'Othello' nabs six noms; 'Fela!' scores five

NEW YORK — The Theater for a New Audience production of “Othello” and Fela Kuti bio-tuner “Fela!” led the nominations for Off Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Awards, with “Othello” nabbing six noms and “Fela!” scoring five.

Also receiving strong support were the Atlantic Theater Company’s hit staging of “The Cripple of Inishmaan” and the TFANA production of “Chair,” with each show scoring four noms.

“Fela!” joins a race for new musical that includes “My Vaudeville Man!” at York Theater Company; the latest New York outing from Stephen Sondheim, “Road Show”; Playwrights Horizons’ “Saved”; and “This Beautiful City” at the Vineyard.

Vying in the new play category are notable Off Broadway hits “Becky Shaw” (at Second Stage) and “Ruined” (at Manhattan Theater Club), as well as Second Stage’s “Animals Out of Paper,” the Public Theater production of “The Good Negro” and the New York Theater Workshop presentation of “The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928).”

Along with “Othello” and “Cripple,” contenders in the revival category (which can contain both plays and tuners) include “Enter Laughing” at the York; the David Cromer (also nommed for director) staging of “Our Town”; and the Mint’s production of “The Glass Cage” by J.B. Priestley.

Mike Birbiglia’s “Sleepwalk With Me,” which lists Nathan Lane as producer, and MTC’s “Humor Abuse,” starring Lorenzo Pisoni, will duke it out for the solo show kudo.

Aside from revival, “Othello” picked up noms for director (Arin Arbus), featured actress (Juliet Rylance) and lighting (Marcus Doshi) plus two for lead actor (Ned Eisenberg and John Douglas Thompson).

Besides tuner, nominations for “Fela!” include choreographer (Bill T. Jones), actor (Sahr Ngaujah) and sets and costumes, both by Marina Draghici.

The Off Broadway incarnation of “Irena’s Vow,” which recently opened on the Rialto, drew a nom for sound design. Ellen Burstyn also made the list of nominees for her leading turn in the LAByrinth Theater Company’s production of “The Little Flower of East Orange.”

Special awards will go to musical theater guru Ira Weitzman for sustained excellence and the Lark Play Development Center for outstanding body of work.

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