THE TICKETHOLDER AWARDS, 2006

THE 16TH ANNUAL TICKETHOLDER AWARDS, 2006

What started out to be an unremarkable year for theatre in Los Angeles turned out to be just the opposite by the end of the year, with a fall so saturated with remarkable work that even the heartiest viewers such as myself had no way to possibly see it all.  I am sadly of the opinion the growing problem with theatre here in our reclaimed desert environs is there’s so much of it available—and certainly not all the quality of the productions honored here—that it dilutes the audience base to the point where even the finest productions face horrendously small attendance and the bravest companies continuously struggle to stay afloat. 

I guess that’s better than living in Oklahoma City, where the best one has to hope for is an annual tour of Cats passing through town, but still the bizarre problem of too much creative output is quickly putting LA theatre in serious crisis mode.  What’s the answer?  More people willing to chose a night out watching something potentially amazing unfold live rather than watch the same Friends rerun for the 13th time—and our support to theatres who find it necessary to rent their space to poorly wrought vanity productions just to earn a few extra dollars to pay the rent. 

Meanwhile, let’s honor the best of the year just past:  

THE TOP 10 PLAYS OF THE YEAR 2006:

Winston J. Rocha and Moises Arias in 

1. Water & Power, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum

2. A Picture of Dorian Gray, Theatre @ Boston Court

3. Rabbit Hole, Geffen Playhouse

4. Grace, Furious Theatre Company at Pasadena Playhouse

5. Nighthawks, Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre

6. 7 Redneck Cheerleaders, Elephant Stageworks

7. References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Art/Works Theatre

8. Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32, Theatre @ Boston Court

9. A Fish Without His Flippers, Theatre of NOTE

10. The Cherry Orchard, The Evidence Room

RUNNERS-UP: The Cherry Orchard, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum; Doubt, CTG, Ahmanson Theatre; Eurydice, Circle X; Fences, Pasadena Playhouse; Huck & Holden, Black Dahlia Theatre; Inside the Creole Mafia, Evidence Room; Leipzig, West Coast Jewish Theatre / Strasberg Center; Nightingale, CTG, Mark Taper Forum; Pot Mom, Third Stage; Sides: The Fear is Real, East West Players; Souvenir, Brentwood Theatre; Stuck, DMS Productions, Meta Theatre; Without Walls, CTG, Mark Taper Forum;

THE TOP 10 MUSICALS OF 2006:

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1. The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

2. The Light in the Piazza, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

3. tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet
 
4. Curtains, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

5. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Broadway/LA, Pantages Theatre

6. The Break-Up Notebook: The Lesbian Musical, Hudson Backstage

7. Souvenir, Brentwood Theatre

8. Edward Scissorhands, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

9. The Marvelous Wonderettes, El Portal Forum Theatre

10. Hotel C’est l’Amour, Blank Theatre Company

RUNNERS-UP: Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse; Sweeney Todd, East West Players

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY, 2006:

Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett in 

  • Laurence Fishburne
    Fences
    Pasadena Playhouse

RUNNERS UP: Bill Brochtrup, The Real Thing, South Coast Rep; Laurence Fishburne, Without Walls, Taper; Tony Foster, 7 Redneck Cheerleaders, Elephant Stageworks; Alfred Molina, The Cherry Orchard, Taper; Eric Pargac, Grace, Furious; Brad Price, Grace, Furious; Mitchell Ryan, Leipzig, Strasberg Center; Don Oscar Smith, Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Tim Sullens, Orange Flower Water, Victory

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY:

Shannon Holt in 

  • Shannon Holt
    Complexity

    Circus Theatricals at the Hayworth

Mini Kennedy and Salome Jens (Right) in 

  • Salome Jens
    Leipzig
    West Coast Jewish Theatre / Strasberg Center

RUNNERS-UP: Annette Bening, Cherry Orchard, Taper; Susan Clark, Triptych, Matrix; D.J. Harner, Eric LaRue, VS. at the Elephant; Cherry Jones, Doubt, Ahmanson; Sharon Lawrence, Dialectics of the Heart, Edgemar; Maria O’Brien, Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Maria Tomas, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Art/Works Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

  • David Burnham
    The Light in the Piazza
    CTG, Ahmanson Theatre

RUNNERS-UP: Guy Adkins, Sweet Charity, Pantages; Vance Avery, The Black Rider, Ahmanson; Norbert Leo Butz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; David Hyde Pierce, Curtains, Ahmanson; Matt McGrath, The Black Rider, Ahmanson; Andrew Samonsky, tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet; Richard Winsor, Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

  • Judy Kaye
    Souvenir
    Brentwood Theatre

RUNNERS-UP: Christine Andreas, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; Tammi Tappan Damiano, tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet; Laura Marie Duncan, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; Heidi Godt, The Break-Up Notebook, Hudson; Mary Margaret O’Hara, The Black Rider, Ahmanson; Debra Monk, Curtains, Ahmanson; Elena Shaddow, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; Karen Ziemba, Curtains, Ahmanson

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY:

  • Darius Truly
    The America Play
    Theatre @ Boston Court

RUNNERS-UP: J. Todd Adams, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court; Michael Cassady, Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Ryan Eggold, Leipzig, Strasberg Center; Jason Butler Harner, Cherry Orchard, Taper; Justin Huen, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Art/Works; Lee Kissman, Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Alan Mandell, Cherry Orchard, Taper; Leo Marks, Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Jonathan McClain, The Glass Menagerie, Colony; Ray Santiago, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Art/Works

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY:

  • Adriane Lenox
    Doubt
    CTG, Ahmanson Theatre

RUNNERS-UP: Mandy Freund, Glass Menagerie, Colony; Jamey Hood, Bluebonnet Court, Hudson; Lisa Joyce, Doubt, CTG, Ahmanson; Kerry Michaels, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court; Samantha Sloyan, Triptych, Matrix; Amanda MacDonald, Without Walls, Taper; Ryan Templeton, Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Randi Lynn Weidman, Broken Glass, Victory

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

  • Vicki Lewis
    Hotel C’est l’Amour
    Blank Theatre Company

RUNNERS-UP: Melody Butiu, Break-Up Notebook, Hudson; Patty Goble, Curtains, Ahmanson; Laura Griffith, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; Hollis Resnik, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; Diane Sutherland, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; Deb Snyder, Break-Up Notebook, Hudson; Kathy Villanueva, Sweeney Todd, East West Players

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

  • Patrick Bristow
    The Break-Up Notebook
    Hudson Backstage

RUNNERS-UP: Donald Corren, Souvenir, Brentwood Theatre; Wilson Cruz, tick… tick… BOOM!, Coronet; Jonathan Hammond, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; Edward Hibbert, Curtains, CTG, Ahmanson; Michael McCormick, Curtains, Ahmanson; Peter Musante, Li’l Abner, Musical Theatre Guild; John Vickery, The Black Rider, Ahmanson

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A PLAY:

  • Huck & Holden
    Black Dahlia Theatre

RUNNERS-UP: Dialectics of the Heart, Edgemar; Eurydice, Circle X; A Fish Without His Flippers, Theatre of NOTE; Nighthawks, Douglas; Pot Mom, Third Stage; Rabbit Hole, Geffen Playhouse; 7 Redneck Cheerleaders, Elephant Stageworks; Sides, East West Players; Stuck, Meta Theatre; Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32, Boston Court; Water & Power, Taper

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A MUSICAL:

  • The Black Rider
    CTG, Ahmanson Theatre

RUNNERS-UP: Curtains, Ahmanson; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson; Hotel C’est l’Amour, Blank; Little Egypt, Matrix; The Marvelous Wonderettes, El Portal; Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse

BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE:

  • Lynn Redgrave
    Nightingale
    CTG, Mark Taper Forum

RUNNER-UP: Mariette Hartley, If You Get to Bethlehem, You’ve Gone Too Far, Whitefire

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY:

  • Jessica Kubzansky
    Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32
    Theatre @ Boston Court

RUNNERS-UP: R.S. Bailey, Shuffle, Shuffle, Step, Theater/Theatre; Carolyn Cantor, Rabbit Hole, Geffen; Bart DeLorenzo, Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Sheldon Epps, Fences, Pasadena Playhouse; Doug Hughes, Doubt, Ahmanson; John Langs, Eurydice, Circle X; Deborah LaVine, Leipzig, Strasberg Center; Sean Mathias, Cherry Orchard, Taper; Michael Michetti, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court; Stefan Novinski, Nighthawks, Douglas; Lisa Peterson, Water & Power, Taper; Jon Lawrence Rivera, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Art/Works; Damaso Rodriguez, Grace, Furious; Kiff Scholl, Fish Without His Flippers, Theatre of NOTE; Carrie Sullens, Orange Flower Water, Victory; Justin Tanner, Pot Mom, Third Stage; Claudia Weill, Huck & Holden, Black Dahlia

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL:

  • Robert Wilson
    The Black Rider
    CTG, Ahmanson Theatre

RUNNERS-UP: Roger Bean, The Marvelous Wonderettes, El Portal; Matthew Bourne, Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson; Scott Ellis, Curtains, Ahmanson; Daniel Henning, Hotel C’est l’Amour, Blank; Jack O’Brien, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; Peter Schneider, Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse; Scott Schwartz, tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet; Bartlett Sher, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson

BEST PLAYWRIGHT:

  • Craig Wright
    Grace
    Furious Theatre Company at Pasadena Playhouse

RUNNERS-UP: Wendy Graf, Leipzig, Strasberg Center; Jessica Goldberg, Stuck, Meta Theatre; Louis Jacobs, 7 Redneck Cheerleaders, Elephant Stageworks; Rajiv Joseph, Huck & Holden, Black Dahlia; Jonathan Larson, tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet; David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole, Geffen; Richard Montoya, Water & Power, Taper; Bill Robens, A Fish Without His Flippers, Theatre of NOTE; Carlos Murillo, Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32, Boston Court; Jose Rivera, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Art/Works; John Patrick Shanley, Doubt, Ahmanson; Justin Tanner, Pot Mom, Third Stage; Alfred Uhry, Without Walls, Taper

BEST ADAPTATION OR TRANSLATION:

  • Michael Michetti
    A Picture of Dorian Gray
    Theatre @ Boston Court

RUNNERS-UP: Matthew Bourne, Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson; Jake Broder, Lord Buckley in Los Angeles, M Bar; William S. Burroughs, The Black Rider, Ahmanson; Daniel Henning, Hotel C’est l’Amour, Blank; Jeffrey Lane, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; Craig Lucas, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; Charles L. Mee, Iphigenia, City Garage; Martin Sherman, Cherry Orchard, Taper; Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse

NEW DISCOVERY 2006:

  • Moises Arias
    Water & Power
    CTG, Mark Taper Forum

  • Aidan Schultz-Meyer
    Blood Wedding
    Theatre 40

RUNNERS-UP: Colter Alison, Arlington, Company of Angels; Alex Brown, A Fish Without His Flippers, Theatre of NOTE; Lance Lee Davis, Arlington, Company of Angels; Nicholas Gonzalez, Dialectics of the Heart, Edgemar; Jason Greene, Blood Wedding, Theatre 40; Patrick Humphrey, Blood Wedding, Theatre 40; John Keefe, Lord Buckley in Los Angeles, M Bar; Trever O’Brien, Rabbit Hole, Geffen; Robby Stehlin, No Mercy, 24th Street Theatre

BEST CABARET PERFORMANCE:

  • Jake Broder
    Lord Buckley in Los Angeles
    M Bar

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

  • Jonathan Larson
    tick… tick… BOOM!
    Rubicon at the Coronet

RUNNERS-UP: Gregg Lee Henry, Little Egypt, Matrix; John Kander, Fred Ebb, Rupert Holmes, Curtains, Ahmanson; Adam Guettel, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; Michael John LaChiusa, Hotel C’est l’Amour, Blank; Karl Lundeberg, Rabbit Hole, Geffen; Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse; Michael Roth, Nighthawks, Douglas; Lori Scarlett, The Break-Up Notebook, Hudson; Tom Waits, The Black Rider, Ahmanson; David Yazbek, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY:

  • Rob Ashford
    Curtains
    CTG, Ahmanson Theatre

RUNNERS UP: Matthew Bourne, Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson; Gail Conrad, The Break-Up Notebook, Hudson; Christopher Gattelli, tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet; Janet Miller, The Marvelous Wonderettes, El Portal; Jerry Mitchell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; John Pennington, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court; Ken Roht, The Cherry Orchard, Evidence Room; Jennifer Sanchez, Water & Power, Taper; Rodney To, Sides, East West Players

BEST SET DESIGN:

  • Robert Wilson
    The Black Rider
    CTG, Ahmanson Theatre

RUNNERS UP: Brian Sidney Bembridge, Eurydice, Circle X; Lez Brotherston, Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson; Tom Buderwitz, Equinox, Odyssey; Joel Daavid, Bluebonnet Court, Hudson; Donna Marquet, Nighthawks, Douglas; Michael Michetti, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court; David Potts, Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse; Daniel L. Wheeler, Leipzig, Strasberg Center; Sybil Wickersheimer, Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32, Boston Court; Michael Yeargan, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

  • Frida Parmeggiani
    The Black Rider
    CTG, Ahmanson Theatre

RUNNERS UP: Lez Brotherston, Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson; Tracy Christensen, Souvenir, Brentwood; Dianne K. Graebner, Eurydice, Circle X; Shon LeBlonc, Bluebonnet Court, Hudson; Garry Lennon, Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse; William Ivey Long, Curtains, Ahmanson; A. Jeffrey Schoenberg, Nighthawks, Douglas; Amanda Seymour, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court; Catherine Zuber, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN:

  • Rand Ryan
    Nighthawks
    CTG, Kirk Douglas Theatre

RUNNERS UP: Brian Sidney Bembridge, Eurydice, Circle X; Mike Durst, Huck & Holden, Black Dahlia; Howard Harrison, Edward Scissorhands, Ahmanson; Donald Holder, Without Walls, Taper; J. Kent Inasy, Leipzig, Strasberg Center; Jeremy Pivnik, tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet; Jeremy Pivnik, Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32, Boston Court; Rand Ryan, Sweeney Todd, East West Players; Robert Wilson, The Black Rider, Ahmanson; Steven Young, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court

BEST SOUND DESIGN:

  • John Zalewski
    Unfinished American Highwayscape #9 & 32
    Theatre @ Boston Court

RUNNERS UP: Acme Sound Partners, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages; David Beaudry, Triptych, Matrix; Mark Bennett, Without Walls, Taper; Robbin E. Broad, Eurydice, Circle X; Michael Hooker, Machiavelli, UCIrive Field Station at the Hayworth; Doug Newell, Grace, Furious; Robert Oriol, Picture of Dorian Gray, Boston Court; Paul Jamer Prendergast, Water & Power, Taper

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION:

  • Lisa Joe
    Sweeney Todd
    East West Players

RUNNERS UP: Bent Clausen, The Black Rider, Ahmanson; Brent Crayon, tick… tick… BOOM!, Rubicon at the Coronet; Brent-Alan Huffman, Sister Act, Pasadena Playhouse; Kimberly Grigsby, Light in the Piazza, Ahmanson; David Loud, Curtains, Ahmanson; David Manning, The Break-Up Notebook, Hudson; Ross Scott Rawlings, Sweet Charity, Pantages; Ted Sperling, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pantages

SPECIAL EVENTS:

  • Delirium, Cirque du Soleil at Staples Center

  • The Beatles’ LOVE, Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage, Las Vegas

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS:

  • Dominic Champagne, Direction and Conception, The Beatles’ LOVE, Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage

  • Ensemble Cast, The Beatles’ LOVE, Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage

  • Sir George and Giles Martin, Musical Direction, The Beatles’ LOVE, Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage

TRAVIS’ ANNUAL QUOTE OF THE YEAR:

My favorite quote of 2006 had to be seated in a theatre waiting for a show to begin when a gentleman came up to me and asked, “Excuse me, but aren’t you a semi-famous actor?”
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TRAVIS MICHAEL HOLDER teaches acting and theatre/film history at the New York Film Academy’s west coast campus at Universal Studios. He has been writing about LA theatre since 1987, including 12 years for BackStage, a 23-year tenure as Theatre Editor for Entertainment Today, and currently for ArtsInLA.com. As an actor, he received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Best Actor Award as Kenneth Halliwell in the west coast premiere of Nasty Little Secrets at Theatre/Theater and he has also been honored with a Drama-Logue Award as Lennie in Of Mice and Men at the Egyptian Arena, four Maddy Awards, a ReviewPlays.com Award, both NAACP and GLAAD Award nominations, and six acting nominations from LA Weekly. Regionally, he won the Inland Theatre League Award as Ken Talley in Fifth of July; three awards for his direction and performance as Dr. Dysart in Equus; was up for Washington, DC’s Helen Hayes honors as Oscar Wilde in the world premiere of Oscar & Speranza; toured as Amos “Mr. Cellophane” Hart in Chicago; and he has traveled three times to New Orleans for the annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, opening the fest in 2003 as Williams himself in Lament for the Moths and since returning to appear in An Ode to Tennessee and opposite Karen Kondazian as A Witch and a Bitch. Never one to suffer from typecasting, Travis’ most recent LA performance, as Rodney in The Katrina Comedy Fest, netted the cast a Best Ensemble Sage Award from ArtsInLA. He has also been seen as Wynchell in the world premiere of Moby Pomerance’s The Good Book of Pedantry and Wonder and Frank in Charles Mee’s Summertime at The Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Giuseppe “The Florist” Givola in Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui for Classical Theatre Lab, Ftatateeta in Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra at the Lillian, Cheswick in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Rubicon in Ventura, Pete Dye in the world premiere of Stranger at the Bootleg (LA Weekly Award nomination), Shelly Levene in Glengarry Glen Ross at the Egyptian Arena, the Witch of Capri in Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore at the Fountain, and Dr. Van Helsing in The House of Besarab at the Hollywood American Legion Theatre. As a writer, he has also been a frequent contributor to several national magazines and five of his plays have been produced in LA. His first, Surprise Surprise, for which he wrote the screenplay with director Jerry Turner, became a feature film with Travis playing opposite John Brotherton, Luke Eberl, Deborah Shelton and Mary Jo Catlett. His first novel, Waiting for Walk, was completed in 2005, put in a desk drawer, and the ever-slothful, ever-deluded, ever-entitled Travis can’t figure out why no one has magically found it yet and published the goddam thing.

www.travismichaelholder.com

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