Drammy, Drammy, who’s got the Drammy?

Thenkewveddymuch. I couldnadunnit without all the little people.

workingdrammy_003Oops. Wrong award ceremony.

Monday night (a night after the Tonys and a very long distance, psychically, from the glamfest called the Oscars) Portland theater folk will gather for the 30th Drammy Awards, the annual celebration of the best and brightest of the local theater season. It’s a good party, a good show, and generally a lot of fun.

Here’s the official scoop:

WHAT: 30th Anniversary Drammy Awards
WHERE: Crystal Ballroom
1332 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR
WHEN: Monday, June 8
6:00 PM Social hour and slide presentation
7:00 PM Awards presentation
COST: FREE ADMISSION, no-host bar and pizza
DRESS: Theatrical, elegant, innovative. Costumes are encouraged.

Costumes? I generally show up cleverly disguised as an aging L.L. Bean type who doesn’t own an iron. One year I wore my tuxedo and achieved the improbable: I turned a bunch of Portland actors speechless. It’s almost worth doing again.

These were wild and woolly occasions in their early days, with lots of drinking and shouting and the occasional Marlon Brando refusal to appear (Sacheen Littlefeather, where are you now?). I may not be remembering this exactly right — surely I didn’t imagine it — but one year a director of a certain show, miffed over a slight I can’t remember, refused to go up and receive several awards his show had won until the best-director category came up and his own name was announced. Suddenly he had a change of heart. Another year I got in a post-ceremony tiff with the master of ceremonies, who had engaged in an egregious-because-untrue running rant against my employer of the time. I blush to recall.

Things are more tame these days, if no less fun. The people who hate the idea of awards ceremonies have learned to just stay home. The people who show up seem genuinely excited about the event, which doesn’t mean there isn’t sometimes grumbling about the outcomes of the votes. (And a shout-out to the committee members, who see an unconscionable amount of theater in order to cast their votes.)

Last year’s ceremony is a bit of a haze to me — a happy haze — because I was given a lifetime achievement award, which made me feel somewhere between an unlikely cultural icon and dead. Fortunately life goes on, and I don’t seem to be either. But sometimes I look at my little plaque, which sits atop a bookshelf in my bedroom, and smile.

To all those who wish for a similar rush on Monday night, break a leg.