At 2019 Stoney Awards, the winner is local theater
— The future looks bright for local theater according to Brandon Gorin, one of the army of people passionate about such things, who spoke Saturday night on the state of the theater at Milburn Stone Theatre’s 2019 Stoney Awards.
“These awards shows are always a mixed blessing,” Gorin told those attending the award show at Cecil College. “There’s so much joy for people getting their awards, but I think everyone should get something.”
But awards were handed out to various members of the MST community, including Oracle, a black Labrador retriever and retired seeing eye dog.
“They warn you about working with children and animals,” said Andrew Mitchell, artistic director of the theater program based at the college in Bay View.
Oracle won the first Stoney Award for his portrayal of Sandy the dog in MST’s production of “Annie.”
While the awards were not given in familiar categories, actors, technical, and other support staff were celebrated for their contribution to the 2018 season, which offered such productions as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Hedwig and The Angry Inch,” “Heathers,” “Peter and The Starcatcher” and “Garfield, The Musical With Cattitude.”
“It seemed like a nothing show to do nothing with,” said Gorin, director of the Garfield show. “But it was so weird. This show walked to the front door and stood in everyone’s living room.”
In between each award, the audience was treated to performances from
many of the shows including Natalie Bordley’s “I Love What I’m Doing” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “King Herod’s Song” from “Jesus Christ Superstar” performed by Bob Gatchel.
Dwight and Diane Hair were honored with the Support Your Local Theater Award, and cited for their longstanding support of Milburn Stone including season tickets every year.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Eileen Law Stewart, known for her efforts to impart wisdom to the theater community, Mitchell said.
“She has a long legacy with Milburn Stone Theatre: 13-plus years,” he noted, adding that she often offers sparkling words of wisdom like, “Kiss my ... (butt).”
While the audience erupted in laughter, Stewart came forward and accepted the award, repeating her signature line. However, she also told her audience she appreciated their acceptance.
“When I walked home,” she said.
Mitchell urged everyone to come back April 27 when the 29th season would be unveiled.
Meanwhile, Mitchell called on the community to assist promotion of the theater’s upcoming production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” through word of mouth and social media. The Tony Award-winning play, with a run of MST shows in February, comes with promotional stipulations that limit advertising, he explained. in here
Since a decision could not be made on which member of the Bordley family to give a 2019 Stoney Award, the committee decided to award all four: Natalie, Kelly, Emily and Shelly.
Devon Johnson happily accepts her Stoney Award from Andrew Mitchell, artistic director at Milburn Stone Theatre.