Saturday, May 28, 2011

Big Winners at the BRAVO! Awards 2010!

I have to give a biiiiiiig congrats to a couple of my friends who have been honoured by nominations and awards for their outstanding work in the Brampton arts community - recognized every year by the BRAVO! Awards, hosted by the Brampton Arts Council!  The BRAVO! Awards are part of a development and recognition program to support the arts in Brampton, supported and sponsored by the Brampton Arts Council.  Theatre and music productions are professionally adjudicated every year, resulting in this years' nominations and winners.  Congrats to my friends for the following honours!

Outstanding Technical Achievement in Set and/or Props
"For a sharp attention to detail, making an unremarkable place remarkable and fun, Rose Brown and Klaas Westerhof for set design on Peel Panto Player's production of Whose Wives Are They Anyway?"  Excellent work!  I had a chance to work with both Klaas and Rose in set production work in Brampton Live Theatre's And Then There Were None ..., working as a set designer and dresser.  Looks like I worked with the best!  Congrats to you both!

Outstanding Concert Performance - Solo/Small Ensemble
Congrats to my friend and colleague Gayle Ackroyd for her solid performances with the Brampton Folk Club and her nomination in this category!  I've worked with Gayle at Long & McQuade Musical Instruments in Brampton, where she currently is a vocal teacher in the lesson centre.  Her powerful performances get me every time, and her guitar playing is "incindiary ... incindery ... way to go!"  I've had the honour and privilege to jam with her a few times at Tracks Brew Pub in downtown Brampton, where you just might catch her on Wednesday nights with her Gibson GT in candy apple red and gold hardware ... drooooool ... sorry.  It's a really awesome guitar.  Congrats to my friend, and many more successes to come!  Come check out her site and the rest of her music - you won't be disappointed!    

Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Supporting Role
"For a memorable piece of character acting that remains vivid months later, Margaret Argall as Betty Blast in Brampton Music Theatre’s production of Footloose, the Musical."  This isn't the first time the genius of Marg Argall's talent has been recognized, nominated in the ACT-CO Awards for the Drama Adjudicator's First-Timer Director's Award!  I remember her first time acting on stage in T. Gregory Argall's Assassin Over Teakettle in the Bramalea Backstage Drama Festival many years ago, receiving honours for her performance!  I'd also like to take a moment to congratulate Litisha Perez for her nomination in the same category for her portrayal of Karly in Peel Panto Player's Whose Wives Are They Anyway?  She and I have memorable experiences working together in Les Liasons Dangereuse many years ago.  Hopefully we'll get a chance to work together again! 

Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Supporting Role
Hey, my 'Angel', Austin Ferenczi!  Congrats on your nomination for your role of Fizzy in Brampton Music Theatre Youth Troupe's production of Bugsy Malone, Jr.!  Working with Austin in BMT's Rent was a wonderful experience, and there are nothing but bright things for this young man in his future.  The role of Angel Dumott Schunard needed the utmost dignity in the character's struggles, yet the actor needed to find a sense of bravery to represent a community of human beings whose wisdom and sense of universal love is not quite understood by modern society.  Angel and Austin will always be synonymous to me because of the courage he had at such a young age to play this role.  I never got a chance to see Austin as Fizzy in Bugsy, but I can only imagine that the nod was well deserved.  Yay! 

Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Leading Role
Erin Hyde received a nomination for her role as the Narrator in Brampton Music Theatre's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat!  This woman has a big heart, and very much deserves every kind of recognition people can muster.  Erin has also received recognition from Toronto Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Maureen in BMT's Rent, and recently wrapped up Annie as Mrs. Hannigan.  I'm an idiot for missing it, but I'm sure she was the toast of the production!  The beautiful lady that she is, I remember her sending myself and Abi a note saying that she wouldn't be able to make it to see Shout!, as she had to attend to a sick relative, but we were in her thoughts and hoped we have a good run.  We were so touched that she would think of us during a time of need for her family, we showered her with love and told her that family comes first, and there are plenty more shows to come!  A well deserved nomination, and I can't wait for the opportunity to work with her again! 

Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Leading Role
"For ingenuity in using a videocam to help direct himself in his show, Mike Butterworth as Richard Willey, in Peel Panto Players’ production of Out of Order."  Wowee!  The wonders of modern technology have helped my friend Mikey win this award!  Mike is a quick-witted Brit, who's charm and humour and just too fast for me and leave me rolling.  He's worked with my father quite a bit doing murder mystery dinners, and I've had the fortunate chance to get in on the fun a few times - hopefully we'll do it again soon!  Congrats on your 'double duty' recognition!

Outstanding Music Direction/Choreography in a Musical
A humongous congrats to my good friend Josh Priess for his nomination for musical direction in BMT's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat!  Although I feel that music direction and choreography are two entirely different worlds when it comes to the artform and execution within a production, I'm sure there's "meaning behind the madness" to represent these two tasks in one category.  Nonetheless, Josh has been recognized to a tremendous extent in regards to this production, as well as Rent, where he has been nominated for Best Musical Direction in the Toronto Awards (beating out [title of show] and Evita!) and the ACT-CO Gala Awards.  I was so honoured to work with Josh in Shout!, being taken under his wing and appreciating the change that has bettered me as a performer and singer because of his influence.  I'm very glad to still call him friend and keep in regular contact - see you next Tuesday, my place, yeah?  "Just put it in your pocket!"

Outstanding Direction of a Play or Musical
"For the sheer overall creative and organizational force of moulding an army of talent, will, and gumption into a finer and more inspired production of Joseph than anyone could've hoped or dreamed, the award goes to Michael MacLennan, director/choreographer of Brampton Music Theatre."  It's comments like those that make me want to kick myself hard for missing these shows for whatever reason I had at the time, legitimate or not.  Michael's work with Rent was diligent, highly specific and personally charged with a deep connection to the show's superobjective.  Working with him as a propsmaster was one of the most detail-orientated tasks I had ever partaken as a member of the production team, I don't remember working with any other director who was so insistent that every element be precise and demanded our very best in this kind of work.  I enjoy being a part of the artistic team for theatre productions because it broadens my appreciation for the "bigger picture" of the show, and Michael made it aware that our role in that team was just as important and absolute as the performers onstage.  His professionalism is to be applauded, and to work with him is an experience that has bettered my confidence in production work.  Congrats, sir!

Adjudicator's Award: Jason Saunders
The adjudicators like to extend special mention to outstanding work in certain fields of theatre production work.  Glenn Pringle, our stage manager from BMT's Rent, was nominated for an award for his work in BMT's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.  Congratulations!

Check out the rest of the event's winners here on the Brampton Arts Council site.  BRAVO! to all for your hard work and community spirit!

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