Or technically it's been a lot of weeks but more specifically it's this past week that has been particularly exciting for all of us here at the Huntington -- following, of course, one of the scariest weeks as Bostonians that most of us have ever lived through. But as we continue to heal from that tragedy, perhaps its a confluence of events that has made our own victories all the more sweet.
On Monday, April 22 we held our Spotlight Spectacular, our annual gala / fundraiser, at the Park Plaza Castle. The event, which honored Our Town director David Cromer along with production sponsorships / all around fantastically supportive people Judi & Douglas Krupp, raised over (cue close-up as I put my pinky to my mouth) ONE MILLION DOLLARS, making it our most successful event of all time. The night also included a sneak preview of our upcoming production of The Jungle Book, along with entertainment from the Tony-nominated stars of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway, Santino Fontana & Laura Osnes. Here they are performing an updated version of Cole Porter's "You're The Top" with additional lyrics by Robert Berliner, in honor of the Krupps.
Oh yeah, that's the other thing. We received a Tony Award. Though technically reserved for Broadway productions, the Tonys recognize a different regional theatre each year in recognition of their contributions to the performing arts. I believe Michael Maso is offering every one a staff exactly 3 opportunities to use "I have a Tony Award!" as a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card*, but we're still waiting on the official numbers. The Tony Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, June 9 in New York City, and those of us who are unable to attend (hey, we still have jobs to do!) still plan on having our own black tie screening in the BU Theatre.
So that was Friday evening. And then this past Monday, April 29, was the 2013 IRNE Awards, which are awarded to theatre productions across the gamut by the Independent Reviewers of New England for shows within the calendar year (so any show produced in 2012, as opposed to Fiscal or school-year-type seasons). While sure, okay, Tony Awards sound like a big fancy deal, what makes the IRNE Awards so exciting is that they recognize the entire Boston theatre community, from Broadway In Boston to the smallest black boxes and community groups, and they give everyone an equal chance to win. We walked away on Monday night with 7 IRNE Awards:
- Best New Play - Large Company for Kirsten Greenidge's Luck of the Irish;
- Best Ensemble - Large Company for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom;
- Best Costume Design - Large Company for Clint Ramos on Ma Rainey's Black Bottom;
- Best Supporting Actor (Play) - Large Company for Nael Nacer as Simon Stinson in Our Town;
- Best Actor (Play) - Large Company for Jason Bowen as Levee in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom;
- Best Director (Play) - Large Company for David Cromer and Our Town; and
- Best Play - Large Company for Our Town.
Here's Associate Producer M. Bevin O'Gara along with many of the townsfolk of Grover's Corners accepting the award for Best Play:
Meanwhile, members of our Education team are down in DC for the National Finals of Poetry Out Loud supporting MA State Champion Courtney Stewart, Ryan Landry's "M" had its final performance on Sunday, and rehearsals are now underway for our upcoming production of Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn, which starts performances on May 24.
So like I said. It's been a week.
*Totally kidding here. I'm the only one who can use that line and get away with it because I've already changed my nametag to read "Tony Award-winning Web & New Media Manager."