34 years and counting. And counting? Drammys on the horns of a dilemma!

So here we are, with the exciting new season well and truly upon us, and our first Drammy committee meeting approaching apace (we meet on Monday, September 23, in the wonderful conference room made available to us by the law firm of Tonkon Torp  LLP…we thank them from the bottom of our hearts!). We will be discussing  the eligible (locally produced, 8 performances not including previews etc) shows that will have already closed by then. And please remember that, although the season has in theory just begun, we will be covering everything that has closed since mid-May of this year, including a few shows that were still running at the time of the last Drammy ceremony, and of course the wealth of summer offerings (Although I am no Kay Olsen, I personally will have seen close to 30 such shows by the time of the first meeting, and I bet I won’t have the highest “score”).  I can’t wait.

And of course it will be especially exciting to think we are leading up to our THIRTY-FIFTH Drammy Award Ceremony. Those tens and fives always seem so special, don’t they? And last year was our Thirty Fourth, right? Right? RIGHT? Well, actually…

It’s a funny thing, history. And when you start doing your historical research, as we have been, here at Drammy Towers this summer, sometimes you find that, well, things aren’t quite as they seem. And maybe because we are more right-brained than left, we haven’t exactly done the math? I don’t know. But here’s the thing. If you look back over the previous ceremonies listed on this website (and do please sign up to our email list while you are at it…you will be glad you did!), you will see that the first ever Drammy ceremony (1978-1979) is labelled, not FIRST, but “0-th.” Yes, zero-th. Which is quite bizarre in itself, no?

Now I understand the reluctance (I presume) at the time to label that ceremony the “First Annual.” I remember going to a fancy schmanzy dance a couple of decades ago that was somewhat arrogantly called the “First Annual Something-or-other Ball.” Looked a bit silly when it was such a spectacular flop that there was never a second. And truthfully, you never know, do you? I mean, nobody ever said “Let’s embark on the 100 years war,” because they couldn’t possibly know how long hostilities would last before they started.

But zero-th? That’s weird. I am assuming that is just how we “historians” have labelled it, rather than the way it was described at the time, but still… “Inaugural” would have done nicely, perhaps? Obviously, back then,  it was simply THE Drammy Awards, at the time (the one and only). But then…why is the following year labelled as…yes, you’ve got it! The FIRST Annual? Is that somehow “correct?” There was an inaugural, and then, in a sense, the next one would be the first ANNUAL? Seems odd to me, but perhaps there’s logic to it? Does anyone know? Is that “correct?”

Anyway, to cut a long story short (or not-too- longish), we find that, though we called the last ceremony the 34th, it was actually the 35th of that ilk (though was it the 34th ANNUAL…see what I’m getting at?)

Is that daft or what? And what to do now? Should the next one be the 35th, which sounds kind of momentous, or should we skip a year and move straight on to the 36th, which would be kind of sad.

Well, maybe we will be discussing this too, at our meeting on September 23. Will our conclusions be outstanding? Let’s hope so.

No wonder the beautiful Ronni LaCroute is laughing so hard (at the 34th, or was it the 35th?).


Photo by Win Goodbody | portlandtheatrescene.com

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