Ali Stroker took the stage by storm at the 73rd annual Tony Awards not just once, but twice. First, she brought the house down as Ado Annie from the modern revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.” A short time later, she made history when she returned to the stage to collect her Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role in a Musical. Stroker is the first Broadway performer who uses a wheelchair to earn a nomination and win a Tony.
The Colorado-based Phamaly Theatre Company has burnished its artistic reputation by selecting shows that resonate — intellectually and emotionally — with the many facets of disability. Cast entirely with performers who live with disabilities, the shows engage questions of possibility and perseverance as well as marginalization and discrimination.
Just as vitally, they take theater seriously, they entertain. Although it has expanded its yearly offerings, the company continues to produce a winter play and a summer musical. Even a musical as non-taxing and agreeable as its current one, “Annie,” offers fresh and telling insights.