JOURNEY TO THE WEST, SWEENEY TODD & More Win Big at 2013 Elly Awards
For the second time in 31 years the annual Elly Award ceremonies were separated into Adult and Youth ceremonies. Tonight marked the celebration of excellence by Sacramento's adult performers in the Comedy, Drama, Musical and Original Works categories at the 31st Annual Elly Awards- Adult Division. At a new brand new location - the Red Lion Inn - Woodlake- this year's Elly theme was "Come to the Cabaret" and the ballroom, program "menu", storyboards, mood music and musical numbers all reflected this intimate theme. Theatre members sat together around richly decorated tables while enjoying delicious appetizers, scrumptious desserts and adult beverages. Named for Eleanor McClatchy, a devoted patron of the arts and former publisher of the Sacramento Bee, the Elly Awards celebrates excellence in Sacramento's local and regional community theater. A grand total of 34 Elly Awards, plus two lifetime achievement awards, were given to individuals and theaters from across a 10-county region in the Adult Division. Sponsored by the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance (SARTA), this formal event was attended by nearly 300 active community theatre members and their families and friends.
Tonight's ceremony opened with a classic performance from Sweet Charity entitled, "Hey Big Spender", which was choreographed by Jacob Montoya and featured 10 amazing singer/dancers. Throughout the evening, attendees were treated to musical numbers from productions in the Overall Production - Musical category which included: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street performed by Stockton Civic Theatre, Cabaret performed by Green VAlley Theatre Company, Hairspray performed by Davis Musical Theatre Company , and The Drowsy Chaperone performed by Woodland Opera House. The fabulous Jim "Fingerz" Jordan was the awesome musical director and accompanist for the evenings' festivities.
31st annual Elly Awards - Adult Division
The 171 Adult Elly nominations represented 163 productions from 56 different participating theatres. The final 34 Elly Awards recognized 18 productions and 16 theatres. The productions receiving the most Elly Awards were:
Sweeney Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Stockton Civic Theatre (4)
Journey to the West - Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) (5)
New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation; Amsterdam, July 27, 1656- Big Idea Theatre (4)
A Lie of the Mind - San Joaquin Delta College (2)
The Drowsy Chaperone - Woodland Opera House (2)
Elly Awards for Overall Production in individual categories in the Adult Division went to:
Comedy - Journey to the West - CATS
Drama - New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656 - Big Idea Theatre
Musical - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Stockton Civic Theatre
Original Works: Original Script - Echoes in the Heart - Susanne Sommers & Leo McElroy
Original Works: Original Adaptation- Sinbad & Aladdin: The Arabian Knights - John Lee- Fairytale Town Troupers
This year's lifetime achievement awards went to Connie Mockenhaupt of Sutter Street Theatre and Rodger Hoopman of Chautauqua Playhouse. Both are long-time members of the theatre community. Connie Mockenhaupt currently calls Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom her theatre home. Connie holds numerous degrees in music, theatre, and dance and has directed, choreographed and musically directed over 350 shows. A professional performer she has been seen onstage across the country in many different types of performance art. Additionally, she was the original coordinator of the Natomas Performing & Fine Arts Academy Charter School. This honor adds to her already numerous Elly awards. Rodger Hoopman is the founder/producer/artistic director for Chautauqua Playhouse. Chautauqua is the oldest Sacramento area community theatre (established in 1976) and is where you can still find Rodger gracing the stage. Rodger has been a theatre instructor for multiple Northern California community colleges and appears in Scrooge the musical (he wrote the lyrics and adapted the script) every year since 1979. Each received a personalized, engraved Elly plaque. Well done!
The Elly Awards program serves community theatres within a 70-mile radius from downtown Sacramento. Nineteen judges volunteered countless hours and drove endless miles attending every show submitted in their judging category. The categories are Comedy, Drama, and Musical. Awards within each category are given for: Leading Actor and Actress; Supporting Actor and Actress; Direction; Costume Design; Lighting Design; Set Design; Musical Direction, if applicable; Choreography, if applicable; and Overall Production. There is a separate division for Original Works which included Original Script and Original Adaptation. Awards are given to the playwright and the theatre producing the work.