Monday's OC Weekly Theater Awards were the best-attended in the event's nine-year history. We lost count once we ran out of fingers, but more than 100 souls filed into SCR's Julianne Arygyos Stage theater and watched the best and brightest of Orange County theater get their just desserts plus free vittles from the Quattro Café, booze from 3 Vodka and additional libation courtesy of Rockstar Energy Drinks. Here's the winners:
BEST PRODUCTION Mr. Marmalade, South Coast Repertory
BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE Jeremy Gable, The Gog/Magog Project, Hunger Artists Theatre
BEST ENSEMBLE ORIENTED TROUPE
The Chance Theater
Rude Guerrilla Theater Company, Blasted.
Our version of the biggest balls award goes to the theater that is least bashful about showing any part of its collective genitilia. The company's production of Sarah Kane's brutally graphic Blasted only played to a few hundred people in Burbank, but it displayed once again that the county's most politicized troupe remains passionately committed to its uncompromisingly visceral artistic aesthetic.
HELENA MODJESKA AWARD
Our annual lifetime achievement award this year went to two people who symbolize the hundreds who help sustain any theater community—but are never seen on stage, get a paycheck or are listed in the program: the volunteer ushers, house managers, ticket takers and everyone else. Rachael Mallory has more than 60 years of volunteer ushering experience, beginning as a high school student in Chicago. She began ushering at SCR when it was in its original Newport Boulevard storefront, and opened OCPAC and the Barclay. She currently volunteers at the Laguna Playhouse. Dr. Tim Chin, an SCR volunteer since 1988, was also honored but could not make the ceremony.