Every year, members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum (which this time numbered a record 10 critics participating) gather in an East Dallas house and hash out the best in local theater during the preceding season. It’s usually a spirited debate with tears and blood and regretful recriminations, but this year it went very smoothly. Too smoothly, if you ask me. (I suspect Al Qaeda had a hand in it.) One reason might have been that there were a lot of good shows to agree upon, leading to an astonishing number of awards — more than usual. It was also a strong year for actresses.
For the first time in a long while, the winners’ list was led by the Dallas Theater Center, which took 11 citations (plus a special award) for seven shows, including all three “Beauty Plays:” Reasons to Be Pretty, Fat Pig and The Shape of Things.
Coming up behind was Fort Worth’s Circle Theatre, which took seven awards across three shows (Bach at Leipzig, which just closed, Opus and Something Intangible), and young Upstart Productions, which won six awards for its two shows of the season (Talk Radio and subUrbia). Gay theater troupe Uptown Players took one, for actress Wendy Welch in Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits.
A lot of gay themed shows and out members of the community took honors, including Lyric Stage’s world premiere musical The Road to Qatar!, actors Regan Adair and Elias Taylorson, and three of the four touring production winners (Spring Awakening, Xanadu and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac).
The critics also announced a new award for emerging artist, presented to actor Joey Folsom for his exceptional season.
The complete list of winners appears after the jump.