Diamond Head Theatre's "Follies" won six awards, including Leading Female in a Musical for Cathy Foy, above.

Rampage on a roll

Diamond Head Theatre's
artistic director wins two
of six Po'okelas for "Follies"

"Follies" was a beautifully crafted but extremely depressing look at the horrors of growing old in a loveless relationship when Diamond Head Theatre presented it this spring, but the show and DHT came out sunny side up as the Hawaii State Theatre Council announced the recipients of the 20th Annual Po'okela Awards last night at the Koolau Golf Club.

"Follies" accounted for six of DHT's pace-setting total of 14 awards, including twin wins for DHT Artistic Director John Rampage as director and choreographer.

Manoa Valley Theatre's whimsical production of "Honk!" tied with DHT's fall staging of "Chicago" for second place with four Po'okelas apiece. Kevin W. Yamada's performance as the scheming cat in "Honk!" earned him top honors as the "Leading Male in a Musical." Larry Bialock and J. Calderone were both honored in the "Featured Male in a Musical" category for their work in "Chicago."

MVT's 10 Po'okelas also included three for "Visiting Mr. Green," the top winner among nonmusical shows, and also the sole winner for "Overall Play" honors.

Glenn Cannon, left, with Brian Parker as Ross Gardiner, took home an award for Leading Male in a Play for his role as Mr. Green in Manoa Valley Theatre's "Visiting Mr. Green."

Among the Actors Group's seven Po'okelas were awards for "The Weir," "The Actor's Nightmare," "K2" and an especially well-deserved Po'okela in the "Original Script" category for playwright Nancy Moss's historical drama, "Anna."

The TAG wins for "K2" were especially sweet for Dennis Proulx, who'd overcome long odds and many obstacles in getting the challenging drama presented by any local theater group. Proulx was honored for his work as the show's director and set designer.

Jo Pruden added another Po'okela to her collection with a well-deserved win for her work in TAG's production of "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You."

Although no high school actors received Po'okelas last night, two wins for the Punahou School theater program should lead to greater interest in high school productions.

Kevin W. Yamada's turn as a scheming cat in Manoa Valley Theatre's "Honk!" won him a Po'okela for Leading Male in a Musical. He's shown with Michael Hanuna, right, in the musical.

Competition was again extremely thin this year in the "Original Script" and "Original Music Score" categories because two HTSC member theater groups, Kumu Kahua and Honolulu Theatre for Youth, still refuse to have their productions considered for adjudication. Every original script and original music score presented by the other theater groups received nominations by default, while Po'okela-worthy work such as Alan Sutterfield's clever comedy, "King Kalakaua's Poker Game," at Kumu Kahua, and Henry Kapono's original music for HTY's spring production of "The Last Paving Stone" were ineligible.

Complaints that the Po'okela program doesn't recognize the efforts of local playwrights, or prefers Broadway fantasies over works that address the experiences of people in Hawaii, thus become self-fulfilling.

On the other hand, critics of the HSTC policy that permits as many as three honorees per category, thus diluting the prestige of winning, will note that single winners prevailed in half of the 22 categories last night and that there were triple winners in only two.


Here are the winners of
the 2003 Po'okela Awards:

Theater group abbreviations

ACT: Army Community Theatre
DHT: Diamond Head Theatre
HPU: Hawaii Pacific University
MVT: Manoa Valley Theatre
OHIA: 'Ohia Productions
PUN: Punahou
TAG: The Actors Group

>> Leading Male in a Play: Glenn Cannon, "Visiting Mr. Green," MVT
>> Leading Female in a Play: Annie MacLachlan, "Sea Marks," HPU, and Jo Pruden, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You," TAG
>> Leading Male in a Musical: Kevin W. Yamada, "Honk!" MVT
>> Leading Female in a Musical: Cathy Foy, "Follies," DHT
>> Featured Male in a Play: Randl Ask, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," DHT
>> Featured Female in a Play: Eden-Lee Murray, "The Actor's Nightmare," TAG
>> Featured Male in a Musical: Larry Bialock and J. Calderone, "Chicago," DHT
>> Featured Female in a Musical: Wisa D'Orso, "Follies," DHT
>> Choreography: John Rampage, "Follies," DHT, and Andrew Sakaguchi, "Chicago," DHT
>> Director of a Play: Dennis Proulx, "K2," TAG; Scott Rogers, "Visiting Mr. Green," MVT; and Vanita Rae Smith, "The Cripple of Inishmaan," MVT
>> Director of a Musical: John Rampage, "Follies," DHT
>> Musical Director: Corin Overland, "Les Miserables," PUN; Alethea Train, "Beehive," MVT; and Donald Yap, "Follies," DHT
>> Set Design: Henry Deardorf and Paul Guncheon, "The Weir," TAG, and Dennis Proulx, "K2," TAG
>> Costume Design: Athena Espania, "Honk!" MVT, and Karen G. Wolfe, "Follies," DHT
>> Lighting Design: Lloyd S. Riford III, "Honk!" MVT
>> Sound Design: Paul D. Palmore, "Stand and Deliver," PUN, and Jason Taglianetti, "Beehive," MVT
>> Nonresident Guest Artist: Isabelle Dacauwert, actor, "Romance Romance," DHT
>> Ensemble: "The Weir," TAG
>> Original Script: Lee Cataluna, "You Somebody," DHT, and Nancy Moss, "Anna," TAG
>> Original Music Score: Keola Beamer, "You Somebody," DHT, and Roslyn Catraccia, "Once Upon One Kapakahi Time," OHIA
>> Overall Musical: "Chicago," DHT, and "Honk!" MVT
>> Overall Play: "Visiting Mr. Green," MVT
>> HTSC Board of Directors' Pierre Bowman Award: Richard Aadland
>> Adjudicators' Special Award: The Praise the Sound barbershop quartet for its performance in "The Music Man," ACT

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