D.C. stagings of 'Hairspray,' 'Ruined' score big
Signature Theater’s revival of tuner “Hairspray” and Arena Stage’s production of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winner “Ruined” won top honors Monday at the Helen Hayes Awards, D.C. theater’s annual awards fest.Among nonresident productions, Steppenwolf Theater’s revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at Arena won the main prize, while the Sydney Theater Company’s visit of “Uncle Vanya” at the Kennedy Center drew acting kudos for Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving. No single theater or production dominated this year’s event, although the local troupe Synetic Theater nabbed four awards for its wordless version of “King Lear” including ensemble, choreography (Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Curtis), lighting (Andrew Griffin) and sound (Konstantine Lortkipanidze and Irakli Kavsadze). Seven members of its “Lear” cast drew acting noms, although none won. The Hayes Awards, now in their 28th year, salute the D.C. area’s resident and nonresident theater during the preceding calendar year. The latest winners were selected from among 192 productions by 53 professional theaters. The event’s producing org recently expanded its scope and renamed itself TheaterWashington. Resident play lead actor trophy went to Mitchell Hebert for Theater J’s revival of Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall,” with the lead actress award was shared by Erica Sullivan for Studio Theater’s “Venus in Fur” and Rena Brown for “Wit” at Bay Theater Company. Among resident musicals, Carolyn Cole won actress for Signature Theater’s “Hairspray,” and Euan Morton took the actor prize for “Parade,” a co-production of Ford’s Theater and Theater J. Kevin Spacey was saluted with the annual Helen Hayes Tribute for his contributions to the theater community. Among those conspicuously missing from the winners’ circle was the Kennedy Center’s acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies,” which jumped to Broadway following its SRO run at the Eisenhower Theater. Other coveted Hayes awards included director honors for Aaron Posner for Folger Theater’s “Cyrano” and Michael Baron for “A Year With Frog and Toad” at Adventure Theater. The Charles MacArthur Award for a new play or musical went to playwright Marc Acito for “Birds of a Feather” at Hub Theater. Complete list of winners: Resident Play “Ruined,” Arena Stage Resident Musical “Hairspray,” Signature Theater Production, Theater for Young Audiences “Charlotte’s Web,” Adventure Theater Lead Actress, Resident Play Erica Sullivan, “Venus in Fur,” Studio Theater; Rena Brown “Wit,” Bay Theater Company Lead Actor, Resident Play Mitchell Hebert, “After the Fall,” Theater J Lead Actress, Resident Musical Carolyn Cole, “Hairspray,” Signature Theater Lead Actor, Resident Musical Euan Morton, “Parade,” Ford’s Theater and Theater J Non-Resident Production “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” Arena Stage Ensemble, Resident Play “King Lear,” Synetic Theater Ensemble, Resident Musical “Hairspray,” Signature Theater Supporting Actress, Resident Play Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, “After the Fall,” Theater J Supporting Actor, Resident Play Ted van Griethuysen, “Much Ado About Nothing,” Shakespeare Theater Company Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production Sahr Ngaujah, “FELA!,” Shakespeare Theater Company Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production Cate Blanchett, “Uncle Vanya,” Kennedy Center The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theater Company Faction of Fools Theater Company Supporting Actress, Resident Musical Nova Payton, “Hairspray,” Signature Theater Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production Hugo Weaving, “Uncle Vanya,” Kennedy Center Supporting Actor, Resident Musical Matthew Delorenzo, “Pop!,” Studio Theater 2ndStage Costume Design, Resident Production Kendra Rai, “Green Bird,” Constellation Theater Company Choreography, Resident Production Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Curtis, “King Lear,” Synetic Theater Musical Direction, Resident Production, Jon Kalbfleisch, “Hairspray,” Signature Theater Sound Design, Resident Production Chris Baine, “A Bright New Boise,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company; Konstantine Lortkipanidze and Irakli Kavsadze, “King Lear,” Synetic Theater Lighting Design, Resident Production Andrew Griffin, “King Lear,” Synetic Theater Set Design, Resident Production Lee Savage, “Much Ado About Nothing,” Shakespeare Theater Company Director, Resident Play Aaron Posner, “Cyrano,” Folger Theater Director, Resident Musical Michael Baron, “A Year With Frog and Toad,” Adventure Theater The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical Marc Acito, “Birds of a Feather,” Hub Theater
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