Get it..? Ha, but no, the Prix Rideau Award nominations are out for the last year, and once again I kept up my streak of completely missing out on the nomination party. Which sucks, I bet there was food and pretty people and EVERYthing. Still, as with the two previous years, I won’t let a silly think like my absence stop me from benignly blathering about the list of nominees for this year, because people seem to enjoy it when I do that sometimes. And since I may-or-may-not have been a member of the Rideau jury this past year (BOMBSHELL), the list this time around is particularly close to my heart. And there’s some gooders in there, you bet!
For those not in the know, the Prix Rideau Awards are an annual, bilingual awards series honouring local professional productions in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. It’s a swell idea, and always makes for a pretty sweet party. I’m afraid I don’t have TOO much to comment on as far as the French list of nominees goes, as I saw a criminally low amount of Theatre Francais last year, it seems. Although I TOTALLY called ALBERTINE EN CINQ TEMPS, so yay Theatre la Catapulte! Kudos as well to the multi-niminated BOEING BOEING from Theatre de L’Ile, ABC DEMOLITION and II from Theatre de la Vielle 17, QUELQUES HUMAINS from Theatre Belvedere, and many more. I promise I’ll see more of your stuff this year, deal?
On the the Anglos! Here’s the tale of the final list of nominations, written as I hide out from an especially goofy blizzard:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival;
East of Berlin, GCTC;
The Players’ Advice to Shakespeare, New Theatre of Ottawa;
The Secret Mask, GCTC;
Vernus says SURPRISE, Emanate Productions.
A fine list indeed (and I saw them all, hooray!), and hard to argue with any of the included shows. If I were a rooting man, I’d have to go for my man Ken Godmere and VERNUS, and not just because I recorded some of the vocal track (but for sure partially). But with two shows nominated for the top prize, I’d say Lise-Ann Johnson is going out with a bang as GCTC Artistic Director.
Catriona Leger, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival;
Joël Beddows, East of Berlin, GCTC;
Patrick Gauthier, Live from the Belly of a Whale, MiCasa Theatre;
Jodi Sprung-Boyd, The Open Couple, Sasa Theatre;
John Koensgen, The Player’s Advice to Shakespeare, New Theatre of Ottawa.
And people were worried that Fringe wouldn’t get represented in the awards after the ‘Outstanding Fringe Production’ category was cut this year. First Vernus, now Open Couple! And Jodi definitely is worth the nod, folks, although she’s up against killer competition (including Joel Beddows, who won in both French AND English last year).
OUTSTANDING GIRL PERFORMANCE:
Kristina Watt, Extremely Short Play Festival, New Theatre of Ottawa;
Margo MacDonald, Fly me to the Moon, GCTC;
Michelle Leblanc, How it Works, Plosive Productions;
Kathi Langston, Mabel’s Last Performance, Abalone;
Madeleine Boyes-Manseau, The Open Couple, Theatre Sasa.
MADO!!! So excited for Madeleine…I’ve been singing this gal’s praises since SACRED SITES IN SUBURBIA way back at the Youth Infringement 2010, and finally someone has listened. Although she’s up against some genuine powerhouse actor-ladies, of which Michelle LeBlanc was a particular fave of mine in HOW IT WORKS. I’m also curious which specific play Kristina Watt got nominated for in the Short Play Fest. Also a big YAY to Ottawa Fringe, for clearly being a major showcase for female theatrical talent in Ottawa (and to the more mainstream theatre companies…start taking more advantage of all these amazing ladies the rest of the year round, ‘kay? Okay.)
OUTSTANDING BOY PERFORMANCE:
Pierre Brault, Blood on the Moon, Sleeping Dog;
Simon Bradshaw, East of Berlin, GCTC;
Todd Duckworth, November, Seven Thirty Productions;
Greg Kramer, The Player’s Advice to Shakespeare, New Theatre of Ottawa;
Paul Rainville, The Secret Mask, GCTC.
Yeah, I pretty much called this category ages ago, and it’s anybody’s game. Always rooting for good guy Simon Bradshaw, but Todd Duckworth’s smarmy president in NOVEMBER would make me pretty happy too. Heck, they were all amazing (Rainville is nominated for a French performance in ABC DEMOLITION too)…the only one missing is Gelinas’ CYRANO. Maybe 6 spots next year..? Kidding (sort of…)!
Ivo Valentik (Set Design), East of Berlin, GCTC;
Martin Conboy (Lighting Design), East of Berlin, GCTC;
Guillaume Houët (Lighting Design),Live from the Belly of a Whale, MiCasa Theatre;
John Doucet (Set Design), Live from the Belly of a Whale, MiCasa Theatre;
Snezana Pesic (Costume/Set), The Game of Love and Chance, Odyssey Theatre.
Always a tough category…well, okay, we all knew Ivo was gonna be in there, he always is! 🙂 And his towering masterpiece of a set for BERLIN will be hard to top (pardon the pun). I’m sorta rooting for Odyssey here, almost the odd show out against two each for WHALE and BERLIN. Also, damn lovely masks. Sorry to not see Jock Munro’s gorgeous lighting from SECRET MASK in here, tho.
OUTSTANDING NEW CREATION:
Melanie Karin and David Benedict Brown, Hip-Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos!, 411 Dramaturgy Co.;
Emily Pearlman and Nick DiGaetano, Live from the Belly of a Whale, MiCasa Theatre;
Brian K. Stewart, The Player’s Advice to Shakespeare, New Theatre of Ottawa;
Ken Godmere, Vernus Says Surprise, Emanate Productions;
Cory Thibert and Tony Adams, Wolves>Boys, May Can Theatre
Fringe, Fringe and more Fringe! Ya know I still gotta pull for Vernus, especially if he doesn’t nab the top prize…but huge kudos to May Can Theatre for getting nominated the second year running. There’s no stoppin’ those kids, I tell ya!
Melanie Karin (Playwright);
John Doucet (Set Designer);
Brian K. Stewart (Playwright);
Cory Thibert (Actor/Creator); Tony Adams (Actor/Creator)
Are you feeling appropriately shamed if you missed PLAYER’S ADVICE TO SHAKESPEARE last year yet? All those nominations aren’t by accident, folks. I for sure hope it walks away with something on gala night, and playwright Brian Stewart for sure is deserving…but Cory and Tony? If one of you wins this, you both have to go up to the podium, all right? You’re a package deal. Cony/Tory for the win!
BEHIND THE RIDEAU AWARD:
Rachel Dawn Wallace, Mabel’s Last Performance / My Name is Asher Lev;
Andrew Alexander, Snapshot;
Chantal Hayman, Snapshot;
James Fritz, The Player’s Advice to Shakespeare
Yay, this category actually made it IN this year! Although I don’t mind saying, there still should have been LOTS more letters written to the Awards committee on behalf of them hardy behind-the-scenes players than were received. Folks, don’t wait until the last minute to do this…you know you couldn’t make the theatre you do without your Stage Managers, techies and other backstage heroes! Make those letters a part of your show-to-show schedule.
So, good folks all, and all deserving of the win on gala night…which will be on April 21st at la Maison de Citoyen in Gatineau, with an ‘Under the Big Top’ theme, so bring your clown-repellent. I’m personally a little sad that neither of Evolution Theatre’s excellent double-bill shows got any love in the awards this year, tho at least [boxhead] will get a remounted kick at the can this May at Academic Hall. But that’s about all I got for this list…best of luck to all the nominees, and I suppose I’ll see you at the gala if I’m feeling a little more like a person by then, and if Nadine hasn’t split for San Fran yet. Here’s hoping! Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)