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Community theater gives five Tommy Awards to its 'Chess' production

NEW PORT RICHEY — Looks like the Richey Suncoast Theatre's production of Chess had all the right moves.

The musical showdown of chess champions set near the end of the Cold War led the pack in Tommy Awards, the theater's version of Broadway's Tony Awards.

Charlie Skelton won the award for best director of a musical for Chess, a difficult production that included sometimes atonal or unmelodic music, use of English, Hungarian and Russian languages and mix of rock, opera, operetta, classical and traditional scores.

Paul Gibson, who played Russian chess champion Anatoly Sergievsky, snagged the Tommy for best actor in a musical.

And the awards for best supporting actor and actress in a musical went, respectively, to newcomers Rob Tilley, who played American chess champion Freddie Trumper, and Kathryn Tilley, who played Anatoly's distraught wife Svetlana.

Two other productions, FAME and Steel Magnolias, picked up three Tommy Awards apiece. Charlie Skelton won the other best director award for comedy for Steel Magnolias, while wife Marie Skelton, who directed FAME, accepted the award for Best Show of the Season.

No awards were given for best actor or supporting actor in a comedy, as there were no male actors in a comedy this season, Charlie Skelton said.

The awards are named for 1920s movie star Thomas Meighan, who once lived in New Port Richey and after whom the theater was originally named. Theater patrons cast the votes.


And the winners are...

• Best Actress in a Comedy: Susan Nichols, Steel Magnolias

• Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Ereka Passarella, Steel Magnolias

• Best Actress in a Musical: Breanna Daniele, FAME

• Best Actor in a Musical: Paul Gibson, Chess

• Best Supporting Actor in a Musical: Rob Tilley, Chess

• Best Supporting Actress in a Musical: Kathryn Tilley, Chess

• Best Costumes in a Show: Chris Craig, Chess

• Best Choreography: Deborah Oles, Roseanne Vavasis, Teresamia Vavasis, Marie Skelton, FAME

• Best Director, Comedy: Charlie Skelton, Steel Magnolias

• Best Director, Musical: Charlie Skelton, Chess

• Best Show of the Season: Marie Skelton, director of FAME


Community theater gives five Tommy Awards to its 'Chess' production 09/10/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8:52pm]
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