NEW PORT RICHEY — The comedy-farce Funny Money made a clean sweep in the comedy/play category of the annual Tommy Awards for the 2009-10 season at Richey Suncoast Theatre, winning all five awards in that category.
Other big winners were the musicals Evita, with four awards, and Footloose, with three.
The awards are based on a popular vote by people who attend the shows.
The season's three other shows were the musicals Li'l Abner and A Pasco Christmas 2009: 10th Anniversary Reflections, and the comedy Run for Your Wife.
Ray Cooney's Funny Money was a newcomer to the area, and Footloose was a newcomer to the Richey Suncoast stage. It was the theater's second presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Evita, the first being in May 1994.
The award is named in honor of movie star Thomas Meighan, who spent winters in New Port Richey and died in 1936 at age 57, never having realized his dream of making west Pasco the center of movie production. The theater was named the Meighan Theatre until it was renamed Richey Suncoast Theatre several decades ago.
Winners of 2009-10 Tommy Awards
Best Actress in a Musical: Lexi Balestrieri, Evita in Evita;
Best Actor in a Musical: Rob Tilley, Che in Evita;
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical: Caitlin Ramirez, Rusty in Footloose;
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical: Micah Laird, Willard in Footloose;
Best Choreography in a Musical: Deborah Oles, Footloose;
Best Musical Director: Stella Gaukhshteyn, Evita;
Best Director of a Musical: Bob Reece, Evita;
Best Actress in a Comedy: Ginger King, Jean Perkins in Funny Money;
Best Actor in a Comedy: Bill Schommer, Henry Perkins in Funny Money;
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Trish Farber, Betty Johnson in Funny Money
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Barry Silber, Vic Johnson in Funny Money;
Best Director of a Comedy: Dee Ford, Funny Money.
In addition, 18 Awards of Appreciation were given out by the theater.