In its seventh year, the Ivey Awards proved that show people know how to have a good time -- even on a Monday evening.

On what is usually their night off, actors, actresses, producers, playwrights and patrons celebrated the past year's achievements.

At a pre-party at the New Century Theatre in downtown Minneapolis, there was a festive, but not overly dramatic gathering of VIPs, including the event emcees, father and son Charles and Seth Numrich.

Currently starring in "War Horse" on Broadway, Seth flew to Minneapolis after his Sunday matinee and had to return in time for Tuesday night's performance.

Mentored by his actor dad, the St. Paul native had his first major role in the Guthrie's 1999 production of Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke."

"After his first audition," the proud dad said, "we got a callback and I said, 'Wow, this is pretty cool, but most people would hate this more than a root canal.'" The young Seth replied, "Why? It's so much fun."

Now 24, Seth is no longer a big fan of auditioning, but he enjoys performing. "I've never had a root canal, but I've been really fortunate with work," he said.

Neither he nor his father had to try out for the hosting gig. Seth, who was in the audience at this year's Tony Awards, was happy to be part of the Twin Cities version. "It's nice to be home and vicariously part of the theater community," he said. "Growing up here, I just assumed other communities have great theater programs, and most of them don't."

The duo rehearsed "banter" for the show for 30 minutes and then practiced the actual stuff at the party. As an acting family, they prefer comparisons to the Bridges rather than the Sheens. And as for that old good-luck saying, "'Break a leg' is great," said Charles.

Not that they needed it.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177