The characters tried hard to push the actors off the stage at this year's Dora Mavor Moore Awards.
Hosting last Monday's (June 27) 26th annual celebration of Toronto theatre, dance and opera, sponsored by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts , were Shakespeare's Richard III ( Rick Roberts ) and Tennessee Williams's Laura Wingfield ( Melody Johnson ), who complained that they were always losing jobs to actors. Why wouldn't anyone cast the characters to play themselves?
Alternating between the strangely matched characters and themselves, Johnson and Roberts entertained the audience with some glib comedy and funny videos featuring CanStage 's Martin Bragg and the Tarragon's Richard Rose .
CanStage cleaned up in the general theatre division with six awards for Urinetown , while Necessary Angel got four - three for Bigger Than Jesus (in association with Factory and Wyrd Productions ) and one for Half Life (co-produced with Factory). Factory received a pair of Doras for The Leisure Society .
The big winner in the independent theatre division was That Time , presented by Theatre Extasis and the Theatre Centre , which took home four awards. Nightswimming 's production of Rough House received two.
In the other divisions, the evening's theme was paired awards. Picking up two in the theatre for young audiences category was Theatre Direct Canada 's And By The Way Miss... ; Opera Atelier grabbed two for its production of Dido And Aeneas ; and Susan Burpee took home choreography and performing statues for Dancemakers ' Mischance & Fair Fortune . Sky Gilbert , founder of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre , received the Silver Ticket Award for his contribution to Toronto theatre. Lighting designer Kimberly Purtell picked up the Pauline McGibbon Award.
Evening highlights included a special Dora for arts benefactor Bluma Appel ("I'm 85," she joked, "and I sure had to wait a long time to get it") and designer Glenn Davidson 's finally and deservedly getting a Dora (for The Anger In Ernest And Ernestine ) after years of being the nominated bridesmaid rather than the prize-winning bride. Tara Beagan , Dora winner in the indie outstanding new play category, encouraged every young, aspiring artist in the house when she admitted that at last year's Dora Awards she worked as an usher.
For complete Dora results, check out www.tapa.ca.
We've seen some deadly acts onstage, but nothing like the local performers chewing up the scenery - and people's limbs - in George A. Romero's Land of The Dead . The T.O.-shot zombie film opened on the weekend, and two of the star zombies were stand-up Boyd Banks as the "Butcher" and The Bobroom sketch member Jennifer Baxter as "Number 9," a zombie with serious dental problems wearing a bright red sports jersey.
Actors Tony Nappo , Earl Pastko and Richard Clarkin spent much less time in the makeup room (they weren't zombies), while Deadly Snakes member Maxwell McCabe-Lokos scored one of the flick's most extreme deaths as an unfortunate skater dude.
And despite the resemblance, that wasn't Burton Cummings.