For a definitive look at the state of Miami's theater scene, take a look at the 2011 Carbonell Awards nominees announced on Saturday.
Of the 98 nominations, only 28 are for theater companies in Dade County. The majority of nominated theaters are in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Leading the pack is Actors' Playhouse with 14 nominations followed by GableStage with 8. Both are located in Coral Gables, meaning not only is Miami short on good theater, but there's a huge void north of Ponce De Leon Boulevard.
Of the Miami productions from the past 12 months, John Waters' Hairspray at Actors' Playhouse was the big winner with 7 nominations. It received nods from Best Actress to Best Choreography, but not for Best Musical.
Actors' Playhouse artistic director David Arisco played Edna Turnbald, the role made famous when played by both Divine and John Travolta. Arisco was left off the nominations even though his performance was considered a highlight.
Miami Herald theater reviewer noted that "Picking out the best performances from a cast full of triple-threat entertainers is tough. As in the case of big mama Edna Turnblad (Arisco), there's just so much to love."
Another big winner was the theater's August: Osage County, Tracy Lett's family drama set in Oklahoma, with 5 nominations.
GableStage, known for its courageous programming, garnered nominations for a variety of 2011 productions. The risque In the Next Room (The Vibrator Play) was nominated for Best Costume Design while the much hyped The Brothers Size by local theater protege Tarell Alvin McCraney snagged only one nod for Best Ensemble.
The Miami New Times had this to say about McCraney's work:
The Brothers Size is provocative, charming, heart-wrenching, hilarious, and emotionally charged. It's a heady brew of awesome sauce that once again proves GableStage's predominance while also shedding light on McCraney's insane talent. The production is so simple -- it lasts only 70 minutes -- that every note must be hit perfectly. And all parties nail it.
Watch McCraney discuss the production in the video below.
For the full list of winners, visit the Carbonell Awards website. The winners will be announced on April 2 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.