A scene from “The Royale” at American Stage, the most-nominated play in this year's TTB Awards. Photo: American Stage

dR Daily 10/14: The Theatre Tampa Bay Awards Gala

Emerging Artist Exhibition 2018

The Best Thing You Can Do Today: Party with the winners of the Theatre Tampa Bay Awards 

Will The Royale punch out a victory? Will Daddy Longlegs dance its way to the top? Those are just two of the 30+ productions nominated for this year’s Theatre Tampa Bay Awards, which recognize the finest work of the year by the region’s professional theaters. Full disclosure: I was one of the nine judges for this year’s awards (we saw more than 50 productions in all), but we won’t find out who won until tonight when the final results are revealed at the TTB awards gala. (I won’t even know till I open the envelope who the winners are in the special category I’m announcing: the SPARK awards, which are presented by TTB member theaters to the indispensable folks who work behind the scenes.)

If you’re a fan of local theater, the awards gala is a must: a chance to cheer for your favorite actors, directors, designers and other stage denizens. And even if you’re not a regular theatergoer, the gala is a blast, a glammed-up but relaxed celebration amongst lots of fun, funny people.  This year’s party promises to be one of the best yet; emceed by the hostess with the mostest, Patti (aka the multi-talented Matthew McGee), it’s being held for the first time at Opera Central, a more intimate environment than the awards’ past home at The Palladium. It’ll feature entertainment by St Petersburg Opera cast members and students from PCCA at Gibbs High School, plus a look back at the shows of this past season and a catered cocktail reception with the winners and nominees.

2018 Theatre Tampa Bay Awards Gala: St. Pete Opera Central, 2145 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg. Cocktails @ 6:30, Awards show @ 7:00. Tickets $25 at TheatreTampaBay.com or at the door (cash only).