Last week, I had the pleasure of announcing the nominations for the 47th Annual Theatre Arts Guild Awards accompanied by my partner in crime Ablan Robin. It was a great chance for members all the area theatres to celebrate the accomplishments and performances from the past season.

            Overall, 154 nominations were given out with the Omaha Community Playhouse receiving 70 of them. The Playhouse musicals Les Miserables and Young Frankenstein led individual show nominations with 23 and 17 respectively. Les Miz has 14 acting nominations by itself. Joining those two shows for the Best Musical category are Next to Normal and Ella (OCP) as well as 42nd Street (Papillion-LaVista Community).

            The Best Comedy category was led by Joe Basque’s The Battle of Battles with 14 nominations. It will compete for Best Comedy against Boeing, Boeing (OCP), Gnit and God of Carnage (BLUEBARN), and Twelfth Night (Nebraska Shakespeare).

            In the Drama category, BLUEBARN Theatre’s production of 33 Variations took home 10 nominations, as did SNAP Productions’ Voices from the Closet. The other Best Drama nominees include the Playhouse’s productions of Having Our Say and Race as well as SNAP Productions’ Tribes.

            It’s safe to say that the Shelterbelt Theatre will take home at least one TAG Award as they swept the Best One-Act Play category. Next season will be interesting as the ‘Belt chose to not continue its Shelterskelter and With Love programming in lieu of showcasing more full-length work.

            The Outstanding Special Event category is worthy of note. Over the past past few years, the category has served as a preview for shows that end up as full productions in later seasons. This year, at least three of the nominees will be fully realized: 21 & Over’s Exit, Pursued by a Bear (now at Creighton), Freakshow (UNO), and We are Proud to Present (SNAP). Those shows will compete again 21 & Over’s Tigers be Still and Chanticleer Theatre’s showcase Our Time: the Song of Stephen Sondheim.

            The dark horse of sorts had to be Creighton Theatre’s production of Phantom. The Arthur Kopit musical snagged 5 nominations, although not one for Best Musical.

The TAG Awards night will be held Sunday, August 3rd at the Swanson Conference Center on the Fort Omaha Campus of Metropolitan Community College. Social Hour starts at 5:30 p.m. with the Awards hosted by Mark Thornburg starting at 7 p.m.

            Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com


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