May 23 2010 12:00 AM

City Pulse theater judges honor the best of the best in their annual award ceremony June 14

Take a little David Mamet, add a dollop of Hank Williams, toss in a bit of boy-band bravado and top it off with a sprinkling of Dr. Frank N. Furter: That’s the recipe for this year’s Pulsar nominees.

Over the course of the past year, judges Erin Buitendorp, Mary Cusack, Tom and Kathy Helma, Paul Wozniak and Ute Von Der Heyden have surveyed the local theater landscape to find the very best of the best. In order to qualify for a Pulsar award, a show must be seen and rated by at least three of the six judges. Ballots are turned in, scores are averaged and compiled, and the Excel spreadsheets reveal the rest.

This year’s nominees are drawn from almost every theater company, including Icarus Falling, Lansing Civic Players Guild, Peppermint Creek, Riverwalk, Williamston and the now-defunct BoarsHead, as well as the theater departments of Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. Some nominees are local favorites; a few are out-of-towners.

Most categories have five nominees. In some cases, there weren’t enough shows to fill out a particular category (such as ensemble — musical), so the category was narrowed down to productions or performers that particularly impressed the judges.

We already know who won the Pulsars, but we won’t reveal that until June 14, when City Pulse hosts the awards ceremony during a dinner cruise aboard the Michigan Princess. Tickets to the party — which starts at 5:30 p.m. — are $25 ($18 for students) and the reservation deadline is June 7. Call (517) 371-5600 ext. 12 or fill out the mail-order form on Page 9.

And now, without further adieu — drum roll, please!

 Theater Key
BH = BoarsHead Theater
IF = Icarus Falling
LCC = Lansing Community College Theater Department
LCP = Lansing Civic Players
MSU = Michigan State University Theatre Department
PC = Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.
RW = Riverwalk Theatre
WT = Williamston Theatre

The 2010 Pulsar Nominees


“American Buffalo” (LCC)

“Palmer Park” (MSU)

“The Seafarer” (PC)

“Speed-The-Plow” (IF)

“This Wonderful Life” (WT)


“Altar Boyz” (PC)

“Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC)

“Living the Dreams of My Ancestors” (RW)

“Rent” (MSU)

“The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU)

Director — Play Deborah Keller, “American Buffalo” (LCC) Chad Badgero, “The Seafarer” (PC) Kristine Thatcher, “The Smell of the Kill” (WT) Jeff Croff, “Speed-The-Plow” (IF) Tony Caselli, “This Wonderful Life” (WT)

Director — Musical Chad Badgero, “Altar Boyz” (PC) John Lepard, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC) Scott Burkell, “Rent” (MSU) Tommy Gomez, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU) Jane Falion, “The Rothschilds” (RW)

Ensemble — Play “Cheatin’” (LCP) “Opposites Attract” (LCP) “The Smell of the Kill” (WT) “The Trojan Women” (MSU)

Ensemble — Musical“Altar Boys” (PC) “Living the Dreams of My Ancestors” (RW)

Lead Actor in a Play Michael Banghart, “American Buffalo” (LCC) Rick Dethlefsen, “The Seafarer” (PC) Cody Masalkoski, “Our Town” (LCC) John Lepard, “This Wonderful Life” (WT) Allan I. Ross, “Speed- The-Plow” (IF)

Lead Actor in a Musical Joseph Baumann, “The Rothschilds” (RW) Doak Bloss, “The Rothschilds” (RW) Sebastian Gerstner, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU) Derek Smith, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC)

Lead Actress in a Play Rachel Kabodean, “Our Town” (LCC) Abby Murphy, “Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight” (PC) Chai’Tavia Mushatt, “Palmer Park” (MSU) Kilashandra Waters, “The Cider House Rules” (LCC) Amy Winchell, “Speed-The-Plow” (IF)

Lead Actress in a Musical Abigail English, “Into the Woods” (RW) Veronica Gracia-Wing, “Into the Woods” (RW) Jennifer Shafer, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU) Corinna VanHamlin, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC)

Supporting Actor in a Play Joseph Albright, “It Came From Mars” (WT) John Astin, “Bluff” (BH) Eric Dawe, “The Seafarer” (PC) Jack Dowd, “The Seafarer” (PC) Mark Gmazel, “Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight” (PC)

Supporting Actor in a Musical Rusty Broughton, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU) Jeff Kennedy, “Into the Woods” (RW) Brandon Piper, “Rent” (MSU) Sineh Wurle, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC)

Supporting Actress in a Play Michelle Meredith, “Kid Purple” (MSU) Abby Murphy, “Enchanted April” (RW) Linda Setzer, “Bluff” (BH) Sandy Thomasson, “Enchanted April” (RW) Gloria Vivalda, “Enchanted April” (RW)

Supporting Actress in a Musical Colleen Bethea, “The Rothschilds” (RW) Chris Purchis, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC) Kellyn Uhl, “Rent” (MSU) Kellyn Uhl, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU)

Featured Actor in a Play Vinnie Mascola, “Kid Purple” (MSU) Ron Hillard, “Palmer Park” (MSU) Jacob Hodgson, “It Came From Mars” (WT) Brad Rutledge, “The Seafarer” (PC)

Featured Actor in a Musical Chad DeKatch, “Into the Woods” (RW) Michael Hays, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC) Curran Jacobs, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU) Jeff Massey, “The Rothschilds” (RW)

Featured Actress in a Play Erin
Cline, “Ah, Wilderness” (LCC) Rachel Frawley, “You Can’t Take It With
You” (MSU) Julie Sihiling, “Bluff” (BH) Piaget Ventus, “Palmer Park”

Featured Actress in a Musical Laura
Croff, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC) Claudia Dibbs, “Rent” (MSU)
Sarah Sonnenberg, “The Rothschilds” (RW) Lauren LoGrasso, “The Rocky
Horror Show” (MSU)

Music Director Jeff
English, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU) James Geer, “Into the Woods”
(RW) Donna Green, “Altar Boyz” (PC) Derek Smith, “Hank Williams: Lost
Highway” (LCC) John Dale Smith, “Rent” (MSU)

Choreography Kim
Kondrat, “The Rocky Horror Show” (MSU) Karyn Perry, “Altar Boyz” (PC)
Hope Hadley Rollins; Tonya Hardy; Min. Janice Rogers; Bonita Smith;
Doris Copedge; Antoinette and Deandra Lewis; Rosalyn English; Min.
Rosalyn Jones; Evang. Patricia Campbell-Castro, “Living the Dreams of
My Ancestors” (RW) Joni Starr, “Rent” (MSU)

Lighting Joe
Dickson, “Altar Boyz” (PC) Reid G. Johnson, “This Wonderful Life” (WT)
Samantha Bostwick, “Rent” (MSU) Jeremy Winchester, “The Cider House Rules”
(LCC) Michael Wright, “American Buffalo” (LCC)

Sound Joe
Dickson, “Altar Boyz” (PC) Ken Faulk, “Flyover, USA” (WT) Quintessa
Gallinat, “This Wonderful Life” (WT) Will Meyers, “It Came From Mars”
(WT) Lucas Nunn, “Palmer Park” (MSU)

Set Design Bartley
H. Bauer, “Ah, Wilderness” (LCC) Bartley H. Bauer, “The Cider House
Rules” (LCC) Janine Woods Thoma, “It Came From Mars” (WT) Daniel C.
Walker, “The Smell of the Kill” (WT) Michael Wright, “American Buffalo”

Props Linda
Burke, “Ah, Wilderness” (LCC) Zac Campbell, “You Can’t It With You”
(MSU) Deborah Keller, “American Buffalo” (LCC) Charles Sutherland, “It
Came From Mars” (WT) Ray Kurtis and Melody Teodoro-Kurtis, "The Rothschilds" (RW) 

Costumes Charlotte Deardorff, “Ah, Wilderness” (LCC) Deborah Keller, “American Buffalo” (LCC) Charlotte Deardorff, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” (LCC) Lark Burger, “Enchanted April” (RW) Kristina Miller, “The Trojan Women” (MSU)