With a whopping seven awards, the Plano Repertory Theatre's revival of Sunday in the Park With George nearly swept Dallas' Leon Rabin Awards Nov. 5 (the company also picked up an Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Donald R. Fowler in Floyd Collins). The big winner for plays was the Kitchen Dog Theater's production of Kiss of the Spider Woman with three awards.
Sunday in the Park With George was honored for Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Direction of a Musical (Mark D. Fleischer), Outstanding Costume Design (Bruce Coleman), Outstanding Set Design (Coleman), Outstanding Musical Director (Scott A. Eckert), Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role - Musical (Brian Gonzales) and Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Musical (Lauren Ashley Puckett). Kiss of the Spider Woman won Outstanding Sound Design (Bruce Richardson) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Linda Blase) while tying with soul Rep Theatre Company's Purlie Victorious for Outstanding Production of a Play. Purlie also took home Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role - Play for Anthony Golden.
Blind Lemon: King of Country Blues got the nod for Outstanding New Play or Musical, beating out the Jones and Schmidt world premiere tuner, Roadside, set to preview in New York Nov. 13. WaterTower Theatre produced the show based on the life of bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson, who made over 100 recordings in the 1920's.
Other winners include Garland Summer Musical's West Side Story (Outstanding Choreography for Paula Morelan), Bucket Productions' Pride and Prejudice (Outstanding Direction of a Play for Elizabeth Ware), Our Endeavors Theater Company's I, Patty Diphusa, International Sex Symbol (Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role - Play for Christina Vela), WingSpan Theatre Company's Tongue of a Bird (Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Play for Terry McCracken), Dallas Children's Theater's The Great Gilly Hopkins (Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical for Cheryl Denson) and Dallas Children's Theater's African Tales of the earth and Sky (Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Play for Walter Marvin Demetrius Hardts).
The Leo Rabins also awarded Sandy Duncan a Career Achievement citation, the first of two the actress and producer will receive this year (the second comes at Los Angeles' Ovation Awards Nov. 12). Duncan made her theatrical debut at age 12 in Dallas Summer Musicals' The King and I before going on to snag Tony nominations for Canterbury Tales, The Boyfriend and Peter Pan. Lately she returned to Dallas to perform in Dallas Summer Musicals' I Do! I Do! and start up WaterTower Theatre with Free Fall in 1996. Ed DeLatte, founder and artistic director of Dallas Repertory Theatre, was given the Standing Ovation Award for his support of Dallas Theatre. Other honorees include the Meadows Foundation (the Silver Ticket Award for corporations' support of theatre), and a special commendation for fight choreographer Bill Lengfelder.
— By Christine Ehren