Best Supporting Actor in a Musical 2011 | Stephen Hahn | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Gaston, Belle's rejected and vindictive suitor in Beauty and the Beast, may be vain, a dope and a brute. But Stephen Hahn's version in the Phamaly production was so full of wild, juicy, hang-the-consequences vitality that you could see exactly why all the village maidens pined for him.

Best Supporting Actor in a Shakespeare Production

John Hutton

In the Denver Center Theatre Company's production of Othello, John Hutton took the role of Iago and made it entirely his own, his interpretation so strong — both entirely original and true to the script — that it shed new light on the action. Unlike the slithering black snake we half expected to see, this Iago was an old soldier, a bluff man of the people, so apparently honest that you could fully understand why everyone around him, including his wife, would fall for his machinations.

When it's required, C. Kelly Leo can muster an intensity that threatens to shatter the theater walls, and she deployed it to hilarious effect as neurotic Hermia, wife of the dead man at the center of Dead Man's Cell Phone. Tightly wound and buttoned down at the beginning, she unspooled after a few drinks to become a small tornado, so gleefully and brilliantly over the top that she actually seemed to blur at the edges. Leo's part was small, but she solidified this Curious Theatre Company production.

There was an intriguing tension between the sense of calm and centeredness that actress Jessica Love tends to emanate on stage and Jen, the angry, neurotic younger sister she portrayed in Map of Heaven. It turned out to be a winning mix in this Denver Center Theatre Company production. Tossing her long legs over the arm of a sofa, sulking, snapping at her brother, boasting to her sister-in-law, sexy and disheveled, Jen livened up every scene she strode into.

With her calm grace and pure, beautifully modulated singing voice, Tracy Warren was a standout as hat-maker Irene Malloy in the Boulder's Dinner Theatre production of Hello, Dolly!

Best Supporting Actress in a Shakespeare Production

Kathleen McCall

Emilia is Iago's wife in Othello, and no one can ever quite figure out how complicit she is in his murderous deceptions. Emilia has to know that something's badly askew when she hears Othello castigating Desdemona for having lost the handkerchief she herself picked up earlier and gave to her husband, but she says nothing — despite the fact that she cares for Desdemona. Kathleen McCall's complex, moving performance in the Denver Center Theatre Company's production shed light on this riddle, showing how Emilia's longing to do what was right warred continually with her pained love for Iago.

We all hate those people who spend the entire run time (and hefty admission price) of a movie loudly chatting about the plot points and the lead actress's boob job, but hand them a couple of microphones and an otherwise unwatchable piece of cinematic shit, and the result can be comedy genius. Of course, there are a few more qualifications required to really pull this off. For starters, the people with the mikes have to be both funny and geeky. Luckily, Matt Vogl and Harrison Rains, the two-man joke machine behind Mile High Sci-Fi, fill that double bill. With snide wit and an impressive knowledge of outmoded pop-cultural detritus, the two spend the final weekend of each month polishing the turds of our ridiculous filmmaking past into comedic gems — and while you'll be unlikely to walk out of the show a better person for it, we can definitely think of worse ways to spend a couple of hours. In your nearby multiplex listening to some cell-phone-obsessed slob talking over the film, for example.

Denver's Biennial of the Americas came and went last year without leaving any real mark on the community — except for the Chevy that's mounted above a reflecting pool across from the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The idea of having a car aiming at the ground is simple, yet "Between Life and Death" is very impressive. It was created by Gonzalo Lebrija, a Mexican artist best known for his photos and videos — until this sculpture quickly became his most significant and renowned work. Although the piece does not yet have a permanent parking spot in Denver, it could still land one, creating at least one legacy from the Biennial.

After fifteen years as publicity director (and, briefly, head of patron relations) at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Chris Wiger left in February for a spiffy job as director of marketing and public relations at the new Lone Tree Arts Center. We started missing things about him even before he left. His extraordinary efficiency, for example: Wiger responded to requests for seats, photographs and information in record time ("Can you give me the name of that visiting actor twelve years ago who starred in ... ?"; "When did the Denver Center last do Romeo and Juliet, and who directed?"). His thoughtfulness: Get caught in a traffic jam, and you were likely to find Wiger standing in the middle of the lobby when you finally raced in, holding out your tickets; find yourself seated next to a loud drunk and he'd get you another seat, pronto. The interesting details he could pass on about each production — the concept, the costumes, the script. His regard for the actors and transparent love for the company itself: Knowing many actors don't like reading reviews while a show is running, Wiger collected albums of clippings and photographs to be distributed at the production's end. While we look forward to seeing him at Lone Tree, evenings at the Denver Center will never be the same.

Sometimes the small pleasures are the most intense. Circle Mirror Transformation followed the encounters of a group of small-town, would-be thespians learning acting and performing theater exercises — tell an anecdote, mirror another person vocally and physically, hold a conversation using only nonsense words — and slowly coming to know each other. There were no great revelations or climactic events in this Curious Theatre Company production, just occasional bright moments of insight. The interactions among director Chris Leo's excellent cast were emotionally honest and perfectly timed, and the evening was pure pleasure.

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