21 July 2006

"I'd Like to Thank You All for this Phony..."

My dear friend Amanda, high school friend from far too many years for either of us to fully appreciate, and I have a rather interesting history. In many ways, we are the 'opposites attract' friends who met one fateful day in 1986(?), and although separated by many miles' distance now, we have never left each others' minds. She and I were the only ones in high school who liked the same music; could talk current events, hated both Reagan economics and Bush, Sr., and could voice a litany of reasons why; knew that 'real life' was not in high school; and had actually read a few books of merit all on our own. While I was a bit of the outspoken yet bored 'writer at large' (being editor of both the yearbook and newspaper will do that) and a year younger, my dear Amanda was known to be more an 'alternative music-loving' wallflower who had a bit of a crush on a bloke we called the Droid. (In my own defense, I had a crush on the debate team captain that year who is now in insurance I guess and a modelesque school jock who has since died from his unchecked drug use, among other things.)

While I made Amanda suffer through my plans for world denomination as soon 'as I got out', Amanda thankfully introduced me to countless new bands and sounds with bootleg tapes and the like. A veritable encyclopedia of what was really cool and smart, she was the one always walking silently by those damn grey lockers and overpolished wooden doors. (If you grew up in the rural Midwest in the 1980s, you realize how undercover her bootleg exchanges had to be, as the 'in' choices with the populace were heavy metal acts like Motley Crue and Ratt, or country acts like Reba McIntyre or Bocephus.) Amanda was the first person I ever met that actually owned and knew the lyrics to an Elvis Costello album, aside from me. She's one of those types who is always two or three steps ahead of the rest of us musically, ya know?

Insanely patient with me despite my editor duties, my debate duties, my endless art classes, my Mama's condemnation as she never 'understood that girl', and my lack of a car to drive (not there was any place to go, really, but still), she has been by my side then and ever since. It's with great pleasure that I know this dear friend also reads this blog.

Not long into my junior year in high school, I got involved in the local community theatre. I wasn't any good at the acting, but I didn't know that then. I could deliver my lines well, but I could never hit my marks without either a set piece or another actor being hurt in the process. Amanda and I performed together in "Dial M for Murder" (I think), and I convientently broke the set phone for her before she got a chance to deliver her lines. When I got to portray Chief Weasel in "The Wind in the Willows" and broke the lead actor's wrist in our mock swordfight, I was certain that I would be asked to leave the group. Amanda stood by me when no one else did, and I never forgot that. At some point I realized I had no hopes of becoming a great thespian, but instead I should focus on other things and I dropped out. Amanda, (I admit a bit to my surprise), has continued on and has thrived as an actress in recent years.

So much so, in fact, that she sent me an email the other day to tell me she had been nominated for a Hammy, her local community theatre's version of an Oscar®. They generally do about 3-5 productions a year, everybody's a volunteer, probably underfunded, and knowing the town I'm sure the performances are not fully appreciated by an (should be) adoring public. So my 'Rosie the Riveter' version of Meryl Streep (dear Amanda works in a foundry by day, gifted poet and writer by night) was heavily involved in this year's productions, even being the lead actress in one, in fact. (So much for the wallflower, eh?) That said, I'm bursting with pride at the following news: she's been nominated twice for her efforts. I not only wish I could have seen each and every performance, but I wish I could give her a congratulatory hug tonight before the festivities. Unlike me, I'd glad to see one of us followed through on those old high school goals (and she doesn't break things, too, which is always a plus).

Without further adieu, my modified awards announcement (with respect to the other categories those nominees, "the producers" have deleted them from this blog post, because this entry is running long enough already). (Please feel free to hum some irritating over-the-top 'nominations music' when reading over the categories that I haveomittedd for space.):

The Phony Awards for outstanding live theatre performances with the Montgomery County Theatre in 2006 will be presented...um...in person only tonight, Friday, July 21, at the Coffeyville Country Club. The CCC is located off Route 4, near the Hillcrest Golf Course that nobody uses and even fewer people know how to, aside from the high school golf team. The Awards, called "The Hammys", specifically designates the tremendous performances of the MCT this year: "Splendour in the Grass", "Sylvia", "The Mousetrap", and "Chicago".

omission of BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A NEWCOMER ROLE (MALE)...

omission of BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A NEWCOMER ROLE (FEMALE)...
although props and a hearty hello go to the French teacher nominated

omission of BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN BIT PART (MALE)...

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN BIT PART (FEMALE):
  • Amanda Siegel as Miss Metcalf in "Splendor in the Grass"
  • Brooke Carroll as Mrs. Stampler in "Splendor in the Grass"
  • Crystal Proman as Mrs. Boyle in "The Mousetrap"
  • Rene Hines as Go to Hell Kitty, etc. in "Chicago" (I love the 'etc.' part, I was an 'etc.' myself many times back in the day.)

    omission of BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (MALE)...

    omission of BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (FEMALE)...

    omission of BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (MALE)...

    BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (FEMALE):
  • Julie Dumler as Deanie Loomis in "Splendor in the Grass"
  • Krista Thompson as Sylvia in "Sylvia"
  • Amanda Siegel as Mollie Ralston in "The Mousetrap"
  • Michelle Bringle as Velma in "Chicago"

    omission of BEST SET DESIGN...

    omission of BEST PRODUCTION...
    although my money is on "Splendour in the Grass" as I've liked that play more than the others here generally

    And from the "official" press release:
    A humble tribute to American Theatre Wing's "Tony Awards" the Phony Awards (called a "Hammy") are selected by the secret "Phony Panel" of patrons. The awards, pig shaped themselves, are being made especially for MCT by Dana and Doug Froebe of Xtreme Bike and Sport of Independence. The Lifetime Achievement Award for faithful service to MCT and the arts along with Special Achievement Awards for Technical Theatre, Lights, and Sound will also be a part of the festivities. The Phony entertainment will include local singers, musicians and comedic sketches hosted by Magician/Pharmacist Pete Walterscheid.

    In addition to the Hammys there will be two inductees into the Montgomery County Theatre's Hall of Fame: Joan Veron and Kenny Addudell, two longtime patrons of the arts. Joan Veron has been featured performer in various productions in both Coffeyville and Independence. Kenny, a talented pianist and knowledgeable patron of the arts, has played piano for rehearsals and performances of many productions in both Coffeyville and Independence, most recently MCT's successful run of "Chicago" and last year's Neewollah.
    (Ed note: "Neewollah" is Halloween spelled backwards and was featured in the classic film "Picnic" starring William Holden and Kim Novak. "Picnic" was originally written by legendary playwright William Inge, who lived in Independence, Kansas, for a number of years and mentions the area frequently in his works. And, yes, the Festival most certainly does exist, as so do the Queens...although perhaps not always to Ms. Novak's beauty.) Special Achievement Awards also for our hard working and little recognitioized technical crew members.

    Montgomery County Theatre of Coffeyville Inc. (formerly known as Coffeyville Community Theatre Inc.) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the production and performance of live theatre in southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma. Active for more than 50 years, MCT is the oldest community theatre group in Montgomery County and perhaps the oldest community group in Kansas. MCT is governed by a seven-member board of directors with membership open to anyone who supports the arts and funded through an annual patron-donor drive and season ticket sales. MCT meets on the first Monday of each month with executive board meetings convened as necessary. MCT is an active member of the American Association of Community Theatre . The mission of MCT is to produce quality community theatre in an audience friendly environment.

    (Clip art from Download-Free-Pictures.)

    So, if Amanda's lucky, she should be bringing home two pigs as a reward for all of her talent and hard work. Only in Kansas, kids, but no matter:



    GOOD LUCK, AMANDA!!


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  • 2 comments:

    Caroline said...

    Thank you for your kind words and multiple platitudes *though I,too, feel inadequate in reaching the goals I set for myself in high school*. I did my personal best in 'the Mousetrap' but the competition was tough this year. I did, however, win the best female bit part as the English Teacher in 'Splendor'. I was surprised, genuinely, but very happy. That same show received best production.
    Thanks again dear friend. I will endeavour to live up to your high expectations of me in the future.
    -Amanda *or whatever name one knows me by in my many different roles in life*

    Julie Dumler "Deanie" said...

    This is really interesting. I'm finally reaching the point where I need to start caring what comes up when my name is Googled, so that's how I found your blog. I never even knew I was ever nominated for this award before today.
    I did have a great time performing in Splendor in the Grass. And Amanda, you deserved your award, I had a great time with you and the rest of the cast.
    - Julie Dumler (Feb. 2011)