DCMetroTheaterArts’ Reviewers on the WATCH AWARDS Nominations by Joel Markowitz

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Here’s reactions by some of the DCMTA reviewers to the WATCH AWARD Nominations announced this past Sunday:

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Andrew Baughman:
“It is good to see 2nd Star Productions receive so many nominations. For many years, Jane Wingard and her team have been producing classic musicals in a way that even Broadway has forgotten how to do, they deserve every accolade. I’m proud of my brother Matt for his nomination for Flowers For Algernon at Elden Street; he first performed the role as a senior in high school, and audiences were giving him standing ovations back then. It’s probably his best role ever.”

Matt Baughman (Charlie Gordon). Photo by Traci J. Brooks Photography.
Matt Baughman (Charlie Gordon) in ‘Flowers for Algernon’ at The Elden Street Players. Photo by Traci J. Brooks Photography.

Mara Bayewitz:
“I thought Gabe Potter in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels accomplished everything one could ask of the actor in that role – he committed so completely to his character that you believed the unbelievable. He had no mask covering himself, he exposed everything inside and out!

I’m very disappointed that Ellie Borzilleri wasn’t nominated as Best Actress in a Musical for Meet Me in St Louis. She was simply brilliant, selling every single moment to the audience with her body, face, and voice. Her final song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” sung with barely an instrument behind her, brought tears to my eyes from the sheer beauty of her voice and emotion. She was unjustly overlooked, in my opinion.

Ellie Borzilleri (Esther Smith) during “The Trolley Song.” Photo by Elli Swink.
Ellie Borzilleri (Esther Smith) during “The Trolley Song.” Photo by Elli Swink.

Sydney Chanele-Dawkins:
“I would like to congratulate Port City Playhouse for their two nominations – one for a show I produced – Someone to Watch Over Me ( Erin Cumbo, Outstanding Set Painting in a Play) and Gayle Nichols-Grimes as “Vernadette Simms”(The Dixie Swim Club), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play.

From left to right: David James, Matthew Randall, and John Shackelford. Photo by Mike deBloise.
From left to right: David James, Matthew Randall, and John Shackelford. Photo by Mike deBloise.

Joel Markowitz:
I thought these were the best and most diverse nominations I have seen ever from the Watch Award judges. As we have seen on DCMetroTheaterArts there are fantastic productions on our  DC Metro Area Community Theatre stages. It’s amazing how creative so many of these theatres – who have very little resources – are.

When anyone asks me what was my favorite musical of the year I tell them Sunday in the Park with George at Kensington Arts Theatre. I have seen a dozen productions of this musical and KAT’s production was visually stunning and  beautifully sung. I was happy to see it receive so many nominations, including nods  Ryan Burke who played George and  Farrell Parker, who played Dot/Marie and for David Rohde for his musical direction. I have been a fan of Ryan’s since I saw him in The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee at Montgomery College. I was also thrilled to see NightoftheLivingDead (the musical) pick up some nominations, and was thrilled that Brent Stone was nominated for his performance as Fredrik Egerman in The Arlington Players’  A Little Night Music, Molly Hicks Larson for her wonderful performance as Paulette in Reston Community Players’ Legally Blonde, Joshua Redford for his direction of Legally Blonde, Madeline Botteri for her spunky Monica P. Miller and Eric Jones for his performance as Ian in Rooms: A Rock Romance at KAT.

Congratulations to all the nominees! All your nominations were well-deserved.

Maureen Rohn (Elle) and Molly Hicks Larson (Paulette). Photo by Traci J. Brooks.
Maureen Rohn (Elle) and Molly Hicks Larson (Paulette). Photo by Traci J. Brooks.

Don Michael Mendoza:
“I really love the cameo category because it gives people who are usually looked over well deserved recognition for their role interpretations. I was also glad to see many first time nominations such as Joseph Aquilina, Farrell Parker, Larissa Norris, and Stephen Yednock!”

Nicely-Nicely Johnson (standing- Stephen Yednock) and the cast of 'Guys & Dolls.' Photo by Jivon Jackson & Melanie Dashbach.
Nicely-Nicely Johnson (standing- Stephen Yednock) and the cast of ‘Guys & Dolls.’ Photo by Jivon Jackson & Melanie Dashbach.

Mike Spain:
“I am glad the production of Side Man by Providence Players of Fairfax was nominated for nine awards. Four of them were for the set which I though was really well done. When I reviewed the play I felt like I was entering Charlie’s Melody Lounge, that I was entering a time, an era, and a place. That is exactly what a well done set is supposed to do.

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The WATCH Award Ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm at The Birchmere, in Alexandria, VA. Tickets are $15.50 at the Birchmere Box Office, or are available on Ticketmaster.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.