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24th Annual Artie Awards

Playwright Tom Dudzick accepts the Career Achievement Award from Artvoice Theater Editor Anthony Chase and Dramatists Guild Rep Donna Hoke. (photo by Nancy J. Parisi)

The 24th Annual Artie Awards were uniquely efficient and engaging. As a huge crowd gathered in the Town Ballroom, they were entertained by jazz legend Peggy Farrell, making her 24th Artie Awards appearance, accompanied by Mike T. Jones.

Charismatic Charmagne Chi returned to join me as a co-host along with the palpably charming Alan Trinca. The two performed an energetic opening number that riffed on nominated shows. Astonishingly-talented Michael Hake worked his magic as music director to keep the show moving and providing a choir for the moving memorial tribute.

Once again, Jimmy Janowski worked the red carpet to make everyone feel beautiful. See his list of the 10 best dressed in this issue.

Thanks to Broadway legend Tovah Feldshuh for sending an acceptance of her Katharine Cornell award, by way of Tony Conte of Shea’s.

Thanks, too, to Career Achievement Award winner Tom Dudzick, who added great charm and humor to the festivities.

Photographer Nancy J. Parisi documented the proceedings. Nobody captures a social event like La Parisi. See her work in this issue.

Thanks are also in order for the Artie committee Margo Davis, Michael Desmond, Tom Dooney, Keith Elkins, Anna Kay France, Ted Hadley, Donna Hoke, Moira Keenan, Sheila London, Roger Paolini, Ben Siegel, and Toni Smith Wilson.

Detail-oriented Tom Dooney provided extraordinary administrative support for the voting and tabulation, organizing thousands of bits of data, checking in nominees and presenters, and pinch-hitting last minute surprises to avoid mishaps.

Doug Weyand arranged for all of the photography of nominees for the event, and continues to document the Arties in his popular Artie web archive at

Thanks to the presenters and to the performers who sang numbers from nominated shows. Thanks to Lorna C. Hill for suggesting the addition of performances from nominated musical ensembles, thereby adding supremely popular numbers from Gospel at Colonus and Adrift in Macao to the evening, courtesy of Ujima and MusicalFare.

Fred Pascolini donated his time to focus lights for the Arties. Thanks to stage managers Karen Nemeth and Mary Sheridan who helped us navigate the show in record time, and to the entire, and ever-shifting Artvoice staff, including Deb Ellis, who left us in good shape as we had to row the boat without her for the first time in years.

Finally, thanks to the theaters that sold red ribbons and to everyone who made a donation at the door to support Erie County Medical Center Immunodeficiency Services, including a whopping $3,500 check from MusicalFare, presented at the top of the show. As Matthew Crehan Higgans said at the event, we’ve arrived at a very different moment for HIV-AIDS than existed at the first Artie Awards 24 years ago. Yes, people can live with a daily regimen, but the need for daily medication comes with its own challenges, and there are still people in our community in need. Thanks to all.

2014 Artie Award Winners

Outstanding Production of a Play A Clockwork Orange, Torn Space Theater Outstanding Production of a Musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, American Repertory Theater of WNY Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings, O’Connell & Company Outstanding Ensemble of a Play A View from the Bridge, Subversive Theatre Collective Outstanding Direction of a Play Josephine Hogan, A Woman of No Importance Outstanding Direction of a Musical Jeffrey Coyle, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play Little Robert by Mark Humphrey Outstanding Actor in a Play Matthew Witten, An Iliad Oustanding Actress in a Play Josie DiVincenzo, Dai Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Play Diane Curley, Clybourne Park Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play Tom Loughlin, Hamlet Outstanding Actress in a Musical Wendy Hall, Buffalo Moon Outstanding Actor in a Musical Steve Copps, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical Arin Lee Dandes, Into the Woods Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical Dudney Joseph, La Cage aux Folles Outstanding Set Design Kristina Siegel, A Clockwork Orange Outstanding Lighting Design John Rickus, An Iliad Outstanding Costume Design Ann Emo, School for Husbands Outstanding Choreography Amy Taravella, Buffalo Moon Career Achievement Tom Dudzick Katharine Cornell Awards Steven Fales, Confessions of a Mormon Boy Tovah Feldshuh, Golda’s Balcony

See a full photo gallery from this year's Arties here, on Artvoice Daily. Read Jimmy Janowski's Arties Best Dressed List here. The full list of this year's nominees is available here.