I am live at the Commodore Ballroom this evening for the 28th annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. Tonight the very best of Vancouver theatre will be honored for their achievements over the past year. From Best Actor to Set Design in both big and small production, all will be recognized at tonight’s ceremony.
I’m going to get myself situated in my private box seat, grab a glass of water, snap some photos and begin coverage around 6:45pm.
Update I just had the chance to meet Ryan Beil, who is nominated for four Jessies tonight (and you might recognize him from the A&W commercials).
I then caught up briefly with Rebecca Coleman who runs the best theatre ‘biz’ blog in town. If you would like to follow along on Twitter tonight, the tag is #Jessies10.
Update I believe the awards schedule is listed in the program so I’m going to fill in the categories first, then add the winners’ names once that award is handed out.
Update The President of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, Ms Camilla Tibbs welcomes everyone to the ceremony.
Recipient: Alessandro Juliani, The Miracle Worker, Playhouse Theatre Company
Quote: To the other nominees in the category, Alessandro says jokingly “better luck next time” and offers them the following advice. “Make sure that your mother is on the jury (it doesn’t hurt), and secondly, sleep with your Director. That also helps.”
Recipient: Peggy Lee, Queen Lear, Presentation House Theatre/Western Gold Theatre
Recipient: Naomi Sider, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Pacific Theatre
Recipient: Bretta Gerecke, Beyond Eden, Playhouse Theatre Company
Recipient: John Murphy, True Story
Quote: “Drinks on me.”
Recipient: Chris Allan
Quote: “I have to disagree, stage management is glamorous.”
Update Donna Spencer came out to talk about the following prize and said, “some say when we cut health and education we need to cut the arts. Well, the arts are health and education.” The audience roared with applause.
Recipient: Meg Roe
Quote: “I think I have to thank people who saw me as a Director well before I ever did.”
Update There’s a cute video interlude called “Own the Stage” playing. It’s a spoof on the Vancouver 2010 Olympics “Own the Podium” program for Canadian athletes. Comical tips on how to accept your award, how to speak into the microphone, who to thank, and how to be sincere.
Recipient: Bruce Kellett, Outstanding Musical Direction, Les Miserables, Arts Club Theatre Company
Quote from Bill Millerd, Arts Club: “[Bruce] transformed what was originally a 26-piece orchestra into a 6 piece band and you really didn’t notice the difference.”
Recipient: Company of after homelessness and Headlines Theatre, Outstanding Innovation in Theatre as a Contribution to Community, after homelessness/Headlines Theatre
Recipient: Alan Brodie & Kevin Lamotte, Beyond Eden, Playhouse Theatre Company (co- production with Theatre Calgary)
Recipient: John Webber, The Edward Curtis Project , Presentation House Theatre
Recipient: Lionel Johnston
Recipient: Kathryn Shaw (Studio 58)
Quote: “The best decision I ever made in my life was moving to Vancouver… …This community has been so wonderful and it’s been such an enormous pleasure to be a part of it.”
Recipient: Heidi Wilkinson, Carousel Theatre
Recipient: Meg Roe, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Blackbird Theatre
Recipient: Nicola Lipman, Black Comedy, Arts Club Theatre Company
Update Another parody on stage, this time it’s a take on Shane Koyczan’s “We Are” poetry from the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
Recipient: Craig Erickson, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Blackbird Theatre
Quote: “I really want to thank my wife who should be up here accepting a Jessie Award for raw heat… lookin’ good tonight.”
Recipient: Scott Bellis, All’s Well that Ends Well, Bard on the Beach
Recipient: Karin Konoval
Update There was a toast and a pause for those whom the theatre community lost this past year. The In Memoriam tribute included Babz Chula and Eva Markvoort (65 Red Roses).
Recipient: Kaylee Harwood
Recipient: Gordon Roberts, Musical Direction, A Year with Frog & Toad, Carousel Theatre
Recipient: John Murphy, True Story (r)evolution theatre
Recipient: Bretta Gerecke, Beyond Eden Playhouse Theatre Company
Recipient: Pam Johnson, Queen Lear, Presentation House Theatre/Western Gold Theatre
Update another spoof, this time it’s Intervention regarding the replacement of the gold Jessie with the acrylic statuette two years ago. Next, the critics presenting the next award arrive wearing A&W uniforms.
Recipient: antigone undone, Leaky Heaven Circus
Quote: “Thanks very much to the critics for criticizing us.”
Recipient: Sarah Rodgers, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Arts Club Theatre Company (co- production with Persephone Theatre)
Quote from Ryan Beil: “Sarah’s in Vietnam adopting a baby… … She would probably want to thank her husband who is with her getting that baby. Probably that baby too. Probably motha f*&kin’ me and motha f*&kin’ Zach Gray too.”
Recipient: David Bloom, Katrina Dunn, Mindy Parfitt Palace of the End, Touchstone Theatre/Felix Culpa/Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre
Recipient: Darren Burkett, Janet Gigliotti, Kaylee Harwood, Todd Talbot, Allan Zinyk, A Year with Frog & Toad, Carousel Theatre
Quote: Hilarious, they all said their acceptance speeches at the same time.
Recipient: Anthony F. Ingram, Frozen Shameless Hussy Productions
Quote: “I’d like to dedicate this to my dad Gary who fought so hard for me not to do this, and over the last few years has become one of my biggest supporters. He thanked me for showing him that theatre can open your eyes to the world.” He added that we need to stop saying “community” and start using the word “industry” so that the government will pay attention. “We are a theatre industry and we bring so much to this community in Vancouver.”
Recipient: Ryan Beil, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Arts Club Theatre Company
Quote: “I’m just glad I won one because I was getting a ribbing something fierce by that table over there.” Ryan continued and when he got a little flustered he also added, “I promised myself I wouldn’t get drunk.”
Update Now a musical break with comical theatre-themed lyrics to the tune of “Wavin’ Flag” appear on the big screens flanking the stage. “So hire us Max. So hire us Bill. So hire us Chris Gaze.”
Recipient: Laara Sadiq, Palace of the End, Touchstone Theatre/Felix Culpa/Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre
Quote: “I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the country where the women rock as much as Vancouver.”
Recipient: Elena Juatco, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Playhouse Theatre Company
Update Vincent Gale & Eric McCormack come out and start verbally abusing each other on stage, using the most profanity we’ve heard all night in a play fight. They then introduce the following award…
Recipient: A Year with Frog & Toad, Carousel Theatre
Recipient: after homelessness, Headlines Theatre
Quote: “Outstanding production doesn’t happen without outstanding production team.” “Thank you all so much for validating our work as legitimate theatre.”
Recipient: The Miracle Worker, Playhouse Theatre Company
Update The tables are being moved to clear off the dance floor as the party continues at the Commodore. I’m heading home to post some photos and rest my live-blogging fingers. Congratulations to the Vancouver theatre community…er industry… er community on such a fabulous year!