Talent and Neon Burn Bright at Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards

by Jacob Coakley
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The teams behind the Outstanding Productions winners at the 2015 Valley Awards. Left to right: Douglas Baker, director of Mary Poppins, Audience Choice; members of the A Public Fit team, Foxfinder, Production – Play; Ayler Evan and Toby McEvoy for Shrek, Production – Musical.The 2015 Valley Theatre Awards celebrated the year’s best theatre in the heart of fabulous, neon-filled Las Vegas

The 2015 Valley Awards played to a sold-out Inspire Theatre in Downtown Las Vegas Monday, July 20, and the riotous crowd cheered along as Las Vegas honored the outstanding work from the 2014-2015 theatre season. Signature Productions’ “practically perfect” Mary Poppins won the Audience Choice Valley Award. Foxfinder, produced by A Public Fit, took home the Valley Award for Outstanding Production – Play. And Shrek the Musical, from Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatricals, gave the green ogre one less reason to be grumpy, winning Outstanding Production – Musical. In total, 20 different awards were bestowed, highlighting the impressive talent on display on stages all over Las Vegas.

“Throughout the evening I found myself laughing, cheering and getting chills from all the talent in that room,” said Jacob Coakley, director of the Valley Theatre Awards. “I am humbled by what the Valley Awards have come to mean for this community, and am excited to see what all of these amazing artists have in store for us in the year to come.”

Jim Sohre once again presided over the awards, guiding the performers and presenters through the evening and Vanessa Coleman acted as host. Presenters included Myron Martin and Paul Beard from the Smith Center; Barry Brisco from Puppetry of the Penis; journalist and playwright Paul Atreides; Jan Craddock, publisher of BLVDS LV magazine; Loren Becker from Zappos; and Benjamin Loewy and Maxim Lardent from the LVTAPS podcast, who started the ceremony with several mock awards, garnering big laughs.

Performers from all the nominated musicals also dazzled the crowd, including both of the Mary’s from Mary Poppins singing a medley of “Practically Perfect” and “A Spoonful of Sugar”; Ayler Evans and Amanda Kaiser, who started the show with a rendition of “I Think I Got You Beat” from Shrek the Musical; Kirstin Maki singing “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret; and Sandra Huntsman delighting the crowd while riffing off an unintended (but apt) technical glitch with “What Ever Happened To My Part?” from Spamalot.

Other performances included “Carol of the Dicks” from Poor Richard’s Players; and Ayler Evans’ rendition of “Sensitive Song” from Cops, the Musical, which will be a part of the continuing “Flops” cabaret series at the Onyx Theatre. Performers from currently running Valley Recommended shows also took the stage, with Amanda Kraft singing “Spanish Rose” from Bye Bye Birdie (currently playing at Super Summer Theatre) and the cast of Las Vegas Little Theatre’s Avenue Q closing out the performances with “If You Were Gay.”

Here, then, is the complete list of nominees for the 2015 Valley Awards, with the winners of each category in bold.

2015 Valley Awards Nominees and Winners
(Winners in Bold)

Production – Play
Bug, Cockroach Theatre
Foxfinder, A Public Fit
Motel, Table 8 Productions
Mrs. Mannerly, Las Vegas Little Theatre
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Las Vegas Little Theatre

Production – Musical
Cabaret, Off-Strip Productions
Mary Poppins, Signature Productions
Shrek the Musical, Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatricals
Spamalot, Super Summer Theatre and PS Productions

Audience Choice
Mary Poppins, Signature Productions


Director – Play
Troy Heard, Arsenic and Old Lace
Troy Heard and Amanda Morgan, Motel
Walter Niejadlik, Mrs. Mannerly
Aaron Oetting and Will Adamson, Bug
Ann Marie Pereth, Foxfinder

Director – Musical
Douglas Baker, Mary Poppins
Erik Ball, Shrek the Musical
Brandon Burk, Cabaret
Philip Shelburne, Spamalot

Actor in a Principal Role – Play
Timothy Cummings, Foxfinder
Michael Blair, Mrs. Mannerly
Levi Fackrell, Bug
Christopher Brown, Foxfinder
Cory Benway, Four Dogs and a Bone

Actor in a Principal Role – Musical
Kevin Bleuer, Mary Poppins
Coree Davis, Shrek the Musical
Ayler Evan, Shrek the Musical
Cory Goble, Cabaret
Glenn Heath, Spamalot

Actress in a Principal Role – Play
Gillen Brey, Mrs. Mannerly

Sabrina Cofield, Bug
Brenna Folger, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche
Shelley Lynn, Foxfinder
Amy Solomon, Stage Kiss

Actress in a Principal Role – Musical
Lynsey Fullam, Mary Poppins
Kayla Hamblen, Mary Poppins
Amanda Kaiser, Shrek the Musical
Kirstin Maki, Cabaret

Actor in a Supporting Role – Play
Joe Basso, Motel

Arles Estes, A Dick Johnson Christmas Carol
Bob Gratrix, Motel
Ryan Hess, Bug
Joe Hynes, Arsenic and Old Lace

Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical (tie)
Lou De Meis, Cabaret
Scott Gibson-Uebele, Spamalot
Steve Huntsman, Spamalot
Ben Loewy, Spamalot
Jordan Mazzocato, Shrek the Musical

Actress in a Supporting Role – Play
Tressa Bern, Bug
Kim Scott Faubel, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche
Amanda Kraft, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche
Ginger Lanier, Foxfinder
Alexandria Lee, Motel

Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical
Jen Bacigalupi, Shrek the Musical
Joy Demain, Cabaret
Kady Heard, Shrek the Musical
Sandra Huntsman, Spamalot
Mary Beth Zentner, Mary Poppins

Best Ensemble – Play
Foxfinder, A Public Fit
Motel, Table 8 Productions
Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Poor Richard's Players
A Dick Johnson Christmas Carol, Poor Richard's Players
Bug, Cockroach Theatre

Best Ensemble – Musical
Cabaret, Off-Strip Productions
Mary Poppins, Signature Productions
Shrek the Musical, Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatricals
Spamalot, Super Summer Theatre and PS Productions

Choreography
Christine Harper and Christian Escobar, Shrek the Musical
Olivia Hernando, Cabaret
Greg Kata, Spamalot
Ashley Oblad, Mary Poppins

Scenic Design
John Gallagher, Bug
Steve Huntsman, Mary Poppins
Ron Lindblom, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Rachel Gordon Smallwood, Foxfinder
Jeffrey Weber, Arsenic and Old Lace

Lighting Design
Ginny Adams, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Erika Courtney , Mary Poppins
Elizabeth Kline, Bug
Steven Mack, Arsenic and Old Lace
Josh Wroblewski, Foxfinder

Costume Design
Erik Ball, Shrek the Musical

Sandra Huntsman, Spamalot
Kehler Relick, Arsenic and Old Lace
Mariya Radeva-Nedyalkova, Foxfinder
Douglas Baker and Bob Lov, Mary Poppins

Sound Design
Kat Gonzalez, Spamalot
Kat Gonzales, Shrek the Musical
John McClaine, Bug
Steel Wallis, Mary Poppins
Steven Zeller, Foxfinder
 

For more info about the Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards, visit www.lasvegasvalleys.com