Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jackie Jones Explains Why the Artsies Were So Much Fun

We recently received this very gracious email from veteran Richmond actress Jackie Jones. It's filled with so much of Jackie's signature joie de vivre that we asked her if we could post it here. We think the spirit of her note captured the evening's excitement perfectly. If you were unable to attend, this is what the Artsies felt like.

To my Friends at Theatre IV,

Please accept my thanks for hosting the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards 2011. Also, please pass along my appreciation to all the staff involved. I had a ball!

I was grateful that the strike after our final Cat on a Hot Tin Roof performance ended early enough for me to curl my hair. Yet all the hairspray that kept it together even with the force of Big Daddy’s hand every performance of Cat was not enough to help when a man fell into me and uncoiled my coif.

Some of my favorite RTCCA 2011 moments were:

~ The valet parking! Wow, they were expedient.

~ Being escorted to my seat by the stunning peach-satin-clad usher who only hours before had been striking at Firehouse. Annella Kaine was our Cat on a Hot Tin Roof sound tech and I forgot that she might have a life outside of a dark theatre and her crew blacks.

~ Telling the man next to me to stop texting (and he did … and then moved at intermission!).

~ Audra Honaker’s bird (see photo of Audra and Jackie at top of post). Kim Jones Clark’s golden mermaid dress. Terry Snyder’s authentic Davy Crockett scarf. Everyone’s gorgeous self.

~ Chatting with Regina Carreras before the Awards began, peeking back at her when Morrie Piersol won her necklace, and looking forward to Carol Piersol wearing that necklace to the next big soiree!

~ Bryan Harris and his amazing RTCC band. Thank you to the playbill compilers for naming Stephanie, Craig, Steve and Bryan in the playbill.

~ The script. Funny and insider and what a kick.

~ David Janeski’s imitation of John Porter!

~ Terry Snyder’s thank you song and everyone snapping with him.

~ His students’ loving tribute to Ernie McClintock and then later, J Ron Fleming’s proud proclamation that without Ernie’s inspiration, J Ron would not have become an actor.

~ Michael Gooding’s heartfelt swell and Don Warren’s fond remembrance of Jay and his laugh. During the pre-show reception, Don noted how many of us wearing purple and commented that it was Jay’s favorite color.

~ The audience response to what we thought was the end of “9 People’s Favorite Thing” (see photo of cast above and to the left) and after a forever ovation, the tag to their song--especially since [title of show] did eventually tie for Best Musical!

~ Scott Wichmann’s eloquent toast to his challenges of the past year and the new ones to come.

~ The concept of The People’s Choice Award: more Fundraising and FUN-raising.

~ 2 Men / 1 Dream - starring Jason Roop and Jack Lauterback and featuring caricatures of a few favorite Richmond directors and choreographers played by themselves. Side note: Frances Wessells was my choreographer for Youth on Stage in 1974. We toured the state; her life experience and wisdom made a profound impact on me. I realize now as I type that even then she was further along in her life than I am now in my own! Maybe I still have time to catch up.

I missed the grand promenade of the RTCC members from Artsies of old. I hope next year the powers-that-be will reinstate that segment so we can see all the critics standing together and applaud their efforts to put on this wonderful celebration of our theatre community, for bestowing nods and awards which stroke our egos, offer terrific marketing tools for the companies and individuals, most especially for supporting the Richmond Theatre Artists Fund - and of course providing a perfect “theatre prom” to don my purple sparkly dress, new rhinestone combs, and University of Richmond loan of my Big Mama necklace, courtesy of Heather Hogg.

The evening went by in a flash! My one suggestion might be to include phonetic spellings for the more unusual names to spare the presenters/hosts embarrassment. Oh, and also for the mics to be a bit louder or more well-placed--there were some presenters who were hard to hear. I mention this hint for presenters not used to hard copy scripts: perhaps they should consider either marking their cues with tabs OR carrying their scripts to follow along. (I guess that was three suggestions. Oh well, good things come in threes.)

I can hardly wait for next year.


Jackie Jones

1 comment:

Holly T. said...

Jackie, that was a fantastic description of the evening, and I am extremely happy to hear your positive and constructive comments! Thank you for taking the time to be so thoughtful and appreciative.
- Holly