Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It’s Huge

I know, “that’s what she said.” (Farewell, Mr. Carell! “The Office” won’t be the same without you.) But if you’ve checked out the Style rack at your local retailer, you’ll notice that this week’s edition is massive because it’s the “Best Of Richmond” issue, sure to be an instigator of quite a lot of conjecture and speculation and time spent randomly combing through the various categories.

Last time I checked, there weren’t links to individual stories on the Style website but I’ll do you this service, loyal reader. All the theater-related stuff is pretty much consolidated on page 33, with some performance-related items spilling over on to page 35. Many congratulations to the companies, actors and actresses listed.

I wasn’t surprised by the list of actors, a nice trio of accomplished pros, all of whom have a mix of recent appearances and well-received past roles (though I can’t remember the last thing I saw Mr. Joy in – “The Wire” perhaps?) The actresses, however, surprised me across the board. I have no dispute with the list – each of the four listed has done truly exceptional work. Mostly, I’m curious what performances stuck in people’s memories enough to make them vote. Was it her recent portrayal of Juliet that put Ms. White on the list? With Ms. Satterfield’s relatively-recent splashy role in “Virginia Woolf,” I might have expected her to place higher. I also would have thought Kelly Kennedy would make the list given her current appearance in “Circle Mirror Transformation” and her well-reviewed turns in “Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming” and “On Golden Pond” over the past year.

The top two actresses are truly excellent choices but, again, I wonder what performances inspired people’s votes. Ms. Honaker was out of town for a spell but has come roaring back with “Dog Sees God” and the current “Quilters.” Is that what inspired votes or was it memories of older shows like “Urinetown” or “tick, tick…Boom!” Ms. Price is a fantastic actress (one of my favorite Queen Gertrude’s ever) and more than deserving of recognition. But did enough people see “Facing East” to put her tied for first? Or is it her indelible portrayal in “The Goat” that still lingers for theater fans?

Of course, it occurs to me that perhaps I’m selling people short to think it’s one or two or even three performances that got them to vote for somebody. Maybe more people than I realize actually have a sense of the entire bodies of work of different local actors. If that’s true, I think companies should be doing even more to highlight certain actors in their marketing materials. Because clearly there are folks out there that are paying attention.


Thespis' Little Helper said...

If you missed Ms. Honaker's performance in Dog Sees God she'll be reprising it this summer and adding to the list, Sally Brown, in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown in rotating rep! Ms. Blake White will also be appearing as Tricia/Peppermint Patty in those productions.

My first love of Ms. Johnston Price was in The Goat, or Who's Sylvia?! (Also prompted my first of maybe two letters to the editor for that performance.) If you loved her Gertrude, you should check out her King Hamlet coming in July...

Grant Mudge said...

Ok, apologies for the 2nd promo, but if BC can do it, there is also one (last) chance to see Liz Blake White in the role of Juliet, Wed, May 11, 7pm at Maymont, in the Italian Gardens.

Plus, it's free. Bring blankets or lawn chairs.

Grant Mudge said...

PS, BC you forgot "Macbeth," in which title role you directed the amazing Melissa Johnston Price.