26 Annual Artie Awards

BY ANTHONY CHASE

The 26th Annual Artie Awards, celebrating excellence in Buffalo theater, will be presented on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 710 Main at 8 p.m.  Career Achievement honors will go to Tony Conte, president of Shea’s, who is retiring at the end of the season, and who was influential in moving the now venerable Artie festivities to 710 Main last year. The hosts will be popular actors Charmagne Chi and Amy Jakiel, along with this writer, and music director Allan Paglia, stepping into the unfillable shoes of the late Michael Hake. 

Mr. Hake, who contributed to hundreds of theatrical productions in this region and served as the music director of the Arties for many years, was honored at last year’s ceremony with a Career Achievement Award. Actor Luther Nelson will also be memorialized.

Once again, this year, the event, which has long raised funds for various HIV/AIDS charities, will support the Immunodeficiency Clinic at ECMC.

The evening will begin with Artie winner Jimmy Janowski at 7:30 as he scrutinizes fashions on the traditional red carpet.  For the 26th time, jazz legend Peggy Farrell will entertain the audience as they select their seats.

Arties will be awarded in 19 categories.  In addition, outstanding debuts will be announced, and Katharine Cornell Awards for distinguished contributions by visiting artists will be awarded to Natasha Drena for her performance as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow at the Kavinoky, to Gary-Kayi Fletcher for his performance in Detroit ’67 at the Paul Robeson Theatre, and to Hollywood stars Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal for their performances in A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters at 710 Main this season. 

June 6th promises to be the most rocking Monday of the theatrical calendar.  Funky Monkey Nite Club on Allen has already announced its intention to host an “after party”!

This year’s nominees include abundance of new names, including some who are being recognized in their professional debuts.  See the complete list of nominees below.

ARTIE AWARD NOMINATIONS 2016

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A PLAY

City of Conversation, Kavinoky Theatre
Daniel’s Husband, Buffalo United Artists
My Name is Asher Lev, Jewish Repertory Theatre of WNY
Of Mice and Men, New Phoenix Theatre
The Shipment, Torn Space Theater

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL

In the Heights, MusicalFare / Raices Theatre Company
Joe Hill’s Last Will, Subversive Theatre Collective
A Little Night Music, Irish Classical Theatre
Ring of Fire, MusicalFare
The Wild Party, Second Generation Theatre

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE OF A MUSICAL

Granny Bird, Alleyway Theatre
Ordinary Days, O’Connell & Company
Ring of Fire, MusicalFare
Sisters of Swing, MusicalFare
Stompin’ at the Savoy, Paul Robeson Theatre

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE OF A PLAY

Appropriate, Road Less Traveled
El Hajj Malik, Ujima Theatre Company
House of Blue Leaves, American Repertory Theater
King O’ the Moon, Kavinoky Theatre
Quickies ’16, Alleyway Theatre

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Chris Kelly, A Little Night Music
Randall Kramer, In the Heights
Victoria Perez, Ordinary Days
Neal Radice, Granny Bird
Michael Walline, Ring of Fire

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY

Kelli Bocock-Natale, Of Mice and Men
Joyce Stilson, Quickies ’16
Daniel Shanahan, The Shipment
Steve Vaughan, Twelfth Night
Drew McCabe, House of Blue Leaves

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY

Robin Barker, Stompin’ at the Savoy
Bobby Cooke, How to Succeed …
Dominic Giambra, Carrie
Jon Lehrer, The Yeats Project
Michael Walline, In the Heights

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Richard Lambert, Harvey
Brian Mysliwy, Fully Committed
Greg Natale, Of Mice and Men
Eric Rawski, Daniel’s Husband
Larry Rowswell, Mark of Cain

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Diane DiBernardo Blenk, House of Blue Leaves
Kristen Tripp Kelley, City of Conversation
Kate LoConti, Outside Mullingar
Kathleen Macari, Wait Until Dark
Bonnie Jean Taylor, Nora

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Jacob Albarella, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Ricky Marchese, In the Heights
John Profeta, Joe Hill’s Last Will
PJ Tighe, How to Succeed …
Matt Witten, A Little Night Music

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Kelly Copps, How to Succeed…
Arianne Davidow, The Wild Party
Elena Victoria Feliz, In the Heights
Jennel Pruneda, Ordinary Days
Jenn Stafford, A Little Night Music

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Anthony Alcocer, A Little Night Music
Kevin Craig, How to Succeed…
Alejandro Gomez, In the Heights
Rolando Gomez, In the Heights
Zak Ward, Ring of Fire

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Nicole Cimato, How to Succeed…
Katie Clark, Ring of Fire
Pamela Rose Mangus, A Little Night Music
Victoria Perez, In the Heights
Melinda Capeles Rowe, Stompin’ at the Savoy

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Raymond Boucher, Compulsion Or the House Behind
Gregory Gjurich, End of the Rainbow
Shabar Rouse, Detroit ’67
Adam Yellen, Twelfth Night
Tom Zindle, My Name is Asher Lev

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Annette Christian, Detroit ’67
Lisa Ludwig, Judgment at Nuremberg
Aleks Malejs, City of Conversation
Anne Hartley Pfohl, Daniel’s Husband
Danica Riddick, Farragut North

EMANUEL FRIED AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY

Donna Hoke, Safe
Bella Poynton, Speed of Light
Neal Radice, Granny Bird
Gary Earl Ross, Mark of Cain
Todd Warfield, Load More Guys

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN

Paul Bostaph, Of Mice and Men
Dyan Burlingame, Speed of Light
David King, Both Your Houses
Chris Schenk, In the Heights
Kristina Siegel, The Shipment

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

Kelly Copps, The Wild Party
Kari Drozd, How to Succeed
Lise Christiansen Harty, A Little Night Music
Benjamin Streeter, City of Conversation
Jessica Wegrzyn, The Yeats Project

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN

Brian Cavanagh, Both Your Houses
Chris Cavanagh, Judgment at Nuremberg
Brian Cavanagh, The Yeats Project
John Rickus, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Patty Rihn, Nora

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT

Tony Conte

KATHARINE CORNELL AWARD WINNERS

Natasha Drena
Gary-Kayi Fletcher
Ali MacGraw
Ryan O’Neal