Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hayzie Thoughts

DC's Drama Prom was last night, more formally known as the Helen Hayes Awards. They are exactly like the Tony Awards, if the Tonys were sometimes given to scrappy non-union houses like Keegan (who won big with their Rent), or to companies who present plays with no words in them (Synetic always wins the Best Ensemble award, but last night, had to share it with my buddy John Dow and his two cohorts in MetroStage's Heroes. Yea!).

Speaking of that Ensemble award, I have to say I hoped the two actors in Disco Pigs might pick up the trophy. I say that not just because one of those two actors was my acquaintance Rex Dougherty (I worked with him out at Wayside a while ago), but because I thought the two of them exemplified what a true ensemble is about. (And that shopping cart should have garnered its own nomination; it did everything but tapdance).

OK, this particular blog entry may be too DC-centric to be of interest to others who may stumble upon it, but I'm just too hot to care. My air conditioner went out yesterday, and will not be revived. We are suffering (some demented fools might say "enjoying") unseasonably warm weather this week, so as I write these words, it is 87 degrees. At 9:45 PM. INSIDE MY CONDO. No wonder I'm sitting in my underwear, drenched.

Oh, too much information? Let's get back to last night. I did not attend the city's largest cast party, though my tux was ready and I had tickets in hand. I just had a feeling I did not want to go, so I didn't. Of course, as always happens in my life, whenever I decide NOT to do something, I regret that decision. Paging Dr. Phil.

Anyhoo, I watched (or rather, read) the event on Twitter, so I was kept up to date on the winners and losers. I was really sorry, for example, that Marni Penning lost for her swell performance in Hysteria. (And at the risk of this entry degenerating into a "Why wasn't So-and-So nominated?" thing, why wasn't Bruce Nelson nominated? Or Jeff Baker? Or director Steve Carpenter, for that matter? Go here for my take on the show when I saw it. ). Marni is one of the area's most accomplished actresses, and after spending a lot of her career elsewhere, it appears she is settling here in DC for good. I've been her fan since I saw her in Steel Magnolias out at my beloved Wayside Theatre about a hundred years ago, so I look forward to her next local adventure.

I also was sorry to see cute little Nate Dendy lose his award, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, to his cast mate in The Fantasticks, Laurence O'Dwyer. I wrote about seeing that show here, and while O'Dwyer was a hoot as the hammy old actor, I though Dendy accomplished a more difficult task, bringing great heart and soul to a role which neither sings nor speaks. Ah well, I'm glad that Fantasticks, produced by Arena, won something. It was the strongest production of that chestnut I've ever seen (and I've seen more than my share).

I was also glad King Lear won something. In fact, it won several things, including Best Actor for Stacy Keach, Best Direction for Robert Falls, and Best Resident Production overall.

I wrote about seeing this riveting production here; I am sorry Ed Gero did not pick up a trophy for his Gloucester. Have I mentioned I saw his recent performance as Sweeney Todd? Oh, well, I'll put that on my list of things to drone on about in a further entry. You're waiting impatiently, aren't you?

The reception after the awards is always the highlight of the evening. The Internet has been abuzz all day about it, and pictures have been posted reflecting the usual Good Time Had By All. In retrospect, I wish I had gone. But instead, I sat here sweating in my underwear.

Oops, even more TMI?