Vancouver’s musical theatre community came out to celebrate at the 11th annual Ovation! Awards this weekend, with Gateway Theatre’s Crazy For You coming out on top with a total of five awards, including outstanding professional production.
Gateway Theatre’s production also took awards for outstanding choreography (Julie Tomaino), outstanding set design (Marshall McMahen) and a special jury award for outstanding tap performance. Director Barb Tomasic shared the outstanding direction award with Tracey Power for the Firehall Arts Centre production of Chelsea Hotel.
The Firehall Arts Centre production of Urinetown took away three awards for outstanding musical direction (Steve Charles), outstanding lead performance (Anton Lipovetsky) and outstanding supporting performance female (Meghan Gardiner).
The outstanding chamber (small cast) production award went to Carousel Theatre’s Busytown and Barbara Clayden walked away with outstanding costume design award for Carousel’s production of James and the Giant Peach.
Jeff Harrison was the winner in the outstanding lighting category for his work on the Patrick Street Productions presentation of Floyd Collins and Jocelyn Gauthier took outstanding female lead performance honours for her turn as Elle Woods in Theatre Under The Stars’ Legally Blonde. Scott Perrie won for his supporting role in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Spamalot.
In the outstanding community theatre production category, Align Entertainment won out for large theatre (150+ seats) for its production of Shrek and Fighting Chance Productions took home the award for small theatre for its production of Spring Awakening.
Outstanding new work went to Bill Sample (music) and Bob Sarti (book and lyrics) for the Theatre in the Raw production of The Raymur Mothers. This original musical is based on the true events in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood in the 1970’s, in which a group of young single mothers banded together to have a pedestrian overpass built over railroad tracks in order for their children to get safely to school.
Outstanding gypsy awards went to Laura Ross and David Cohen for their work on multiple shows in 2014 and outstanding newcomer awards were presented to William Ford Hopkins and Nick Preston (tie) and Paige Fraser.
Longtime contribution awards were also presented to Wendy Bross Stuart and James Bryson and the 2015 Cheryl Hutcherson Award was awarded to Cathy Wilmont.
Audience choice awards, chosen by popular vote online and announced before the awards ceremony, went to The Cultch’s Cinderella: An East Side Panto (outstanding panto), the Arts Club’s Avenue Q (best remount) and The Confidential Musical Theatre Project production of Parade (outstanding special effects).