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Curtain Call Awards winners announced

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After a surge of last-minute voting, the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s “Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul” won best musical in a professional theater in the 2011 Curtain Call Awards.

The musical had been near the top of the online voting since balloting opened on Aug. 18 for readers choices of the best in local theater during the 2010-11 season.

But more than 200 votes cast on Wednesday’s final day secured the show’s victory with 32 percent over the Broadway-bound “Bonnie & Clyde” at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, which had 25 percent. “Avenue Q” at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre took third with 15 percent.

Sheldon Roden played the title role in "Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul" at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. COURTESY PHOTO

David Mamet’s drama “Race,” which led through much of the balloting period, topped the professional play category with 25 percent over “Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun” at the Banyan Theater Company with 21 percent and the Asolo Rep’s “Twelve Angry Men” with 15 percent.

In the community theater categories, there was a tight race for best musical between two shows at the Players Theatre. But when balloting closed, “The Producers” edged “The Fantasticks” 28 percent to 27 percent. They were separated by just 11 votes. “Ragtime” at Venice Theatre was third with 9 percent, followed by the Manatee Players’ “Sunday in the Park with George,” which earned third place in a national community theater festival during the summer.

Gianni Damaia, seated, and Bobbie Burrell in "Over the Tavern" at the Players Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO

In the best play category, the Players Theatre’s summer production of “Over the Tavern” topped the list with 34 percent over “Romeo and Juliet” at Venice Theatre’s Stage II with 26 percent and “Trying” at Lemon Bay Playhouse with 7 percent.

More than 2,400 votes were received in both of the community theater categories, while more than 2,200 votes were cast in each of the professional theater categories.

Check out all the results of the Curtain Call Awards and a photo gallery highlighting the 2010-11 theater season

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Jay Handelman

Jay Handelman is the theater and television critic for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where he has worked since 1984. He also is President of the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association and a two-time past chairman of the association's executive committee. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4931. Follow him at @jayhandelman on Twitter. Make sure to "Like" Arts Sarasota on Facebook for news and reviews of the arts.
Last modified: September 1, 2011
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