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Philadelphia’s 2010 Barrymore Awards at the Walnut Theatre

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Barrymore AwardsPhilly theater basks in its own glory for the night as the 16th annual Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre took place on Monday, October 4 at the Walnut Street Theatre. Presented by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, the black-tie ceremony was directed by Karen DiLossi. The host for the evening was the colorful Fran Prisco who was also a nominee as Philadelphia celebrated the work of local theatre artists as well as the region’s theatrical offerings with 27 awards. 

Highlights of some of the award recipients were The Light in the Piazza at Philadelphia Theatre Company, and Wilma Theater's Becky Shaw for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical and Outstanding Overall Production of a Play. Both productions also garnered the highest number of wins in their respective Musical and Play categories. 

Prisco kept the night lively by presenting the top three winners of the Theater Alliances’ “Casting Couch” event; A traveling red couch set up in varies familiar Philly spots interviewing everyday Philly folks about what the “get” from theater. Winners appeared on stage at the Barrymores and will be featured on various billboards around the city in support of Philadelphia’s arts programs. 

Other top theater honors went out to Joe Calarco, Outstanding Direction of a Musical, Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical to Sherri L. Edelen, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical to Matthew Scott, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical to Whitney Bashor, and Outstanding Lighting Design to R. Lee Kennedy for Light in the Piazza. 

Barrymore AwardsThe Wilma Theater’s Becky Shaw topped the awards in the play category with five wins: Outstanding Overall Production of a Play, Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play for Anne Kauffman, Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play for Jeremy Bobb, and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for Brooke Bloom

Walnut Street Theatre captured two awards for Fiddler on the Roof (Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical to Mark Jacoby and Outstanding Costume Design to Colleen Grady) as did Lantern Theater Company for The Breath of Life (Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play to Cheryl Williams and Outstanding Original Music to Christopher Colucci.) 

Peter DeLaurier’s performance in King Lear earned him the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play award for The People’s Light & Theatre Company’s singular win. David P. Gordon won Outstanding Set Design for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie at Arden Theatre Company. B. Someday Productions received the Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service Award for their innovative education program, Of Mythic Proportions. 

Philanthropists Ted and Stevie Wolf received the Lifetime Achievement Award, given in recognition of an artist or patron who has devoted his or her time, talent and energy to making a significant impact on the cultural landscape of Greater Philadelphia. 

Following the awards ceremony all in attendance were invited to the gala at the Ballroom at the Ben, where I had the opportunity to speak with several nominees and winners including Mark Jacoby, Paul Schoeffler both honored from Walnut Street productions as well as Charles Pistone a nominee from Light in the Piazza. Pistone, a Broadway actor living in the New York area was “so impressed with his experience in Philly and the passion of the Philadelphia community in support of the Arts.” I couldn’t agree more!

The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia strengthens and leads the region’s richly diverse theatre community, by promoting awareness and serving as a resource for information, professional development and advocacy. 

For a complete list of the Barrymore nominees and winners visit: http://www.theatrealliance.org

Photos by N. Hoving.