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The Column Reviews SEVEN IN ONE BLOW

SEVEN IN ONE BLOW or THE BRAVE LITTLE KID
by Randy Sharp & Axis Company

Reviewed Performance 11/19/2011

by Danny Macchietto, Associate Critic for John Garcia’s THE COLUMN

I took my almost 12 year old nephew, Douglas, to the official opening night of Seven in One Blow or The Brave Little Kid. Douglas is one of my back-up critics that I rely on for children’s plays in the event that I discover that I’m out of touch with the “common kid”. Despite the fact that Douglas is at the age where he is capable of acting like he doesn’t care about anything or much at all, he loved the show. It was easy to see why as this show did not touch my inner-child; it touched my outer and existing adult, instead.

Circle Theatre’s production of Seven in One Blow is an enchanting, rollicking, and joyously hip alternative to DFW’s holiday themed theatre-going season already underway. The nimble actors of a well-rounded ensemble are impeccably cast by director Robin Armstrong, creating an experience that all members of the family will enjoy.

The story follows a “Kid” who is adorned with a gold belt buckle that marks the Kid’s accomplishment of swatting seven flies “? in one blow”. The Kid travels freely amongst the discovery of characters that have popped out of Brothers Grimm fairytales, both faithful and irreverent, as an Ogre, a Princess, and other literary characters such as the Scarlett Pimpernel. Each character The Kid encounters interprets the buckle as something heroic, so gallant challenges are dared upon to the young kid.

This voyage is told through the storytelling device of the theatrical art form called the “panto”, Great Britain’s version of the pantomime, only it is the exact opposite of silence and performed with a heavy flourish of Commedia del’ Arte. In a panto the audience is relied upon frequently to be a willing participant in the story.

The high audience participation factor can be disastrous for any theatre company as there is an easy temptation for actors of a children’s play to overcompensate with their energy level. That is simply not the case here as each of the performers uses a deft hand when transitioning from scene work to audience interaction within seconds. There’s no stitching to be seen as it all feels very organic, and through it all the material never plays down or condescends to its core audience. Much of the credit for this belongs to Shane Strawbridge and Eric Dobbins who play Frankie and Mack, two bumbling, homeless guys who open the show and immediately put the audience to work as Mack tells Frankie of this wonderful adventure.

The production is not a musical, yet there are musical numbers in it; in fact, only three numbers are written for the show, but two original tunes are added by cast member Shane Strawbridge, which are very welcome as every song is a delight. I tip my hat off to Jim Johnson who gives a credible rap performance as the Ogre. Mikaela Krantz as The Kid is also very effective in her one solo number that is presented as an ode of longing for the child’s mom and dad. It was not until this moment that I fully appreciated the full range of Ms. Krantz’s skill, as well as her demanding, physical commitment to the role.

All the design elements cohesively meld together to create a visual and aural experience that is pleasing both to the eyes and ears. The set design by Clare Floyd DeVries is refreshingly open, taking place in an alleyway behind a loading dock. The lighting design by John Leach and the costume design by Robin Armstrong are complementary of each other.

Ms. Armstrong’s choice of colors is rich in palette but never too bright. Many of the costumes, thankfully, are creative in simple and suggestive ways. The perfect example is her design concept behind A Pea, played by Amy Elizabeth. Having the actress sport a pregnancy pouch in green layers is an inspired choice.

Properties Designer John Harvey, Sound Designer David H.M. Lambert, and Dance Choreographer Sherry Hopkins deserve a special round of applause for their collaboration in pulling off the nifty centerpiece of The Kid’s plight with a swarm of flies, set to the music of Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee. The effect of this effort is nothing short of magical and so is this production.

Given the reactions that I saw from kids ages 4-12 in the theatre, opting to see Seven in One Blow versus a 3-D animated family entertainment, such as Happy Feet 2, would be a wise investment in your child’s imagination. You don’t even need special glasses to be a part of the action.

Director – Robin Armstrong
Stage Manager – Sarahi Salazar
Set Design – Clare Floyd DeVries
Lighting Design – John Leach
Costume Design – Robin Armstrong
Properties Design – John Harvey
Dance Choreography – Sherry Hopkins

CAST

Frankie – Eric Dobbins
The Witch – Sherry Hopkins
December – Michael James
The Ogre – Jim Johnson
A Pea – Amy Elizabeth Jones
The QK – Kevin Scott Keating
The Kid – Mikaela Krantz
Princess Fartina – Hannah McKinney
The Scarlet Pimpernel – Brad Stephens
Mack – Shane Strawbridge

SEVEN IN ONE BLOW or THE BRAVE LITTLE KID
Circle Theatre, 230 West 4th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Runs through December 17th

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3:00pm
Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, $12.50 for children. All tickets purchased online have a $3 service fee.
For information and tickets, go to http://www.circletheatre.com or call 817-877-3040

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Review: “Plenty of Holiday Fun”

Circle Theatre’s new show offers plenty of holiday fun

By Mark Lowry
Special to DFW.com

FORT WORTH — In the States, we like our holiday theater with a heavy dose of Dickens. But in his homeland, they prefer it with corny jokes and singalongs in a daffy fairy tale retelling, otherwise known as panto.

Fort Worth gets a taste of the form at Circle Theatre with Seven in One Blow or The Brave Little Kid by New Yorker Randy Sharp and Axis Company. Sharp and her colleagues were at Saturday night’s opening at Circle, and they have every reason to be pleased with the second professional production of their confection.

The anchor story is the Brothers Grimm tale of the Kid (a terrific Mikaela Krantz) who killed seven flies with one swat and then bragged about the feat without mentioning that the victims were insects.

That led others to think the kid had slain something much larger. Re-imagined as an urban tale, it’s narrated by homeless guys Mack (Shane Strawbridge as the most motivating emcee you’ll ever encounter) and Frankie (Eric Dobbins). The fly-slaying kid’s journey includes an Ogre (perfectly ogre-the-top Jim Johnson) and Scarlet Pimpernel (a hilariously stiff Brad Stephens).

Directed by North Texas’ maestro of farce, Robin Armstrong (who also handles costume design), Circle’s production takes some liberties with the British panto style and with Sharp’s original version. For instance, the role of the QK is meant as a “dame” role, or a man in outlandish drag. Here, Kevin Scott Keating is dressed as a foppish king, holding and voicing a sharp-tongued rod puppet for the Q part of that equation. The swap works.

Others in the cast having too much fun include Sherry Hopkins (as a formalwear Witch), Michael James (as December) and Amy Elizabeth Jones as a green vegetable kids normally don’t like.

For about the first half of Circle’s existence, it produced silly melodramas at Christmastime. It makes sense that, to close its 30th season, it would return to a delightfully bonkers way of making merry.

SEVEN IN ONE BLOW or The BRAVE LITTLE KID runs through December 17, 2011 at Circle Theatre, 230 West Fourth St., Fort Worth, TX 76102 in Sundance Square.  Call the box office at 817-877-3040 to reserve tickets or visit www.circletheatre.com.

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Review: Magnificent SEVEN

Time flies and you’ll have fun as Circle Theatre jumps into British panto with Seven in One Blow.

by David Novinski for Theater Jones

About the time when the desire to travel great distances to see your family is being replaced by a stronger desire to get away from them, you really start to appreciate the concept of “family friendly” entertainment. One well-placed excursion can make or break a visit with those the in-laws.

When the time comes to get everyone out of the house during this holiday season, consider Circle Theatre’s Seven in One Blow or the Brave Little Kid by Randy Sharp and Axis Company as the destination for your vacation from vacation.

It’s a British panto, a theatrical tradition that combines the free-wheelin’ festival feel of vaudeville with the charming familiarity of folk tales. There’s song and dance, audience interaction, lessons for the kids and laughs for the adults. Director Robin Armstrong keeps the action brisk and lively letting her cast playfully gambol through.

Seven in One Blow‘s a retelling of the folktale about a tailor who, upon killing seven flies in one smack, makes a belt proclaiming as much. Only, he leaves out the word “flies.” Naturally this is before strict legislation concerning truth in advertising. So, people assume he means that he has killed seven men in one blow. You can imagine the adventures that result.

In Circle’s version, this tale is retold by a homeless man, Mack, (Shane Strawbridge) to his friend, Frankie (Eric Dobbins). In Mack’s version, the tailor is a latchkey youth referred to as “The Kid” (Mikaela Krantz). Upset that his parents are so often away from home, he leaves his lonely apartment for parts unknown. On designer Clare Floyd DeVries’ city street set passersby are transformed into folk tale characters. An irate businessman becomes an Ogre (Jim Johnson) who The Kid befriends after besting him in a test of squeezing water from a stone and rock throwing by substituting cheese for a rock and a bird for the stone.

Accompanied by the Ogre and his former captive, The Scarlet Pimpernel (Brad Stephens), The Kid travels to a kingdom with tax revenue issues: scared citizens don’t pay up. The ruler, QK (Kevin Scott Keating) who is a King with a hand puppet Queen needs the money to buy their daughter, Princess Fartina (Hannah McKinney) everything she wants. In exchange for her hand in marriage and half the kingdom, The Kid promises to free a witch’s captive, conquer a beast and “do something about the heat.”

The witch (Sherry Hopkins) is keeping December (Michael James) hostage. Her weakness is a fear of music. With the audience’s help the witch is scared away freeing December. The monster turns out to be a Pea (Amy Elizabeth Jones) who is just frustrated that nobody likes her. When The Kid returns to the kingdom, QK plans to welch on the deal but Princess Fartina stands up to him. The Kid is only interested in the kingdom half if it means his parents don’t have to work so much and be gone all the time.

The cast all shine in one moment or other but the evening on the whole belongs to Shane Strawbridge who serves as the storytelling, song-writing, ringmaster. He performs Mack like a Nathan Lane version of Riff from West Side Story. He’s streetwise but knows how to deliver a laugh line. Mikaela Krantz’s The Kid begins a bit like a tipsy Sandy Duncan but will win you over quickly with her beguiling earnestness. She and Jim Johnson as the Ogre have the most fun with the stilted storybook language that obscures the violence of the tale from the younger audience members. A special mention goes to the whole cast for their finale step dance. But most impressive was Sherry Hopkins who did it in an evening gown without missing a step, slap or stomp.

In order to thoroughly market test the show, I took two of my sons, six and nine. They enjoyed the entire evening, including the snacks at intermission. The nine year old declared it “good,” which is high praise from him. The six year old continues to revise his choice of favorite part. These reactions indicate that Seven in One Blow has the kid entertainment potential of Puss in Boots.

But what really tips the scales in favor of Circle Theatre is its parent entertainment potential. For laughs alone, Boots can’t hold a candle to Blow. The story is for the kids; the jokes are for the parents. And that’s what’s important. After all, who’s paying for the tickets?

SEVEN IN ONE BLOW or The BRAVE LITTLE KID runs through December 17, 2011 at Circle Theatre, 230 West Fourth St., Fort Worth, TX 76102 in Sundance Square.  Call the box office at 817-877-3040 to reserve tickets or visit www.circletheatre.com.

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Review: SEVEN at Circle

Circle Theatre’s current production is a holiday farce high on absurdity.

by Jimmy Fowler for Fort Worth Weekly

One of my favorite theatergoing experiences in recent years was Circle Theatre’s 2008 holiday production of A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant. If you missed that nontraditional and rather biting musical, it featured a cast of children reenacting the story of L. Ron Hubbard’s founding the Church of Scientology as if it were a warm-hearted Christmas show. I’m still not sure how Circle executive director Rose Pearson got approval from the board for that one, which left some audience members cheering and others clapping politely but suspiciously, perhaps fearing they’d been duped. But that show remains my gold standard for artistic bravery during a holiday season when many theaters rely on familiar, comforting cash cows to help fund the rest of their seasons. Audiences are assaulted by so many nutcrackers, Scrooges, and workshop elves during this time of year that any fare that’s significantly different feels like a thrilling daredevil display.

The cast of Circle’s Seven in One Blow is more than game for some adventuresome, nontraditional holiday fare.

Circle’s newest holiday high-wire act is the regional premiere of Seven in One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid. This contemporary urban retelling of a Brothers Grimm story was adapted by New York playwright Randy Sharp and first staged in 2002 by the Off-Broadway troupe the Axis Company. It has since become Axis’ own warped little Christmas tradition, revived each December. Circle handed this interactive show to its unofficial resident director of farce, Robin Armstrong, and the results are just as glorious as I’d hoped. While Seven in One Blow is sweeter and more commercial than Children’s Scientology Pageant, Armstrong –– a self-professed Monty Python fan –– has brought out compelling hues of Terry Gilliam-esque grotesquerie and absurdity that give this show a nice edge. Circle’s staging achieves the impressive feat of appealing to “children of all ages” as well as tired, leather-hearted critics looking for a new reason to cheer holiday theater.

The protagonist of the original Brothers Grimm tale was a mild-mannered tailor who undergoes a series of challenges with monsters and tyrants to become a king. In Sharp’s stage adaptation, the lead character is The Kid (played in the Circle show by Mikaela Krantz), who wanders away from neglectful parents and must overcome various obstacles on the city streets. The title Seven in One Blow refers to The Kid’s recurrent boast that he killed seven bothersome flies with one swat –– he even gets the phrase emblazoned on a huge belt buckle. Full of foolish bravery, he tangles with the eyepatch-wearing Ogre (Jim Johnson, a towering and goofy presence); a king named QK (Kevin Scott Keating), whose queen is a screechy blonde puppet in a black sequined dress; and QK’s greedy, superficial daughter, Princess Fartina (a delightfully vulgar Hannah McKinney). The Kid also encounters the green Pea with self-esteem issues (Amy Elizabeth Jones, who brings surprising tenderness to a despised dinner staple) and the Witch (an icy and disdainful Sherry Hopkins), who has kidnapped the month of December (the aristocratic Michael James) –– she holds him on a glittery leash to keep the land forever cold. The Kid’s sidekick is the dandy-ish, French phrase-dropping Scarlet Pimpernel (Brad Stephens). Through all of this, the audience is encouraged to sing, boo, and cheer by two wisecracking homeless men (Shane Strawbridge and Eric Dobbins, both boisterous and inventive) who serve as the show’s masters of ceremonies.

Set designer Clare Floyd DeVries and costume designer Armstrong have apparently borrowed ideas from sources as diverse as Sesame Street and The Who’s Tommy. The look of Circle’s show veers from utilitarian ghetto chic to Bob Mackie fabulous. Similarly, the performances are comically gritty and elegantly subversive, achieving a lunatic pitch that allows each actor to carve a memorable character from what could have been a hallucinatory mishmash of random Alice in Wonderland-style types. Saturday’s opening-night performance (which was attended by playwright Sharp and several members of the Axis Company) had a couple of problems with pacing as the show alternated between songs and comic vignettes, but those will likely be worked out as the run goes along. All of the performers had inspired command of their roles, but a special nod should go to Keating for making his shrewish queen puppet an authentic and bizarre cast member.

Krantz tied Seven in One Blow together with a marvelous turn as The Kid. Though she’s in her mid-20s, she could easily pass for 14, and she infused her character with the unsentimental tomboy charm of child actors like Tatum O’Neal and Jodie Foster. The gender-bending twist at the end of the show wasn’t much of a surprise, but by that point Krantz had successfully created a universal child hero who drew a bit from both genders. Circle’s Seven in One Blow pulls from a crazy menagerie of inspirations but, beyond all odds, finally comes together as a bold and sophisticated holiday adventure.

SEVEN IN ONE BLOW or The BRAVE LITTLE KID runs through December 17, 2011 at Circle Theatre, 230 West Fourth St., Fort Worth, TX 76102 in Sundance Square.  Call the box office at 817-877-3040 to reserve tickets or visit www.circletheatre.com.

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Circle Theatre Offers Free Tickets

Circle Theatre is offering FREE TICKETS to children 6 -11 and up to two adults per family.  These tickets are good for the opening week of our upcoming production, Seven in One Blow.  They will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, by calling Circle’s Box Office at 817-877-3040, from noon – 5pm, Tuesday thru Friday.  These FREE TICKETS  are for Thursday, Friday, Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Saturday afternoon at 3pm, November 17 – 19.

Children, 6-11, are still eligible for half price tickets for the rest of our run. Group rates for parties of 10 or more are also available.

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A Journey INTO THE WOODS

Into the Woods opened this weekend at the ArtCentre Theatre in Plano, running through August 28th.  Brad Stephens performs as the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, the musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them further to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests.  The main characters are taken from the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, tied together by a more original story involving a baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, most likely taken from the original story of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm.

The ArtCentre Theatre is located at 5220 Village Creek Drive in Plano, TX.  Tickets may be purchased at the door for $15 each.  Wednesday and Thursday performances are half price.  Tickets for select performances may be purchased online for $12 each.  Alternatively, theater-goers may e-mail Brad to arrange for discounted tickets.  For a complete schedule of performances, visit Brad’s Upcoming Events calendar.  Contact the theater at 214-810-3228 for more information.

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PROOF Opens at MCT

Proof, the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play by David Auburn, opens this weekend at the Mesquite Arts Center, running through June 25, 2011.

Directed by Doug Luke, the Mesquite Community Theatre production boasts a wonderful cast including Jeni Rall (Catherine), Cory Wornell (Claire), Gary Anderson (Robert) and Brad Stephens (Hal).  This is the third production Stephens has mounted at MCT, previously performing as Chris Keller in All My Sons (2008) and directing To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday (2009).

On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness – or genius – will she inherit?

PERFORMANCES:

  • Friday June 10 – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday June 11 – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday June 12- 2:30 PM ($12.00)
  • Friday June 17 – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday June 18 – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday June 19 – 2:30 PM ($12.00)
  • Thursday June 23 – 8:00 PM ($12.00)
  • Friday June 24 – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday June 25 – 8:00 PM

BOX OFFICE OPENS ONE HOUR BEFORE SHOW TIME
(House opens thirty minutes before show time.)

**********ADMISSION**********

  • $15.00-Adults
  • $12.00- Students, Seniors Over 55 and S.T.A.G.E. Members (with ID card)*
  • $8.00- Children 2-6 years old

Adult admission for Thursday evening and Sunday matinee performances are $12.00.

CASH OR CHECK ONLY NO CARDS! You may purchase your tickets using your CREDIT CARD by visiting http://www.mctweb.org/ and clicking the “Tickets On-Line” tab.

Though not required, RESERVATIONS are recommended to assure your seat for this performance. For Reservations call (972) 216-8126 or E-mail: Reservations@mctweb.org

Be sure to include your FULL NAME, PHONE NUMBER and the number of $15.00, $12.00 and $8.00 tickets you wish to reserve and the PERFORMANCE DATE & TIME

Cut off time for reservations for evening performances is 5:00 PM on the date of the performance and 12:30 PM for Sunday matinee performances on the date of the performance.

Reservations will be honored until 15 minutes before show-time. After that time, the reserved seats will be offered to our walk-in patrons.

NO ONE WILL BE SEATED AFTER THE PERFORMANCE BEGINS.

*Society for Theatrical Artists’ Guidance & Enhancement

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An Elegant PROOF

Brad Stephens has accepted an offer to play the role of “Hal” in the upcoming production of Proof at Mesquite Community Theatre.

Written by David Auburn and directed by Doug Luke, the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play runs June 10–25, 2011 at the Mesquite Arts Center.  This will be the third production Brad has mounted at MCT, previously performing as Chris Keller in All My Sons (2008) and directing To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday (2009).

On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician.  Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind.  Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness – or genius – will she inherit?

For tickets and information, visit the Mesquite Community Theatre website.

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Brad to Present at “The Rocky Horror Column Show!”

Brad Stephens has accepted an invitation to present an award at the 12th Annual Column Awards Gala.  This is the second year in a row Stephens has been requested for presenting duties at the prestigious event honoring excellence in theatre within the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

Stephens is also a nominee for Best Actor in a Musical (non-equity) at this year’s gala for his performance as Jekyll/Hyde in last October’s production of Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical at Greater Lewisville Community Theatre.  This is his second nomination after winning Best Supporting Actor in a Play (non-equity) last year for his 2009 performance in All My Sons at ICT MainStage.

The Column Awards are voted by the entire Dallas/Fort Worth theatrical community. Actors, directors, artistic directors, producers, musical directors, choreographers, designers, publicists, local area theater critics, playwrights, and even patrons of theater nominate and vote for the best in every aspect of theatrical production.  Over 300 productions were eligible and over 80 Theater companies participated in this year’s eligibility season.

The theme this year is The Rocky Horror Column Show! featuring an opening number celebrating the cult classic musical and starring many local talent.  Broadway stars Max Von Essen, Tyler Maynard and Tony award-winner, Broadway legend Donna McKechnie will co-host the event with Column Founder and President, John Garcia.

The Gala will be held Monday, March 14, 2011 at the exquisite Carpenter Hall Theater at the Irving Arts Center in Irving, Texas.  Cocktail hour starts at 7:00pm with the awards ceremony starting at 8:00pm.  For ticket or other information regarding The Column Awards, visit www.thecolumnawards.org.

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JEKYLL & HYDE Alive with Column Nominations!

Nominations for the 12th Annual Column Awards were streamed live over the Internet yesterday afternoon from the Irving Arts Center in Irving, Texas.  Brad Stephens received a nomination in the category of Best Actor in a Musical, Non-equity for his performance in last October’s Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical at Greater Lewisville Community Theatre.  This is his second Column Award nomination after winning Best Supporting Actor in a Play, Non-equity last year (All My Sons, ICT).

Stephens received the news via text message from good friend and fellow J&H cast-mate Diane Powell while attending a matinee performance of Othello in Albuquerque where his wife, Arlette Morgan, performs as Desdemona.  Powell relayed that Morgan had also received a Best Featured Actress nod for the role of Jane Ashton in Brigadoon at Artisan Center Theater.  In addition, both Jekyll & Hyde female leads, Courtney Sikora (Lucy Harris) and Michelle Foard (Emma Carew), received nominations as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.  Jaceson Barrus also earned an nomination for Best Lighting Design.

“I’m delighted to find myself in the company of some of the most talented performers in Dallas/Fort Worth,” Stephens said upon receiving the news.  “Jekyll & Hyde was the most demanding role I’ve yet tackled and I’m humbled and grateful to receive such recognition.  I’m especially happy for my co-stars who truly deserve this honor as does my gifted and supportive wife.”

Jekyll & Hyde was named one of DFW’s best productions of 2010 by John Garcia, Senior Chief Theater Critic and founder of The Column Online.  “I was completely blown away by how Director Sharon Veselic and her highly talented cast actually created a fantastic, thrilling, and visually exciting production,” he exclaimed.  Garcia also named Stephens, Sikora and Foard among his Breakthrough Performers of the Year.  “The trio of leads tore into the score with vocal finesse with a hard working ensemble cresting right along with them in commitment and talent.”

The Column is the creation of professional actor/part time theater critic John Garcia.  What began a little over a decade ago as a small email group of theater friends has grown into a major daily entertainment related column with over 19,000 subscribers.  The Column Awards annually honors excellence in local theater productions.  Additionally, The Column Awards strives to raise funds for the fight against AIDS by primarily contributing to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  Finally, The Column Awards is dedicated to developing a love of theater in local youth.

Nominees were selected from a list of eligible productions and individuals by the collective subscribers of the Column throughout the month of January.  Subscribers will vote on the nominees in a secondary round of voting beginning today.  Winners will be announced at the annual Column Awards Gala on March 14th in the Carpenter Theater at the Irving Arts Center.

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