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"Dreamgirls" Bursts Through 2016 Artsies Awards

A complete list of winners at the Richmond theater community's annual awards celebration.

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Disirée Roots, Zuri Washington and Felicia Curry led the cast of Virginia Rep's “Dreamgirls,” which received seven Artsies earlier tonight. - JAY PAUL
  • Jay Paul
  • Disirée Roots, Zuri Washington and Felicia Curry led the cast of Virginia Rep's “Dreamgirls,” which received seven Artsies earlier tonight.

With 13 nominations and seven wins, the stage-to-film-to-stage “Dreamgirls” dominated Richmond’s version of the Tony Awards tonight. Virginia Reportory Theatre’s splashy summer show won Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical along with accolades for technical achievement.

Fitting that Desiree Roots, who played Effie, served as host of the Artsies awards show, held earlier tonight at Virginia Rep’s November Theatre.

Awards were chosen by a group of local reviewers who are members of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle, in conjunction with the Richmond Theatre Alliance.

It was clear early on that the crowd-pleasing “Dreamgirls” was going to be a big source of entertainment.

“The music soars, the performances are spot-on, and the dazzling technical elements create beautiful stage pictures that will stick in your memory long after you leave the theater,” Style theater critic Dave Timberline wrote of the production.

Timberline also called out D. Jerome Wells -- who won for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical -- as the cast’s “most delightful surprise.”

The Best Ensemble Artsie went to the cast of TheatreLab's "Bad Jews" -- Evan Nasteff, Catherine Carol Walker, Kelsey Cordrey and Ethan Malamud. - BIRGITTE DODD TINGLEY
  • Birgitte Dodd Tingley
  • The Best Ensemble Artsie went to the cast of TheatreLab's "Bad Jews" -- Evan Nasteff, Catherine Carol Walker, Kelsey Cordrey and Ethan Malamud.

TheatreLab’s “Venus in Fur,” co-produced with Yes, And Entertainment, won Best Play, with Maggie Roop’s performance in the show winning her a Best Actress award. The show was the directoral debut of Richmond actor Matt Shofner.

Style theater critic Rich Griset called “The Boy From Oz” a “rollicking good time,” and it netted two Artsies for Richmond Triangle Players -- Best Actor in a Musical to Chris Hester, who spent a year preparing for the role of Peter Allen, and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical to Grey Garrett. It was her second time inhabiting the character of Judy Garland for a Richmond production, an experience she shared with Style.

Laine Satterfield won Best Direction of a Play for Virginia Rep’s “The Mountaintop,” which also received “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design” for Jesse Senechel’s work.

“Bad Jews,” produced by TheatreLab, won the Ernie McClintock Award for Best Ensemble Acting. In his review, Griset wrote that the play “hits all the right comedic beats and manages a surprisingly touching close.”

Kate Belleman won Best Choreography for “Green Day’s American Idiot” at the Firehouse Theatre, and Debra Clinton and Jason Marks’ “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical” won Outstanding Original Work. Here's how that show came together.

Dancer Frances Wessells and actress Marie Goodman Hunter, both Richmond educators, received the Liz Marks Memorial Award for Ongoing Contribution to Richmond Theatre.

The complete list of nominees and winners is:

Best Musical

Winner: “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

“The Boy From Oz,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

“Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

“Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

“Little Shop of Horrors,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Best Direction / Musical

Winner: Chase Kniffen, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Debra Clinton, “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Adam Ferguson, “Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

Deejay Gray, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” produced by TheatreLab

Tom Width, “Little Shop of Horrors,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Best Actor / Musical

Winner: Chris Hester, “The Boy From Oz,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Other nominees:

Denver Crawford, “Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

Ian Page, “Little Shop of Horrors,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Alexander Sapp, “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Jerold Solomon, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Actress / Musical

Winner: Katrinah Carol Lewis, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” produced by TheatreLab

Other nominees:

Audra Honaker, “Little Shop of Horrors,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Jenna Kraynak, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” produced by Nu Puppis

Robyn O’Neill, “Gypsy,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Desiree Roots, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Supporting Actor / Musical

Winner: D. Jerome Wells, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Billy Dye, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Adam Mincks, “Little Shop of Horrors,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Mahlan Raoufi, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” produced by Nu Puppis

Durron Tyre, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Supporting Actress / Musical

Winner: Grey Garrett, “The Boy From Oz,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Other nominees:

Felicia Curry, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Kathy Halenda, “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Anna Hogan, The Boy From Oz, produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Jeannie Rule, The Boy From Oz, produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Best Choreography

Winner: Kate Belleman, “Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

Other nominees:

Justin Amellio, “The Boy from Oz,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Debra Clinton, “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Leslie Owens-Harrington, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Scott Putman, “Equus,” produced by Cadence Theatre, in partnership with Virginia Rep

Best Musical Direction

Winner: John Winn, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Kim Fox, “The Boy From Oz,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Matt Koon, “Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

Jose Simbulan, “Gypsy,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Travis West, “Little Shop of Horrors,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Best Play

Winner: “Venus in Fur,” produced by TheatreLab

Other nominees:

“4000 Miles,” produced by Cadence Theatre, in partnership with Virginia Rep

“American Buffalo,” produced by Quill Theatre

“The Mountaintop,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

“Peter and the Starcatcher,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

“Stupid Fucking Bird,” produced by Quill Theatre

Best Direction / Play

Winner: Laine Satterfield, “The Mountaintop,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Anna Johnson, “Equus,” produced by Cadence Theatre, in partnership with Virginia Rep

Jon Kretzu, “Stupid Fucking Bird,” produced by Quill Theatre

Daniel Moore, “American Buffalo,” produced by Quill Theatre

Nathaniel Shaw, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Matt Shofner, “Venus in Fur,” produced by TheatreLab

Best Actor / Play

Winner: Matthew Radford Davies, “The Merchant of Venice,” produced by Quill Theatre

Other nominees:

Joe Inscoe, “King Lear,” produced by Quill Theatre

Alan Sader, “American Buffalo,” produced by Quill Theatre

Alexander Sapp, “Summer and Smoke,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Jerold Solomon, “The Mountaintop,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Scott Wichmann, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Actress / Play

Winner: Maggie Roop, “Venus in Fur,” produced by TheatreLab

Other nominees:

Kimberly Jones Clark, “Christmas on the Rocks,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Kelsey Cordrey, “Bad Jews,” produced by TheatreLab

Katrinah Carol Lewis, “The Mountaintop,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Irene Ziegler, “4000 Miles,” produced by Cadence Theatre, in partnership with Virginia Rep

Best Supporting Actor / Play

Winner: Alan Sader, “The Lazarus Syndrome,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Other nominees:

Jeff Clevenger, “Stupid Fucking Bird,” produced by Quill Theatre

Larry Cook, “Equus,” produced by Cadence Theatre, in partnership with Virginia Rep

Trevor Craft, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Robert Throckmorton, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Supporting Actress / Play

Winner: Jessi Johnson, “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play,” produced by TheatreLab

Other nominees:

Megan Graves, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Audra Honaker, “Stupid Fucking Bird,” produced by Quill Theatre

Margarette Joyner, “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf,” produced by Heritage Ensemble Theatre

Catherine Carol Walker, “Bad Jews,” produced by TheatreLab

Ernie McClintock Award for Best Ensemble Acting

Winner: “Bad Jews,” produced by TheatreLab

Other nominees:

“American Buffalo,” produced by Quill Theatre

“Brighton Beach Memoirs,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

“Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

“Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play,” produced by TheatreLab

“Stupid Fucking Bird,” produced by Quill Theatre

Most Promising Newcomer

Winner: Tyler Stevens, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Emma Grace Bailey, “Creating Claire,” produced by HATTheatre

Adam Valentine, “Maple and Vine,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

Killian Winn, “King Lear,” produced by Quill Theatre

Ben Wilson, “Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

Outstanding Original Work

Winner: “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical,” created by Debra Clinton and Jason Marks, produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

“The Little Lion,” written by Irene Zeigler and produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

“Sweet Chocolate and the Seven Christians,” written by Margarette Joyner, produced by Heritage Ensemble Theatre

“Sadie’s Last Painting,” written by Alex Mayberry, produced by Free Jambalaya

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design

Winner: Sarah Grady, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Sue Griffin, “Gypsy,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Jeanne Nugent, “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Jeanne Nugent, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Mark Souza, The Boy from Oz, produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

Winner: Joe Doran, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Joe Doran, “The Little Lion,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Joe Doran, “Little Shop of Horrors,” produced by Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Michael Jarrett, “The Boy from Oz,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

BJ Wilkinson, “Summer and Smoke,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in Set Design

Winner: Ron Keller, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Tennessee Dixon, “Stupid Fucking Bird,” produced by Quill Theatre

Vinnie Gonzalez, “American Buffalo,” produced by Quill Theatre

Rich Mason, “Summer and Smoke,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Craig Napoliello, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design

Winner: Jesse Senechel, “The Mountaintop,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Other nominees:

Tadd Burrell, “Green Day’s American Idiot,” produced by Firehouse Theatre

Kelsey Cordrey, “American Buffalo,” produced by Quill Theatre

Derek Dumais, “Dreamgirls,” produced by Virginia Repertory Theatre

Joey Luck, “The Boy from Oz,” produced by Richmond Triangle Players

Liz Marks Memorial Award for Ongoing Contribution to Richmond Theatre

Marie Goodman Hunter, Frances Wessells

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