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Best theater group: Tacoma Little Theatre

Winner in 2017's Best of Tacoma

(From left and back to front) Jacob Tice, Christopher Rocco, Joseph Grant and Brynn Garrett in Dracula. Photo courtesy of Dennis K Photography

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From bright comedies such as Steve Martin's The Underpants and winner of the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) New Play Fest Exit Laughing; to the horror of Dracula, with astonishing performances by Jacob Tice, Michael Christopher and Bryan Wane Jansen; to a gripping adaptation of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men; to the unexpected realism of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a gritty western also starring Tice and directed by David Domkoski in his final Tacoma show -- Tacoma Little Theatre (TLT) has clearly earned its honor as the Weekly Volcano's Best of Tacoma: Best Theater Group.

Also seen on the TLT stage this season was the holiday favorite Miracle on 34th Street featuring Michael Dresdner as Kris Kringle, and one of the greatest musicals of all time, Gypsy, directed by Chris Serface, choreographed by Lexi Barnett and musically directed by Debra Leach.

"Tacoma Little Theatre is experiencing a renaissance within our community," said Serface, TLT artistic director.  "As we near our hundredth year, we have become Washington's oldest award-winning community theater, seen an increase in both season ticket and single-ticket patrons, and our education program has begun to grow exponentially. The reason that we have been able to succeed is the support of our community and the trust they place in us that we will provide them with quality live theater experiences that entertain and challenge them. We're very excited about our 99th season starting in September, which will bring you comedy, music, drama and intrigue over the course of seven very different shows. We will also continue our Off the Shelf series, which offers one-night staged readings of different works."

TLT's next season opens Sept. 15 with the Neil Simon farce Rumors, to be followed by the psychological thriller Misery, based on the novel by Stephen King. Also in the works are Children of a Lesser God and Jesus Christ Superstar, among others.

Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I St., 253.272.2281, tacomalittletheatre.com

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