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Colony wins Ovation’s Best Play again

JOYCE RUDOLPH

Burbank’s Colony Theatre Company won the Ovation Award Sunday for

Best Play (Large Theater), garnering the honor for the second year in

a row, and theater officials are flying high with pride.

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The honor came for Lillian Hellman’s “Toys in the Attic,” which

received a second award for actress Nancy Linehan Charles in the

Featured Actress in a Play category.

“We are over the moon,” said an elated Barbara Beckley, producing

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director.

Last year, the company won the Best Play category for “The Laramie

Project.”

This year, The Colony was up against the Ahmanson Theatre’s

“Morning’s at Seven” and other renowned theaters for Best Play, she

said.

“It’s the big one, the last one of the evening,” Beckley said. “To

be able to bring the award back home to Burbank, since almost all of

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us who work at the Colony live here, gave me such a special

pleasure.”

The play had a winning combination, Beckley said.

“It is one of the giant classic plays of 20th century American

theater and had a brilliant director -- Jessica Kubzansky -- stunning

cast and design team,” she said.

Beckley was also impressed with Charles’ performance.

“Nancy was brilliant in the show, and when you consider the

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competition, there were over 100 performances that were considered in

that category and she came out on top, that really says something

about the quality of the work that gets put on our stage,” she said.

Another Burbank company receiving an Ovation Award this year was

the Victory Theatre for “Judy’s Scary Little Christmas.” Connie

Champagne won in the Lead Actress in a Musical category.

“We’re very pleased,” said Maria Gobetti, artistic director.

“It’s as if Connie cloned Judy Garland,” she said. “At times, I’d

blink to make sure it wasn’t Garland on stage. It was an

extraordinary performance.”

The Victory Theatre, celebrating 24 years in town, has been

nominated for more than five Ovation Awards over the years, and this

is its third win, Gobetti said.

“Winning an Ovation Award means a lot because it’s voted on by

your peers and it is very respected in the theater community. It is

the West Coast version of the Tony Awards on the East Coast,” she

said.

It is also helpful when a theater company is looking for funding,

she added, which is very important because city funds for the arts

were cut this year.

“It is a mark of respect and to receive more than one means you

are doing quality work,” she said.

The box office has been doing especially well for the Victory’s

present production “Wishing Well,” Gobetti said. So much so that the

play has been extended to Dec. 14.

“At this time of lack of funding, having such a successful show

and strong box-office return has been a godsend,” she said.

“Wishing Well” has received the prestigious Critic’s Choice honor

from the Los Angeles Times and has been recommended by every critic

in town, she said. It is also in consideration for the Los Angeles

Drama Circle Critics Award.

“A big deal for a 99-seat theater,” said Gobetti, who is also

directing the play.

The company’s next show is “An Evening with Egos” by Joe DeRosa

getting its world premiere in the Little Victory Theatre.

*

Burbank’s Alliance Theatre Company’s “The Hostage” has been

nominated in three categories for the Valley Theatre League’s 10th

annual Artistic Director Achievement Awards.

Nominations are for Best Production Revival -- Comedy, Best

Ensemble Cast -- Comedy; and Best Director Stephanie Shroyer.

Also nominated for three honors is Theatre Banshee’s “Red Noses.”

Nominations are for Best Ensemble, Best Production -- Comedy and

Best Director Sean Branney. Branney, a Glendale resident, is artistic

director of Theatre Banshee.

The production was produced at Burbank’s Gene Bua Theatre.

Winners will be announced beginning at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the El

Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. Fritz Coleman will be master of

ceremonies.

Tickets are $20 before Sunday and $25 at the door. For

information, call 761-0704.

*

Lily Gevorkian, 18-year-old coloratura soprano and a recent

graduate of Burbank High School, will replace opera singer Shana

Blake Hill for the Glendale Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas

Celebration Dec. 5 at The Alex Theatre.

Gevorkian, winner of the Women’s Committee of the Glendale

Symphony Assn.'s Chipman Encouragement Award in the spring, was heard

by Glendale Symphony conductor Norman Henry Mamey when she was

featured at the Women’s Committee’s Membership Tea in October. He was

so impressed, that, when Hill had to cancel because a rehearsal of

the opera she is performing in San Francisco was rescheduled, he

immediately thought of Lily.

She will sing the same aria that had been programmed for Hill,

Mozart’s Alleluia.

For tickets, call 243-2539.

*

The Los Angeles Cinema Club, now in its 72nd year, will screen a

series of short videos by members at its meeting at 7:30 tonight in

the social hall of the Little White Chapel in Burbank. Refreshments

will be served.

The program will show a number of subjects as well as various

techniques for video making. Also being shown will be all the 2003

entries in the Amateur Movie Makers Assn. “Magic Moments” contest for

one-minute movies.

“Our members produced 10 of the 26 entries in the contest,” said

club member Stan Whitsett of Glendale. “And our members produced

three of the eight videos recognized by the judges including first

and second place and one honorable mention.”

The group meets on the fourth Wednesday every month, except

December.

For more information, call President Walt Gilmore of Burbank at

842-3820.

* JOYCE RUDOLPH’s column appears Wednesdays. For events happening

this weekend, read her 48 Hours column Saturdays. Reach her at

637-3241.


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