Dora Mavor Moore Awards 2018: who will be nominated?

The first ballots for Dora Mavor Moore Awards nominations are due this week, so I thought Id try to predict.

The first ballots for Dora Mavor Moore Awards nominations are due this week, so I thought Id try to predict the nominees. Play along at home! Or if you happen to be reading this during intermission at a show, pencil in things you think Ive forgot in the margins of your theatre program! (I’ll weigh in on outstanding new play and new musical/opera categories later on.)

In the interest of brevity, Im only commenting on theatre, not dance, opera or theatre for young audiences. Ive decided against splitting these observations into General and Independent theatre categories.

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts will announce the actual nominees on May 31. For more info go to

Beaty won the Dora last year for The Last Wife, but in Hannah Moscovitchs coming-of-ager, she got to show off something new: simultaneously acting as narrator and sex-obsessed central character, she was comic, sensual and awkward, all done with complete confidence.

Other likely nominees: Seana McKenna (Lear) Laurie Paton (The Humans)

Lets hope: Vivien Endicott-Douglas isnt shut out of the race for either Lo (Or Dear Mr Wells) or Category E. Acting since her teen years, shes emerged as one of the strongest performers of her generation. And I fear there wont be room for Laakkuluk Williamson Bathorys ferocious performance in Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools, though it’s probably unlike anything a Dora juror has ever sat through before.

I wasnt as blown away by Coatess return to the stage as many, but in the months since seeing Outside the Marchs sold-out production, his grizzled, glamorous and dangerous turn as a troubled Pied Piper railing against the evils of the modern world has stayed with me. Hes guaranteed a spot on this list, and probably the win.

Other likely nominees: Ric Reid (The Humans) Craig Lauzon (The Drawer Boy)

Hope theres room for: Bob Nasmiths devastating performance in Krapps Last Tape Rick Robertss terrifying and pitiable Pozzo in Waiting For Godot Adam Lazaruss eerily relevant toxic male figure in Daughter and Jeff Hos multi-generational dramatis personae from his autobiographical Trace

Many who saw the Broadway production and this co-pro by Mirvish and Musical Stage Company thought Buliung did a more convincing job as the show’s closeted father than the Tony Award-winning Michael Cerveris. No wonder. Lusty one moment, full of fury the next, then tender and remorseful, Buliung captures all the conflicts and contradictions of this heartbreaking character.

Other likely nominees: Dan Chameroy (Life After) Daren A. Herbert (Onegin)

Lets hope: one or both of the two Mandarin-singing performers from Njo Kong Kie and Wong Teng Chis Mr. Shi And His Lover, Jordan Cheng and Derek Kwan, get remembered for their haunting turns singing in a variety of genres. And in a just world, Joel Cumber‘s oddball Amish character from Rumspringa Break! would be recognized.

Gillis has always been one of those artists whose feelings register even to someone in the back of the theatre will anyone who saw it forget her poignant scene in Spoon River? She was the emotional centre in Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hilles indie rock take on the Tchaikovsky classic, and a Dora nomination seems assured.

Other likely nominees: Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) Ellen Denny (Life After) and all three Alisons in Fun Home (Laura Condlln, Sara Farb, Hannah Levinson), although they could end up scoring an ensemble nomination instead.

Performances like these are why theres an ensemble category in the first place. How else could voters single out one person from among great actors like Akosua Amo-Adem, Ordena Stephens-Thompson, Karen Glave, Tamara Brown, dbi young anitafrika, Evangelia Kambites and Sate?

Other likely nominees: Onegin Jerusalem The Humans Punk Rock Bunny Lear Rumspringa Break!

You dont often get the chance to turn a theatre into an English forest, but thats what Blais accomplished in his immersive set for Jez Butterworths play. Seldom has walking into a show been so thrilling.

Other likely design nominees: Ken MacKenzie (sets and costumes for Animal Farm) Jason Hand (lighting design for Hamlet) T. Erin Gruber (set design for Bears)

The 39th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, hosted by Astrid Van Wieren, take place June 25 at the Winter Garden Theatre. Tickets go on sale May 31.

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