Supporting Actor (Musical)
Pete Podolski, RoGoCop! The Musical, Go Comedy!
•Matt Anderson, The Drowsy Chaperone, Performance Network Theatre
•Scott Crownover, The Drowsy Chaperone, Performance Network Theatre
•Chris Korte, Detroit Be Dammed: A Beaver's Tale, Planet Ant Theatre and Park Bar Theatre
•Andy Orscheln, Guys on Ice, Tipping Point Theatre
Anderson’s sweetly absent-minded, fast-tapping best man was as earnest as Crownover’s overblown cinematic Lothario was an indulgent caricature. Korte balanced his unforgettable racist suburbanite of “Livonia” with lovely empathetic work as a passionate dad. That the ukulele was but a small part of Orscheln’s appeal was a credit to this comedic performer. But Podolski took the cake: Emil the vaudevillian gangster, light in his loafers in more than one respect, was the pinnacle of a stellar multi-character performance.
Supporting Actress (Musical)
Satori Shakoor, Reunion: A Musical Epic in Miniature, Meadow Brook Theatre
•Christa Coulter, Evil Dead: The Musical, Who Wants Cake? Theatre
•Naz Edwards, The Drowsy Chaperone, Performance Network Theatre
•Allyson Ortwein, Evil Dead: The Musical, Who Wants Cake? Theatre
•Kelly Rossi, Cancer! The Musical, Park Bar Theatre
It’s hard to envision a show that wouldn’t be improved with asides by Coulter’s sassy kid-sister demon; in the same production, Ortwein’s ingénue was a corny match for her paramour until things got weird and she lost her head. Rossi’s voice of reason was liberally snarky, but the humor worked better for its absence of condescension — not an easy combination. Edwards booze-sang better than most people regular-sing, to say nothing of a succession of purely hilarious faces. Ultimately, though, Shakoor’s unencumbered elation at the news of the slaves’ emancipation won out; one doesn’t expect such goosebumps from an ethically thorny historical narrative.
Lead Actor (Musical)
Paul Hopper, Dracula, A Rock Opera, Meadow Brook Theatre
•Dan Cooney, Nevermore, The Encore Musical Theatre Co.
•Phill Harmer, Forever Plaid, The Encore Musical Theatre Co.
•Mitchell Koory, Evil Dead: The Musical, Who Wants Cake? Theatre and City Theatre
•Brian Sage, Guys on Ice, Tipping Point Theatre
Harmer earned his place by equal parts lovably dopey character work and a voice you could wrap around you like a blanket. First Sage danced like a champ in waterproof boots, then he mesmerized with his wistfulness. Koory took a role tailor-made for him and earned it several times over with steely ruggedness and campy pleasure. As the famously macabre and infamously mad Poe, Cooney held fast to the narrative as the character’s life and visions swam up piecemeal around him. But oh, Hopper’s dazzling operatic blasts — there wasn’t a better fit of ability to atmosphere.
Lead Actress (Musical)
Katie Hardy, Little Women, The Encore Musical Theatre Co.
•Allison Hunt, Shout! The Mod Musical, Meadow Brook Theatre
•Sonja Marquis, Damn Yankees, The Encore Musical Theatre Co.
•Andrea Mellos, The Drowsy Chaperone, Performance Network Theatre
•Thalia Schramm, The Last Five Years, The Encore Musical Theatre Co.
There was Mellos’s demurring grandstanding and guileless show-business angel. Hunt’s devil-may-care shimmying and dynamo of happy energy. Marquis took a story focused on her character’s husband and made the wife a vital part of the equation. Schramm exercised command over a vicious score with the same control she denied her wounded character. Then Hardy became Jo March — ambitious, bull-headed, awkward Jo — and turned it into the role of a lifetime.
The Drowsy Chaperone, Performance Network Theatre (director Carla Milarch)
•Guys on Ice, Tipping Point Theatre (director Joseph Albright)
•Forever Plaid, The Encore Musical Theatre Co. (director Barb Cullen)
•Little Women, The Encore Musical Theatre Co. (director Steve DeBruyne)
•RoGoCop! The Musical, Go Comedy! (director Joe Plambeck)
If there were an award for “Reviewer’s Longest Cry,” the reverently tender Little Women would have won it in a cakewalk. Campy RoGoCop! The Musical knew exactly what things it could do best, and did them — better than it had any right to — and more. Forever Plaid had amazing technical elements backing up its well-known premise, but its bread and butter was in its four gorgeous voices joining in an inseparable quartet. With accents as thick as Wisconsin cheddar, the men of Guys on Ice easily veered from rockin’ comedy to meditative longing. And then there’s The Drowsy Chaperone, flawless from beginning to end, matching impeccable humor to incredible singing and dancing showmanship.