The Ovation Award nominations were announced yesterday and SMP is the proud recipient of FIVE nominations for THREE different shows! As a reminder, the Ovation Awards are Los Angeles theater’s Tony Awards. They are given by the Los Angeles Stage Alliance and are based on the peer evaluations of productions by 300 working theater professionals.
Here are the shows and individuals that were honored:
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – Best Musical (Intimate)
Stanton Kane Morales – Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Spelling Bee)
Cristina Gerla – Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Spelling Bee)
Candice Cain – Best Costume Design (Intimate) (The Glass Menagerie)
John Vertrees & Erin Walley – Best Set Design (Intimate) (Deathtrap)
Let me put this in perspective – last year we received our FIRST EVER nominations when we got two acting nominations for Cori Cable Kidder for Always…Patsy Cline and John Prosky for A Walk in the Woods. This year we got our first ever production nomination and our first two design nominations! We got more nominations than some of the most established small theaters in Los Angeles – theaters that I use as my guide stars. We are now clearly being recognized for the quality of our work. It is also remarkable that we were noticed for THREE different shows. Many of the theaters who got nominations yesterday got them for a single show. The Intimate designation above means that the Ovations do not judge the work of the Intimate theaters, who have much more limited resources, against the larger theaters such as the Taper or the Geffen. BUT all actors are in one pool which means that Stanton and Cristina’s performances were rated one of the six best featured from all musicals in Los Angeles.
I couldn’t be prouder of the work we are doing. The irony of all of this is that we lost money on Spelling Bee because it was not very well attended. I wonder if we have gotten over the perception that we are a community theater or the idea that we can’t be any good if we are local and not downtown. Awards and recognition are wonderful but support from our local communities is even more important. It’s why we work so hard to bring you quality theatrical experiences that you don’t have to drive downtown for.
I hope these nominations will help us get new audiences to give us a try. Loyal readers who are friends of SMP – please bring a friend who doesn’t know our work to see one of our shows so we can work our magic on them!