Local Talent Shines at 2015 Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards

Monday, July 20, was a fantastic evening for the local performing arts community as fans and actors alike attended the 2015 Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards. The sold-out celebration was held at Inspire Theatre on Fremont Street.

This was the second year of “The Valleys,” as they are informally called. The awards were established by Jacob Coakley to highlight the robust and innovative theater scene in Southern Nevada.

The Smith Center’s Myron Martin, president and CEO, and Paul Beard, vice president and COO, participated in the event as presenters.

Speaking the day after the busy night, Coakley was definitely happy with the awards show and how theater is growing in popularity in the metropolitan area.

“One of the great successes for me is that the theater community has responded well to this and is excited for it to be here,” said Coakley.

Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards founder Jacob Coakley
Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards founder Jacob Coakley

“I loved watching all the performances. The talent on stage was really great,” he said, noting how the various artistic companies presented a cross-section of what is happening in Las Vegas’ theater world.

In true awards show fashion, the night featured numerous musical numbers between categories. Among the highlights were hits from Shrek the Musical, Mary Poppins, Avenue Q, Spamalot, Cabaret and Bye, Bye Birdie.

The show was an organic, somewhat loose and relatively informal gathering, something that Coakley thinks was part of its success.

“The show was not without hiccups,” he said, noting a song where the soundtrack did not start on cue and the singer seamlessly ad-libbed until the notes began. The audience loved every moment.

“There are people who can take in what is happening, respond to it and make the moment even greater,” said Coakley of the expertise of the Las Vegas actors that assembled in the room. “That’s what I love about live theater.”

During the show, Beard handed out a number of Valleys. Poor Richard’s Players’ Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche won in the Best Ensemble – Play category. Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatricals’ Shrek the Musical was honored as Best Ensemble – Musical.  Ashley Oblad took the Choreography prize for Mary Poppins.

Martin took to the stage for the evening’s top prizes. Signature Productions’ Mary Poppins garnered the Audience Choice award. Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatrical’s Shrek the Musical won for Production – Musical. A Public Fit’s Foxfinder won the 2015 Valley for Production – Play.

Foxfinder’s win was especially edifying for The Smith Center, as it was directed by Ann Marie Pereth, one of our Education and Outreach Department’s Teaching Artists. Additionally, she took the Best Director award for her artistic work.

Myron Martin celebrates the team from Foxfinder, including Best Director - Play Ann Marie Pereth (center)

Myron Martin celebrates the team from Foxfinder, including Best Director – Play Ann Marie Pereth (center)

Jim Sohre served as master of ceremonies for the evening and Vanessa Coleman was the awards hostess. Alec Bart played keyboards during a number of songs.

In addition to Beard and Martin, a number of other notable Las Vegans served as presenters: Barry Brisco fromPuppetry of the Penis; journalist and playwright Paul Atreides; Jan Craddock, publisher of BLVDS LV magazine; Loren Becker from Zappos; and Benjamin Loewy and Maxim Lardent from the LVTAPS podcast.

As a bonus, a large cake was served after the fanfare. Martin extended his presenter duties and cut the dessert for the hungry theater-going crowd.

Coakley sees the awards on an upward trajectory going forward.

“One of our greatest successes is that we grew from last year to this year,” said Coakley. “We sold out last year, and we sold out this year. So once again we’re going to have to find a bigger venue for next year.”

Hmmm, there are a few over here at The Smith Center……

Below is the full list of 2015 Valley Awards nominees and winners.

Production – Play

Bug, Cockroach Theatre

Foxfinder, A Public Fit – WINNER

Motel, Table 8 Productions

Mrs. Mannerly, Las Vegas Little Theatre

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Las Vegas Little Theatre

Production – Musical

Cabaret, Off-Strip Productions

Mary Poppins, Signature Productions

Shrek the Musical, Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatricals – WINNER

Spamalot, Super Summer Theatre and PS Productions

Audience Choice – Mary Poppins, Signature Productions

Director – Play

Troy Heard, Arsenic and Old Lace

Troy Heard and Amanda Morgan, Motel

Walter Niejadlik, Mrs. Mannerly

Aaron Oetting and Will Adamson, Bug

Ann Marie Pereth, Foxfinder – WINNER

Director – Musical

Douglas Baker, Mary Poppins

Erik Ball, Shrek the Musical – WINNER

Brandon Burk, Cabaret

Philip Shelburne, Spamalot

Actor in a Principal Role – Play

Timothy Cummings, Foxfinder

Michael Blair, Mrs. Mannerly- WINNER

Levi Fackrell, Bug

Christopher Brown, Foxfinder

Cory Benway, Four Dogs and a Bone

Actor in a Principal Role – Musical

Kevin Bleuer, Mary Poppins

Coree Davis, Shrek the Musical

Ayler Evan, Shrek the Musical- WINNER

Cory Goble, Cabaret

Glenn Heath, Spamalot

Actress in a Principal Role – Play

Gillen Brey, Mrs. Mannerly – WINNER

Sabrina Cofield, Bug

Brenna Folger, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Shelley Lynn, Foxfinder

Amy Solomon, Stage Kiss

Actress in a Principal Role – Musical

Lynsey Fullam, Mary Poppins

Kayla Hamblen, Mary Poppins

Amanda Kaiser, Shrek the Musical

Kirstin Maki, Cabaret – WINNER

Actor in a Supporting Role – Play

Joe Basso, Motel – WINNER

Arles Estes, A Dick Johnson Christmas

Carol Bob Gratrix, Motel

Ryan Hess, Bug

Joe Hynes, Arsenic and Old Lace

Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical (tie)

Lou De Meis, Cabaret

Scott Gibson-Uebele, Spamalot

Steve Huntsman, Spamalot – WINNER

Ben Loewy, Spamalot

Jordan Mazzocato, Shrek the Musical- WINNER

Actress in a Supporting Role – Play

Tressa Bern, Bug

Kim Scott Faubel, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Amanda Kraft, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche

Ginger Lanier, Foxfinder – WINNER

Alexandria Lee, Motel

Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical

Jen Bacigalupi, Shrek the Musical

Joy Demain, Cabaret

Kady Heard, Shrek the Musical

Sandra Huntsman, Spamalot

Mary Beth Zentner, Mary Poppins – WINNER

Best Ensemble – Play

Foxfinder, A Public Fit

Motel, Table 8 Productions

Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Poor Richard’s Players – WINNER

A Dick Johnson Christmas Carol, Poor Richard’s Players

Bug, Cockroach Theatre

Best Ensemble – Musical

Cabaret, Off-Strip Productions

Mary Poppins, Signature Productions

Shrek the Musical, Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatricals – WINNER

Spamalot, Super Summer Theatre and PS Productions

Choreography

Christine Harper and Christian Escobar, Shrek the Musical

Olivia Hernando, Cabaret

Greg Kata, Spamalot

Ashley Oblad, Mary Poppins – WINNER

Scenic Design

John Gallagher, Bug

Steve Huntsman, Mary Poppins

Ron Lindblom, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – WINNER

Rachel Gordon Smallwood, Foxfinder

Jeffrey Weber, Arsenic and Old Lace

Lighting Design

Ginny Adams, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Erika Courtney, Mary Poppins

Elizabeth Kline, Bug

Steven Mack, Arsenic and Old Lace

Josh Wroblewski, Foxfinder – WINNER

Costume Design

Erik Ball, Shrek the Musical – WINNER

Sandra Huntsman, Spamalot

Kehler Relick, Arsenic and Old Lace

Mariya Radeva-Nedyalkova, Foxfinder

Douglas Baker and Bob Lov, Mary Poppins

Sound Design

Kat Gonzalez, Spamalot

Kat Gonzales, Shrek the Musical

John McClaine, Bug – WINNER

Steel Wallis, Mary Poppins

Steven Zeller, Foxfinder 

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