After a break of nearly three years, the Barrymores (Philly's Tony Awards) are back, with winners from the 2022-23 season announced in a ceremony at FringeArts on Monday night. Let's take a look at some of the winners and see what our critics said about the shows at the time. Our reviewers' work, including this week's coverage (below), is available to read anytime on BSR, providing an important cultural snapshot, and documenting these artists' work for the future.
Delaware Theatre Company took seven awards home, including nods for its Man of La Mancha production, ensemble, director and music director, and lighting design. Here’s what BSR critic Gail Obenreder had to say at the time: “beautifully staged by Matt Silva, it features inventive musical direction by Ryan Touhey and first-rate work from its entire company.”
The Lantern went home with three awards, including Outstanding Overall Production of a Play and Outstanding Choreography and Movement in a Play for director Zuhairah McGill. “The Royale packs an emotional punch for all audiences,” BSR critic Gary Day wrote.
The Arden received three awards, including two for its 2023 production of Lynn Nottage’s Clyde's (Outstanding Director of a Play for Malika Oyetimein, and Outstanding Ensemble in a Play). BSR Critic Cameron Kelsall said, “the Arden’s fine production, directed by Malika Oyetimein, brings [the characters’] personalities to vivid life.”
Quintessence Theatre Group nabbed two awards for its 2022 production of Mary Poppins, including Best Leading Actress in a Musical for star Hanna Gaffney. She “is perfectly suited to play the iconic Mary Poppins: the tone and clarity of her voice resembles that of Julie Andrews,” BSR critic Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer wrote.
For my part, I wholeheartedly agree with the Outstanding Leading Performance in a Play award for Melanye Finister in the world premiere of James Ijames’s Abandon at Theatre Exile. At the time, I wrote “Finister gives one of the most affecting and nuanced performances I’ve seen in recent years. She peels back the emotional layers of Ijames’s dialogue with a single look or word: a scolding is a welcome, a boundary is an embrace, and an affirmation means goodbye.”
Letting you take a look back at such excellent work from our local artists is part of what we at BSR love to do for our arts community. Thanks for reading, and for your support! We hope you enjoy this week's stories, including our latest installment in our year-end Behind the Scenes series.