by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & he Spokies -- intended to honor the best of Spokane-area theater -- cause some local theater lovers to envision a would-be criminal mastermind: a deluded and neurotic soul bent on invading the minds and savaging the delicate egos of local actors and directors.
I'm referring, of course, to the guy who forced people to sit through Atlantis. Those of you who remember Spokane's all-time theatrical turkey (at the Opera House in 1993) will wish they couldn't. The rest of us are stuck with the subjective selections of the 2007-08 Spokies.
In a new twist this year, nominations were posted last weekend at stagethrust.blogspot.com. Comment-posters grumbled even over those choices; imagine their ire when it comes to selecting the winners. Nonetheless, here they are.
Best Actress -- Play
Karen Nelsen as Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night, Actors Repertory Theatre
Hands fluttering below sidelong glances: in denial and aware of it.
Best Actress -- Musical
Abbey Crawford as Keely in Pete 'n' Keely, Actors Rep
Belting and simmering, without being camp -- that's why the lady is a tramp.
Best Lighting Design
David Baker for Man of La Mancha, Spokane Civic Theatre
The moods ranged from autumnal to festive to menacing.
Achievement in Sadism
Testing the pain-level tolerance of a man who's only pretending that his legs are paralyzed: "Ruffhousin' mit Shuffhausen" in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the INB Center.
Best Infidelity to Method Acting
To Patrick McHenry-Kroetch, hornily pursuing Tanya Barton while rehearsing the inset Dracula production in the Civic's Laughing Stock. Part of him, at least, was not a member of the Undead.
Best Actor -- Play
Patrick Treadway as the Professor in All the Great Books (abridged), Actors Rep
The flop-sweat of the forced poetry recitation: calibrated goofiness.
Best Actor -- Musical
Patrick McHenry-Kroetch as Cervantes/Quijana/Quixote in Man of La Mancha, Civic