Pilot story and photos
by Bill Schlichting
"My Fair Lady" was the awarding-winning show of local theater for 2002, winning more PACKY trophies than any other play performed that year by the Chetco Pelican Players.
The summer musical garnered half of the awards that were presented Saturday night at the Performing Arts Center in Harbor.
When Leanne McCurley, who produced the play that was directed by Michael S. Fox, came onto the stage to receive the award for Best Directed Play, she gave credit to the actors for making the production a success.
"My Fair Lady" also received the award for Best Overall Technical Production and Best Costumed Play. Costumes for the play were designed by Dori Blodgett, who had a costuming role in all but two of the seven plays. She thanked Dianna Cartwright for her assistance.
Playing the lead role of Eliza Doolittle in the musical was Jeanne Jo Perrone, who hobbled onto the stage on crutches to receive her awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Singing Role.
The Del Norte High School student told the audience she was "holding her breath" when they announced the nominations for the singing role award. She was the only nominee.
Rick DeHaven presented the award in the absence of Bill Smith, who won Best Actor in a Singing Role in 2001. After DeHaven read the name of the sole nominee, he opened the envelope and jokingly said that Smith won the best female singer award instead of Perrone.
Cliff Robison, who also made several trips onto the stage, was given the award for Best Actor in a Singing Role for his portrayal of Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady." Playing the role of Freddy Eynsford-Hill in the musical was Michael Quale who won Best Actor in a Bit Role.
Another successful play of the 2002 season was the final one, "The Man who Came to Dinner," received four awards. Robison, along with his designing partner Robin Stevens, came onto the stage to receive the award for Best Set Design.
If there was an award for most leg-revealing dress at the PACKYs, it would have gone to Victoria Weller, who was given the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for playing Lorraine Sheldon in "The Man Who Came to Dinner." She also was given the award for Best Actress in a Bit Role for her portrayal of Louise in "Play On!"
Meanwhile Fox, who was not in attendance that night, was given the award for Best Actor in a Character Role in "The Man Who Came to Dinner," Fox played the role of Banjo. Brenda Griffin, who played the nurse, Miss Preen, in the December comedy received the Best Actress in a Character Role.
The remaining two awards were given to DeHaven for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his characterization of Sidney Lipton in "God's Favorite, and for his role as Randle P. McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," he received Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Also awarded that night was the Jim Moran Award for Family Participation in the theater. This year the award was given to Fox and Woody Malone. Malone, who accepted both awards, said he first met his dad when he was 5-years-old and credited him for instilling an interest in theater.
In other news announced that night, McCurley said that an agreement was made with the shopping center's landlord foregoing a rent increase until 2004. Without elaborating, she added that plans are forthcoming for the Performing Arts Center to be announced later this year. The theater company may not be in its current location next year, she said.