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‘Dreamgirls,’ ‘Shrew’ Draw Honors at D.C. Hayes Awards

Recent Off Broadway title 'Really Really' snags new play award

WASHINGTON — Signature Theater’s sassy revival of “Dreamgirls” and Folger Theater’s wild western take on “The Taming of the Shrew” drew top laurels April 8 at the Helen Hayes Awards, D.C.’s annual theater kudofest.

The two productions were voted top resident musical and play respectively by Hayes judges. Now in their 29th cycle, the Hayes Awards salute qualifying productions that appear on D.C. area stages during the previous calendar year.

The award for outstanding new play or musical went to Paul Downs Colaizzo’s “Really Really,” which received its world preem at Signature Theater last March. The edgy examination of the millennial generation mindset was recently produced in New York.

Other productions popular with Hayes judges included a revival by Alexandria, Va.’s tiny MetroStage of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.” The show drew lead actor and actress awards to Bobby Smith and Natascia Diaz, and musical direction honors for Serge Seiden.

It was also a good night for the Shakespeare Theater Company, which last year received the Regional Theater Tony Award.  Francesca Faridany drew top actress honors for STC’s revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude” while Steven Epp scored the actor award for Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte piece, “The Servant of Two Masters.”

The Hayes judges gave three nods to Studio Theater’s production of “Invisible Man,” Oren Jacoby’s adaptation of the Ralph Ellison novel. Included were the award for ensemble and honors to Christopher McElroen (director) and Mary Louise Geiger (lighting).

Among those on hand for the awards were actress Ellyn Burstyn, who accepted a special Hayes tribute to Actors’ Equity Association.  The annual award to an emerging theater troupe went to Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue, a popular attraction at D.C.’s annual Capitol Fringe Festival.

Complete list of 2013 winners:

Resident Play

“The Taming of the Shrew,” Folger Theater

Resident Musical

Dreamgirls,” Signature Theater

Production, Theater for Young Audiences

“The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” Imagination Stage

Lead Actress, Resident Play

Francesca Faridany, “Strange Interlude,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Lead Actor, Resident Play

Steven Epp, “The Servant of Two Masters,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Lead Actress, Resident Musical

Natascia Diaz, “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” MetroStage

Lead Actor, Resident Musical

Bobby Smith, “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” MetroStage

Non-Resident Production

“Black Watch,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Ensemble, Resident Play

Studio Theater, “Invisible Man”

Ensemble, Resident Musical

Imagination Stage, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”

Supporting Actress, Resident Play

E. Faye Butler, “Pullman Porter Blues,” Arena Stage

Supporting Actor, Resident Play

Matthew McGee, “Taking Steps,” Constellation Theater Company

Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production

David M. Lutken, “Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie,”  Theater J

Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production

Felicia Boswell, “Memphis,” Kennedy Center

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theater Company

Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue

Supporting Actress, Resident Musical

Priscilla Cuellar, “Legally Blonde the Musical,” Toby’s Dinner Theater; Theresa Cunningham, “The Color Purple,” Toby’s Dinner Theater

Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production

Christopher Saul, “Hamlet,” Folger Theater

Supporting Actor, Resident Musical

Cedric Neal, “Dreamgirls,” Signature Theater

Costume Design, Resident Production

Frank Labovitz, “Dreamgirls,” Signature Theater

Choreography, Resident Production

Joe Isenberg, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company

Musical Direction, Resident Production,

Jonathan Tuzman, “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, Woolly Mammoth Theater Company

Sound Design, Resident Production

Matthew M. Nielson, “The Illusion,” Forum Theater

Lighting Design, Resident Production

Mary Louise Geiger, “Invisible Man,” Studio Theater

Set Design, Resident Production

Misha Kachman, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company; Todd Rosenthal, “Red,” Arena Stage

Director, Resident Play

Christopher McElroen, “Invisible Man,” Studio Theater

Director, Resident Musical

Serge Seiden, “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” MetroStage

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical

Paul Downs Colaizzo, “Really Really,” Signature Theater

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