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Lemmon honored at L.A. Crix fete

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards on Monday night honored Jack Lemmon with its Lifetime Achievement Award, though the actor had to dash out during the ceremony to prevent his Bentley from being towed.

The Center Theatre Group led the legit honorees with eight awards, five for the Ahmanson and three for the Mark Taper Forum. However, the honor for best production was shared by three waiver-house productions: “Breaking the Code,” “Eleemosynary” and “Great Expectations” at, respectively, the Blank Theatre Co., West Coast Ensemble and A Noise Within.

“Eleemosynary” won in all four categories in which it was nominated, also taking honors for direction, writing and lead performance. “Great” also won four, with the two shows leading the prizes for a single production.

The awards were hosted by Lynn Redgrave, whose continuous digs about the food and the lighting provided ample humor for the crowd of several hundred.

The L.A. City Council honored Lemmon with an ornate resolution declaring Monday as “Jack Lemmon Day.” The actor was greeted and praised for his work by numerous presenters, the last of whom mistakenly called him “John Lemmon,” resulting in significant chuckling from the audience.

Lemmon thanked the critics for their support and coverage of smaller productions that were unable to promote themselves due to financial constraints.

The 28th annual nods were given at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. A total of 30 competitive awards and six special nods were given out; unlike many orgs, the LADCC often salutes multiple winners in each category.

List of winners follows.

PRODUCTION

“Breaking the Code,” the Blank Theatre Co.

“Eleemosynary,” West Coast Ensemble

“Great Expectations,” A Noise Within

DIRECTION

Peter Grego, “Eleemosynary”

Mark Rucker, “The Taming of the Shrew,” South Coast Repertory

WRITING

Lee Blessing, “Eleemosynary”

Donald Margulies, “Collected Stories,” South Coast Repertory

WRITING/ADAPTATION

Barbara Field, “Great Expectations”

LEAD PERFORMANCE

Meredith Bishop, “Eleemosynary”

Kandis Chappell, “Collected Stories”

Dennis Christopher, “Breaking the Code”

Cherry Jones, “The Heiress,” the Ahmanson Theatre

Donald Sage Mackay, “Great Expectations”

Julia Sweeney, “God Said Ha,” Coronet Theatre

FEATURED PERFORMANCE

Ellia English, “Dinah Was,” Coast Playhouse

Tom Hillmann, “She Loves Me,” Actors Co-op

Deborah Strang, “Great Expectations”

Tamara Zook, “Homefries,” The Road Theatre Co.

ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

Cast of “Mad Forest,” produced at Matrix Theatre Co.

SCENIC DESIGN

John Arnone, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Pantages Theatre and OCPA

Yael Pardess, “Blade to the Heat,” Mark Taper Forum

LIGHTING DESIGN

Rick Fisher, “An Inspector Calls,” the Ahmanson

COSTUME DESIGN

Jane Greenwood, “The Heiress”

Martin Pakledinaz, “Changes of Heart,” Mark Taper Forum

Shigeru Yaji, “The Taming of the Shrew”

SOUND DESIGN

Jon Gottlieb, “Blade to the Heat”

MUSICAL DIRECTION

Kevin Farrell, “Carousel,” The Ahmanson

Perry Hart, “The All Night Strut,” Tiffany Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY

Kenneth Macmillan, “Carousel”

Chris Salmon, “She Loves Me”

THE BOB Z AWARD

Special award for set design

Deborah Raymond and Dorian Vernacchio

ANGSTROM LIGHTING AWARD

for lifetime achievement in lighting

Martin Aronstein

THE NATALIE SCHAFER AWARD

given to “an emerging comic actress of exceptional promise”

Laurel Green

THE MARGARET HARFORD AWARD

“for sustained achievement in the smaller-theater arena”

Actors Co-op

THE TED SCHMITT AWARD

for a new play that received in world preem in L.A. or Orange County

Donald Margulies, “Collected Stories,” South Coast Repertory

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Jack Lemmon

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