Tibbits Summer Theatre received plenty of recognition for both its 2013 and 2014 seasons when the nominations were announced for the Wilde Awards, Michigan’s version of the Tony Awards. The theatre received a total of 11 nominations and 2 honorable mention recognitions.
The Wilde Awards honor the best productions and performances of Michigan’s 2013-14 professional theater season. Tibbits’ nominations are:
- Guys and Dolls, Trinity Bird, director
Best Performance, Actor – Musical
- John Payonk, Fiddler on the Roof;
- Brian Sage, The Producers;
- Chad Tallon, The Producers;
- Honorable mention: Tyler Whiteman, Guys and Dolls
Best Performance, Actress – Musical
- Catherine Skojec, Guys and Dolls
- Richard Baker and Joey Gugliemelli, The Producers;
- Tony Milder and Chad Tallon, Greater Tuna;
- Aisling Halpin, Guys and Dolls;
- Kevin Halpin, The Producers;
- Honorable mention: Kevin Halpin, A Chorus Line;
Best Design – Costume
- Xiachen Zhou, Guys and Dolls;
Best Music Direction
- Cheryl VanDuzen, The Producers;
Now in its 13th year, The Wilde Awards honor the best productions, performances and technical work produced or presented by professional theaters across the state. They are presented by EncoreMichigan.com, a comprehensive resource for news and information about the state’s professional theater industry. The Wilde Awards were established in 2002 to honor the excellent work produced by Michigan’s professional theaters. Starting in 2011 the awards began including theatres outside the Detroit-metro area. Tibbits has three previous awards.
Nominations are based on reviews written by EncoreMichigan.com’s team of professional critics. This year’s team included Dana Casadei, Carolyn Hayes Harmer, Martin F. Kohn, Michael H. Margolin, Jenn McKee, Sue Merrell, John Quinn, Bridgette M. Redman and Judith Cookis Rubens. The group reviewed 225 productions produced or presented by 49 professional theater companies across the state.
After sifting through hundreds of potential nominees, 85 productions earned at least one nomination – as did 28 of the producing or presenting theaters. Tibbits Summer Theatre’s 11 nominations tied for fourth among theatres with multiple nominations. Tibbits’ 2013 production “The Producers” tied with three other shows for the top spot of five nominations.
According to Donald V. Calamia, co-founder and editorial director of EncoreMichigan.com, “producers and artists turned out work of the highest caliber all season long, which presented us with quite a challenge: How do you single out a handful of people and shows to honor when the season was filled with so many noteworthy accomplishments?” He added, “whether a producer has a million-dollar budget or a buck ten, it doesn’t matter. It’s how well they spend their budget and tell their story that makes the difference – and that’s what we considered most as we debated our nominations for The 2014 Wilde Awards.”
Calamia noted how this year is a transition year for the awards as it shifts from a season that starts in May to one which starts in August. It means this year runs from May to August. According to Calamia, “those additional two months had some pretty unusual ramifications. The most notable was the number of summer theaters that competed against themselves across two different seasons.
Calamia hopes people come to recognize about professional theater in Michigan. “One of the world’s best-kept secrets is not only how much professional theater exists in the state, but how much of it is so well done. Our producers, directors, artists and staff people work very hard to offer our communities the highest quality shows they can, and we’re honored to shine the spotlight on them for their endeavors. Congratulations to all our nominees and non-nominees alike. They staged one heck of a season, and everyone should be very proud of their accomplishments”
The 2014 Wilde Awards
The 2014 Wilde Awards, sponsored by Pride Source Media Group, will be held Monday, Sept. 22 at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with an hors d’oeuvre and cocktail reception. The awards show will begin promptly at 8 p.m.; a dessert afterglow will follow. Admission is $21 per person; VIP admission is $46 per person, which includes unlimited bar service. Tickets are available now at The Berman’s box office, by phone at 248-661-1900, or online at http://theberman.org.