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Of Human Bondage and London Road win big at the Dora Awards. (Cylla von Tiedemann)
Of Human Bondage and London Road win big at the Dora Awards. (Cylla von Tiedemann)

Of Human Bondage and London Road win big at Dora Awards Add to ...

Soulpepper and Canadian Stage, Toronto’s two biggest not-for-profit theatre companies, dominated the Dora Mavor Moore Awards on Monday night. The two friendly rivals for Toronto audience share left the gala with seven Doras each.

Of Human Bondage, Vern Thiessen’s adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s 1915 novel, earned Soulpepper all of its awards – named both the outstanding production and outstanding new play of the 2013-14 season. Artistic director Albert Schultz was named best director for the multilayered world he created on stage, while his designers Lorenzo Savoini and Mike Ross were lauded for their work on sets, lighting and sound. Of Human Bondage’s excellent ensemble, which included Gregory Prest and Michelle Monteith, also received an award. (The Dora Awards now give out awards for best actor and best ensemble, but no supporting or featured actor awards.)

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Over at Canadian Stage, meanwhile, London Road – a documentary musical from the U.K. about a small town rocked by the serial murder of sex workers – was justly lauded in the musical theatre division. Shaw Festival artistic director Jackie Maxwell’s production beat out the Broadway-bound revamp of Les Misérables to win best production of a musical, while Maxwell was named best director of a musical.

More surprising was that Damien Atkins, who played numerous roles in the show, triumphed over Tony Award runner-up and Jean Valjean rejuvenator Ramin Karimloo to win outstanding male performance. Reza Jacobs – who helped Atkins and the rest of the play’s starry ensemble master a tremendously difficult score – was given the gong for musical direction, while the ensemble was recognized as a whole as well.

Les Misérables did not come out of the evening without

any reward, however – former Canadian Idol winner Melissa O’Neil, who played Éponine in Toronto and is now understudying the role in New York, was named best actress in a musical.

Canadian Stage’s seventh award went to Carly Street for her performance in an entirely different play about bondage – American playwright David Ives’s meta-masochistic comedy, Venus in Fur. Stratford Festival star Bruce Dow, meanwhile, won the best actor award for his work in the darkest play about sadomaschochism of the season, British playwright Tim Luscombe’s PIG, which had its world premiere at Buddies in Bad Times last fall.

In the indie theatre division, Vitals by Rosamund Small was the big winner of the evening. Outside the March’s immersive production of Small’s play about a Toronto paramedic was named the best of the year, while Small received the best play award for her professional playwrighting debut. The Theatre for Young Audiences division was unsurprisingly swept by Young People’s Theatre – with all five awards going to Nina Lee Aquino’s production of Anusree Roy’s play Sultans of the Street.

The Dora Awards, administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, also honour dance and opera and give out four dozen awards each year.

2014 DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARD WINNERS

GENERAL THEATRE DIVISION

Outstanding Production

Of Human Bondage, Soulpepper Theatre Company

Outstanding New Play

Adaptation by Vern Thiessen, Of Human Bondage

Outstanding Direction

Albert Schultz, Of Human Bondage

Outstanding Performance - Male

Bruce Dow, PIG

Outstanding Performance - Female

Carly Street, Venus In Fur

Outstanding Performance - Ensemble

The Ensemble of Of Human Bondage

Outstanding Scenic Design

Lorenzo Savoini, Of Human Bondage

Outstanding Costume Design

Ronnie Burkett, The Daisy Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design

Lorenzo Savoini, Of Human Bondage

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition

Mike Ross, Of Human Bondage

INDEPENDENT THEATRE DIVISION

Outstanding Production

Vitals. An Outside the March Production sponsored by Theatre Passe Muraille

Outstanding New Play

Rosamund Small, Vitals

Outstanding Direction

Matthew Thomas Walker, Birth of Frankenstein

Outstanding Performance - Male

Mac Fyfe, Trudeau and the FLQ

Outstanding Performance - Female

Claire Armstrong, After Miss Julie

Outstanding Performance - Ensemble

The Ensemble of Passion Play by Sarah Ruhl

Outstanding Scenic Design

Camellia Koo, The Wanderers

Outstanding Costume Design

Astrid Janson, Trudeau and the FLQ

Outstanding Lighting Design

Michelle Ramsay, Sister Mary's a Dyke?!

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition

Sound Design and Live Foley by John Gzowski/ Original Vocal Composition: Jacquie PA Thomas and the Ensemble, The Sacrifice Zone

MUSICAL THEATRE DIVISION

Outstanding Production

London Road, a Canadian Stage Production

Outstanding Touring Production (also open to General Theatre)

Mies Julie, Harbourfront Centre's World Stage presents Yael Farber/ Baxter Theatre Collective

Outstanding Performance - Male

Damien Atkins, London Road

Outstanding Performance - Female

Melissa O'Neil, Les Miserables

Outstanding Performance - Ensemble

The Ensemble of London Road

MUSICAL THEATRE / OPERA DIVISION

Outstanding New Musical or Opera

Joel Ivany, Figaro's Wedding

Outstanding Direction

Jackie Maxwell, London Road

Outstanding Scenic Design

Ken MacDonald, Marry Me A Little

Outstanding Costume Design

Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, Les Miserables

Outstanding Lighting Design

Kevin Lamotte, London Road

Outstanding Choreography

Marc Kimelman, Once On This Island

Outstanding Musical Direction

Reza Jacobs, London Road

OPERA DIVISION

Outstanding Production

Roberto Devereux, Canadian Opera Company presents the Dallas Opera production

Outstanding Performance - Male

Alan Held, Peter Grimes

Outstanding Performance - Female

Sondra Radvanovsky, Roberto Devereaux

Outstanding Performance - Ensemble

The COC Chorus of Peter Grimes

THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES DIVISION

Outstanding Production

Sultans of the Street, Young People's Theatre

Outstanding New Play

Anusree Roy, Sultans of the Street

Outstanding Direction

Nina Lee Aquino, Sultans of the Street

Outstanding Performance - Individual

Colin Doyle, Sultans of the Street

Outstanding Performance - Ensemble

The Ensemble of Sultans of the Street

DANCE DIVISION

Outstanding Production

what we are saying, Harbourfront Centre's World Stage presents Ame Henderson/ Public Recordings

Outstanding Choreography

Louis Laberge-Côté, Šet même aprés (dance: made in Canada/ fait au Canada; von Tiedemann Series)

Outstanding Performance - Male

Marc Boivin, WOULD (with a trace)

Outstanding Performance - Female

Kate Franklin, Gotta Go Church (with a trace)

Outstanding Performance - Ensemble

The Ensemble of what we are saying

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition

Dustin Peters, Malcolm

Outstanding Lighting Design

Simon Rossiter, Gotta Go Church (with a trace)

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