I went to the 19th Annual Artie Awards at The Town Ballroom in Buffalo on Monday night somewhat reluctantly, being a little sore at The Arties Committee for ignoring my off-stage voice/stage manager position in DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, WITH YOU, this season. Do they have any idea what it's like to read a script in the dark, manipulate sound and lights, and speak into a microphone, all at the same time? Not to mention remaining alert to any theatrical catastrophe that might occur; staying mindful of terrorism; glaring at the audience as someones' cell phone goes off; reaching for a kleenix with one hand on the sound board and the other on the light board as I'm about to sneeze into the microphone? Where's the nomination for Outstanding All-Around Guy? What the hell is wrong with those people?Mary Loftus, center, with friends prior to receivieng The Artie
I took three pics with my camera, one an accidental but not inappropriate snap of a half-filled cocktail glass, before the batteries died and the new batteries I brought were the wrong damn batteries. Fortunately, one of the pics were of four time nominated, and soon to be 2009 Artie winner Mary Loftus, for her supporting role in THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE.
There was a memorial segment just like in The Academy Awards, where we clap for dead people as their faces are projected on a screen. I hate that. How is it that one dead person can get a bigger applause than another dead person?
Over cocktails, I'm shaking hands with Richard Lambert, Executive Director of The New Phoenix Theatre, accepting an offer to stage manage a production this fall at his theatre. I'm thinking, Jesus, it's just like being at Cannes.
Another champ-ale, my funky friend?
(Best Actor Nominee Richard Lambert with his brother whose name I've forgotten)
Glitz, glamor and Buffalo buffoonery. Cat-calls between the audience and the stage on a first name basis were commonplace.
Host Norm Sham asked award recipient Mary Loftus, as she handled the microphone and put her mouth close to it, "When have you had it so good, Mary?". She quipped, "yesterday".
Some short and gracious acceptance speeches. No long-winded ones.
Outstanding and most enchanted musical performance from the nominated musicals came from the cast of Theatre of Youth's GO DOG GO.
More than once I heard the network TV familiar, "so and so couldn't be here tonight and he's asked me to accept this award on his behalf...". So and so was probably not filming in Spain.
For ten bucks admittance at the door, this show was a real deal. Artvoice should promote it more heavily in other media, as an entertainment in itself. I wonder the chances of having it broadcast on local television.
A complete listing of the 2009 Artie Award winners can be found here.