Sunday, March 29, 2015
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 [email protected]

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

Vanden High library project nears completion

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Vanden girls end stellar season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Cheers for Jupiter – and roller derby

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Vacaville police make arrest after pursuit

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Red Cross volunteers help assemble first aid kits

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
PG&E helps replace stolen equipment

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

Justin-Siena names new principal

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

 
Free paper shredding option returns to Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Vacaville bridal, quinceanera show a hit

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Event benefits child who attends Cambridge School

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Best barometer of investment success: Wealth

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B8

Hike in minimum wage cuts deep into businesses

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B8

 
Tips on hydrozoning your garden

By Tina Saravia | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Gang chief, international fugitive among dozens paroled

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Experts: Sex bias case will embolden women despite verdict

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Crash victim’s father calls for more focus on pilot welfare

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Man rescued after falling 200 feet off California sea cliff

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Popular Yosemite National Park lookout opens early in season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bird flu found in a top Minnesota turkey producing county

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Some British Airways frequent flier accounts miles breached

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

7 shot and injured at Florida spring break house party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Boko Haram kills 39, legislator, disrupting Nigeria election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Official: Al-Shabab siege at Somali hotel ends, 24 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Hundreds rally against Indiana law, say it’s discriminatory

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Islamic fighters led by al-Qaida in Syria seize major city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Thanks for making prom dreams come true

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Free speech a right worth protecting

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Liberty, property rights 2 sides of same coin

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8

 
Sound Off: March 29, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Improve Allan Witt Park; how about rest of Fairfield?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: March 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Pope finds popularity and dissent at 2-year mark

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Truth does not change

By The Rev. Art Zacher | From Page: C3

Horoscopes: March 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

 
Daughter choses stepdad over father to walk her down the aisle

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B8

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Second Julie Andrews memoir expected in 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Chrissie Hynde memoir coming in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

.

Sports

 
Warriors beat Bucks 108-95, clinch top seed in West

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Wisconsin heads to Final Four after 85-78 win over Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Burns scores winner in SO to lift Sharks past Flyers, 3-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Power leads Penske sweep in qualifying for IndyCar opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Revolution win first of season, beating Earthquakes 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jenest pitches SCC baseball team to shutout of Contra Costa

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

AP sources: Texas fires coach Barnes after 17 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kazmir, Quintana both strong; A’s beat White Sox 10-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Zunino homers twice, but Giants rally to edge Mariners 9-8

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gordon, Earnhardt among the winners and fans of Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prince Bishop wins Dubai World Cup, California Chrome 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Serena Williams easily wins opening match at Miami Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimmy Walker leads hometown Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

A glance at women in leadership roles in business worldwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
For business, more women in charge means bigger profits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

US drillers scrambling to thwart OPEC threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Test trial to use computer servers to heat homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

.

Obituaries

Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Betty Mason

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Tiffany Lyn (Helzer) Kemp

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard F. Coleman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
James Lee Lewis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Helen Kalis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carol A. Vose

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics