'Underneath the Lintel,' 'Looking for Normal' nab multiple wins
“The Lion King” won yet another crown, taking home seven Ovation Awards Monday at the first kudofest to be held at the newly opened Kodak Theater in Hollywood.Hosted by writer Bruce Vilanch and “Flower Drum Song” star Lea Salonga, event took 3½ hours to get through 27 production, performance and technical awards honoring L.A.-area stage work during the 2000-’01 season. Awards are given out by the Theater League Alliance of Southern California to its member producers. Besides “The Lion King” and its helmer — Julie Taymor won two — multiple winners were the Actors’ Gang preem of “Underneath the Lintel” with three and, with two each, the Geffen Playhouse production of “Looking for Normal” (two), the LATC/Cultural Affairs Dept. debut of “A Huey P. Newton Story” and the Zoo District at the Lillian Theater staging of “Pathe X.” Delaying the evening were a ticketing snafu (which had reserved-seat attendees battling with general-admission arrivals) and technical difficulties with a video tribute to 40-year-old Theater West; founding member Betty Garrett vamped during the latter problem, doing an impromptu dance onstage. Staged by Jon Lawrence Rivera, the evening’s flow also was hindered by a platoon of ushers choreographed in Busby Berkeley-like precision who preceded each presenter to the stage. David Hyde Pierce, a nominee for his perf in “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at the Geffen, said before presenting a trophy, “I’m frightened by the walking people.” Evening included live performances by Salonga, Kelli Fournier of “Aida,” the cast of the Deaf West Theater’s “Big River,” the cast of Celebration Theater’s “Pinafore” and a show-closing rendition of “America the Beautiful,” by the reassembled cast of rock musical “Bare.” The following are recipients of the Ovations (intimate theater is defined as 99 seats or fewer): WORLD PREMIERE PLAY OR MUSICAL Jane Anderson, “Looking for Normal,” Geffen Playhouse NEW TRANSLATION/ADAPTATION (tie) Clara Bellar, Herb Mendelsohn and cast, “A Flea in Her Ear,” Stages Theater Rick Sparks, Gary Carter, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Don Greenway, Arts Alliance MUSICAL (LARGE THEATER) “The Lion King,” Disney Theatricals at Pantages Theater PLAY (LARGE THEATER) “A Huey P. Newton Story,” LATC/Cultural Affairs Dept. at Los Angeles Theater Center MUSICAL (INTIMATE THEATER) “Bare,” Hudson Mainstage Theater PLAY (INTIMATE THEATER) “Underneath the Lintel (An Impressive Presentation of Lovely Evidences),” Actors’ Gang LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL Avi Hoffman, “Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish?” Sheryl Levine Guterman at UCLA Freud Playhouse LEAD ACTOR IN A PLAY Brian T. Finney, “Underneath the Lintel,” Actors’ Gang LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL Gogi Grant, “Glad to Be Unhappy: The Lyrical Life of Lorenz Hart,” Theater West LEAD ACTRESS IN A PLAY Laurie Metcalf, “Looking for Normal,” Geffen Playhouse FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL Danny Rutigliano, “The Lion King” FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY Leslie Jordan, “Southern Baptist Sissies,” Zephyr Theater FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL Meg Howrey, “Contact,” CTG: Ahmanson Theater FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY Elizabeth Franz, “Death of a Salesman,” CTG: Ahmanson Theater ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE The cast of “Night and Her Stars,” Alliance Repertory Company DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL Julie Taymor, “The Lion King” DIRECTOR OF A PLAY Brent Hinkley, “Underneath the Lintel,” Actors’ Gang CHOREOGRAPHER Garth Fagan, “The Lion King” LIGHTING DESIGN (LARGER THEATER) Donald Holder, “The Lion King” LIGHTING DESIGN (INTIMATE THEATER) Fredrick Wenzlaff, “Infinity,” Court Theater SET DESIGN (LARGER THEATER) Richard Hudson, “The Lion King” SET DESIGN (INTIMATE THEATER) Desma Murphy, “A Mislaid Heaven,” Road Theater Company COSTUME DESIGN (LARGER THEATER) Julie Taymor, “The Lion King” COSTUME DESIGN (INTIMATE THEATER) Kara Feely/Paule Lemassow/Norma Ramos, “Pathe-X,” Zoo District at the Lillian Theater SOUND DESIGN (LARGER THEATER) Marc Anthony Thompson, “A Huey P. Newton Story” SOUND DESIGN (INTIMATE THEATER) Jef Bek, Eric Snodgrass, “Pathe-X” JAMES A. DOOLITTLE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP Tom Ormeny, Victory Theater CAREER ACHIEVEMENT Cathy Rigby, McCoy Rigby Entertainment NATIONAL REPERTORY THEATER FOUNDATION — NATIONAL PLAY AWARD “Turning for Home” by Lexie LaBove, presented by the Fountain Theater
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