Read and weep: A select few win 'Greenie'

December 30, 1993|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer

Less prestigious than the Oscar but more eagerly sought after than some Fickle Finger of Fate Awards, it's the Greenie, handed out by this reporter for performances above and beyond the call of duty in 1993.

And heeeere they are. . . .

Best Performance by an Actor: Duncan Hood as the prancing, terrifying Master of Ceremonies at Berlin's decadent Kit Kat Club on the eve of the Nazi takeover in Anne Arundel Community College's production of "Cabaret." Menacing and hilarious at the same time, he out-Joel-Greyed Joel Grey. What a performance.

Best Actress: Is there anything Carol Cohen can't do on stage? Her "Cabaret" performance as the sad old German spinster who deserts her Jewish suitor in the name of expediency conveyed a sadness that simply compelled recognition.

Funniest Play of '93: "I Hate Hamlet," done beautifully by Colonial Players back in September. Tom Boynton was hilarious as John Barrymore, the booming baritone boozer back from the dead to show a schlocky Hollywood actor the Shakespearean ropes.

Best Director: James Gallagher in CP's "Rebel Armies Deep Into Chad." A talky play to be sure, but a searingly dramatic experience in the hands of this first-timer who didn't direct like a rookie. What a gut-wrencher.

Most Irons in the Fire: Gisele Ben-Dor conducts the Annapolis Symphony and the ProArte Chamber Orchestra of Boston. She guest-conducts in Israel, records in Bulgaria and is a candidate for other music directorships in California and Ohio. Think there's much white space on her calendar?

Most Gaping Hole in the Concert Season: It's Christmas, and I want my Annapolis Brass Quintet. Waaaaahhhh!

Best Find of '93: The Annapolis Vocal Corps. Seven "amateurs" -- whatever that means -- who can sing anything from the '40's to the '80's with the zippiest, most dastardly harmonies imaginable and not work up a sweat. They floored me.

The "Mount Everest" Special Achievement Award: The Annapolis Chorale sang Beethoven's heavenly choral work from Hell -- the impossible "Missa Solemnis" -- at Maryland Hall and lived to tell the tale.

Most Easily Overlooked Musician: Many know the Naval Academy's John Barry Talley only from sea chanteys and his annual mini-"Messiah," but the Brahms Requiem he and the Mids performed last March was the most deeply felt concert of my year. Those daringly slow tempos were taut with excitement, and his forces brought one of the real repertoire toughies to life with admirable style and class.

Most Surrealistic Exhibition of '93/Runner-Up: The picture of Salvador Dali staring down a rhinoceros in the Halsman photos on display at the Mitchell Gallery at St. John's College. Hello, Dali.

Most Surrealistic Exhibition of '93: The Board of Education's handling of child molestation matters in the post-Price era. In fact, as events unfolded at 2644 Riva Road I found myself homesick for Sal, the rhino and the solid dose of reality they'd provided me before the year's real absurdity hit the fan.

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