It’s like the local Tony Awards, smaller in scale and focused on independent theater. Now in their second year, the Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards are back to shine a light on top performances from the 2014-2015 season’s 42 plays (of which 19 were recommended by the group). Among 90 total nominations, 20 awards will go to outstanding musicals and plays, directors, actors, actresses and set designers. “The 2014-2015 season was incredibly strong, and impressed even me—and I’ve been reviewing plays here for years—with its breadth,” says event organizer (and Weekly theater critic) Jacob Coakley. “What stands out most for me is just how diverse a slate of shows are represented—everything from family-friendly musicals to dark dramas, to pieces that experiment with form and subject matter.”
Up for best play are Cockroach Theatre’s Bug, A Public Fit’s Foxfinder, Table 8 Productions’ Motel and two Las Vegas Little Theatre productions, Mrs. Mannerly and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Best musical nominees are Off-Strip Productions’ Cabaret; Signature Productions’ Mary Poppins; Shrek the Musical from Super Summer Theatre and Feral Tale Theatricals and Spamalot from Super Summer Theatre and PS Productions.
The evening will include performances from nominated shows, scenes from current shows like Avenue Q at Las Vegas Little Theatre, previews of upcoming plays and special guest appearances. “The Valley Awards’ ultimate goal is to grow the audience for theater here in Las Vegas by letting them know about the great work being done, and make it easier for them to find it, and enjoy it.”
Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards July 20, 7 p.m., $20. Inspire Theatre, 702-489-9110. Vote for the Audience’s Choice award at bit.ly/lvaud15.