Despite their physical location being closed since March, Reno Little Theater presented their 26th annual Blythe Award Show via YouTube on Saturday, Sept. 19. The nearly two-hour show was hosted by Libby Bakke and Bryce Keil and is still currently posted on Reno Little Theater’s channel.
This awards show was by far the best online production I have seen in all of 2020. Reno Little Theater did not try to mimic the show as it would be performed on the stage. Instead, they adapted to fit the online format, making for a highly entertaining experience. Their graphics were also expertly done by TL Solutions, giving a professional feel to the production.
Skits were performed throughout the night, like a parody of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” online series and a short film of a cat detective. There was also a game show mini-series that would progress along with the awards ceremony. This layout of the show would not work on the live stage, but proves that Reno Little Theater is able to adjust to best entertain their audiences despite the circumstances.
All the additional content made me run for my charger when my laptop was threatening a low battery. I was glued to the screen and laughing out loud from my dining room table. Reno Little Theater truly gave a full-fledged show, and they didn’t charge a single penny from the virtual audience.
If I had to fault the show, I would say it is not as enjoyable for someone who is not familiar with all the productions that Little Reno Theater has put on. The majority of the jokes throughout the show stemmed from the plays. However, the intended audience for this show is their already dedicated supporters. If this is your first time checking out a production from Reno Little Theater, I would recommend waiting for their next one coming up in October.
If you are familiar with some of the past productions, though, I highly encourage you to watch the awards show. Seeing the productions I had enjoyed months earlier winning awards brought back feelings of nostalgia and made me realize how much I missed theater. This show made me excited to see what else Reno Little Theater has to come.
Main Awards (in order of appearance):
- Favorite Supporting Actress: Rosie Brownlow as Aimee Blake in The Humans
- Favorite Supporting Actor: Jeff Chamberlin as Bouc in Murder on the Orient Express
- Favorite Lead Actress: Janet Lazarus as Deirdre Blake in The Humans
- Favorite Lead Actor: Kirk Gardner as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey
- Favorite Play Award: Murder on the Orient Express
- Favorite Unfinished Play Award: The Imaginary Invalid
Snap Awards (in order of appearance):
- Joined at the Hip: The Murderers in Murder on the Orient Express
- You’re Breaking my Heart: Kathy Welch as Momo in The Humans
- Put ‘em Up! Put ‘em Up!: Scott Hernandez as Hercule Poirot and his moral struggle in Murder on the Orient Express
- Most Valuable Prop: The Knife in Murder on the Orient Express
- Let’s Get, Physical, Physical!: The Cast & Crew of Harvey for the magical and impeccably timed set changes
- The Hero’s Journey: The Cast of Teens Speak Out: Glad You Are Here
- Good Heavens! HAIR!: Scott Hernandez’s perfectly groomed mustache in Murder on the Orient Express
- Sweet as Sugar: Kirk Gardner as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey
- Taking One for the Team!: Bryce Keil for staying still as a dead body for most of the show in Murder on the Orient Express
- Problematic Prop: The makeup bag in Murder on the Orient Express that got stuck on the door & resulted in improv monologue by Moira Bengochea
- Let’s get Virtual! Virtual!: Abby & The Admiral: Death at the Séance for Favorite Virtual Event
- The Most Wonderfully Cringe-worthy Moment: Brian Ault as MacQueen suddenly appearing on the train platform when Mary & the Colonel are lip-locked in Murder on the Orient Express
- Characters with the Most Character: the cast of Murder on the Orient Express
- The Little Printer that Could: Max, the 3D printing machine that worked as many hours as the cast and crew did on making masks and giant syringes for The Imaginary Invalid
- Music to my Ears: Mary Debenham’s blood-curdling scream (x3) in Murder on the Orient Express
- The Show Must Go On: the cast of Murder on the Orient Express who battled illnesses for weeks and only had a hand-full of rehearsals with the full cast
- It’s Nice to See a New Face: all of the actors who were new to our stage