NEW PORT RICHEY — The happy-go-lucky musical Mame and the laughs-with-a-message comedy The Foreigner were the big winners in the annual awards bestowed by patrons of Richey Suncoast Theatre for the 2011-12 season.
Mame swept all seven categories in the musical division of the awards announced Friday night. The Foreigner won four of the five awards given in the comedy/play division, with the only other play in the season, the comedy/farce There Goes the Bride, winning one.
The awards, until recently called "The Tommys" in honor of theater founder and silent screen star Thomas Meighan, but recently renamed "The Charlies" in honor of the late board chairman and theater manager Charlie Skelton, are given to the performers and crew members who receive the highest number and highest numeric value of each vote cast by audience members during the run of a show.
Each patron is given a sheet with cast members' names on it at each performance and asked to assign a number from one to five evaluating the actors' performance, as well as the overall effect of the show as determined by the director, music director and choreographer. The actor or crew member with the highest cumulative number wins each award, so high attendance at a show is a contributing factor, as more people will be casting votes.
The three musicals in the 2011-12 season were the dark season opener in September, Cabaret; the complex and unfamiliar story-within-a-story comedic/dramatic show City of Angels; and the light-hearted theater favorite, Mame.
The winners were:
Female Lead: Anne Lakey as hunting lodge owner Betty Meeks in The Foreigner;
Male lead: Nate Sakovich as the fake foreigner Charlie Baker in The Foreigner;
Supporting female: Suzanne Delaney as the unhappy former debutante and more unhappy bride-to-be in The Foreigner;
Supporting male: Bill Schommer as the hard-of-hearing Dr. Drimmond in There Goes the Bride;
Favorite director of a comedy: Rich Aront for The Foreigner.
Female lead: Kathryn Tilley in the title role of Mame;
Male lead: Tad Andris as Young Patrick in Mame;
Supporting female: Tracie Callahan as the befuddled Agnes Gooch in Mame;
Supporting male: Rich Aront as the straight-laced Dwight Babcock in Mame;
Director: Marie Skelton for Mame;
Music director: Jacki Doxie Scott for Mame;
Favorite choreographer: Linda Hougland for Mame.
In addition, the board of directors voted a special award to Elizabeth Phillips, who played Sally Bowles in Cabaret and to Chris Cavalier for his performance as the Emcee, also in Cabaret.