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2016 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards

Jake Broder in performance.

Jake Broder in performance.

2016 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards

The critics of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle are pleased to announce the date and location of our annual awards ceremony.  The ceremony and accompanying fete celebrate excellence in theater seen in Los Angeles in 2015.

This year the event will take place on March 14, 2016. It will be held at the Ann & Jerry Moss Theater at New Roads School, in the Capshaw-Spielberg Center for Arts and Educational Justice.

The Center is located in the Herb Alpert Educational Village, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA.

Tickets are $40.00, and can be purchased here (a small service fee applies) or at the door. There is some onsite parking and ample street parking.

We hope to see you there.

Raymond Lee, Jon Hoche and Maureen Sebastian in South Coast Repertory's 2015 world premiere of VIETGONE by Qui Nguyen.

“Vietgone.” Photo by Jason Niedle.

Following is a list of special awards and nominees:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre — Deaf West Theater Company.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play — Qui Nguyen for Vietgone, originally produced by South Coast Repertory.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre — International City Theatre.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for outstanding achievement in theatrical design — projections designer Jason H. Thompson.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theatre — director-choreographer Janet Miller.

The Milton Katselas Award for career or special achievement in direction — Michael Matthews.

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“Hit the Wall.” Photo by Ken Sawyer.

 

 Annual award categories

Production

  • André & Dorine, Kulunka Teatro at Los Angeles Theatre Center.
  • Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.
  • Enron, The Production Company at The Lex.
  • Fences, International City Theatre.
  • Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.
  • Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.
  • The Gospel at Colonus, Ebony Repertory Theatre at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1980)

  • Anna Christie, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.
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“Carrie The Musical.”
Photo by Jason Niedle.

 

Lead Performance

  • Angela Bullock in Watching O.J., Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA at Atwater Village Theatre Complex.
  • Jason Dechert in Picnic, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Mary Beth Fisher in Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.
  • Matthew Hancock in Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • Ted Heyck in God’s Man in Texas, A Guest Production at The Blank Theatre’s 2nd Stage.
  • Lily Knight in A Small Fire, The Echo Theater Company @ Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Troy Kotsur in American Buffalo, Cal State L.A. Department of Music, Theatre and Dance and Deaf West Theatre at State Playhouse.
  • Emily Lopez in Carrie the Musical, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, The Transfer Group, Michael T. Cohen/Robin Reinach, Kraige Block and Joe Everett Michaels, in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and The Los Angeles Theatre.
  • Zoe Perry in Anna Christie, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.
  • Tiffany Royale in The Best of Enemies, The Colony Theatre.
  • Michael A. Shepperd in Fences, International City Theatre.
  • Jimmi Simpson in Trevor, Circle X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Jeff Skowron in Into the Woods, Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Sabina Zuniga Varela in Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

Featured Performance

  • Richard Fancy in Awake and Sing!, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.
  • Charlotte Gulezian in Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • Charlie Hofheimer in Bent, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum.
  • Tracie Lockwood in A Permanent Image, Rogue Machine Theatre at Theatre/Theater.
  • Elyse Mirto in Figaro, A Noise Within.
  • Martin Rayner in Oedipus Machina, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and KOAN at Odyssey Theatre.
  • Bryce Ryness in Matilda the Musical, Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.
  • Michael A. Shepperd in Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.

Ensemble Performance          

  • André & Dorine, Kulunka Teatro at Los Angeles Theatre Center.
  • Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.
  • Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.
  • Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

Solo Performance

  • Orson Bean in Safe at Home: An Evening With Orson Bean, Pacific Resident Theatre.
  • Monica Piper in Not That Jewish, Jewish Women’s Theatre at The Braid.
  • John Douglas Thompson in Satchmo at the Waldorf, The Long Wharf Theatre and Shakespeare & Company Production at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Direction

  • Jessica Kubzansky, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.
  • Jaime Robledo, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre.
  • Kim Rubinstein, Anna Christie, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.
  • Ken Sawyer, Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • August Viverito, Enron, The Production Company at The Lex. 

Writing

  • Rebecca Gilman, Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.
  • Nick Jones, Trevor, Circle X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Robert O’Hara, Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.
  • Lucy Prebble, Enron, The Production Company at The Lex.
  • Micah Schraft, A Dog’s House, IAMA Theatre Company at Elephant Theatre.
  • Luis Alfaro, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

Writing (Adaptation)

  • Luis Alfaro, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa. 

Musical Score

  • Stu Barker, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.
  • Jake Broder, Miravel, Sacred Fools Theater Company at Sacred Fools Theater.
  • Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical, Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.
  • Anna Waronker and Charlotte Caffey, Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Music Direction

  • Stu Barker, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.
  • Brian P. Kennedy, Carrie the Musical, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, The Transfer Group, Michael T. Cohen/Robin Reinach, Kraige Block and Joe Everett Michaels, in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and The Los Angeles Theatre.
  • Abdul Hamid Royal, The Gospel at Colonus, Ebony Repertory Theatre at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.
  • Julie Wolf, Girlfriend, The Actors Theatre of Louisville Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Choreography

  • Christopher Gattelli, Newsies, Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher at Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
  • Josh Rhodes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Koos, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Carola Productions, Roy Furman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, James Spry, Eric Schmidt, and Blanket Fort Productions, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.
  • Dana Solimando, Billy Elliot, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts & McCoy Rigby Entertainment at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
  • Angela Todaro, American Idiot, DOMA Theatre Company at The MET Theatre.

Set Design

  • Tom Buderwitz, The Whipping Man, South Coast Repertory and The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Mimi Lien, Appropriate, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum.
  • Don Llewellyn, Fences, International City Theatre.
  • Bill Mitchell, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Reperto 

 

Lighting Design

  • Martin Labrecque, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities, Cirque du Soleil at Dodger Stadium.
  • Tom Ontiveros, My Barking Dog, The Theatre @ Boston Court.
  • Matt Richter, Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • Malcolm Rippeth, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.

Costume Design

  • Angela Balogh Calin, Figaro, A Noise Within.
  • Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!, Geffen Playhouse in association with Atlantic Theater Company presents the Yale Repertory Theatre Production at Geffen Playhouse.
  • Philippe Guillotel, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities, Cirque du Soleil at Dodger Stadium.
  • Wade Laboissonniere, Waterfall, The Pasadena Playhouse in association with The 5th Avenue Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Koos, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Carola Productions, Roy Furman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, James Spry, Eric Schmidt, and Blanket Fort Productions, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.

Sound Design

  • Gregory Clarke, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.
  • Bruno Louchouarn, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.
  • Jaime Robledo, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre.
  • John Zalewski, My Barking Dog, The Theatre @ Boston Court.


CGI/Video

  • Anthony Backman and Jim Pierce, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre.
  • Nicholas Santiago, A Permanent Image, Rogue Machine Theatre at Theatre/Theater.

 

Specialty

  • Gieselle Blair, Figaro, A Noise Within. (Hair, wigs, and makeup)
  • Garbiñe Insausti, André & Dorine, Kulunka Teatro at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. (Masks)
  • Aviva Pressman, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre. (Live art direction)
  • Jim Steinmeyer, Carrie the Musical, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, The Transfer Group, Michael T. Cohen/Robin Reinach, Kraige Block and Joe Everett Michaels, in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and The Los Angeles Theatre. (Illusion design)

 

 

"Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles." Photo by Craig Schwartz.

“Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles.” Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Productions which have garnered nominations

Hit the Wall (Los Angeles LGBT Center) 7
Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (Getty Villa) 6
Tristan & Yseult (South Coast Repertory) 5
Astro Boy and the God of Comics (Sacred Fools) 4
Bootycandy (Celebration Theatre) 4
Luna Gale (Kirk Douglas Theatre) 4
André & Dorine (Los Angeles Theatre Center) 3
Anna Christie (Odyssey Theatre) 3
Carrie the Musical (La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts and Los Angeles Theatre) 3
Enron (The MET Theatre) 3
Fences (International City Theatre) 3
Figaro (A Noise Within) 3
A Permanent Image (Rogue Machine) 2
Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities (Dodger Stadium) 2
Matilda the Musical (Ahmanson Theatre) 2
My Barking Dog (The Theatre @ Boston Court) 2
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Ahmanson Theatre) 2
The Gospel at Colonus (Nate Holden Performing Arts Center) 2
Trevor (Atwater Village Theatre) 2
A Dog’s House (Elephant Theatre) 1
American Buffalo (Cal State L.A.) 1
American Idiot (MET Theatre) 1
A Small Fire (Echo Theatre) 1
Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum) 1
Awake and Sing! (Odyssey Theatre) 1
Bent (Mark Taper Forum) 1
Billy Elliot (La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts) 1
Girlfriend (Kirk Douglas Theatre) 1
God’s Man in Texas (Blank Theatre) 1
Into the Woods (Wallis Annenberg Center) 1
Miravel (Sacred Fools Theatre) 1
Newsies (Hollywood Pantages) 1
Not That Jewish (The Braid) 1
Oedipus Machina (Odyssey Theatre) 1
Picnic (Antaeus) 1
Safe at Home: An Evening With Orson Bean (Pacific Resident Theatre) 1
Satchmo at the Waldorf (Wallis Annenberg Center) 1
The Best Of Enemies (Colony Theatre) 1
These Paper Bullets! (Geffen Playhouse) 1
The Whipping Man (South Coast Repertory/Pasadena Playhouse) 1
Vietgone (South Coast Repertory)        -  The Ted Schmitt Award 1
Watching O.J. (Atwater Village Theatre) 1
Waterfall (Pasadena Playhouse) 1

 

AMERYKA – Shakespeare Festival of Los Angeles

 

Photo by Patti McGuire

Photo by Patti McGuire

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

Late in the second act (and third hour) of Ameryka, a world premiere presentation by Nancy Keystone’s Critical Mass Performing Group, a dapper gent played by Ray Ford steps up to bear witness to a gay bar encounter with Witold, a young native Pole.    Read more..    

Now running through March 6

SALOME – Lunar River at the Basement at Mack Sennett Studios

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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The title character in Christopher Adams-Cohen’s unsatisfying and over-indulgent drama Salome is a petulant rich kid who’s shrugged off the perks he was born to for seedy digs and wayward pleasures of the flesh. Read more…

Now running through March 6

BED at the Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Kate Morgan Chadwick makes an arresting entrance as she slithers alluringly across the floor at Atwater Village Theatre, climbing onto the large white bed (Se Oh’s scenic design) that serves as the focus for Sheila Callaghan’s fiercely feminist one-act. Read more…

Now running through March 13

SWARM CELL at the Greenway Court Theatre

Photo by Marjorie DeWit

Photo by Marjorie DeWit

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Gabriel Rivas Gomez’s eccentric, uneven drama is loosely based on themes from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Filtered through a prism of modern corporate capitalism, it’s a tale of American kindness — or more accurately, about the lack of it as far as poor immigrants and our underclass are concerned. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Although “The Grapes of Wrath” has seen many adaptations, few have received a treatment quite like “Swarm Cell” at Greenway Court Theatre.

This sincerely intended, valiantly performed, still-gelling deconstruction applies a decidedly postmodern, proto-feminist spin to John Steinbeck’s classic Dust Bowl saga.    Read more…

Now running through February 28

FLY at the Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Jim Cox Photography

Photo by Jim Cox Photography

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military pilots in the Armed Forces of the United States. Their courage, skill and dedication played a significant role in the allied victory in Europe during World War II — this in a time of hardcore segregation and racial hostility, both inside and outside the military. Their story is the inspiration for this stylized drama, penned by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, who also provides sound direction.
Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Exhilarating and profoundly emotional, Fly is a hugely entertaining and uplifting stage play about real-life heroes and determined pioneers who defied opposition and broke an important race barrier. In Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s World War II-set play we meet a group of men who excelled in their chosen career against all odds. These men demonstrated ferocious valor as well as a willingness to serve and die for their country, in spite of being treated like second-class citizens at home in the still-segregated regions of the US.     Read more…

 

Now running through February 21

THE DODGERS at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

Photo by Marjorie LeWit

Photo by Marjorie LeWit

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

Diana Amsterdam’s The Dodgers, now playing at the Hudson Mainstage, deals with a December “Day of Infamy,” but it’s not the one that interrupted Americans’ Sunday morning breakfast with news about something called Pearl Harbor. Just short of 28 years later, on December 1, 1969, the government held a televised lottery to determine — fairly, it insisted — which members of the infuriatingly, disingenuously named “class of 1970” would be subject to the draft. No one was immune. Read more…

Now running through February 28

RED at South Coast Repertory

Debora Robinson / South Coast Repertory

Debora Robinson / South Coast Repertory

Margaret Gray – LA Times

“I am not your rabbi, I am not your father, I am not your shrink, I am not your friend, I am not your teacher,” the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko warns his new assistant in the first scene of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning bio-drama “Red,” now at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. “I am your employer.” Read more…

Now running through February 21

DREAM BOY at the Celebration Theatre at the Lex

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Teenage romance meets Southern Gothic in Eric Rosen’s intriguing and quirky play, based on the novel by Jim Grimsley and directed by Michael Matthews. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Based on a 1995 novel by Jim Grimsley, which was subsequently adapted into a 2008 film, Eric Rosen’s evocative 1996 play makes its L.A. debut. Set in a repressive North Carolina town in the 1970s, it’s a lyrical gay love story that blends gothic romance, wry humor, poignancy and suspense. Read more…

Now running through March 20

THE NERD at the Norris Theatre

Nerd_3_MarcGinsberg&KellieCundiff

Photo by Ed Krieger

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

For a fun evening with more than a few laughs, “The Nerd” hits the spot, playing through January at the Norris Theatre on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Though written in the early 1980s, Larry Shue’s comedy hasn’t aged badly, except for an era-specific reference or two. That’s because Shue’s message — that there’s goodness in every person, even if it’s hidden — still resonates. It’s also because director Ken Parks keeps the play in its original era. Read more…

DREAM CATCHER at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In concept, Stephen Sachs’ Dream Catcher at the Fountain Theatre is a timely play. Directed by Cameron Watson, it details a clash between a young engineer involved in designing a solar-energy plant that would help combat global warming, and a poorly educated Native American woman who objects to the project because it violates the sacred lands of her people. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Contemporary headlines about global warming, a hot-button political controversy, merge with matters of social conscience and human history in the world premiere of Stephen Sachs’ challenging two-person drama. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Spending any extended time in a desert like our own Mojave inevitably becomes a transformative experience, gradually and continually altering one’s perceptions of our place in a natural environment. It’s eerie the way one’s sensibility adjusts to the desert’s variety and pulse as our awareness continues to fine-tune. Read more…

Now running through March 21

PILLARS OF NEW YORK – Write Act Repertory at The Brickhouse Theatre

Photo by Afshin Katanshi

Photo by Afshin Katanshi

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Many writers — including playwrights — seem to feel they can broaden the scope or deepen the penetration of their works by linking their efforts to major — often traumatic — events in the real world. When it works, the results can be gratifying. But unless the writer in question is very good indeed, the approach can backfire. The magnitude of the real events may dwarf the fictional ones and make them seem frivolous. So it is with Michael Antin’s musical play. Read more…

Now playing through February 21

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE at the Torrance Theatre Company

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Photo by Alex Madrid

 Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Three of the four names in the title of Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” sound familiar, right? The three are characters in classic Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s plays. Spike? Not so much. Read more…

Now running through February 14