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The 2013 Suzi Bass Awards



One of the things on my bucket list is to attend the Tony Award and get to celebrate the best of the best of the past year’s theatre shows.  I got a step closer when I attended my first Suzi Bass award program. Modeled after the Tony Awards, Atlanta has the Suzi Bass Awards that recognized the best theatre of the past year from twenty-one participating theatres. After a very comprehensive matrix the awards come from results from participating Suzi Bass member judges.

Ten of the twenty-one participating Suzi Bass Award Theatres won awards. Of the 31 awards given out that night, twenty-seven were shown related awards to fifteen different shows.  Of those fifteen shows, I am proud to say I had seen ten of them.

This was an awesome night to pause and share in the excitement of the Atlanta theatre scene that is vibrant and full of creativity.  Taking a note from Theatrical Outfit’s motto, these plays represent stories that stir the soul.

The night’s theme was creative black tie and with a flowing red carpet lining up the entrance of the Porter Sanford, III Performing & Community Center you felt you were at a big celebration for those who bring the arts to life.

In his red sneakers master of ceremonies Rob Cleveland keep the night-light and kept the program under two and a half hours. Mix in the award presentations were musical numbers, the top being Ingrid Cole who blew the roof off in her performance of “Some People” from Gypsy  as did the petite blond Claci Miller who hit the right notes in “Gimmie, Gimmie” from Thoroughly Modern Millie in a feisty fun musical number.

The top award winner for the night was the Alliance Theatre for 8 awards but the most enthusiastic group has to go to the Aurora Theatre who with 7 wins really got the party started. When accepting one of the awards in Musical Direction Ann-Carol Pence shared that this work was an “opportunity to rise in what you get to do.”

The most touching moment was when Red actor Jimi Kocina won the Featured Actor for a Play described the words shared by fellow actor Tom Keys each night before show time:  “Tonight is going to be better than last night, but not as good as tomorrow.”  Later Tom Key as he accepted the award for Outstanding Production of a Play in Red shared that, “Change is inevitable but growth is a choice” and how this play Red was a love story that helped him grow.  Key that as an equity member since 1974 and getting a chance to work with Jimi made him work harder and also gave him hopeful for the future of the craft.

There was moment that paused to acknowledge the contribution of actors that had been lost in memorial of Jane Bishop, Vincenzo Tortorici, and Susan Wiener.

The spontaneous standing ovation came when “The Spirit of Suzi Award” to Theatre in the Square was giving to Palmer Wells.  Theatre in the Square closed the past year after 30 years and it also was one of the last place where the namesake of the evening Suzi Bass performed.

Freddie Ashley of Actor’s Express in accepting Outstanding Production of a Musical Spring Awakening  noted that show was one of those “once in a lifetime opportunity” as he was surrounded with a full cast.

The introductions were funny and witty. Veronika Duerr showed up with a binder of actresses to present and came a list of one liners and there was a tribute to the viral Gangnam video.  Junior presenter Royce Mann was looking sharp in tux and Frank Sinatra style hat.

With flowing drink and food the after party went on well after midnight as these artists celebrate their craft.

Below is a list of the 2012 Suzi Bass Awards Winners but for more details on the Suzi Awards and support them visit:

To see the 2012 Suzi Bass Awards check out:


2012 Suzi Bass Awards Winners List:


Actors’ Equity Association, 1 Win:

 2012 Spirit of Suzi Award: Actors’ Equity Association


Actor’s Express, 1 Win:

 Outstanding Production of a Musical Spring Awakening at Actor’s Express

Alliance Theatre, 8 Wins:

 2012 Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award: Broke by Janece Shaffer produced by the Alliance Theatre

 Outstanding Costume Design of a MusicalLex Liang for Into the Woods at Alliance Theatre

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical Todd Rosenthal for Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at Alliance Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a PlayTess Malis Kincaid for Broke at Alliance Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical Robert Wierzel and Adam Larsen for Ghost Brothers of Darkland County at Alliance Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls at Alliance Theatre

 Kate Goehring, Alexandra Henrikson, Judy Leavell, Diany Rodriguez, Bree Dawn Shannon, and Sarah Elizabeth Wallis

Outstanding Costume Design of a Play Ivan Ingermann for The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls at Alliance Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design of a Play Kendall Simpson & Adair Mallory for I Just Stopped By to See the Man at Alliance Theatre


Atlanta Lyric Theatre, 3 Wins:

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical Ingrid Cole for Gypsy at Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical– Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Atlanta Lyric Theatre

 Kayce Grogan-Wallace, Kenya Hamilton, Eric Moore, Jevares C. Myrick, and D. Woods

Outstanding Choreography of a Musical Karen Hebert for Thoroughly Modern Millie at Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Aurora Theatre, 7 Wins:

2012 Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Season: Aurora Theatre


Outstanding Director of a Musical Lonny Price for Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale at Aurora Theatre

 Outstanding Featured Actress in a MusicalKaren Howell for Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale at Aurora Theatre

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Bryant Smith for Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale at Aurora Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design of a MusicalBobby Johnston for Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale at Aurora Theatre

Outstanding Music Direction of a Musical Ann-Carol Pence for Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale at Aurora Theatre

Outstanding World Premiere Production– Clyde ‘n Bonnie: A Folktale at Aurora Theatre

Georgia Shakespeare, 2 Wins:

Outstanding Director of a Play Richard Garner for Much Ado About Nothing at Georgia Shakespeare


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Bethany Anne Lind for The Glass Menagerie at Georgia Shakespeare

New American Shakespeare Tavern, 2 Wins:

2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards: Costume Designer Anne Carole Butler – New American Shakespeare Tavern

2012 Volunteer Award: Sandra Meierhofer, New American Shakespeare Tavern



Serenbe Playhouse, 2 Wins:

Outstanding Lead Actor in a PlayMark Kincaid for Shipwrecked: An Entertainment at Serenbe Playhouse

Outstanding Lighting Design of a PlayAndrew Carson for Shipwrecked: An Entertainment at Serenbe Playhouse

Theatre in the Square, 1 Win:

Special Spirit of Suzi Award: Theatre in the Square


Theatrical Outfit, 3 Wins:

Outstanding Production of a PlayRed at Theatrical Outfit

Outstanding Featured Actor in a PlayJimi Kocina for Red at Theatrical Outfit

Outstanding Scenic Design of a PlayLee Maples for Red at Theatrical Outfit



The Legacy Theatre, 1 Win:

Outstanding Lead Actor in a MusicalStephen Mitchell Brown for Jane Eyre: The Musical at Legacy Theatre


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Holiday Fun

“A Christmas Carol” at Theatre in the Square Brings the Holiday Cheer!



Nothing makes me feel more like Christmas is just around the corner than seeing a live performance of “A Christmas Carol.”  We have been fortunate to see it performed all over the country with highlights in Boston at the North Shore Music Theatre and now a wonderful performance at the resurrected Theatre in the Square!

The intimate theater is the perfect setting for a story this classic. Even if you are sitting in the back, you will still get a great view and feel the story just fine.

From the opening of the story, through the highly appreciated musical numbers, and a wonderful full cast finale, this adaptation is simply delightful.

The cast, comprised of some amazing local talent, is as good as they get! Some of the best and stand out performances go to Bruce Speer as Scrooge, Cindy Copeland  as Christmas Past, Vance West as Bob Cratchit and how could we leave out Davie DeWitt as Tiny Tim!

After the show we talked to the owner of the Theatre, Raul Thomas and he told us this. ” This adaptation by Director Tony Smithey he has been producing in a variety of forms for 18 years. Originally written to tour in schools the running time was about 55 min. With the addition of music and dancing it now runs about an hour and a half with the intermission.
In the production Tony has done a little fleshing out to Scrooge’s relationships with his Mother, his only friend Jacob Marley and his one and only true love Belle. ”

This is a must on our Holiday Fun list so get your tickets now HERE as it opens tonight!


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The New Theatre in the Square Marietta is Back and Better Than Ever!



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Three years ago one of my favorite local theaters took their final bow and closed up shop. Ever since I can I remember, I loved going to see performances at the Theatre on the Square in the beautiful Marietta Square. I can remember going to see some great Christmas shows with my parents and one of my favorites, the “1940’s Radio Hour”. Ahhh, the memories. But, it was all over in 2012.

Three years have come and gone and I spent two of those years in Boston and one in Florida, so imagine my delight to come back to Atlanta to find that the Theatre on the Square was revamped and ready to amaze again with great local talent.

We took a few minutes to get to know the lovely Roxanne Johnson of the Theatre and ask her a few questions.

Raul Thomas – Owner of Theatre on the Square

TBB: We are so excited that the beloved Theatre in the Square in Marietta is making it’s glorious comeback. Tell me about this revival, who is involved and what we can expect?

Roxanne: It was more than heart breaking to the community as a whole to see Theatre in the Square close up shop in 2012. Immediately seeing huge potential Raul Thomas; Executive Chef, Film Maker  and avid supporter of all the arts, took over the theatre in September of this year. From the community he hand picked a team of top notch creative and business professionals. We all quickly went to bring this sacred space back to it’s former glory.

   Wanting to court previous supporters of the theatre we offer through our resident company standards and favorites of the community. There will also be more contemporary entertainment offered as well as concerts and comedy and other events. The former green room has now been transformed into a small film and photography studio.

   The studio is available to the community. As well as classes for children and adults. We are already working closely with Marietta Middle School and Kennesaw State University. The ultimate goal is creating a multi-cultural center bringing entertainment and education to the area through art and theatre.  
   Information regarding what is currently running and what is coming up for us, as well as purchasing tickets can be found on our website HERE.

   After the 1st of the year we will be offering season tickets, flex tickets and reserved seating.

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Pure Magic! Cinderella at The Fox Theatre!



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Once upon a time, there lived a little girl who dreamed of happiness, played with her animal friends and loved her daddy.  She loved to pretend that she was the beautiful princess at a ball, dancing the night away. Yes, once upon a time.

As the years went by, the girl grew older but her dreams never died. She still loves her daddy, her animal friends and of course, dreams of happiness and princess gowns.

Last night, that little girl witnessed the most amazing thing! A true princess transform on stage and she knew that anything was possible! So, she began to dream some more!

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