No one expected this to be the Year of the Woman in Seattle theater. But as we announce The Seattle Times' Footlight Awards for excellence...

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No one expected this to be the Year of the Woman in Seattle theater.

But as we announce The Seattle Times’ Footlight Awards for excellence on the local stage, consider ACT’s “The Women,” an estrogen-charged revival of the classic cat-fest. And another hit play, a provocative portrait of the late Olympia political activist Rachel Corrie. And the presentation of three plays by Seattle scribe Cheryl L. West, at three local theaters.

That’s just part of the proof that this was a great year for gals on area stages.

Another trend: a fringe-theater resurgence on Capitol Hill, where Annex and Balagan theaters landed new venues, and Capitol Hill Arts Center, Theater Schmeater, et al., stayed busy and bright.

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But there are troubling signs on the real-estate front, thanks to rampant condo development. Test case: Odd Fellows Hall, a haven for performing-arts groups (Freehold, Velocity Dance Center, Century Ballroom), which we hope won’t be forced out by the new owner’s renovation plans.

Otherwise, the year in theater yielded successes and some duds, nervy experiments, classical hits and misfires, and two Broadway-tryout musicals.

The year also made us grateful, once again, for living in a town with so many gifted and intrepid actors.

And now (brass fanfare), The 2007 Seattle Times Footlight Awards:

Mainstage Play Productions

“Prayer for My Enemy” (Intiman Theatre)

“Snow Falling on Cedars” (Book-It Repertory Theatre)

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” (Seattle Rep)

“The Women” (ACT Theatre)

“Addy: An American Girl Story” (Seattle Children’s Theatre)

Fab Fringe

“Travesties” (Seattle Public Theater)

“Crime and Punishment” (Capitol Hill Arts Center)

“I Feel Fine” (Annex Theatre)

Superior Shakespeare

“Pericles” (Seattle Shakespeare Company)

Best Premiere Plays

“Prayer for My Enemy,” by Craig Lucas (Intiman)

“Addy,” by Cheryl L. West (SCT)

“Snow Falling on Cedars,” adapted by Kevin McKeon (Book-It)

Noteworthy Revival

of an Obscure Work

David Esbjornson’s staging of “The Lady From Dubuque,” by Edward Albee (Seattle Rep)

Chekhov Without Tears

Bartlett Sher’s speedy, nonmelancholic “Uncle Vanya” (Intiman)

Politics As Unusual

“The Adventures of Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil,” by the neworldtheatre of Vancouver, B.C.

Runner up: “Stuff Happens” (ACT)

Marvelous Musicals

“Jersey Boys” and “West Side Story” (5th Avenue Theatre)

“The Who’s Tommy” (Village Theatre)

“Souvenir” (ACT)

“The Light in the Piazza” (Paramount Theatre)

Best Musical Revues

“Fire in the Mountain” (Seattle Rep)

“Million Dollar Quartet” (Village)

800-Pound Monster

Mel Brooks’ so-so but wildly hyped Broadway-bound “Young Frankenstein”

Texas Misstep

“Lone Star Love,” which died here before it could reach Broadway

Directing Debut

Phylicia Rashad, “Gem of the Ocean” (Seattle Rep)

Bravura Acting — Plays

Sarah Rudinoff (“Murderers”)

Bethany Hudson (“The Importance of Being Earnest”)

Charles Leggett (“Twelfe Night, Or What You Will”)

Sean Phillips (“To Kill a Mockingbird”)

John Aylward (“First Class”)

James McMenamin (“Prayer for My Enemy”)

Galen Joseph Osier (“Crime and Punishment”)

Marya Sea Kaminski (“My Name is Rachel Corrie”)

Andrew DeRycke (“A Tale of Two Cities”)

William Hall Jr. and Velma Austin (“Birdie Blue”)

Jane Jones (“Rhoda: A Life in Stories”)

Michele Shay (“Gem of the Ocean”)

Hans Altwies (“The Lady From Dubuque”)

R. Hamilton Wright (“Stuff Happens”)

Zabryna Guevara (“The Cook”)

Musical Turns

Michael K. Lee (“The Who’s Tommy”)

Patti Cohenour and Mark Anders (“Souvenir”)

Andrea Martin and Christopher Fitzgerald (“Young Frankenstein”)

Louis Hobson (“West Side Story”)

Ensemble Performance

“The Women” (ACT)

“Million Dollar Quartet” (Village)

“Fire in the Mountain” (Seattle Rep)

“West Side Story” (5th Avenue)

In a Category of Her Own

Chita Rivera, “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life” (Paramount)

Jimmy Cagney Award

for Great Wise Guys

Deven May (“Jersey Boys”)

Swiniest Swine

Eric Ray Anderson’s Captain Hook in “Peter Pan” (Book-It)

Purple Hearts

Injured-on-the-job actors Levi Kreis (“Million Dollar Quartet”) and Stephanie Hatley (“Dinah Was”)

Designer of the Year

Carey Wong (“Murderers,” “The Neverending Story,” “Birdie Blue,” “Addy”)

Eye Candy

Overall designs for “The King and I” (Village Theatre)

“Pericles” (Seattle Shakespeare)

I Want That Dress!

David Zinn’s fab 1930s duds (“The Women”)

Frances Kenny’s purple ball gown (“Twelfe Night”)

Gloria Swanson

Staircase Award

John Arnone (“The Lady From Dubuque”)

Deserved Promotion

Sheila Daniels, to associate director at Intiman Theatre

Local Treasure

Emeritus actor Clayton Corzatte

One to Watch

Actor Galen Joseph Osier

Hip Trend, But Let’s Not Overdo It

Theatrical karaoke

Worst Fake Snake Handling

“Whistle Down the Wind” (5th Avenue)

Fare Thee Well,

and Don’t Be a Stranger

Departing Seattle performers John Procaccino, Laurence Ballard, Louis Hobson

Rest in Peace

Veteran theater worker Jim Verdery

Arts organizations Tacoma Actors Guild and Foolproof

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com