‘Reefer’ smokes rivals at Ovations

Musical nabs 5 nods, 'Summer,' 'Fosse' get three

The musical “Reefer Madness” nabbed five trophies Monday at the 1999 Ovation Awards, presented by the Los Angeles Theatre League Alliance.

The Ovations, celebrating theatrical achievement in Southern California during the season, were awarded at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Event marked the 10th anniversary for the peer-judged awards.

The wins for “Reefer,” staged at the Hudson Backstage Theater, included kudos for best musical in a small theater and for ensemble performance. “Summer and Smoke,” at the Fountain Theater, and “Fosse,” at the Ahmanson, captured three awards each.

“Summer” took best play in a small theater, while “Collected Stories,” at the Geffen Playhouse, took the same award for a large theater. “West Side Story,” at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, won for musical in a large theater.

Christopher Plummer took the prize for lead actor in a play, for “Barrymore” at the Ahmanson, while the same award in the female category went to Tracy Middendorf for “Summer and Smoke.”

The Governors Awards for lifetime achievement were presented to Jerome Lawrence and Robert Fryer. The James A. Doolittle Award for Leadership was presented to Charles Kenis and Audrey Skirball Kenis.

The Community Outreach Award was bestowed on the Los Angeles Poverty Dept. “for its unique use of theater to express the realities, hopes, and dreams of people who live and work on L.A.’s Skid Row,” the citation read.

Other winners were:

Doug Motel, for writing of a world-premiere play or musical, for “Shiva Arms” at the Coast Playhouse; Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney, writing of a new translation/adaptation, “Reefer Madness”; Bob Simon, lead actor in a musical, “Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show,” Tiffany Theatres; and Carolee Carmello, lead actress in a musical, “Bells Are Ringing,” Freud Playhouse.

Joel Traywick was voted best featured actor in a musical, for “The Last Session,” Tiffany Theatres; Byron Jennings, featured actor in a play, “Hedda Gabler,” Geffen Playhouse; Yvette Cason, featured actress in a musical, “Play On!” Pasadena Playhouse; Lee Garlington, and featured actress in a play, “Risk Everything,” Zephyr Theatre.

Andy Fickman won for director of a musical, for “Reefer Madness”; Lauren Hollingsworth, director of a play, “The Adding Machine,” Sacred Fools Theatre Company; Bob Fosse and Ann Reinking, choreographers, “Fosse”; Andrew Bridge, lighting design in a large theatre, “Fosse”; Kathi O’Donohue, lighting design, small theatre, “Summer and Smoke”; Ming Cho Lee, set design, large theatre, “Enigma Variations,” Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum; Kris Sandheinrich, set design, small theater, “The Illusion,” Namaste Theatre Co./ Actors’ Gang.

Howard Crabtree won for costume design, large theater, “Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly,” Coronet Theatre; Dick Magnanti, costume design, small theater, “Reefer”; Jonathan Deans, sound design, large theater, “Fosse”; John Zalewski, sound design, small theater, “One Flea Spare,” Ivy Substation.