Sunday, December 28, 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

New circulation director for Daily Republic has California roots

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun’s transformation launched 25 years ago

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Kwanzaa educates, celebrates African-American heritage

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
AARP tax program seeks volunteers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Holiday shopping continues after Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Rush Ranch plans birds of prey workshop

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Winter feeding of backyard birds

By Launa Herrmann | From Page: C4, 1 Comment

Weather for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Projects to watch in 2015

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

Market predictions for 2015

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
County graduates complete basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Shoppers brawl inside Northern California mall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 7 Comments

 
Death penalty states unmoved by botched execution

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Arizona police officer, suspect killed in shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Lava creeps 15 yards closer to Hawaii marketplace

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
School error takes money from staff bank accounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Protester in St. Louis area charged with arson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Spokesman: George H.W. Bush remains in hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 small planes collide in Maryland; no injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drought, plastic bags prompt new California laws

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Families take future war dogs into homes as foster pups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Woman uses quilt to help those in military

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Snow, ice sweep Europe, stranding drivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Del. WWII vet honored with medals 70 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
Pilot recalls last flight to Cyprus airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Wanted extremist leader surrenders in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Sound Off: Dec. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

 
Redrawn districts made for some tight races

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Leaders fan flames of racial hatred

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 57 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Why do we celebrate Christmas, part two

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3, 2 Comments

 
Bethel Community Church buys Temple Baptist site

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Comforting immigrants is nun’s mission

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Pope’s role in Cuba deal fractures Cuban-American flock

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My son’s cat is being neglected and I don’t know what to do

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Company loses bid for rights to Marvel superheroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Jonah Lehrer working on book about digital life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Blagojevich brother: I was fed ‘pawn’ to get then-governor

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Warriors shake off skid, beat Timberwolves 110-97

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
No. 1 Kentucky holds off No. 4 Louisville 58-50

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Vanden’s Koss named 2014 DR Male Athlete of the Year

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Broncos see a much better Raiders team this time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cardinals have hopes of division crown, 12 wins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Anze Kopitar leads LA Kings past Sharks, 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sam: Coming out was right thing to do

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vikings stadium builders work on career highlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Devils replace DeBoer with 3-headed coaching staff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Authorities question Cubs’ Castro after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Browns suspend receiver Josh Gordon, Manziel late

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sports deaths: elegant Tony Gwynn, Jean Beliveau

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Cousins leads Kings past Knicks 135-129 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
First Step seeks players, help for 2015 season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Devil Dawgs retiring after run of success

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Virginia Tech beats Cincy 33-17 in Military Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

S Carolina tops Miami 24-21 in Independence Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Arizona State beats Duke 36-31 in Sun Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Penn State tops Boston College 31-30 in OT in Pinstripe Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Kessler leads No. 24 USC to 45-42 win over Huskers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Jameis, Marcus and Mickey: Rose Bowl week starts at Disney

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Bowling report for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

 
Top business stories of 2014: US grows, world slows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims head

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
6 US cities: Good jobs but hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12, 1 Comment

Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12, 1 Comment

 
US company to open tuna cannery in American Samoa

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12, 1 Comment

Ruling opens door for cruise malpractice lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Judy Zamora Rogers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Concordia Albang Lichauco

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Oriole Ernestine Cohen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Rae Jean Malveaux

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Secrets of Success 2014

120 Years: Fentons still a treat after all this time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: SOS2, 1 Comment | Gallery

80 Years: Gillespie’s adapts to meet customer needs, thrives

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS5 | Gallery

60 Years: Ryan’s Automotive hits milestone of service

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS6, 1 Comment | Gallery

55 Years: Mary’s Pizza Shack keeps dishing the pies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: SOS7, 1 Comment | Gallery

40 Years: Floors To Go weathers recession, bounces back strong

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS8 | Gallery

40 Years: Vaca Valley Auto Parts a Fairfield mainstay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS9 | Gallery

35 Years: Vogelpohl prides herself as problem solver

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Medic Ambulance rolling strong

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Scandia Family Fun Center roots run deep

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

30 Years: North Bay Pediatrics serves children, parents

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

35 Years: More than 1,700 home sales – and counting – for Watson

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

30 Years: Sportabout all about tennis – and shoes of all sorts

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

25 Years: It’s always showtime for Fairfield’s Finger

By Tony Wade | From Page: SOS12 | Gallery

25 Years: Feins helps build memories through Air Land & Sea Travel

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

20 Years: Quality breeds success for Universal Painting

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS14 | Gallery

10 Years: By the People helps with basic, complex legal issues

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery