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It’s time to celebrate the best of borough’s theater

By Kevin Zimmerman

As the calendar year draws to a close, the media loves to present its various versions of “The Best Of…”

No matter what it is called, categorizing the people and events of the past 12 months has become as much a part of December as secret Santas and tree-shaped sugar cookies.

A couple of years ago the QGuide decided to add our own list to celebrate the best of the borough’s theater with the Queens Kudos award. For the 2013 calendar year, Titan Theatre Co. scored big with its unique production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Besides receiving the award for outstanding play, the show also earned director Lenny Banovez a nod for outstanding direction and the entire cast received Kudos in the acting category.

Other winners that first year included Bailey Seeker as outstanding actress in a musical for “Oliver!” at the Secret Theatre, Megan Greener as outstanding supporting actress in a play for the Queens Players’ version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Gregory Isaac as outstanding actor in a musical for “Oliver!” at the Secret.

The Queens Kudos’ second incarnation for 2014 performances singled out Laura Frye as outstanding actress for a trio of roles in Titan Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” Terry Layman as outstanding actor in “King Lear,” Jacklyn Collier as outstanding supporting actress for Variation Theatre Group’s “Hurlyburly” and Alberto Bonilla as outstanding director for his job helming “Richard III” at the Secret Theatre.

In the past, nominations were limited to any show that opened between Jan. 1 – Dec. 31 and was approved as an Actors Equity Showcase.

Here in Queens, those performances take place at The Chain Theatre, The Secret Theatre, The Chocolate Factory Theater, the Queens Theatre and the Astoria Performing Arts Center.

And each year the QGuide received criticism for limiting the options and basically cutting all of the borough’s community theater groups out of the process.

So, for the third annual Queens Kudos, the rule book has been tossed.

Any production that played a minimum of three performances in Queens between Jan. 1 – Dec. 31 will be eligible for a Kudos.

To that end, the QGuide is seeking nominations in the following categories: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Director, Outstanding Costumes and Outstanding Set Design.

There will also be Kudos awarded to Outstanding Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in both play and musical categories.

Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2016, and should be e-mailed to queenskudos@gmail.com.

Voters can nominate in any or all categories, but must limit their selections to one individual or production in each category.

The top five vote getters in each category will be announced in mid-February and the winners will be revealed in early March.

Reach News Editor Kevin Zimmerman by e-mail at kzimmerman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4541.

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