Despite the tanking economy, the shifting fortunes of local companies and the shrinking of the media that has always served as support and megaphone, there’s a lot going on in local theater. The annual Henry Awards, organized by the Colorado Theatre Guild with indefatigable director Gloria Shanstrom at the helm, are a recognition of this, bringing together Denver’s most prominent theater artists and their audiences for the local equivalent of the Tonys. The Henrys are named for Henry Lowenstein, a longtime and deeply respected impresario, supporter and onetime director of some of the most vivid work around.
The ceremony represents a chance for theater people to party, network and experience each others’ work, and for theater lovers to meet performers they admire. Expect to see lots of air kisses and hugs, poised or flustered speeches from winners, joke-offering presenters, and musical numbers from the nominated shows. And, of course, much nail-biting as everyone waits to discover who’s won what. A handful of special awards are already known: a Lifetime Achievement to Tom McNally, theater professor at the University of Northern Colorado; a nod to the recently shuttered National Theatre Conservatory; and the first Journalistic Excellence in the Arts Award to much-missed former Denver Post reviewer John Moore.
The Henry Awards festivities start with cocktails and a silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 7 p.m., at the L2 Arts & Culture Center, 1477 Columbine Street; an after-party follows at the Denver FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets to the entire evening are $25 or $50; find more information at www.coloradotheatreguild.org
Mon., July 16, 6 p.m., 2012