The 23rd annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, held last Monday at the Princess of Wales Theatre, turned out to be a Chekhov evening spiced with Tarragon and a honey of a hosting pair. A record 33 awards were given.
Hosts Diane Flacks -- who surprised some people with her pregnancy -- and Richard Greenblatt generated the best Doras chemistry in years, looping a theme of backstage gossip through the evening.
In the independent theatre division, Theatre Smith-Gilmour scooped up four Doras for Chekhov Longs In The Ravine, for outstanding new play, direction (Dean Gilmour and Michele Smith) and performance by a male (Gilmour). They tied with Hrant Alianak's The Walls Of Africa -- which got three awards, including those for Tedde Moore's performance and Terry Crack and Joe Mancuso's sound design -- for outstanding production.
The general theatre category was dominated by Tarragon productions, with outstanding new play going to Michael Healey's Plan B, Skylight's Yanna McIntosh winning principal female performer in a play and Ann-Marie MacDonald's musical Anything That Moves -- a co-pro with Nightwood -- taking prizes for production, direction (Alisa Palmer), female musical performer (Glynis Ranney) and musical direction (Allen Cole).
The Tarragon theme continued with late artistic director Urjo Kareda receiving a posthumous Dora and founder Bill Glassco getting the Silver Ticket Award for his long-time contribution to Canadian theatre.
The Canadian Opera Company took the two opera awards for the production of Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung and Ewa Podles's performance in Julius Caesar, while Roseneath Theatre's Danny King Of The Basement swept up the Theatre for Young Audiences category with awards for production and Gil Garratt's performance. In the dance category, Marie-Josée Chartier's Fifty-One Pieces of Silver won for new choreography and Peggy Baker copped outstanding performance in Loin, Très Loin.