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Musical ‘Reefer’ bogarts L.A. Drama Crix awards

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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