Proving that yesterday’s B movie cult classic can find award-winning happiness on the live stage, “Reefer Madness: The Musical” had a high time Monday at the 31st annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.
The tuner garnered seven awards at a ceremony in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Produced by Hollywood’s 99-seat Hudson Back-stage Theater, “Reefer” led a small-theater dominance: 17 prizes were claimed by Equity 99-seat (formerly Equity Waiver) houses, with 13 awards bestowed on large and mid-size theaters.
Aside from “Reefer,” multiple winners were the Coronet Theater’s production of the campy musical “When Pigs Fly” (three), the Cast Theater revival of Justin Tanner’s “Bitter Women” (two), North Hollywood-based Interact Theater’s production of Chekov’s “The Cherry Orchard” (two, including best production) and Costa Mesa-based South Coast Repertory’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s “The Philanderer” (two).
Awards are presented for work in theater in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The critics cite as many winners as they feel deserving, often resulting in multi-ple wins in a category.
Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon was honored with the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in the theater. Actress-director Ellen Geer accepted the award from Raul Espinosa, director of the National Repertory Theater Foundation, who is funding the award for the first time.
Two special awards were added this year: The Polly Warfield Award to Pacific Resident Theater for an excellent season in a small- to mid-size theater; and the Ron Link Award to Odyssey Repertory Theater artistic director Ron Sossi, for consistent quality in directing.
The complete list follows.
“The Cherry Orchard,” Interact Theater
“Reefer Madness,” Dead Old Man Productions, at the Hudson Backstage Theater
David Emmes, “The Philanderer,” South Coast Repertory Theater
Andy Fickman, “Reefer Madness”
Matt Walker, “Twelfth Dog Night,” Falcon Theater
Nathan Wang and Dave Manning, “Reefer Madness”
Dan Wheetman, “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues,” Geffen Playhouse
Laural Meade, “Harry Thaw Hates Everybody,” Los Angeles Theater Center
Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney (lyrics & music), “Reefer Madness”
Pedro Balmaceda, “Orphans,” International City Theater
Christian Campbell, “Reefer Madness”
Julia Campbell, “Bitter Women,” The Cast Theater
Carolee Carmello, “Bells Are Ringing,” Reprise at UCLA
Valerie Dillman, “Lulu,” Pacific Resident Theater
Maripat Donovan, “Late Night Catechism,” Henry Fonda and Upstairs at the Coronet
Tracy Middendorf, “Summer and Smoke,” Fountain Theater
Douglas Weston, “The Philanderer,” South Coast Repertory
Jim J. Bullock, “When Pigs Fly,” Coronet Theater
Francois Giroday, “The Cherry Orchard,” Interact Theater
Blake Hammond, “When Pigs Fly”
Sara Zinsser, “Bitter Women”
Roy Christopher, “Light up the Sky,” Pasadena Playhouse
Victoria Profitt, “The Swan,” Pacific Resident Theater
David Flad, “The Angels of Lemnos,” the Road Theater
Kris Sandheinrich, “Broadway,” Actors’ Gang
Howard Crabtree, “When Pigs Fly”
Jon Gottlieb and Phillip G. Allen, “Cinderella,” The Ahmanson
Chet Towle, “Reefer Madness”
Matthew Bourne, “Cinderella”
Michael Goorjian, “Reefer Madness”
TED SCHMITT AWARD
Paul Mullin, for “Louis Slotin Sonata,” Circle X Theater at the Hollywood Court for the world premiere of an outstanding new play
Michael Gilliam, for lifetime achievement in stage lighting
BOB Z AWARD
Victoria Profitt for lifetime achievement in set design
MARGARET HARFORD AWARD
The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
NATALIE SCHAFER AWARD
Audrey Rapaport, for an emerging comic actress
POLLY WARFIELD AWARD
Pacific Resident Theater
RON LINK AWARD
Ron Sossi, for consistent quality in directing