The awards recognize the breadth and quality of theatrical performance in the Tacoma area. Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2, from Lakewood Playhouse, is a big winner this year.
With a predominant regional focus on Seattle, oftentimes good theatre in the south end gets overlooked. Three dedicated theatre-goers, who together comprise the nominators for South Sound Stage Excellence, set out to change that.
The three — Kim Hastings, an arts writer; his wife, Jeri; and a participant who prefers anonymity — commit to seeing a ton of theatre in and around Pierce County, to help them make informed decisions among the many south end shows. The trio reports they’ve reviewed an impressive 184 shows over their four years.
The South Sound group sees every show at each of the seven theatres they refer to as their “Core Seven” — Bainbridge Performing Arts, Centerstage, Dukesbay Productions, Lakewood Playhouse, Paradise Theatre, Tacoma Little Theatre, and Tacoma Musical Playhouse — along with occasional shows from other companies nearby, including Auburn Community Players, Bremerton Community Theatre, and The Changing Scene Theatre Northwest. The trio reports they’ve reviewed 184 shows over their four-year run.
The result is the annual South Sound Stage Excellence Awards, unveiled in stages over the past month or so. The 2019 nominees for each category, with winners in bold, are below.
Best Theatre for Young Audiences Show
Curious George, Tacoma Musical Playhouse Family Theater
The Velveteen Rabbit, Lakewood Playhouse/Lakewood Institute of Theatre
Stinky Kids, The Musical, Tacoma Musical Playhouse Family Theater
How I Became a Pirate, Tacoma Musical Playhouse Family Theater
Best Supporting Actress
Maggie Barry as Sophie in Mamma Mia, Lakewood Playhouse
Deanna Martinez as Gothel in Rapunzel, Centerstage
Kerrie Thornton as Marianne Angelle in The Revolutionists, Bainbridge Performing Arts
Madelyn Bjorn as Katherine Plumber in Newsies, Paradise Theatre
Laurie Sifford as Mother Miriam Ruth in Agnes of God, Dukesbay Productions
Best Supporting Actor
Howy Howard as Les in Newsies, Tacoma Musical Playhouse
W. Scott Pinkston as Roy Cohn/Angel of Antarctica in Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2, Lakewood Playhouse
Ton L. Williams as Belize/Angel of Oceana in Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2, Lakewood Playhouse
Kyle Sinclair as Franz Liebkind in The Producers, Lakewood Playhouse
Tom Birkeland as Edward P. Mitchell in in Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, Lakewood Playhouse
Linda Palacios as Donna in Mamma Mia!, Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Lesley Niemi as Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Paradise Theatre
Annie Katica as Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House, Tacoma Little Theatre
Aya Hashiguchi as Sumi Washngton in Yohen, Dukesbay Productions
Maria Valenzuela as Dr. Martha Livingstone in Agnes of God, Dukesbay Productions
Jake Atwood as Jack Kelly in Newsies, Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Jason Quisenberry as Louis Ironson/Angel of Australia in Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2, Lakewood Playhouse
Drew Brates as Eugene in Brighton Beach Memoirs, Lakewood Playhouse
Michael Drake as Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein, Paradise Theatre
Andrew Fry as Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge the Musical, Tacoma Little Theatre
Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2, Lakewood Playhouse
Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, Lakewood Playhouse
As You Like It, Bainbridge Performing Arts
Agnes of God, Dukesbay Productions
Newsies, Tacoma Musical Playhouse