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Boston critics award Thomas and Taymor

Barrington, Foxborough receive visiting company nods

BOSTON — Richard Thomas, currently playing Brother Julian in the acclaimed Hartford Stage production of Edward Albee’s “Tiny Alice,” and Julie Taymor, a Tony winner for Broadway’s “The Lion King” and a resident of Newton, Mass., were among the awardees at the Boston Theater Critics Assn. presentation of the 16th annual Elliot Norton Awards Monday.

Although Thomas has never appeared on a Boston stage, he was guest of honor at the presentation and received a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was lauded as an actor “who, though still young (47), has for 40 years tackled a host of daunting roles and triumphed.”

Boston critics have covered Thomas’s four appearances at the Hartford Stage, which previously included the roles of Peer Gynt, Hamlet and Richard III.

Taymor was honored with the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence as “an inspired director and designer who has enriched stages here and elsewhere with unforgettable artistry.”

The award for outstanding production by a visiting company was given to two productions, the Barrington Stage Co. and Foxborough Center for the Performing Arts’ revival of “Cabaret” and the touring company of “Chicago” that played Boston’s Colonial Theater. Two productions also received an award for outstanding production by a large resident company: the Huntington Theater Co.’s “The Game of Love and Chance” and the American Repertory Theater’s “Man and Superman.”

The award for outstanding production by a small resident company went to Gloucester Stage’s “Faith Healer,” and outstanding production by a local fringe company to Raven Theatrical’s “Plum Pudding”/”Freaks!”

The outstanding director, large resident company, was Robert Woodruff for the ART’s “In the Jungle of the Cities,” while outstanding director, small resident company, was Scott Edmiston for the Nora Theater Co.’s “Molly Sweeney.”

Outstanding designer, large company, awards went to Thomas Lynch (scenery), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes) and Peter Kaczorowski (lighting) for the Huntington’s “The Game of Love and Chance,” and outstanding designer, small company, was Eric Levenson for his sets for the Jewish Theater of New England’s “Old Wicked Songs” and the SpeakEasy Stage Co.’s “Balm in Gilead.”

Outstanding script in its local premiere was Anthony Clarvoe’s “Ambition Facing West” at Providence’s Trinity Rep.

Kristin Flanders as Katharina in the ART’s “The Taming of the Shrew” was outstanding actress, large company, and Lizbeth Mackay was best actress, small company, as Jessie in the Foxborough Center for the Performing Arts’ ” ‘night, Mother.”

Don Reilley as Jack Tanner/Don Juan in the ART’s “Man and Superman” was outstanding actor, large company, and Jonathan Hammond as master of ceremonies in Barrington Stage and Foxborough Center’s “Cabaret” was outstanding actor, small company. A special citation was awarded to Paul Schmidt “for his dedicated decades of sterling stage translations from ancient Greek, French, German and Russian.”

The Elliot Norton Awards are named for the esteemed Boston theater critic emeritus who, at age 95, attended the awards ceremony.

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