater experiences of 2017. Check them out!

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: Which awards shows do you watch, if any? How do you celebrate excellence in the arts?

Hits: 28