Tuesday, September 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Backstage at the 28th Annual Arty Awards

Tony Wade, Arty Awards prop, wondering how in the heck to prounounce a name in the script.  (Photo: Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Tony Wade, Arty Awards prop, wondering how in the heck to prounounce a name in the script. (Photo: Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A2 | September 17, 2012 |

In 2008, then-Daily Republic Features Editor Patty Amador asked me to emcee the Arty Awards. I had only asked if I could be one of the presenters. I never asked Patty how many people she’d asked before she got to me, but whatever; I’m just glad she did. I’ve hosted them for the past five years.

The Arty Awards have recognized outstanding Solano County theater productions since 1984. It is a black-tie-optional event that features presentation of awards and excerpts from nominated shows.

My job at the Artys is simple: I am basically a prop. I sit next to Technical Director Darsen Long and when prompted, go onstage, read my lines and return and sit down.

Since it was my fifth-straight year, I now have some juice and I demanded a comfy office chair instead of the hard plastic one of years past. It was granted.

Emboldened, I went into Full Diva Mode and demanded to be led offstage by Darsen each time by Reese’s Pieces, ala “E.T.” and that only Beatallica (Beatles tunes played Metallica-style) or Dread Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin tunes played reggae style) be played in my dressing room. They threatened to replace me with a hologram and I shut up.

I love the controlled chaos backstage. At one point, Downtown Theatre/Missouri Street Theatre Artistic Director Dae Spering matter-of-factly told Darsen she needed a hammer. When he asked what for, she replied, “Gary Coleman.”

Unlike me, who assumed the deceased diminutive actor was making an appearance at the Artys as a murderous zombie (or cabinetmaker perhaps), Darsen immediately knew it was for Miranda Lawson, who was reprising her role as Coleman in the “Avenue Q” excerpt.

It would be awesome if all Arty nominees had easy-to-pronounce names. I received phonetic pronunciations beforehand of names of several Benicia High students from BHS Drama instructor Christine Mani and then ironically mispronounced her name as “Mon-nee” instead of “Manny.”

Other highlights of the 28th annual Arty Awards:

  • Fairfield City Councilman John Mraz was to be a presenter, but was a no-show so I read his lines verbatim, introducing myself as him. I ran with it and since Mayor Harry Price and Councilwoman Pam Bertani were there, at intermission we held a special City Council meeting and made Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries the official cereal of Fairfield and H.R. Pufnstuf the official fictional character.
  • Two local giants of the theater community, George Maguire of Solano College Theatre and Barbara Norris of Solano Repertory Company, were given special honors as they are both stepping down from posts they’ve held for many years. George referred to Artys coordinator Robert Ponce as “Bob” and backstage Robert expressed mock anger and threatened to storm the stage as Chris Guptil held him back.
  • I loved “Crimes of the Heart” and the excerpt with Maria Stats, Julie Saunders and Rebekah Damaris Vega (who won an Arty for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama) cracked me up backstage, as it did when I first saw it.
  • Molly Millet won an Arty for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for “Reefer Madness,” and said she’d been in theater for 21 years and always wanted to win one. Then she had to go and ruin it by bringing up the 49ers winning earlier.
  • Doris Bumpus, who tied for Best Lead Actress in a musical with Dae Spering, started to sing the showstopper “(And I Am Tellin’ You) I’m Not Goin’ ” from Ivory Arts’ “Dreamgirls” and Darsen noticed immediately that her mike went out. Bumpus continued sans amplification and blew the doors off anyway.

Ironically, I think pitting artists against each other like a sport is kind of odd. So much of it is subjective. But if pursuit of those engraved statuettes helps fuel local creativity, then bring ‘em on.

After five years I had planned to hang it up, but I‘ve become a pretty good prop. Plus maybe next year that Reese’s Pieces thing may happen.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at getthelowdown@sbcglobal.net.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • CarmenSeptember 17, 2012 - 5:46 am

    You are awesome !

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jeff BristowSeptember 17, 2012 - 8:19 am

    Tony, You come back next year and I promise to be right there as you come off the stage with your candy of choice. It wouldn't be the Arty's without you!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dan ClantonSeptember 17, 2012 - 8:28 am

    4 MORE YEARS! 4 MORE YEARS! Actually, 4-EVER!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rebekah Damaris VegaSeptember 22, 2012 - 9:10 pm

    Tony! You spelled my name wrong! But thank you, you did an amazing job and were wonderful as an emcee.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Labor Day sees more Solano freeway crashes

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

VP Biden says workers deserve ‘fair share’

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Obama: ‘Revving’ economy calls for higher wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
San Francisco to be 1st to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Texas’ Perry says disparaging tweet unauthorized

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US eating habits improve a bit – except among poor

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
No gray area: Beliefs shape views of Brown killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Poland’s PM: Ukraine’s war must be stopped now

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

US helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Opinion

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
‘Guardians’ tops Labor Day, summer box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rockies top Giants after losing end of suspended game

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A’s top Mariners

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders name rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armed with new deal, Chiefs’ Smith looks forward

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Column: Stewart’s Chase status doesn’t matter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders ink CB Dowling, 9 others to practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Serena Williams, Djokovic roll to US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Austerity debate flares as Europe recovery fades

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7