‘Somme’ tops Lortel noms

Play leads with 6; 'Avenue Q,' 'Fifth of July' follow with 5

This article was corrected on April 3, 2003.

See nomineesThe Lincoln Center Theater production of “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme” led the nominations for the 18th annual Lucille Lortel Awards, which honor achievement in Off Broadway theater.

Frank McGuinness’ anti-war play received six nominations, while the puppet musical “Avenue Q” and the Signature Theater Co. revival of “Fifth of July” earned five each.

“Take Me Out” and “Our Lady of 121st Street” copped four apiece.

The Lortel Awards will be presented May 5 at the West Village venue also named for the prominent theater benefactress, who died in 1999. The kudos are presented by the League of Off Broadway Theaters & Producers. In a departure from tradition, the winners will not be announced in advance of the ceremony.

Three special awards will also be presented. Thesp Marian Seldes will receive the Edith Oliver Award for sustained excellence. “The Exonerated,” the play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen adapted from transcripts and interviews with death-row inmates later freed, will be honored as a “unique theatrical experience.” And the Lortel Award for outstanding body of work will go to the Vineyard Theater.

And the nominees are . . .

PLAY
“Dublin Carol,” by Conor McPherson (Atlantic Theater Co.)
“Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme,” by Frank McGuinness (Lincoln Center Theater)
“Our Lady of 121st Street,” by Stephen Adly Guirgis (John Gould Rubin, Ira Pittelman, Robyn Goodman, Ruth Hendel, Daryl Roth, Labyrinth Theater Co.)
“Take Me Out,” by Richard Greenberg (Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival and the Donmar Warehouse)

MUSICAL
“Avenue Q,” music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, based on an original concept by Lopez and Marx (Vineyard Theater and the New Group)
“Hank Williams: Lost Highway,” by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik (Manhattan Ensemble Theater)
“Radiant Baby,” book by Stuart Ross, music by Debra Barsha, lyrics by Ira Gasman, Ross and Barsha (Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival)
“Zanna, Don’t!,” book, music and lyrics by Tim Acito, additional book and lyrics by Alexander Dinelaris (Jack M. Dalgleish in association with Stephanie Joel)

REVIVAL
“Burn This,” by Lanford Wilson (Signature Theater Co.)
“Comedians,” by Trevor Griffiths (New Group)
“Don Juan,” by Moliere, translated by Christopher Hampton (Theater for a New Audience)
“Fifth of July,” by Lanford Wilson (Signature Theater Co.)

DIRECTOR
Jo Bonney, “Fifth of July”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Our Lady of 121st Street”
Joe Mantello, “Take Me Out”
Nicholas Martin, “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme”
Jason Moore, “Avenue Q”

CHOREOGRAPHER
Ronald K. Brown, “Crowns”
Martha Clarke, “Vienna: Lusthaus (revisited)”
Devanand Janki, “Zanna, Don’t!”
Ken Roberson, “Avenue Q”
Fatima Robinson, “Radiant Baby”

ACTOR
Charles Busch, “Shanghai Moon”
Jim Dale, “Comedians”
Edward Norton, “Burn This”
Jason Petty, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”
Daniel Sunjata, “Take Me Out”

ACTRESS
Tovah Feldshuh, “Golda’s Balcony”
S. Epatha Merkerson, “Fucking A”
Kate Mulgrew, “Tea at Five”
Pamela Payton-Wright, “Fifth of July”
Parker Posey, “Fifth of July”

FEATURED ACTOR
Walter Bobbie, “Polish Joke”
Mos Def, “Fucking A”
Ron Cephas Jones, “Our Lady of 121st Street”
Denis O’Hare, “Take Me Out”
Justin Theroux, “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme”

FEATURED ACTRESS
Anika Larsen, “Zanna, Don’t!”
Jan Maxwell, “My Old Lady”
Nancy Opel, “Polish Joke”
Portia, “Our Lady of 121st Street”
Daphne Rubin-Vega, “Fucking A”

SCENIC DESIGN
Christopher Akerlind, “Don Juan”
John Lee Beatty, “My Old Lady”
Alexander Dodge, “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme”
Anna Louizos, “Avenue Q”
Mark Wendland, “The World Over”

COSTUME DESIGN
Michael Bottari and Ronald Case, “Shanghai Moon”
Susan Hilferty, “My Life With Albertine”
Paul Tazewell, “Boston Marriage”
Catherine Zuber, “Far Away”

LIGHTING DESIGN
Christopher Akerlind, “Don Juan”
Howell Binkley, “Radiant Baby”
Donald Holder, “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme”
James F. Ingalls, “My Life With Albertine”
James Vermeulen, “Fifth of July”

SOUND DESIGN
Paul Arditti, “Far Away”
Mark Bennett, “Golda’s Balcony”
Brett Jarvis, “Avenue Q”
Jerry Yager, “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme”

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