And the 2015 Queens Kudos goes to….

The 2015 Queens Kudos Award winners: Laura Frye (top, l. to r.), Terry Layman, Jacklyn Collier, Tristan Colton, Alberto Bonilla, and "A Christmas Carol."

The 2015 Queens Kudos Award winners: Laura Frye (top, l. to r.), Terry Layman, Jacklyn Collier, Tristan Colton, Alberto Bonilla, and “A Christmas Carol.”

TimesLedger Newspapers is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015 Queens Kudos Award for excellence in theater:

Outstanding Production: “A Christmas Carol”

Outstanding Director: Alberto Bonilla, “Richard III”

Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role: Terry Layman, “King Lear”

Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role: Laura Frye, “A Christmas Carol”

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role: Tristan Colton, “This Prison Where I Live”

Oustanding Actress in a Supporting Role: Jacklyn Collier, “Hurlyburly”

See the whole story here.

Here’s the final 2015 Queens Kudos nominee for Outstanding Production

The cast of Variations Theatre Group's "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" rehearse the show.

The cast of Variations Theatre Group’s “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” rehearse the show.

Just when you probably thought we forgot about it, Queens on Cue is pleased to announce the final nominee for Outstanding Production: “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.”

Now, we know what you’re thinking (we thought it too). Really? The single-most sickly sweet Christmas movie of all time as a play?

But Variations Theatre Group manages to take the audience back to the 1940s and the era of live radio broadcasts. With a handful of actors playing all the characters — from miserly Henry Potter to Zuzu Bailey — and each taking turns at the foley table providing accompanying sound effect, this show proves even the most cynic person can be moved by great theater.

TimesLedger Newspapers will announce the winners of the 2015 Queens Kudos Awards in the Feb. 6 edition of the papers and online

‘King Lear’ fills the fourth slot in Kudos nominee as Outstanding Production

Terry Layman (c.) starred in Titan's "King Lear," the fourth Kudos nominee for Outstanding Production.

Terry Layman (c.) starred in Titan’s “King Lear,” the fourth Kudos nominee for Outstanding Production.

William Shakespeare turns up again in the list of Queens Kudos nominees as his “King Lear,” staged by Titan Theatre Co. is the fourth show nominated for Outstanding Production.

It turns out 2014 was the Year of Lear in the city, with versions mounted at BAM, Theatre for a New Audience and The Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

But the little theater that could once again proves it can play with the big boys as Titan delivers its fresh take on what is arguably Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy.

In the title role, Terry Layman delivers one of last year’s greatest performances as the monarch driven mad by his need for control and his inability to accept love from the one daughter, of his three, who truly loves him.

Add a stellar supporting cast, including standouts Laura Frye and Tristan Colton, and you have a thrilling night of theater.

Queens Kudos nominee for Outstanding Production Vol. 2

Richard Mazda (c.) is surrounded by other cast members of the Queens Players production of "Richard III." Photo courtesy Justin Chauncey

Richard Mazda (c.) is surrounded by other cast members of the Queens Players production of “Richard III.” Photo courtesy Justin Chauncey

A lot of small theater companies stage works by William Shakespeare because frankly the author is dead and they don’t have to pay any royalties.

And Shakespeare by small companies can be hit-or-miss.

Well, the Queens Players at The Secret Theatre most definitely had a hit with their “Richard III.”

This version, transplanted to 1980s England, was a creative mashup of the words of the Bard and the lyrics and music of Mick Jones and Joe Strummer of The Clash.

It was loud –so loud they passed out earplugs at the theater door–violent, sexy and fun.

With skillful direction by Alberto Bonilla and a stellar cast headed by Richard Mazda as the humpbacked bloody monarch this was one production not to miss.

Kudos nominee for Outstanding Production No. 3

"A Christmas Carol" from Titan Theatre Co. at the Queens Theatre was one of the best productions in the borough last year.

“A Christmas Carol” from Titan Theatre Co. at the Queens Theatre was one of the best productions in the borough last year.

The third Queens Kudos nominee for outstanding production is “A Christmas Carol” produced by Titan Theatre Co. along with the Queens Theatre.

Now, it most definitely requires vision and talent to dust off this tired old chestnut and turn it into a glorious night at the theater. And once again, Titan’s Lenny Banovez et al prove they are up to the task.

Brilliant acting –especially from nominees Kevin Loomis and Laura Frye — and directing from Banovez, along with the introduction of classic Christmas carols to serve as bridge between scenes combine to make this one of the best versions of Charles Dickens’ story we have ever seen.

And the best part of all?

In only about 310 days, Titan’s “A Christmas Carol” will be back.

The first nominee for Outstanding Production is ‘Hurlyburly’

Kirk Gostkowski (l.) and Chris Harcum both shine in Variations Theatre Group's "Hurlyburly," a nominee for outstanding production.

Kirk Gostkowski (l.) and Chris Harcum both shine in Variations Theatre Group’s “Hurlyburly,” a nominee for outstanding production.

In case you missed the last post, this week’s snowstorm has thrown the 2015 Queens Kudos Awards off schedule.

We had hoped to publish the winners Jan. 30, but now it will have to be Feb. 6.

So, to prolong the suspense a little, we will release the five productions nominated for the best of last year one at a time over the next few days.

First up, and these are in no particular order, is “Hurlyburly” from Variations Theatre Group at the Chain Theatre.

If the thought of spending three hours with a group of self-centered, not-very-nice characters does not sound like something you would want to do –think again.

Funny, sad and a bit disgusting all at once is hard to pull off, but Variations did it with this one.

We are the first to admit that at the pre-curtain speech when we heard the show was running three hours, we cringed. But this piece flew by, which is a credit not only to director Rich Ferraioli but also to a universally talented cast, including acting nominees Kirk Gostkowski, Chris Harcum and Jacklyn Collier.

2015 Kudos nominees for Directors

Nominees for outstanding director are (l. to r.) Alberto Bonilla for "Richard III," Lenny Banovez for "A Christmas Carol," Greg Cicchino for "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," Adam Dannheisser for "The Cottage" and Rich Ferraioli for "Hurlyburly."

Nominees for outstanding director are (l. to r.) Alberto Bonilla for “Richard III,” Lenny Banovez for “A Christmas Carol,” Greg Cicchino for “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” Adam Dannheisser for “The Cottage” and Rich Ferraioli for “Hurlyburly.”

OK, first the good news: The 2015 Queens Kudos nominees for outstanding director are in. The bad news, this week’s snowstorm (that really wasn’t) threw us off schedule and the winners won’t be in the paper until Friday, Feb. 6.

But back to the good news. This year’s list of outstanding director nominees scored huge hits in comedy and drama and are:

Alberto Bonilla for “Richard III” at The Secret Theatre;

Lenny Banovez for “A Christmas Carol” at Titan Theatre Co., the Queens Theatre;

Greg Cicchino for “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at Variations Theatre Group, the Chain Theatre;

Adam Dannheisser for “The Cottage” at Queens Theatre; and

Rich Ferraioli for “Hurlyburly” at Variations Theatre Group, the Chain Theatre.

Check the TimesLedger newspapers and website Friday, Feb. 6 (no, we really mean it) to see the list of winners.