'History Boys' wins five prizes

CHICAGO — Chicago honored its own Monday as local productions of recent Broadway shows — including “The History Boys,” “The Seafarer” and “Caroline, or Change” — and homegrown Pulitzer winner “Ruined” led the charge at the Joseph Jefferson Equity Awards.

Former “CSI” star William Petersen, who recently returned to his Chi stage roots, earned an acting award.

TimeLine Theater’s intimate production of Alan Bennett’s “The History Boys” led in total Jeffs with five awards. Show won for play at a midsize theater (with size based on budget, not on seat count), ensemble, director (Nick Bowling), play actor in a supporting role (Alex Weisman) and scenic design (Brian Sidney Bembridge). Offering proved a monster hit for TimeLine, a theater that only recently turned Equity, and extended multiple times for a total run of six months.

Lynn Nottage’s “Ruined,” which premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theater and went on to an extended Off Broadway run, won for New Work — play, and, in a sign of how the Jeffs spread the wealth this year, tied for play at a large theater with Steppenwolf’s staging of Conor McPherson’s supernatural drama “The Seafarer.” “Ruined” also won for play actress in a principal role (Saidah Arrika Ekulona) and original incidental music (Dominic Kanza) for a total of four Jeffs.

In another tie, thesp Petersen shared play actor in a principal role for his turn as an ex-con pedophile confronted by his former victim in Victory Gardens Theater’s production of David Harrower’s “Blackbird.” Veteran local thesp Larry Neumann was honored for First Folio’s revival of “Moon for the Misbegotten,” one of very few awards that went to traditional revivals as opposed to contemporary work.

The Court Theater’s production of “Caroline, or Change” led in the musical categories, winning awards for musical for a large theater, director (Charles Newell), music direction (Doug Peck) and tuner actress in a principal role (E. Faye Butler). Joseph Anthony Foronda, currently starring in “Yeast Nation,” won musical actor honors for his performance in “Miss Saigon” at Drury Lane Oakbrook.

Midsize musical production laurel went to relationship tuner “Tomorrow Morning,” produced in Chicago by Hilary A. Williams.

“A Minister’s Wife,” the tuner version of Shaw’s “Candida” from “Adding Machine” composer Josh Schmidt, with a book by Austin Pendleton, won for new musical adaptation, while Seth Bockley’s version of George Saunders’ story “Jon” won for new play adaptation.

Second City’s “Studs Terkel’s Not Working” won for revue. The venerable Chi comedy institution was also honored during its 50th anniversary with a special Tribute Award at the ceremony, which was held at the North Shore Performing Arts Center in Skokie.

This year’s Equity Jeff Awards honored shows produced through July 31, 2009, a pool of 141 Equity productions from 57 producing orgs.

And the winners are:

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE (Tie)
“Ruined” – Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club
”The Seafarer” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
“The History Boys” – TimeLine Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
“Caroline, or Change” – Court Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
“Tomorrow Morning” – Hillary A. Williams, LLC

PRODUCTION – REVUE
“Studs Terkel’s Not Working” – The Second City e.t.c.

ENSEMBLE
“The History Boys” – TimeLine Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Nick Bowling – “The History Boys” – TimeLine Theatre Company

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Charles Newell – “Caroline, or Change” – Court Theatre

DIRECTOR – REVUE
Matt Hovde – “Studs Terkel’s Not Working” – The Second City e.t.c.

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Max McLean – “Mark’s Gospel” – Fellowship for the Performing Arts

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY (Tie)
William L. Petersen – “Blackbird” – Victory Gardens Theater
Larry Neumann, Jr. – “A Moon for the Misbegotten” – First Folio Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Joseph Anthony Foronda – “Miss Saigon” – Drury Lane Oakbrook

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Saidah Arrika Ekulona – “Ruined” – Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
E. Faye Butler – “Caroline, or Change” – Court Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Alex Weisman – “The History Boys” – TimeLine Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Max Quinlan – “The Light in the Piazza” – Marriott Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Spencer Kayden- “Don’t Dress for Dinner” – The British Stage Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL (Tie)
Liz Baltes – “A Minister’s Wife”- Writers’ Theatre
Summer Smart – “The Light in the Piazza” – Marriott Theatre

ACTOR IN A REVUE
Mark David Kaplan – “Forbidden Broadway:Dances with the Stars” – John Freedson, Harriet

Yellin, & Margaret Cotter

ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Amanda Blake Davis – “Studs Terkel’s Not Working” – The Second City e.t.c.


SCENIC DESIGN - LARGE Lucy Osborne – “Twelfth Night” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

SCENIC DESIGNMIDSIZE
Brian Sidney Bembridge – “The History Boys” – TimeLine Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Mara Blumenfeld- “The Arabian Nights” – Lookingglass Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Rachel Laritz – “The Voysey Inheritance” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
Christopher Akerlind – Rock ‘n’ Roll – Goodman Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Jesse Klug – “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – American Theater Company

SOUND DESIGN - LARGE
Ray Nardelli and Joshua Horvath – “Miss Saigon” – Drury Lane Oakbrook

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Lindsay Jones – “The K of D:An Urban Legend” – The Route 66 Theatre Company

CHOREOGRAPHY
David H. Bell – “The Boys from Syracuse” – Drury Lane Oakbrook

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Dominic Kanza – “Ruined” – Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club

MUSIC DIRECTION
Doug Peck – “Caroline, or Change” – Court Theatre

NEW ADAPTATION – PLAY
Seth Bockley – “Jon” – Collaboraction NEW WORK – PLAY
Lynn Nottage – “Ruined” – Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club

NEW ADAPTATION – MUSICAL
Josh Schmidt, Jan Tranen and Austin Pendleton- “A Minister’s Wife” – Writers’ Theatre

SPECIAL EFFECTS
Steve Tolin – “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” – Northlight Theatre

VIDEO DESIGN
Mike Tutaj – “Tomorrow Morning” – Hillary A. Williams, LLC

TRIBUTE AWARD
The Second City – 50th Anniversary

SPECIAL AWARD
William Pullinsi – Director and Producer -Outstanding Achievement-50 years in Theatre

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