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December 9th, 2011 By Rick Pender | Arts & Culture | Posted In: Theater

Holiday Award Winners

White Christmas, Love's Labour's Lost are recognized

onstage_cincyshakes_loveslabours_mirandamcgee_kelly mengelkoch_billychace_darnellbenjamin_photojeannavellaBilly Chace (lower left) has been awarded by the League of Cincinnati Theatres for his performance as Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost. - Photo: Jeanna Vella

I’ve extolled the virtues of White Christmas at the Covedale Center in my CityBeat review, but I’m not the only one who feels that way. The judging panel from the League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) has chimed in with an award for Dan Doerger, playing the role of Phil Davis, originated in the 1954 film by Danny Kaye. I would have also recognized Rick Kramer, playing Doerger’s song-and-dance partner, Bob Wallace (played by Bing Crosby in the movie). The LCT panelists cited the “marvelous chemistry” between the two of them. Doerger, who dances as well as he sings and acts, was seen recently in Covedale productions of Singin’ in the Rain and Annie Get Your Gun. White Christmas continues through Dec. 23.

Another LCT panel has doled out three awards for direction, lead actor and ensemble, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s holiday production of Love’s Labour’s Lost:

  • Sara Clark has been recognized as the production’s director. A six-year member of CSC’s company, Love’s Labour’s Lost is her mainstage directorial debut. Panelists said her “direction was subtle when it needed to be and equally broad when it needed to be.” One panelist praised her ability to make the show relevant, “a remarkable achievement which Sara did stunningly with her framing and overall conception.”
  • Billy Chace, a fifth-year ensemble member with CSC, has been awarded for his portrait of Berowne, the cynic among a quartet of lovers who pledge to forego women but quickly break their vow. Panelists described Chace as “a natural fit for this role,” saying that “his utter command of the nuances that bring his character to life is proof that Mr. Chace is at the top of his game.”
  • The LCT judging panel also recognized the entire cast with an ensemble award, calling the production “all around great Shakespeare.” In addition to Chace, the show features Darnell Pierre Benjamin, Ian Bond, Charlie Clark, Cary Davenport, Jeremy Dubin, Jim Hopkins, Miranda McGee, Kelly Mengelkoch, Jolin Polasek, Maggie Lou Rader, Brent Vimtrup and Teresa Wellman.

Here’s my review of the latter show. It continues onstage through Dec. 31.

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