Dora The Explorer
Last night at the beautiful Winter Garden Theatre, the winners of the 28th Annual Dora Awards were announced in a ceremony hosted by the hilarious Rick Miller (of MacHomer and Bigger Than Jesus fame). The Doras are basically Canada’s version of the Tonies, except you can’t watch them on TV and see Molly Ringwald and John Stamos jazz-hand their way through a radical new interpretation of Hello, Dolly! As one might expect, the whole affair is generally more sedate and even less people care about the results. But we do! It’s also somewhat validating to see shows that Toronto reviewed positively get the respect they deserve (and occasionally shocking to see the same respect lavished on things we thought were crap). Now, there were a lot of awards being handed out last night, so let’s be a jerk and ignore the hard work of all the behind-the-scenes people and focus on the flashier trophies.
Tarragon cleaned up nicely in the play-department. Outstanding New Play went to Michael Healey’s fantastic political comedy Generous, as we might have predicted. Outstanding Production of a Play went to the immensely popular and impossible-to-get-tickets-for Scorched, which also got a Director award for Richard Rose. Outstanding Production of a Musical went to Mirvish-produced We Will Rock You (speaking of which, you need to see this).
Outstanding Performance trophies very deservedly went to Seana McKenna for Orpheus Descending and Daniel MacIvor for Here Lies Henry, two of our top picks from last year. Adam Brazier’s Frank-n-Furter also earned an award, and while we enjoyed his performance, CanStage’s Rocky Horror was decidedly uneven.
Outside of the general theatre categories, the jaw-dropping Mabou Mines Dollhouse won Outstanding Touring Production to no one’s surprise for their inventive spin on the Ibsen classic. In the Independant Theatre Division, Sarah Dodd took an award home for Marion Bridge, but the big winner of the night was Volcano Theatre’s fantastic The Four Horseman Project, which won Outstanding New Play or New Musical, Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction. Surely this play could stand to be remounted?
Biggest upset of the night? No wins for Damien Atkins’ fantastic Lucy, which really deserved recognition. But then, there are only so many awards to go around. At this point in the post, I would ideally link to the Dora website and suggest you go there to see the full list of winners, but apparently no such website actually exists. Let’s get with the times, Doras! If we can get a website up and running, who knows? Maybe next year, the whole thing will be broadcast live on CTV featuring performances by Anthony Michael Hall and Lori Loughlin in Dirty Dancing: The Musical.
Photo by Ian Muttoo from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.