Perennial front-runner Diamond Head Theatre emerged as the biggest winner once again when the Hawaii State Theatre Council announced the recipients of the 2010 Po’okela Awards last night at the Koolau Golf Club.
DHT received 27 awards spread across 15 of the 22 categories, with its spring production of "Guys and Dolls" accounting for eight of them. Manoa Valley Theatre and the Actors Group tied for second place in the awards tally with 17 each. Productions by All the World’s a Stage, Army Community Theatre, Hawaii Pacific University, the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, ‘Ohi’a Productions and the Paliku Theatre also received awards.
Three other community theater groups — Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Kumu Kahua and the University of Hawaii at Manoa theater program — choose not to participate in the Po’okela Awards.
Under the awards process, each judge independently selects two honorees in each category. This ensures a minimum of two honorees per category and a maximum of six.
Brett Harwood’s precedent-setting production of "The Threepenny Opera" accounted for five of Army Community Theatre’s six awards. The show was one of four honorees for Overall Musical and also earned awards for Larry Paxton (leading male), Daniel Sakimura (lighting design) and two for Harwood (director and set design).
Manoa Valley Theatre’s season-ending production of "Once Upon One Time" received six awards, including overall musical, with the sophisticated musical comedy "Forbidden Broadway SVU" earning the troupe another five Po’okelas. MVT’s bowdlerized version of "Hair" won two awards: featured male in a musical to Braddoc DeCaires for his performance as a transvestite, and hair, makeup and wig design to Greg Howell. The award was one of three Howell received in that category, all for his work at MVT.
Several other people won multiple awards. Mikel Hummerickhouse received three for sound design at Diamond Head Theatre; Katherine Jones got two for choreography at MVT; Elitei Tatafu Jr. also was honored with two Po’okelas for his work as a director at MVT; and Emmett Yoshioka was recognized for his work as musical director in two DHT productions, "Guys and Dolls" and "White Christmas."
DHT artistic director John Rampage received awards in two categories, as he was honored for his performance as the male lead in "The Drowsy Chaperone" and for directing "White Christmas." Michelle Hurtibise became a two-category winner with nods for her acting in "The Shape of Things" and "Richard II."
» Visit TGIF Online for a complete list of 2010 Po’okela Award winners.