D.C.'s Top 1’s, 3’s and 5’s I Saw in 2016

D.C.'s Top 1’s, 3’s and 5’s I Saw in 2016

Christian Jost 

OnStage Washington D.C. Critic

This past year was my first year as a Theatre critic for OnStage and as such, I was able to see numerous performances that deserve recognition. I’ve narrowed down the hundreds of actors I saw this year to just my top 3’s and 5’s. I’ve also been able to narrow down other aspects of the stage to my top 1’s and 3’s. Everything below is classified as a musical, with plays to be addressed at the end. Taming of the Shrew, done by the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is considered a musical due to the added in musical numbers. 

Best Lighting Design
1.    Allan Sean Weeks, Next to Normal, Keegan Theater

Best Instrumental Direction
1.    Sarah Jane Scott, Bat Boy, Prince William Little Theatre 

Best Vocal Direction
1.  Karen Keating, Pirates of Penzance, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT)

Best Costumes
1. Loren Shaw, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2. Cheryl Yancey, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
3. Cierra Coan, Heathers, Red Branch Theatre Company

Best Scenic Design/Set
1.    Jason Sherwood, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    William Pierson, Sweeny Todd, SSMT
3.    Michael “Jonz” Jones, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT

Best Choreography
1.    Chase Brock, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Edward Carignan, Sweeny Todd, SSMT
3.    Trey Coates-Mitchell , Pirates of Penzance, SSMT

Best Director
1.    Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Colin Smith and Mark. A. Rhea, Next to Normal, Keegan
3.    Jeremy Scott Blaustein, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT

Best Ensemble Member
1.    Josh Walker, SSMT
2.    Loralee Price, Pickwick Players
3.    Madelyn Pyles, SSMT
4.    Megan Khaziran, McLean Community Players
5.    Sarah Summerwell, SSMT

Best Ensemble
1.    Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
2.    Taming of the Shrew, STC
3.    Heathers, Red Branch Theatre Company

Best Featured Performer
1.    Aaron Verchot-Ware, Bat Boy The Musical, PWLT
2.    Scott Ward Abernethy, Next to Normal, Keegan Theatre
3.    Tendo Nsubuga and Taylor Witt, Heathers, Red Branch
4.    Michael Forest, Sweeny Todd, SSMT
5.    Franklin Williams, Footloose, McLean Community Players

Best Supporting Actor
1.    Peter Gadiot, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Russell Rinker, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
3.    Chad Wheeler, Next to Normal, Keegan Theater
4.    Matthew R. Wilson, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
5.    Oliver Thornton, Taming of the Shrew, STC

Best Supporting Actress
1.    Caroline Dubberly, Next to Normal, Keegan Theater
2.    Katie Davis, Pirates of Penzance, SSMT
3.    Dolly Stevens, Sweeny Todd, SSMT

Best Lead Actress
1.    Nikkie Culbreth, Footloose, McLean Community Players
2.    Kari Ginsburg, Next to Normal, Keegan Theatre
3.    Kristen Fitzgerald, My Fair Lady, Pickwick Players

Best Lead Actor
1.    Matthew Russell, Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Telly Leung, Taming of the Shrew, STC
3.    Hasani Allen, Heathers, Red Branch Theatre Company

Best Overall Cast
1.    Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Next to Normal, The Keegan Theater
3.    Pirates of Penzance, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre                                        

Best Show
1.    Taming of the Shrew, STC
2.    Next to Normal, The Keegan Theater
3.    Pirates of Penzance, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre

That concludes the main list but as mentioned above, I’d like to take a second to acknowledge some wonderful pieces of drama I saw this year. First off, let’s start with the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Othello which had an excellent cast, specifically Jonno Roberts as Iago. Also want to give recognition to Jay Tilley for his work in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with The Castaways Repertory Theatre. Also to give respect to some wonderful high school theatre in the area, huge kudos to Ian Carlson and Charlie Trochlil for their work in Loudoun Valley High School’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher.

Lastly I would like to acknowledge the absolute best thing I saw this year. I omitted it from the above work because it was in its own league. I had the pleasure of seeing Come From Away at the Ford’s Theatre on 9/11 and let me tell you, nothing compares. It only slightly trails Hamilton as the best thing I’ve seen on the stage. Broadway better get ready!

High School Shuts Down Show with Gay Characters

High School Shuts Down Show with Gay Characters

How Was Your Weekend?

How Was Your Weekend?