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Awards recognize the Stage West favorites

Members and season ticket holders chose the winners of the 10th annual HAMI awards.

By JOY DAVIS-PLATT

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 2, 2001


HUDSON -- The Secret Garden and Victor/Victoria shared top honors at the 2000-2001 HAMI Awards for Stage West Community Playhouse.

Victor/Victoria was chosen favorite show of the season, and Barbara Everest won a best director nod for The Secret Garden. The prizes were announced at the 10th annual HAMI Awards on Saturday at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.

Named for the jocular term given to actors who exaggerate or overact, the HAMI Award has become a highly prestigious award in community theater since its inception. Winners are chosen by season ticket holders and Stage West members.

Before awards were given, Stage West performers celebrated the past decade with musical and dramatic highlights from the shows.

Betsy Glasson -- complete with sailor uniform -- performed Honey Bun from South Pacific for the crowd of more than 200 people. The show was first performed by Stage West at Central High School during the 1992-93 season, when playhouse members were eagerly anticipating the opening of the playhouse theater building.

Later in the evening, Glasson was named best lead female in a musical for the role of Victoria, the cross-dressing cabaret performer in Victor/Victoria.

"It's hard to believe I've had 10 years at Stage West," Glasson said in her acceptance speech. "I've loved every minute of it."

Though the HAMI Awards are a decade old, Stage West has been around for 20 years, said playhouse president Jan Lavin, who served as emcee for the event.

"We just keep getting better," she said.

Other winners included Sam Petricone for best lead male in a play.

"I can't believe I won," joked Petricone, who was the category's only nominee with roles in Wait Until Dark and The Day They Kidnapped the Pope. "The other nominee is such a great guy."

After seven years with the playhouse and 17 nominations, Danny Brijbag won his first HAMI for the feature role of Irving in The Day They Kidnapped the Pope.

"I'm no longer the Susan Lucci of Stage West," he said after accepting the small gold trophy. "This is great."

During the evening, Stage West costume mistress Ruth Osborn, whose husband was one of the playhouse founders, was given the final Founders Award for her contributions to the theater. The award will be retired, Lavin said, because Stage West founders have all been honored.

Performer and director Irv Clark and set-building chief Sig Stock were given American Association of Community Theatre awards for their outstanding contribution to local community theater.

Winners

Favorite show: Victor/Victoria

Director: Barbara Everest, The Secret Garden

Lead male, musical: Matthew J. Veasey as Toddy in Victor/Victoria

Lead female, musical: Betsy Glasson as Victoria in Victor/Victoria

Lead male, play: Sam Petricone as Sam Leibowitz in The Day They Kidnapped the Pope

Lead female, play: Karen White Hayden as Sara Leibowitz in The Day They Kidnapped the Pope

Supporting male, musical: Alan Pagan as Dicken in The Secret Garden

Supporting female, musical: Leanne Germann as Norma in Victor/Victoria

Supporting male, play: Harvey Laskey as Pope Albert IV in The Day They Kidnapped the Pope

Supporting female, play: Amy and Diedre Mihok as Gloria in Wait Until Dark

Featured male, musical: Stan Kane as Neville Craven in The Secret Garden

Featured female, musical: Pam Surbaugh as Lily in The Secret Garden

Featured male, play: Danny Brijbag as Irving in The Day They Kidnapped the Pope

Costumes: Madeline Child, The Secret Garden

Lighting design: Todd Everest, The Secret Garden

Set design: Todd Everest, The Secret Garden

Choreography: Jane Russel Geddings, Victor/Victoria

Male spotlight performer: (tie) Teddy Toye as Colin in The Secret Garden and Dalton Benson as Cassell in Victor/Victoria

Female spotlight performer: Sharon Farnsworth as Chambermaid in Victor/Victoria

Male favorite showcase performer: Charles DePalo, They're Playing Our Song

Female favorite showcase performer: Sharon Farnsworth, Four in the Forum

Male rising star: Jeffrey Germann, Clowns

Female rising star: Melisha Nixon, Clowns

Founders award: Ruth Osborn

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