In Southwest Florida, the Sarasota and Manatee Theatre Critics Association named its annual winners of the "Sammy Awards," covering Fall l998-Fall l999. The awards were to be handed out at an event hosted by Florida Studio Cabaret Club and sponsored by the Bradenton Herald, but plans for the Oct. 25 event fell through, and certificates will instead be delivered the last week in October.
Critics voting for the Sammies included Irene Herman, WTMY Radio; Marie J. Kilker, This Month ON STAGE; Barbara Molloy, Bradenton Herald; Jean Reed, Pelican Press; Milt Rubin, The Voice of Manatee; Jeffrey Smart, Longboat Observer & East County Observer. Kilker, Reed, and Smart are also members of the American Theatre Critics Association.
Since Herman and Smart are no longer practicing critics and since The Voice of Manatee has ceased publication, there is a possibility that the Association may disband after this season. Speculation has it that another organization will be formed along the lines of a critics' circle. At present, the critics for Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Sarasota Magazine each name their own favorites as "awards" each year.
Here are the 1999 Sammy winners:
Production of a Play: Asolo Theatre Company, The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Production of a Musical: Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, Me and My Girl
Actress in a Play: Kate Alexander as Maria Callas in Master Class, Florida Studio
Revue: Florida Studio Theatre Cabaret Club, Smokey Joe's Cafe
Director of a Play: Isa Thomas, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Asolo Theatre Company
Director of a Musical: Brett Lassiter, Crazy for You, Manatee Players
Actor in a Play: Blake Walton as Bette Davis in Me and Jezebel, Theatre Works Theatre
Supporting Actor, Play: Richard Bowden as Sigsbee Scruggs in Invasion of Privacy, Florida Studio Theatre
Supporting Actress, Play: Stacy Barnhisel as Lala Levy in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Asolo Theatre Company
Actor in a Musical: tied -- Ken Johnson as Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl Golden Apple Dinner Theatre and Michael Marcello as Tony in The Most Happy Fella Theatre Works
Actress in a Musical: Kathy Tyrell as Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella Theatre Works
Supporting Actor in a Musical: tied -- Randall Gregoire as Joe in Show Boat, Golden Apple Dinner Theatre and Greg Williams as Herman in The Most Happy Fella, Theatre Works
Supporting Actress in a Musical: tied -- Kay Daphne as Carlotta in Phantom and Aubry Ludington as Sister Mary Amnesia in Nunsense -- both at Golden Apple Dinner Theatre
Scenic Designer: Michael Lasswell for Gross Indecency Florida Studio Theatre
Lighting Designer: Joseph P. Oshry for Crazy for You, Manatee Players
Costume Designer: Vicki S. Holden for The Ladies of the Camelias Asolo Theatre Company
Choreographer: Charlene Clark for Hello, Dolly!, Golden Apple Dinner Theatre
Musical Director: David Nelson for Smokey Joe's Cafe, Florida Studio Theatre Cabaret Club. -- by Marie J. Kilker & David Lefkowitz