If for no other reason than his comeback from a dreadful season opener, local theater bright spot and former wunderkind Damon Dering deserves accolades. Last fall, Nearly Naked Theatre founder Dering launched his new season with Monster, an adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Perhaps because Dering didn't helm the production himself, it stank. But this past master of camp knuckled down, leaping in to remind local theatergoers of his many visionary talents by directing a knockout world premiere of Buddy Thomas' Wonderland Wives, followed by an acclaimed production of Next to Normal that had critics and audiences swooning. These two winners more than made up for any transgressions, and reminded us that Dering is estimable in his talents — our very own Tyrone Guthrie.