Ivey Awards Honor the Super Heroes of Minneapolis/Saint Paul Theatre
At what many call the "theatre prom" on Monday night, the ninth annual Ivey Awards was one part fashion show, one part awards night and several parts reunion for the hundreds of theatre practioners and fans who attended the ceremony and parties. Between red carpet poses, hugs from long lost pals and lots of mentions of "poop" on stage (started by co-host Randy Reyes), the evening was an eclectic one. The theme of super heroes of Twin Cities theatre was carried through musically, in the graphics and on patrons, with several dressing as super heroes with Super Man logos peaking out from behind their frocks.
Via the Iveys, the Twin Cities theatre community bestowed on Jeffrey Hatcher, nationally-renowned playwright, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and performer, director and playwright Ricardo Vásquez the Emerging Artist Award. The celebration, held at the Historic State Theatre in downtown Minneapolis, honors and showcases the work of professional theater companies and artists in Minneapolis and Saint Paul over the past year.
Based on evaluations completed by the more than 150 volunteer theater evaluators who saw more than 1,000 performances created by 80 professional theaters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area from September 2012 through August 2013, two productions and ten individuals/ensembles were also recognized with 2013 Iveys:
- In the Next Room, Jungle Theater: Overall Excellence
- Milly & Tillie, Open Eye Figure Theatre: Overall Excellence
- Peter Beard & James Napoleon Stone, Directing, Hamlet (Theatre Coup d'Etat)
- Raymond Berg, Musical Direction, Urinetown: The Musical (Jungle Theater)
- Peter Brosius, Directing, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Children's Theatre Company)
- Michael Croswell, Sound Design, Misterman (Frank Theatre)
- Ensemble, Acting, Clybourne Park (Guthrie Theater)
- Shanan Custer & Carolyn Pool, Acting, Two Sugars, Room for Cream (Hennepin Theatre Trust)
- Michael Matthew Ferrell, Choreography, Singin' in the Rain (Bloomington Civic Theatre)
- Katherine Glover, Alissa M. Shellito & Jeri Weiss, Playwrighting, Freshwater Theatre Goes Back to High School (Freshwater Theatre Company)
- Dean Holt, Acting, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Children's Theatre Company)
Taking a cue from the Oscars and Emmys, Ivey honored the friends lost in the past year with a video tribute accompanied by a lovely violin solo from Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh, who just recently won the talent competition at the Miss American competition, where she placed fourth runner up.
Super heroes who did a scene involving all 27 sponsors of the night, live voting for the most creatively dressed male and female on the red carpet and a performance by Yellow Tree Theatre played with wine glasses and a pen hitting a stringed instrument were just a few of the moments of the evening that rounded out the unique local awards night.
Afterward, the crowd moved down the street to an after-party at Marin Restaurant and LeMeridien Chambers Hotel where the theatre crowd, dressed to the nines, partied until the wee hours, some with Iveys in hand, and nearly all remarking how much excellent theatre is produced in the Twin Cities.
One attendee put it well: "I'm reminded how many shows I should've seen last year." Touche! It's hard to do that when you're on stage six nights a week, but still, this close-knit theatre crowd gets out to support one another at the Iveys and year-round.
Photo: Jeffrey Hatcher; by Kristen Hirsch Montag