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LOS ANGELES DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE Announces Nominations for Theatrical Excellence in 2019

LADCC LogoGreetings, members of the Los Angeles theatre community! The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle is proud to announce the nominees for theatrical excellence for the year 2019. This year, for obvious reasons, we are forgoing our annual event ceremony and will instead post the award recipients online in the upcoming weeks. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

The recipients of our annual special awards are listed following the nominees. In addition, we dedicate this year’s awards to the memory of Orson Bean, whose recent tragic passing has affected us all.

We would like to take this opportunity to relay our best hopes that you are all well and staying safe.

In the meantime, the worthy nominees for 2019 are as follows:

Production:

  • Gem of the Ocean, A Noise Within
  • How We’re Different From Animals, ÉLAN Ensemble
  • Indecent, Center Theatre Group and Huntington Theatre Company
  • The Great Leap, East West Players and Pasadena Playhouse
  • The Mother of Henry, Latino Theater Company
  • Witch, Geffen Playhouse

McCulloh Award for Revival

  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • The Glass Menagerie, A Noise Within
  • The Skin of Our Teeth, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Two Trains Running, Sophina Brown

Lead Performance

  • Grant Chang, The Great Leap, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Willow Geer, The Skin of Our Teeth, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Rafael Goldstein, The Glass Menagerie, A Noise Within
  • Steve Hofvendahl, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Kate Huffman, Friends With Guns, The Road Theatre Company
  • Evan Jonigkeit, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Michael Manuel, Frankenstein, A Noise Within
  • Rob Nagle, The Judas Kiss, Boston Court Pasadena
  • George Salazar, Little Shop of Horrors, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Liza Seneca, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Maura Tierney, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Dianne Wiest, Happy Days, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum

Featured Performance

  • Eden Espinosa, Falsettos, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Tyrin Niles, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
  • Nija Okoro, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Arianna Ortiz, Friends With Guns, The Road Theatre Company
  • Adolphus Ward, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Denise Yolén, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company

Ensemble Performance

  • Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
  • The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
  • Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Uncle Vanya, The New American Theatre
  • Witch, Geffen Playhouse

Solo Performance

  • Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre

Writing

  • Sarah DeLappe, The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
  • Jen Silverman, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Paula Vogel, Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Writing, Adaptation

  • Lucas Hnath, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Mary Zimmerman, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Musical Score

  • Mark Heard, Pat Terry, Randy VanWarmer, Tim Alderson, Salvage, Lounge Theatre
  • Bill Sims Jr, August Wilson’s Jitney, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum

Music Direction

  • Anthony Lucca, Bronco Billy – The Musical, Skylight Theatre
  • David O, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, South Coast Repertory
  • Stephan Terry, Salvage, Lounge Theatre

Choreography

  • Edgar Godineaux & Jared Grimes, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Geffen Playhouse
  • Janet Roston, Bronco Billy – The Musical, Skylight Theatre
  • Stephanie Shroyer, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Direction

  • Marti Lyons, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Stephanie Shroyer, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Jack Stehlin, Uncle Vanya, The New American Theatre
  • Rebecca Taichman, Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Stevie Walker-Webb, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company

Set Design

  • John Lee Beatty, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse
  • John Iacovelli, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Izmir Ickbal, Happy Days, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum
  • Frederica Nascimento, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Lighting Design

  • Ken Booth, Argonautika, A Noise Within
  • Elizabeth Harper, Mysterious Circumstances, Geffen Playhouse
  • Peter Kaczorowski, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse
  • Jared A. Sayeg, Ragtime, Pasadena Playhouse

Costume Design

  • Linda Cho, Anastasia, Pantages Theatre
  • Jenny Foldenauer, Argonautika, A Noise Within
  • Danae Iris McQueen, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Katherine O’Neill, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Geffen Playhouse

Sound Design

  • Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Jeff Gardner, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
  • Jeff Gardner, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Robert Oriol, Argonautika, A Noise Within

CGI/Video

  • Jared Mezzocchi, Poor Yella Rednecks, South Coast Repertory
  • Yee Eun Nam, The Mother of Henry, Latino Theater Company
  • Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia, Pantages Theatre

Specialty

  • Steve Cuiffo , Illusions & Lip Sync, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Dillon Nelson, Puppet Design, Argonautika, A Noise Within

One or more awards will be named in each category. Seven special award honorees are also being named.

The LADCC special award recipients for 2019 are:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to The Fountain Theatre.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to A Noise Within.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to The Mother of Henry, written by Evelina Fernández, produced by the Latino Theater Company.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design goes to projection and set designer Hana S. Kim.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre goes to Celebration Theatre.

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction goes to Michael Michetti.

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community will be presented to the Ojai Playwrights Conference.

Every effort has been made to ascertain proper credits for our nominees. We regret any errors or omissions. Any that come to our attention will be corrected here and (when applicable) on a recipient’s award certificate.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

The 2019 membership consisted of:
Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Katie Buenneke, Stage Raw, Theater Digest
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen
Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld, Musicals in LA
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw, ArtsInLA.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw
Harker Jones, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Jenny Lower Beckman, Stage Raw
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, Stage Raw, TalkinBroadway.com
Steven Leigh Morris, Stage Raw
Melinda Schupmann, Showmag.com, ArtsInLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway.com

Citations by production:
Witch (Geffen Playhouse): 7 Nominations
Argonautika (A Noise Within): 7 Nominations
The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Antaeus Theatre Company): 5 Nominations
Scraps (Matrix Theatre Company): 5 Nominations
Two Trains Running (Matrix Theatre): 5 Nominations
Indecent (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre): 4 Nominations
Dana H. (Center Theatre Group / Kirk Douglas Theatre): 4 Nominations
The Glass Menagerie (A Noise Within): 2 Nominations
Uncle Vanya (The New American Theatre): 2 Nominations
Happy Days (Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum): 2 Nominations
Salvage (Lounge Theatre): 2 Nominations
Bronco Billy – The Musical (Skylight Theatre): 2 Nominations
The Wolves (Echo Theater Company): 2 Nominations
The Mother of Henry (Latino Theater Company): 2 Nominations and the Schmitt Award
The Skin of Our Teeth (Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum): 2 Nominations
Key Largo (Geffen Playhouse): 2 Nominations
Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole (Geffen Playhouse): 2 Nominations
Anastasia (Pantages Theatre): 2 Nominations
Friends With Guns (The Road Theatre Company): 2 Nominations
Gem of the Ocean (A Noise Within): 1 Nomination
Frankenstein (A Noise Within): 1 Nomination
The Judas Kiss (Boston Court Pasadena): 1 Nomination
Falsettos (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre): 1 Nomination
August Wilson’s Jitney (Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum): 1 Nomination
How We’re Different From Animals (ÉLAN Ensemble): 1 Nomination
Mysterious Circumstances (Geffen Playhouse): 1 Nomination
Little Shop of Horrors (Pasadena Playhouse): 1 Nomination
Ragtime (Pasadena Playhouse): 1 Nomination
The Great Leap (Pasadena Playhouse): 1 Nomination
Poor Yella Rednecks (South Coast Repertory): 1 Nomination
Sweeney Todd (South Coast Repertory): 1 Nomination

Citations by company:
Geffen Playhouse: 12 Nominations
A Noise Within: 11 Nominations and the Warfield Award
The Matrix Theatre Company/Matrix Theatre: 10 Nominations
Antaeus Theatre Company: 5 Nominations
Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre: 5 Nominations
Center Theatre Group / Kirk Douglas Theatre: 4 Nominations
Pasadena Playhouse: 4 Nominations
Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum: 3 Nominations
Latino Theater Company: 2 Nominations and the Schmitt Award
Pantages Theatre: 2 Nominations
The Road Theatre Company: 2 Nominations
Lounge Theatre: 2 Nominations
Skylight Theatre: 2 Nominations
South Coast Repertory: 2 Nominations
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum: 2 Nominations
The New American Theatre: 2 Nominations
Echo Theater Company: 2 Nominations
Boston Court Pasadena: 1 Nomination
ÉLAN Ensemble: 1 Nomination
The Fountain Theatre: Harford Award
Celebration Theatre: Hirschhorn Award

 

RORSCHACH FEST, INKBLOT C at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In a Rorschach test, an individual is presented with a series of abstract images and asked what they see. Their answers are used by the administering psychiatrist or psychologist to gain insight into that person’s state of mind.

Open Fist Theater Company’s current production is titled Rorschach Fest. Presented as three separate programs, it’s a series of short plays by John O’Keefe, Harold Pinter, Daniel MacIvor and Caryl Churchill — four playwrights widely recognized for the distinctive style and/or content of their work.
Read more…

Now running through April 5

 

FOUND at IAMA Theatre Company

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

It all begins with a note on a car and a case of mistaken identity. Found, a musical based on the books and magazines of the same name by Davy Rothbart, opened this past weekend in its west coast premiere at IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

If you’ve ever wondered if a talented musical theater composer could take literally anything and turn it into music, Found, now playing at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, is proof that that’s possible. Composer Eli Bolin, who wrote a number of winning songs for the Netflix special John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, works with book writers Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree to take the notes that people misplace and turn them into a musical.
Read more…

Now running through March 23

THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Ahmanson Theatre

Julieta Cervantes

Julieta Cervantes

Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

After two successful runs in Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014 at the Pantages, that smut-mouthed, but endearing musical comedy The Book Of Mormon has squatted downtown at the Ahmanson, and third time around, it has lost none of its luster, or its smut.
Read more…

Now running through March 29

A BODY OF WATER at Actors’ Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A middle-aged couple wake up one morning naked in bed. The woman gently removes his hand from her breast, dons a handy silk robe and is off to the kitchen to make coffee. The man soon follows.
Read more…

Now running through March 15

HAMLET THE ROCK MUSICAL at the El Portal Theatre

Barry Weiss

Barry Weiss

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Hamlet The Rock Musical has had a few iterations since it debuted in 1973 with the title Kronberg 1582. It was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where it was part of a larger radio program. In 1976, it ran on Broadway for seven shows as Rockabye Hamlet, and played here at the Odyssey Theatre in 1981 for 18 months as Somethin’ Rockin’ in Denmark.
Read more…

Now running through February 23

HUMAN INTEREST STORY at the Fountain Theatre

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Poverty and homelessness and what to do about them are hardly new matters of concern. King Lear berates his newly-found conscience thus: “Poor naked wretches…how shall your houseless heads and unfed sides…defend you from seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en too little care of this!”
Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The plot and themes of Frank Capra’s film “Meet John Doe,” released in 1941, feel startlingly pertinent to America in 2020. A craven plutocrat buys a city’s newspaper, lays off its seasoned journalists and repurposes it as propaganda for his political campaign — and the public eats it up.
Read more…

Now running through April 5

REVENGE SONG at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Born around 1673, Julie D’Aubigny was an extraordinary women who defied the gender expectations of her time to live entirely on her own terms. D’Aubigny’s unconventional life is the basis for Revenge Song, a play by Qui Nguyen, familiar to local audiences for his compelling award-winning play Vietgone and its sequel Poor Yella Rednecks, both based on the immigrant experience of his Vietnamese parents.
Read more…

Now running through March 8

UNTIL THE FLOOD at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Dael Orlandersmith in “Until the Flood.” Written by Orlandersmith and directed by Neel Keller, “Until the Flood” runs through February 23 at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. For more information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org. Press Contact: CTGMedia@CTGLA.org / (213) 972-7376. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in 2014 cast a harsh spotlight on the community of Ferguson, Missouri. Brown’s killing (six bullets in the front) provoked riots and unrest, stirring righteous rage within a black community long subject to abuse and intimidation from an all-white police force (supported in turn by an all-white city council).
Read more…

Now running through February 23

THE $5 SHAKESPEARE COMPANY at Theatre 68

 Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The 6th Act is currently presenting the World Premiere of co-artistic director Matthew Leavitt’s The $5 Shakespeare Company at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. The comedy is a self-professed “heartfelt love letter to all things 99-seat theatre”.
Read more…

Now running through March 8

THE FATHER at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Perspective is crucial to the understanding of both life and theater, and in the Pasadena Playhouse production of The Father, which opened this week, an intentionally disorienting point-of-view offers a dramatic and moving look at late-stage dementia. Written by Florian Zeller, the play premiered in 2014 and many consider it one of the most acclaimed of the recently concluded decade.
Read more…

Dana Martin– Stage Raw

Getting old is painfully difficult. Pasadena Playhouse’s newest production, The Father, is a fascinating yet frustratingly unclear story that examines a rapidly shifting dynamic between parent and child as the line between reality and delusion becomes increasingly blurred.
Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

As life expectancy continues to grow, so does the concern for the wellbeing of our aging population. It’s a subject that hits close to home for everyone—whether it is providing care for a parent or thinking about our own future as we reach retirement age and beyond.
Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The specter of dementia touches us all, whether within our immediate family or not. It’s a particularly awful condition in which someone you once knew well might not even recognize you anymore or be able to do things they previously were expert at.
Read more…

Now running through March 1

 

THIS SIDE OF CRAZY at the Zephyr Theatre

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Well, what family doesn’t have its ups and downs?” Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine famously opines after a particularly vicious family squabble in James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter. I’m sure Ditty Blaylock, the matriarch in Del Shores’ latest play This Side of Crazy would gladly exchange the trio of crown-hungry Plantagenet princes for her three ungrateful daughters every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Read more…

Now running through March 8