By Rich Kane
By Joel Beers
By LP Hastings
By Dave Barton
By Patrice Wirth Marsters
By Erin DeWitt
By Taylor Hamby
By LP Hastings
Time flies at speeds measured in light-years when you're awarding laurels to the finest theater in Orange County (with Long Beach tossed in just because our hearts are so damn big). How else can we explain the fact that OC Weekly is already in its sixth year of hosting the OC Weekly Theater Awards? Why, it was just a few years ago that some 30-odd thespians were crammed into a Laguna Beach restaurant as a wacky ukulele player named King Kukulele serenaded the winners of the very first OC Weekly Theater Awards, the OCies—pronounced "Okies," as in denizens of Oklahoma (the state, not the Broadway show).
The event has grown until it almost feels legit. This year, for the second straight year, we invited more than 100 people from the local theater community to the Grove Theater Center in Garden Grove to rub shoulders, lift their elbows and clap their hands to celebrate the best and the brightest of 2001.
The awards presentation, held Feb. 25, were well-attended and muchly enjoyed. Food courtesy of Mark's Restaurant was consumed, and music courtesy of the Todd Oliver Quartet was enjoyed. And then no one's favorite theatrical curmudgeon, Joel Beers, presented the awards.
We've never made a distinction between big and small theaters, and this year, smaller theaters claimed as many nominations—and earned as many awards—as the big venues. Here's who was nominated, who won and what our reviewers thought were the best of the class of Orange County Theater 2001.BEST SCENIC INSTALLATION WITHOUT A LOT OF DOUGH TO GET THERE
Bob Jensen, a Fullerton theater instructor and longtime friend and colleague of Book's, delivered a humorous yet sincere speech, recounting the first time Book introduced himself in a college classroom: he said, "Hello, I'm Jim Book, and I like to blow things up."
"There's nothing Jim can't take apart or put back together," Jensen said.
What did he think of his award? Who knows—he's vacationing in Hawaii, wearing corduroy pants on the beach, no doubt.Theater reviewers who participated in theOC Weekly Theater Awards include Joel Beers, Dave Barton, Joseph Sirota, Roz Taucher and Chris Ziegler.