Show led small-theater dominance with 7 nods
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. PRODUCTION “The Cherry Orchard,” Interact Theater “Reefer Madness,” Dead Old Man Productions, at the Hudson Backstage Theater DIRECTION David Emmes, “The Philanderer,” South Coast Repertory Theater Andy Fickman, “Reefer Madness” Matt Walker, “Twelfth Dog Night,” Falcon Theater MUSICAL DIRECTION Nathan Wang and Dave Manning, “Reefer Madness” Dan Wheetman, “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues,” Geffen Playhouse WRITING Laural Meade, “Harry Thaw Hates Everybody,” Los Angeles Theater Center MUSICAL SCORE Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney (lyrics & music), “Reefer Madness” LEAD PERFORMANCE 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 FEATURED PERFORMANCE Jim J. Bullock, “When Pigs Fly,” Coronet Theater Francois Giroday, “The Cherry Orchard,” Interact Theater Blake Hammond, “When Pigs Fly” Sara Zinsser, “Bitter Women” SCENIC DESIGN Roy Christopher, “Light up the Sky,” Pasadena Playhouse Victoria Profitt, “The Swan,” Pacific Resident Theater LIGHTING DESIGN David Flad, “The Angels of Lemnos,” the Road Theater Kris Sandheinrich, “Broadway,” Actors’ Gang COSTUME DESIGN Howard Crabtree, “When Pigs Fly” SOUND DESIGN Jon Gottlieb and Phillip G. Allen, “Cinderella,” The Ahmanson Chet Towle, “Reefer Madness” CHOREOGRAPHY 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 ANGSTROM AWARD 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
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