Two productions in Sonoma Arts Live’s “Women Who Dare” series picked up three Marquee Theater Journalists Association Awards last week.
“Becky’s New Car,” which was staged in June, took home two awards. Melissa Claire, who played the emotional, tightly wound Becky, won Outstanding Lead Performance in a Comedy; while Director Carl Jordan took home an award for Outstanding Comedy Production.
“It was an honor to be in these categories with such wonderful companies as Spreckels, Main Stage West, Left Edge Theater and 6th Street Playhouse” said Sonoma Arts Live’s Artistic Director Jaime Love.
Daniela Innocenti-Beem, who wowed audiences last summer as Madame Rose in the Michael Ross-directed “Gypsy!” won for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical. Her category included entries from Spreckels, Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma Arts Lives’ “Evita!” directed by Lauren Miller.
Now in its second year, the awards were founded by San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle members Harry Duke, Alexa Shipman, Barry Willis and David Templeton. In a break from standard awards show traditions, the MTJA has eliminated gender distinctions for performances, instead offering awards for Outstanding Lead and Supporting Performance in the categories of musical, drama and comedy.
Nominees from 15 Sonoma County companies included theaters in Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, Monte Rio and Cloverdale.
Sonoma Arts Live received numerous Marquee nominations this season, including Outstanding Musical Production for “Gypsy!” (Michael Ross, director; John Partridge, musical director). Ellen Toscano was nominated for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical for “Evita!” directed by Lauren Miller. Bruce Lacovic was nominated for Outstanding Scenic Design for “Becky’s New Car” and Matt Witthaus for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Comedy.
The nonprofit Sonoma Arts Live is housed in the Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St.