Aurora Fox’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ leads local companies with 5 Henry Award nominations

Local theater aficionados tabbed the Fox’s production for awards in the following categories: Outstanding production of a musical, outstanding direction of a musical, outstanding actor in a musical, outstanding supporting actress in a musical and outstanding ensemble performance.

AURORA | The best-selling production in the history of the Aurora Fox Arts Center continued its stint in the limelight Tuesday after the Colorado Theatre Guild nominated the East Colfax theater’s 2016 production of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” for five Henry Awards.

Local theater aficionados tabbed the Fox’s production for awards in the following categories: Outstanding production of a musical, outstanding direction of a musical, outstanding actor in a musical, outstanding supporting actress in a musical and outstanding ensemble performance, according to a post on the Colorado Theatre Guild.

Director donnie l. betts — who prefers his named to be spelled with lowercase letters — and Musical Director Jodel Charles were named in the direction and production categories, and actors Leonard E. Barrett Jr. and Anna High were respectively nominated in the actor and actress categories.

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“Porgy and Bess” Through Jan. 1 at Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Tickets are $24-$37 303-73901970 AuroraFoxArtsCenter.org. Photo supplied

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“Porgy and Bess” played through Jan. 1 at Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Photo supplied courtesy of the Aurora Fox.

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“Porgy and Bess” Through Jan. 1 at Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Tickets are $24-$37 303-73901970 AuroraFoxArtsCenter.org. Photo supplied

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“Porgy and Bess” is showing through Jan. 1 at Aurora Fox Arts Center, 9900 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets are $24-$37. Call 303-739-01970 or go to AuroraFoxArtsCenter.org for more information.

Charles Packard, who served as the longtime executive producer at the Fox before stepping down from his post earlier this spring, said “Porgy and Bess” was the most successful production in the city-owned theater’s history.

The show, which ran from late November of 2016 until the very beginning of 2017, attracted 3,066 attendees and netted $62,829 in revenue, according to city budget documents.

The Fox’s fellow performing arts hub in the Aurora Cultural Arts District, Vintage Theatre Productions, was nominated for one Henry Award this year. Actress Linda Suttle was nominated in the category of “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play” for her role in The Vintage’s recent production of “A Time To Kill.”

The Vintage was a big winner at last year’s Henry Awards, winning in four different categories for its performance of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole.”

Dozens of Colorado theater aficionados play a hand in selecting nominees for each year’s Henry Awards, which are named in honor of longtime Denver theater producer Henry Lowenstein.

This year’s Henry Awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. July 17 at the PACE Center in Parker. Tickets can be purchased by calling 303-805-6800 or by visiting parkerarts.org.

RELEASE FROM THE COLORADO THEATER GUILD:

The Colorado Theatre Guild Announces Nominees for the Upcoming Henry Awards

12th Annual Gala Honors Outstanding Achievements by Colorado’s Theatre Community

 

The Colorado Theatre Guild’s 12th Annual Henry Awards will take place Monday, July 17, 2017 at the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue in Parker, Colorado. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and the awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m., followed by an after-party. Tickets are $23 for CTG members (limit 2 per person online with the code Henry2017), $30 non-members or $50 VIP. Tickets go on sale June 30 through the PACE Center website, parkerarts.org, or by calling the box office at 303-805-6800. 

 

Established in 2006, the Henry Awards honor outstanding achievements during the past season and serves as the Colorado Theatre Guild’s annual fundraising event. The awards are named for longtime local theatre producer Henry Lowenstein.  Nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by more than 45 statewide theatre reporters, educators and assigned judges.

 

Last year the Colorado Theatre Guild expanded the number of nominees to seven in each category.  The number of eligible shows for 2016-17 totaled 204 and the Guild was able to provide the minimum number of five judges to 190 of those shows.

 

Our nominees for the 2016 – 2017 12th Annual Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards are:

 

Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company

Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

DCPA Theatre Company

Lone Tree Arts Center

Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

TheatreWorks

Thunder River Theatre Company

 

Outstanding Production of a Play

“August: Osage County,” OpenStage Theatre & Company, Dulcie Willis, Director

“The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company, Davis McCallum, Director

“Constellations,” TheatreWorks, Joye Cook-Levy, Director

“Don’t Dress for Dinner,” OpenStage Theatre & Company, Wendy S. Moore, Director

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Thunder River Theatre Company, Corey Simpson, Director

“Game of Love and Chance,” TheatreWorks, Murray Ross, Director

“Tartuffe,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Lynne Collins, Director

 

Outstanding Production of a Musical

“Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts, Meridith C. Grundei, Director;

Gary Grundei, Musical Direction                                

“Evita,” Lone Tree Arts Center, Gina Rattan, Director; Max Mamon, Musical Direction                                

“Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company, Scott RC Levy, Director;

Sharon Skidgel, Musical Direction

“Monty Python’s Spamalot,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative, Kelly McAllister, Director;

Tanner Kelly, Musical Direction                                

“Motones vs. Jerseys,” Midtown Arts Center, Kenny Moten, Director; Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Musical Direction

“Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There,” Lone Tree Arts Center, Randal Myler, Director; Dan Wheetman, Musical Direction

“Porgy and Bess,” Aurora Fox Arts Center, donnie l. betts, Director; Jodel Charles, Musical Direction

 

Outstanding Direction of a Play

Lynne Collins, “The Drowning Girls,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Joye Cook-Levy, “Constellations,” TheatreWorks

Davis McCallum, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Matt Radcliffe, “The Elephant Man,” Springs Ensemble Theatre Company

Murray Ross, “Game of Love and Chance,” TheatreWorks

Corey Simpson, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Dulcie Willis, “August: Osage County,” OpenStage Theatre & Company

 

 

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

donnie l. betts , “Porgy and Bess,” Aurora Fox Arts Center

Meridith C. Grundei, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

Kelly McAllister, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative

Scott RC Levy, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Randal Myler, “Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There,” Lone Tree Arts Center

Gina Rattan, “Evita,” Lone Tree Arts Center

Nick Sugar, “First Date,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company

 

Outstanding Musical Direction

Neal Dunfee, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” BDT Stage

Gary Grundei, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

Max Mamon, “Evita,” Lone Tree Arts Center

Sharon Skidgel, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Jason Tyler Vaughn, “Murder Ballad,” The Edge Theater Company

Jalyn Courtenay Webb, “Motones vs. Jerseys,” Midtown Arts Center

Dan Wheetman, “Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There,” Lone Tree Arts Center

 

 

Outstanding Actor in a Play

William Hahn, “Burn This,” The Edge Theater Company

Kevin Hart, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre        

Sammie Joe Kinnett, “Game of Love and Chance,” TheatreWorks

Steven P. Sickles, “Le Bête,” OpenStage Theatre & Company      

Micah Speirs, “The Elephant Man,” Springs Ensemble Theatre Company        

Dan Tschirhart, “The Flick,” OpenStage Theatre & Company     

Adam Verner, “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” OpenStage Theatre & Company        

                                                                                                             

Outstanding Actress in a Play

LuAnn Buckstein, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre         

Carley Cornelius, “Constellations,” TheatreWorks

Denise Burson Freestone, “August: Osage County,” OpenStage Theatre & Company 

Kathleen McCall, “The Glass Menagerie,” DCPA Theatre Company       

Emma Messenger, “Misery,” The Edge Theater Company

Sydney Parks Smith, “August: Osage County,” OpenStage Theatre & Company           

Caitlin Wise, “Game of Love and Chance,” TheatreWorks

 

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Leonard E. Barrett, Jr. , “Porgy and Bess,” Aurora Fox Arts Center

Joshua Blanchard, “Cabaret,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Stephen Day, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company                                                               

Miles Jacoby, “Evita,” Lone Tree Arts Center

August Stoten, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative

Colin Summers, “Million Dollar Quartet,” Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Joe Von Bokern, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

 

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Jacquie Jo Billings, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Miners Alley Playhouse

Colby Dunn, “The Toxic Avenger,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre   

Sarah Groeke, “Cabaret,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Cecilia Iole, “The Little Mermaid,” Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Marissa Rudd, “Sister Act,” Midtown Arts Center

Tracy Warren, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” BDT Stage

Danielle Hermon Wood, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play

Nathan Cox, “The Tempest,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Rodney Lizcano, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Wesley Mann, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Owen O’Farrell, “The Tempest,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Hunter Ringsmith, “Equivocation,” Colorado Shakespeare Festival      

Triney Sandoval, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Corey Simpson, “The Tempest,” Thunder River Theatre Company

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play

Miriam A. Laube, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Carolyn Lohr, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre   

Leslie O’Carroll, “Silent Sky,” Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

Amelia Pedlow, “The Glass Menagerie,” DCPA Theatre Company

Christina Sajous, “Disgraced,” DCPA Theatre Company

Linda Suttle, “A Time to Kill,” Vintage Theatre Productions

Edith Weiss, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre      

 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

Brandon Bill, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative

Ben Hilzer, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

John Jankow, “A Christmas Story,” Midtown Arts Center

Matt LaFontaine, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Bob Moore, “Cabaret,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Nicholas Park, “First Date,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Kyle Ashe Wilkinson, “Titanic,” Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical

Jenna Bainbridge, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Joan Bruemmer-Holden, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

Charlotte Campbell, “A Christmas Story,” Midtown Arts Center

Anna Maria High, “Porgy and Bess,” Aurora Fox Arts Center

Rebecca Hoodwin, “Cabaret,” Lake Dillon Theatre Company

Carol Rose, “The Little Mermaid,” Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Megan Van De Hey, “The Toxic Avenger,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre   

 

Outstanding Ensemble Performance

“August: Osage County,” OpenStage Theatre & Company, Dulcie Willis, Director

“The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company, Davis McCallum, Director

“The Drowning Girls,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Lynne Collins, Director

“Game of Love and Chance,” TheatreWorks, Murray Ross, Director

“Motones vs. Jerseys,” Midtown Arts Center, Kenny Moten, Director; Jalyn Courtenay Webb, Musical Direction

“Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There,” Lone Tree Arts Center, Randal Myler, Director; Dan Wheetman, Musical Direction

“Porgy and Bess,” Aurora Fox Arts Center, donnie l. betts, Director; Jodel Charles, Musical Direction

 

Outstanding New Play or Musical

“The Book of Will” by Lauren Gunderson – Directed by Davis McCallum; Produced by DCPA Theatre Company                                           

“The Firestorm” by Meridith Friedman – Directed by Pesha Rudnick; Produced by LOCAL Theater Company

“Full Code” by David Valdes Greenwood – Directed by Stephen Weitz; Produced by Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

“The History Room” by Charlie Thurston – Directed by Pesha Rudnick; Produced by Creede Repertory Theatre                                           

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” Music and Lyrics by David Nehls, Book by Kenn McLaughlin –

Directed by Gavin Mayer; Produced by Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

“Lost Creatures” by Melissa Lucero McCarl – Directed by Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski;  Produced by And Toto too Theatre Company

“Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There” by Randal Myler – Directed by Randal Myler; Produced by Lone Tree Arts Center

           

 Outstanding Choreography

Mary Ripper Baker, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Joan Bruemmer-Holden & Amanda Berg Wilson, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

Jeff Duke & Stephanie Hanson, “The Little Mermaid,” Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Kelly Kates, “The Robber Bridegroom,” Town Hall Arts Center

Michael Lasris, “A Christmas Story,” Midtown Arts Center

Matthew D. Peters, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” BDT Stage

Kate Vallee, “42nd Street,” Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

 

In recent years the theatre community reached out and asked that we consider ways that allow our larger and smaller companies to compete, more appropriately, with each other. The Colorado Theatre Guild has created two categories, or tiers, for our technical awards. The breakdown is for productions, of larger and smaller scale, based upon currently established production budgets.

 

Outstanding Costume Design Tier 1

Camille Assaf, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Stephanie Bradley, “Game of Love and Chance,” TheatreWorks

Janson J. Fangio, “Enchanted April,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Sydney Gallas, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Clare Henkel, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Clare Henkel, “Tartuffe,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Lex Liang, “Shrek” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

 

Outstanding Costume Design Tier 2

Kari Armstrong, “The Snow Queen,” Bas Bleu Theatre Company

Buntport Theater, “The Crud,” Buntport Theater

Pamela Clifton, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre 

Judith Ernst, “The Wizard of Oz,” Candlelight Dinner Playhouse           

Tricia Music, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative

Jesus Perez, “The Little Mermaid,” Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Annabel Reader, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

 

Outstanding Lighting Design Tier 1

Charles R. MacLeod, “The Glass Menagerie,” DCPA Theatre Company 

Shannon McKinney, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Jon Olson, “The Drowning Girls,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Holly Anne Rawls, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Paul Toben, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Brian Tovar, “Frankenstein,” DCPA Theatre Company   

Mike Wood, “Constellations,” TheatreWorks

 

Outstanding Lighting Design Tier 2

Seth Alison, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative

Brandon Ingold, “August: Osage County,” OpenStage Theatre & Company

Sean Jeffries, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Sean Jeffries, “The Last Romance,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Jen Kiser, “Evita,” Lone Tree Arts Center

Sean Mallary, “Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage,” The Catamounts

Brett Maughan, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” BDT Stage          

                                                                 

Outstanding Scenic Design Tier 1

Paul Black, “Mamma Mia,” Theatre Aspen

Sandra Goldmark, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

Brian Mallgrave, “The Drowning Girls,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Brian Mallgrave, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Lisa Orzolek, “Disgraced,” DCPA Theatre Company

Christopher L. Sheley, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Jason Sherwood, “Frankenstein,” DCPA Theatre Company

           

Outstanding Scenic Design Tier 2

Shaun Albrechtson, “Steel Magnolias,” PACE Center & Inspire Creative

James Brookman, “August: Osage County,” OpenStage Theatre & Company

M. Curtiss Grittner, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Breckenridge Backstage Theatre

Sean Jeffries, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Sean Jeffries, “The Last Romance,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Lori Rosedahl, “The Flick,” OpenStage Theatre & Company

Kyle Scoggins, “Little Shop of Horrors,” Miners Alley Playhouse

                                                                 

Outstanding Sound Design Tier 1

Jason Ducat, “Constellations,” TheatreWorks

Jason Ducat, “The Drowning Girls,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Benjamin Heston, “Man of La Mancha,” Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company

Morgan McCauley, “Tartuffe,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Stowe Nelson, “The Book of Will,” DCPA Theatre Company

David Thomas, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Zach Williamson, “The Secret Garden,”  DCPA Theatre Company

 

Outstanding Sound Design Tier 2

Travis Duncan & Jeremiah Walter, “The Elephant Man,” Springs Ensemble Theatre Company

Carlos Flores, “Misery,” The Edge Theater Company

Sean Jeffries, “The Tempest,” Thunder River Theatre Company

Allen Noftall, “Evita,” Lone Tree Arts Center

Allen Noftall, “Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You Theatre,” Lone Tree Arts Center

Jon Northridge, “Million Dollar Quartet,” Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

Tom Quinn & Kenny Storms, “Murder Ballad,” The Edge Theater Company

 

Additional Special Awards will be announced in July.