Dora Mavor Moore Awards 2019: who will be nominated?

The final votes for this years Dora Mavor Moore Awards will be tallied soon, so I thought Id try, with.


The final votes for this years Dora Mavor Moore Awards will be tallied soon, so I thought Id try, with typical theatre-critic arrogance, to see if I could predict the nominees. Bear in mind that my accuracy in these crystal ball attempts is usually around 60 per cent.

This years Doras, besides being the ceremonys 40th anniversary, are the first in which the acting awards will all be non-gendered.

Im only commenting on theatre, not dance, opera or theatre for young audiences. And Ive decided against splitting these observations into general and independent theatre categories.

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, or TAPA, announce the actual nominees on May 28. For more info go to tapa.ca.

Peterson was a last-minute replacement for this Coal Mine production when illness caused Nicholas Campbell to bow out. As an elderly Parisian living with dementia, Peterson had to mine all the layers of this complex man, suggesting his more vigorous past, revealing his sorrows and, most wrenchingly, capturing his current state of fear and confusion. It was a staggering performance by an actor whos given us many.

Other likely nominees:

Frank Cox-OConnell, Hand To God

Gregory Prest, La Bete and Bed & Breakfast

Bahia Watson, The Virgin Trial

Gord Rand, The Runner

Virgilia Griffith, Harlem Duet

Augusto Bitter, Chicho

Maev Beaty, Secret Life Of A Mother

Lets hope theres room for:

Philip Riccio, 1979

Ryan Hollyman and/or Anne van Leeuwen, Cmon Angie!

Chala Hunter, The Philosophers Wife

MacIvors Tarragon Theatre drama about a reunion between two estranged friends who had experienced hell in their past marked a change in the veteran playwrights work. It was as funny and observant as ever, but the emotional depth and sense of humanity among these perfectly ordinary people marks it as one of his strongest and most moving non-solo shows to date.

Other likely nominees:

Hannah Moscovitch, Secret Life Of A Mother

Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman, Guarded Girls

Jeff Ho, Iphigenia And The Furies

Michael Healey, 1979

About a decade and a half ago, Aquino co-wrote and starred in a hilarious play called Miss Orient(ed), about a beauty pageant in a suburban Toronto Filipino community. No doubt that gave her a starting point for her funny, expansive, moving and exuberant take on Jocelyn Biohs look at students in a Ghana boarding school competing against each other. Full of equal parts social commentary and self-consciously cheesy fantasy sequences, this Obsidian/Nightwood co-pro could be crowned with the top Dora awards this season.

Other likely nominees:

Peter Pasyk, The Nether

Courtney Chng Lancaster, The Wolves

Mitchell Cushman, Hand To God

Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Ma Raineys Black Bottom

Howland Companys production of Sarah DeLappes play was on virtually every critics year-end best theatre list and no wonder. Under Courtney Chng Lancasters sensitive direction, the eclectic cast playing a soccer team kicked around lots of ideas about gender, politics and class.

Other deserving nominees (although the category is no longer present in the General Theatre division):

Girls Like That (Tarragon Theatre)

1979 (The 1979 Group)

Little Menace: Pinter Plays (Soulpepper Theatre)

School Girls Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Obsidian Theatre and Nightwood Theatre)

Lets hope theres room for:

The Cherry Orchard (Modern Times Stage Company)

Dry Powder (Evermore Theatre Company)

Now You See Her (Nightwood Theatre, Quote Unquote Collective and Why Not Theatre)

Rock is one of those multitalented performers whos so good in everything she does, she often gets overlooked come awards time. As the sister of one of the boxers in Marco Ramirezs play for Soulpepper, Rock brought warmth, heart and passion to a work that at times seemed like one big testosterone-fest. Lets hope shes a contender and winner this time out.

Other likely nominees:

Tanja Jacobs, The Assembly: Episode 1

Stephanie MacDonald, New Magic Valley Fun Town

Trish Fagan, The Father

Lovell Adams-Gray, Ma Raineys Black Bottom

The role of the socially awkward teen who becomes an online hero all based on a lie is fiendishly difficult to cast. But in this Mirvish production, Stratford veteran Markus more than pulled it off, making you believe his nervous tics and increasingly troubled conscience. All these contradictions come out in his singing of everything from big tuneful anthems to soul-crushing confessions.

Other likely nominees:

Ben Caplan, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

Hailey Gillis, Rose

Ma-Anne Dionisio, Next To Normal

Vanessa Sears, Mary Poppins

Lets hope theres room for:

Sara-Jeanne Hosie, The Wizard Of Oz: A Toto-ly Twistered Family Musical

Fernandes has a playful, boyish quality that adds something to every show, and its almost as if the role of Willie, the distracted friend of the eponymous character in Mike Ross and Sarah Wilsons Soulpepper kids musical, was written specifically for him. His patter song sung with gusto, accuracy and a believable innocence was one of the most unforgettable show-stoppers this year.

Other likely nominees:

Jessica Sherman, Dear Evan Hansen

Mary Fay Coady, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

Louise Pitre, Next To Normal

Sometimes a set design is so powerful that it can haunt ones dreams or nightmares. That happened with The Nether, the Coal Mine/Studio 180 co-production. Under director Peter Pasyk, Bottomleys projections and Lavenders sets and lighting created a sinister jewel box of a space where fantasy and reality intersected. Prediction: this will be one of the toughest categories this year, a sure sign that our designers are among the best in the world.

Other likely nominees:

Camellia Koo, Secret Life Of A Mother

Anahita Dehbonehie, Hand To God and The Little Prince: Reimagined

Eo Sharp, Angelique

Nick Blais, Human Animals

Sherri Hay, Gertrude And Alice

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards, hosted by Rick Miller, take place June 25 at 7:30 pm (pre-show reception at 6 pm), at Sony Centre. Tickets go on sale May 28. tapa.ca.

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