In a similar vein, competition for choreography used to be confined to community theater companies. This year presents two nationally known dance talents in the running: Lori Leshner, employed with Auburn’s Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in the summer, for Man of La Mancha, and Cynthia Halpin, responsible for the choreography for Cortland Repertory Theatre’s Brigadoon. They will be pitted against community theater greats like Jodi Bova in the Wit’s End Players’ Cabaret, Michael Groesbeck for the Talent Company’s All Shook Up, Jimmy Wachter for Rarely Done Productions’ Scream Queens and Shannon Tompkins for the Talent Company’s The Rocky Horror Show.
The other production reaping abundant nominations is Salt City Center’s Master Class, which boasted two familiar names. They are Frank Fiumano, the SALT equivalent of Katherine Hepburn or Meryl Streep for attracting nominators, who never before has been cited as a director. Lead Cathleen O’Brien is a much-admired, versatile soprano, just right for the role of diva Maria Callas, who paradoxically never sings in the show. Also cited is newcomer Crystal Sikora, the impudent student who challenges the operatic dominatrix, plus actors Josh Smith and Richard Koons. The catch with all this attention is that Master Class played to the empty Carrier Theater at the Mulroy Civic Center over two weeks in November. SALT voters must have been a big part of that audience.
2010 was a year of recognition for singer Peter Irwin in two contrasting roles: the heartfelt, conflicted lead in William
The Syracuse New Times SALT Awards will be presented on Sunday, May 1, 7 p.m., at Eastwood’s Palace Theatre, 2384 James St. The theater’s lobby will hold a reception from 6 to 6:45 p.m., as well as an after-party at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 by mail using check or credit card to: New Times SALT Tickets, 1415 W. Genesee St., Syracuse 13204. For information, call 422-7011, Ext. 125.