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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Artie Snubs: Theater News

Egregiously overlooked, Dave Marciniak, whose performance in Tony Kushner's "The Illusion" wowed audiences at Road Less Traveled Theater



It's old news at this point, but when Julie Andrews coined the phrase in this article's title, it resonated (often with laughter) across the theater world. To recap for the very young, back in 1996, when Andrews received the sole Tony nomination for the stage musical adaptation of her hit film, Victor/Victoria, she made a public statement declining her nomination and resolving to "stand instead with the egregiously overlooked" company. This was unheard of. Can you even decline a nomination? What does that mean? When Donna Murphy eventually won that year (for the revival of The King And I), you had to wonder if she had Andrews to thank. Of course, nobody likes a sore loser, but ever since Julie’s famed statement, “Tony Snubs” have been a merry part of Broadway culture.

Matt Witten, egregiously overlooked for "Sweeney Todd" and "Speed-the-Plow" and "Hamlet"

And so, I present my 2019 ARTIE SNUBS! To snub is “to treat with disdain or contempt, especially by ignoring,” and while it is difficult to interpret omission from the Artie Nominations as premeditated or contemptuous – unlike the Tony Nominations, Artie noms are determined by blind voting, not discussion – every year there are surprising omissions. (There are also sometimes surprising inclusions, but that’s for another day). How it fell out; who cancelled whom; whose votes were split between two performances; etc. we’ll never know. You are sure to have other favorites, but working just from memory, work from the past season that was certainly worthy of mention includes:

Mary Craig, egregiously overlooked for "1776"
Mary Craig, egregiously overlooked for "1776"

  • Matt Witten for Sweeney Todd

  • Ricky Needham for Big Fish

  • Daniel Lendzian for Little Shop of Horrors

  • Joseph Donahue III for Murder for Two

  • Tom Loughlin for King Lear

  • Anthony Alcocer for Hamlet

  • Matt Witten for Speed-the-Plow

  • Kevin Kennedy for Speed-the-Plow

  • Peter Palmisano, The Undeniable Sound of Right Now

  • Gerry Maher for Sive

  • Eric Rawski for Fool for Love

  • Darryl Hart for After the Fall

Anthony Alcocer, egregiously overlooked for "Golden Boy" and "Hamlet," and Kate LoConti Alcocer, egregiously overlooked for "Much Ado" and "Lady Windermere"

  • Anthony Alcocer for Golden Boy

  • Loraine O’Donnell for Sweeney Todd

  • Na’Tania Parker for Purlie

  • Sabrina Khawaty for Pinkalicious

  • Chrissy Vogric-Hunnel for Ragtime

  • Melissa Levin for Parade

  • Kate LoConti for Lady Windermere’s Fan

  • Kate LoConti for Much Ado about Nothing

  • Candice Kogut for Fool for Love

  • Alexandra Watts for Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

  • Sara Kow-Falcone for The Illusion

  • Lisa Vitrano for The Illusion

  • Kristen Tripp Kelley for Sense & Sensibility

  • Renee Landrigan for Sense & Sensibility

  • Ann Roaldi Boucher, for Talley’s Folley

  • Michael Seitz for Silence! The Musical

Zak Ward, egregiously overlooked for "Late in the Evening: the world according to Paul Simon"

  • Michael Blasdell for Silence! The Musical

  • Dave Marciniak for The Illusion

  • Matt Witten for Hamlet

  • Chris Kelly for Hamlet

  • Adam Yellen for Hamlet

  • Mary Craig for 1776

  • Mary Kate O’Connell for 1776

  • Colleen Gaughan for Lady Windermere’s Fan

Gerry Maher, egregiously overlooked for "Sive"

  • Josie DiVincenzo for Once in My Lifetime: A Buffalo Football Fantasy

  • Eileen Dugan for Social Security

  • Lisa Ludwig and Don Gervasi for Same Time, Next Year

  • Anne Gayley for A Doll’s House Part 2

  • Josephine Hogan for Sive

  • Christina Foster for King Hedley II

  • Jenna Damberger, costumes for Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley

Joseph Donahue III, egregiously overlooked for "Murder for Two"

Of course, while it is fun to fantasize, I would be loath to deprive any of this year’s worthy nominees their Artie nod! Congratulations to all the actual nominees and Happy Arties to all! I would love to have my picture taken with the Artie losers on Monday at Matinee, because you are all winners.

In this week's Theater News:

The hilarious musical Disenchanted! will play MusicalFare’s Premier Cabaret, October 12th – November 2nd. Directed and choreographed by Michael Wachowiak, the musical will star the follow princesses: Amy Jakiel (Snow White), Brittany Bassett (Cinderella), Melissa Levin (Sleeping Beauty), Chrissy Vogric-Hunnell (Belle/The Little Mermaid/Rapunzel), Jetaun Louie (Pocahontas/Princess Badroulbadour/Mulan), and Ember Tate (The Princess Who Kissed the Frog).

While Second Generation Theatre’s Nine is gearing up for opening on June 14th with a stellar cast under the direction of Victoria Perez, preparations for the company’s next season are already under way. Based on the 1984 cult classic film, the rock musical The Toxic Avenger opens on October 24th, directed and choreographed by Doug Weyand, starring Bethany Burrows, Steve Copps, Jenn Stafford, and Raphael Santos. The season continues with Pulitzer Prize winner, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, directed by Kyle LoConti, starring Barbara Link LaRou and Lisa Ludwig (third woman yet to be cast).

The classic Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret opens June 12th, marking the first collaboration between Kristin Bentley as director, and Kelly Copps as choreographer. As announced before, Copps will make her professional choreographic debut in the Kavinoky’s production of Bridges of Madison County, which will star her husband Steve opposite Michele Marie Roberts, and Christopher Guilmet. Allan Paglia will music direct all the musicals.

And speaking of professional choreographic debuts, Lauren Alaimo is making hers in the upcoming Nine. Alaimo was on stage at Second Generation’s production of The Wild Party and was most recently seen in Musicalfare’s Fun Home at Shea’s 710 Theatre.

Alleyway Theatre’s 40th anniversary season, 2019-2020, will close (April 23rd – May 16th, 2020) with the world premiere of the musical revue Imagine the World Made Over, featuring songs from the nearly two dozen full-length musical written by Neal Radice (I had suggested the title Side by Side by Radice). Directed by Radice, with musical direction by Monica Stankowicz and choreography by Heather Reed, the show will star Tim Goehrig, Roger Griffiths, and Lauren McGowan. The show will also feature guest narrators who have worked with Radice during his tenure at the Alleyway.

Anthony Chase will be the Narrator in the costumed, dramatic reading of Marian de Forest's 1912 stage adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women. This event is presented by The Kavinoky Theatre and The Zonta Clubs of Buffalo and Grand Island and will take place this Saturday, June 1st at 3:30 p.m. at the Kavinoky. The reading stars Greg Gjurich, Sheila McCarthy (Marmee), Kristen Bentley (Jo), Leah Berst (Beth), Marie Costa, Kelly Copps, Ben Moran, Brenden Didio, Dave Hayes, Loraine O’Donnell (Aunt March), and Peter Palmisano. Prior to the reading, Chase will give a brief talk on Marian de Forest and famed Buffalo actress Katharine Cornell, who debuted as “Jo” in the play’s 1919 London production. Tickets ($35.00) available at the door.

Up next at O’Connell & Company, Memories & Martinis with Mary Kate O’Connell. Directed by Joey Bucheker, the show is a personal memoir of O’Connell’s life and career shared through a collection of anecdotes, stories, one liners, and show tunes. Kind of O’Connell at Liberty! The show runs June 6th – 23rd and will feature special guests.

James Cichocki will star in the one-man comedy Bright Colors and Bold Patterns to be presented by BUA for Curtain Up in Alleyway’s Cabaret, under the direction of Carly Weiser. Cichoki plays a guest at a gay wedding who becomes more and more furious about a stipulation on the wedding invitation: “Please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns.” Yeah, right!

Former Philip Carlson client, Brian Dennehy

Road Less Traveled Productions announced that Philip Carlson is joining their National Advisory Board. Carlson assisted RLTP this season in kicking off its Screen to Stage reading series by diving down the rabbit hole of Hollywood to obtain rights for a staged reading of William Goldman’s “The Princess Bride.” Carlson made his career as a talent manager and agent, working at the most prestigious firms in the industry. According to the announcement, Carlson was the first agent to sign such talents Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, Claire Danes, Idris Elba, Kyra Sedgwick, Adrien Grenier and Paul Giamatti and he has also represented Viola Davis, Kathy Bates, Brian Dennehy, and W.H. Macy among many others.

The current Broadway hit, Tony- and Olivier Award-winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will have its Canadian premiere at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre in fall 2020. And the Toronto production of Dear Evan Hansen, which had recently extended its booking period to September 29, will now play its final performance July 21 at the Royal Alexandra. The Broadway production celebrated its 1,000th performance in April.


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