I am so far behind on my summer blogging I was going to take a pass on my self-proclaimed Calgary Musical Theatre Bloggers Awards (“The Lynnies”) this year, but since I announced when I launched them last year that this would be an annual award, I hate to give up so soon. Plus, it’s a fun way to honour the many musicals I enjoyed this past season, before the Fall season gets going. Unfortunately, I missed a bunch, including Spamalot, which did well at the CAT awards, and The God That Comes, that did well at the Bettys.
“The Lynnies” cover a broad range of categories which relate to the complete customer experience, not just the quality of the performance – both as a blogger and as coordinator of the Calgary Musicals+ Meetup Group which goes to most of these shows and more. I’ve kept some of the categories from last year, dropped some (mostly the “fun” categories where the winners are virtually a shoe-in (best and worst seats and websites, worst price-gouging, etc.)) and added a few more that I thought deserved mentioning.
So without further ado, we’re going to skip the nominations altogether and proceed with the first annual “Lynnies” (drumroll please).
Categories Continued from Last Year
Shows I Was Tempted to See Twice if I Weren’t So Busy – Or Cheap
Ghostbusted by Jubilations Dinner Theatre. Jukebox musicals based on popular songs aren’t normally my thing, but this one was a blast!
Hairspray by Storybook Theatre. I super production, full of energy. I just wished they’d had a dance floor!
The Last 5 Years by Storybook Theatre. In fact I did see this twice, because I liked it so much the first time around with JP Thibodeau and Madeleine Suddaby, and wanted to see in again with Sarah Irwin and Brandon Wood. I enjoyed it almost as much the second time.
Best Musical That Nobody Saw
The Last 5 Years by Storybook Theatre. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that nobody saw this – in fact one of the nights I went the entire cast from Front Row Centre’s Legally Blonde was there. But due to the fact that this show ran during the June flood, and is pretty much unknown outside musical theatre circles, they had more quiet nights than they deserved, considering the quality of the production.
Actor/Actress Who’s So Good I’d See Anything They’re In
JP Thibodeau (If I Weren’t With You, The Last 5 Years, Uptown Country Girls). OK, I lied. I would have gone to see Uptown Country Girls, just because JP was in it, but never quite made it, although I did send a number of other people (Sorry, JP :( )
Best Customer Service
Jubilations Dinner Theatre box office – once again, went out of their way to help my group and provide a credit when one of our members ran into difficulties
New Categories This Year
Best Supporting Actress
Katelyn Morishita as Paulette Bonafonte in Front Row Centre’s Legally Blonde. Great acting and singing. Hope to see her in bigger roles in future.
The disappearance of Summerstock, a troupe featuring high school students who until last year performed an annual summer musical outdoors at Olympic Plaza. The one consolation is that a number of those who appeared in their production of Legally Blonde, also performed in Front Row Centre’s version this winter.
Best New Venue
Beddington Community Arts Centre. Storybook’s new theatre is a nice, flexible space, with great acoustics. Most importantly, it’s not as far as you’d think. That’s a good thing, since now that Front Row Centre is moving there, those of us who love musicals will be spending a lot more time up there.
Hawksley Workman, composer/performer – The God That Comes (ATP). How can you top the quote “life is made immeasurably better by wine and rock ‘n roll” ?
Honourable mention: Max Reimer, director – Chicago, Stage West
Best Musical at the Calgary Fringe Festival
Nashville Hurricane by Chase Padgett (a follow-up to his popular 6 Guitars, which he also did as an encore performance)
Honourable Mentions: Fat Sex! Steve Larkin’s body … of poems and songs! and More Power to Your Knitting, Nell! by Melanie Gall
Stage West’s Chicago (as if there would be any competition!)
Feel free to share your thoughts or additional “fun” categories (best or worst) based on your musical theatre experiences this past season.