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Archive for Awards

2018 Award Show Photos

It was a great night at the 50th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards at Pasadena Playhouse on Monday, April 8th. Congratulations to all of the award recipients and to everyone whose outstanding work received a nomination. We are proud to recognize your accomplishments. Thank you to everyone who attended the show and thanks to photographer Meredith Adelaide for capturing the excitement. For additional photos, visit our Facebook page.

Yvonne Bell, our inaugural Theater Angel Award winner

Yvonne Bell, our inaugural Theater Angel Award winner

Brian Kite, Cathy Rigby, Tom McCoy and B.T. McNicholl celebrate their Joel Hirschhorn Award

Brian Kite, Cathy Rigby, Tom McCoy and B.T. McNicholl celebrate their Joel Hirschhorn Award

Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz representing Native Voices at the Autry

Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz representing Native Voices at the Autry, winner of the Gordon Davidson Award

Artists representing Celebration Theatre

Artists representing Celebration Theatre’s win for their revival of Cabaret

Jennifer Chang, winner for her direction of East West Player's VIetgone

Jennifer Chang, award winner for her direction of East West Players’ Vietgone

Daisuke Tsuji, outstanding Featured Performance

Daisuke Tsuji, outstanding Featured Performance in Cambodian Rock Band at South Coast Rep

Padraic Duffy, Aviva Pressman and Bruno Oliver celebrating Sacred Fools Theater Company's Margaret Harford Award

Padraic Duffy, Aviva Pressman and Bruno Oliver celebrating Sacred Fools Theater Company’s Margaret Harford Award

Jim Steinmeyer, winner for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet in  Aladdin at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Jim Steinmeyer, winner for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet in Aladdin at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

John Iacovelli

John Iacovelli, Set Design winner for Antaeus Theatre Company’s The Little Foxes

Jeff Gardner

Jeff Gardner, Sound Design winner for Native Son at Antaeus Theatre Company

Stephen Gifford, Set Design winner for Cabaret

Stephen Gifford, Set Design winner for Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Thomas McCurdy, Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki, Fight Choreography winners for Vietgone, East West Players

Thomas McCurdy, Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki, Fight Choreography winners for Vietgone, East West Players

Janet Roston, award winner for her choreography of Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Janet Roston, award winner for her outstanding choreography for Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Rob Nagle, award winner for his Featured Performance in The Little Foxes at Antaeus Theatre Company

Rob Nagle, award winner for his Featured Performance in The Little Foxes at Antaeus Theatre Company

Artists representing the winning ensemble of Antaeus Theatre Company production of The Little Foxes

Artists representing the winning ensemble of Antaeus Theatre Company’s The Little Foxes

Echo Theater Company's Chris Fields, Lindsay Allbaugh, Rachael Zambias and Molly Smith-Metzler celebrate receiving the Polly Warfield Award

Echo Theater Company’s Chris Fields, Lindsay Allbaugh, Rachael Zambias and Molly Smith Metzler celebrate receiving the Polly Warfield Award

Jessica Hird from The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles accepts Tom Hanks' award for Lead Performance

Jessica Hird from The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles accepts Tom Hanks’ award for Lead Performance in Henry IV

Rithy Hanh and Pita Huot accept the Ted Schmitt Award on behalf of Lauren Yee's new play Cambodian Rock Band

Rithy Hanh and Pita Huot accept the Ted Schmitt Award on behalf of Lauren Yee and her new play Cambodian Rock Band

Kasey Mahaffy, Paul David Story, Geoff Elliott and Wesley Mann celebrate their award for A Noise Within's revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Kasey Mahaffy, Paul David Story, Geoff Elliott and Wesley Mann celebrate their award for A Noise Within’s revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Allison Dillard, double winner for her Costume Designs for Celebration Theatre's Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Moving Arts'  BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

Allison Dillard, double winner for her Costume Designs for Celebration Theatre’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Moving Arts’ BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

Alex Nee, award winner for his Lead Performance in Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Alex Nee, award winner for his Lead Performance in Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, CGI winners for their work in Vietgone, East West Players

Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, CGI winners for their work in Vietgone at East West Players

Anthony Zediker celebrates his award for Music Direction for Celebration Theatre's Cabaret

Anthony Zediker celebrates his award for Music Direction for Celebration Theatre’s Cabaret

Molly Smith Metzler, Writing award winner for Cry It Out at Echo Theater Company

Molly Smith Metzler, Writing award winner for Cry It Out at Echo Theater Company

Kasey Mahaffy, award winner for his Featured Performance in A Noise Within's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Kasey Mahaffy, award winner for his Featured Performance in A Noise Within’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

 

Thanks From Hanks

Chris Rivera, Hamish Linklater and Tom Hanks in HENRY IV

Chris Rivera, Hamish Linklater and Tom Hanks in HENRY IV

Our award show co-producer Bob Verini received a note of thanks from Tom Hanks, who was unable to accept his award for Lead Performance in person Monday night at our 50th anniversary award celebration at Pasadena Playhouse. With his permission, we share it with you and offer him, and all of our award winners, our hearty congratulations on your outstanding work this past year. We can’t wait to see what you do next!

Dear Bob,

We had such a magical month last June, under the stars and among the trees of the Japanese Garden at the V.A. doing Henry IV* – we all felt that something special was happening, live, just before the sun went down right up to about (ugh) 3-hours later. I think we kept folks in their seats, under their free blankets!

To get a nod for Falstaff from you and your peers makes for a lovely moment. Thank you. The only negative is that I was not able to see the works of MaameYaa Boafo, Kasey Mahaffy, Alex Nee, and Conrad Ricamora. Now I’ll keep an eye out for them.

All good things,

Tom Hanks

*Henry IV was produced by The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

LADCC Announces Recipients of its 50th Annual Awards

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The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced the recipients of its 50th annual awards for distinguished achievement in theatre tonight at Pasadena Playhouse. Wenzel Jones presided over the festivities, and Christopher Raymond served as music director.

There were four recipients of the 2018 Production award: Cambodian Rock Band (South Coast Repertory), Come From Away (Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre), Cry It Out (Echo Theater Company), and Sell/Buy/Date (Geffen Playhouse/Los Angeles LGBT Center). Awards in 17 other categories celebrated a wide range of Los Angeles theater, with 17 different productions taking home honors. Celebration Theatre’s Cabaret took home the most awards for a single production, with six, including a nod for Revival. Antaeus Theatre Company received the most awards, with three of its productions winning a combined seven trophies. In a competitive category, Tom Hanks received a lead actor award for his performance as Falstaff in The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of Henry IV.

In addition, the LADCC presented eight previously announced special awards, including the Ted Schmitt award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play to Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band, the Margaret Harford award for sustained excellence in theater to Sacred Fools Theater Company, and the inaugural Theater Angel award for distinguished service to Los Angeles theater to Yvonne Bell.

The complete list of award recipients is as follows:

PRODUCTION

  • Cambodian Rock Band, produced by South Coast Repertory and Honorary Producers Carolyn and Bill Klein and Samuel and Tammy Tang, South Coast Repertory
  • Come From Away, produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Jerry Frankel, Latitude Link, Smith & Brant Theatricals, Steve & Paula Reynolds, David Mirvish, Michael Rubinoff, Alhadeff Productions, Michael Alden & Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Sam Levy, Rodney Rigby, Spencer Ross, Richard Winkler, Yonge Street Theatricals, Sheridan College, Michael & Ellise Coit, Ronald Frankel, Sheri & Les Biller, Richard & Sherry Belkin, Marlene & Gary Cohen, Allan Detsky & Rena Mendelson, Lauren Doll, Barbara H. Freitag, Wendy Gillespie, Laura Little Theatricals, Carl & Jennifer Pasbjerg, Radio Mouse Entertainment, The Shubert Organization, Cynthia Stroum, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Gwen Arment/Molly Morris & Terry McNicholas, Maureen & Joel Benoliel/Marjorie & Ron Danz, Pamela Cooper/Corey Brunish, Demos Bizar/Square 1 Theatrics, Joshua Goodman/Lauren Stevens, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams Productions, Bill & Linda Potter/Rosemary & Kenneth Willman and La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre
  • Cry It Out, produced by Chris Fields and Rachael Zambias/Echo Theater Company, Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre
  • Sell/Buy/Date, produced by Geffen Playhouse/Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center, Andrew Carlberg, and Foment Productions, Geffen Playhouse/Los Angeles LGBT Center

MCCULLOH AWARD FOR REVIVAL (Shows between 1920 and 1980)

  • Cabaret, produced by Michael Matthews, Michael O’Hara, Jay Marcus, Mark Giberson, Alan Wethern, David Tran, Parnell Damone Marcano, Constance Jewell Lopez, Celebration Theatre
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within
  • The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company

LEAD PERFORMANCE

  • MaameYaa BoafoSchool Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Tom HanksHenry IV, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
  • Kasey Mahaffy, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within
  • Alex NeeCabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • Conrad RicamoraSoft Power, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre

FEATURED PERFORMANCE

  • Rob Nagle, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Daisuke TsujiCambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory

ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

  • Come From Away, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre
  • The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company

SOLO PERFORMANCE

  • Sarah JonesSell/Buy/Date, Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center

WRITING

  • Sarah JonesSell/Buy/Date, Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • Molly Smith MetzlerCry It Out, Echo Theater Company

WRITING ADAPTATION

  • Patrick MarberThree Days in the Country, Antaeus Theatre Company

MUSICAL SCORE

  • Irene Sankoff and David HeinCome From Away, Center Theatre Group/ Ahmanson Theatre

MUSICAL DIRECTION

  • Ian EisendrathCome From Away, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre
  • Anthony ZedikerCabaret, Celebration Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY

  • Janet RostonCabaret, Celebration Theatre

DIRECTION

  • Jennifer ChangVietgone, East West Players
  • Geoff ElliottRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within

SET DESIGN

  • Stephen GiffordCabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • John Iacovelli, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN

  • Matthew Brian DenmanCabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • Andrew Schmedake, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Allison DillardBLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!), Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre
  • Allison DillardPriscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre

SOUND DESIGN

  • Jeff GardnerNative Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Joshua D. ReidA Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse

CGI/PROJECTION

  • Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. ThompsonVietgone, East West Players

SPECIALTY

  • Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki for Fight ChoreographyVietgone, East West Players
  • Jim Steinmeyer for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic CarpetAladdin, Hollywood Pantages Theatre


The following special award winners were previously announced:

The THEATER ANGEL AWARD for distinguished service to Los Angeles Theater: Yvonne Bell.

The GORDON DAVIDSON Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community: Native Voices at the Autry.

The MARGARET HARFORD Award for sustained excellence: Sacred Fools Theater Company.

The POLLY WARFIELD Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre: Echo Theater Company.

The JOEL HIRSCHHORN Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre: McCoy Rigby Entertainment & La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The TED SCHMITT Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play: Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band, originally produced by South Coast Repertory.

The MILTON KATSELAS Award for distinguished achievement in direction: Cameron Watson.

The KINETIC LIGHTING Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design: Robert Oriol, Sound Designer.

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 2018 membership consisted of:

Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Paul Birchall, Stage Raw, Stage & Cinema
Katie Buenneke, LA Weekly, Stage Raw
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen
Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld LA, Musicals in LA
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw, Arts in LA
Shirle Gottlieb, Arts in LA, StageHappenings.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Harker Jones, Edge Media Network
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw, LA Weekly, Capital & Main
Jenny Lower, Stage Raw
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, Stage Raw, TalkinBroadway.com
Steven Leigh Morris, LA Stage Alliance
Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway
Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

 

Theater Memories from LADCC Members

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On the occasion of our 50th Anniversary, past and present LADCC members share some of their most memorable moments in LA Theater.

WIN BLEVINS
When I was new as the Herald-Examiner entertainment editor, Hair opened in town. It was that season’s sensation—I was dying to review it. My very conservative publisher, George Hearst, sent word that his newspaper would not print a word about any play with a nude scene. HELP! Soon one of our photographers—call him Photogenic—told me Hearst had asked him to get the usual publicity shots, see if it really had a nude scene, and report back.  He himself was ultra-conservative. I considered resigning in protest but didn’t. The next day I got a cackling call from Hair’s PR guy. Working from the light booth, Photogenic dropped to his knees to change rolls of film. “Down there in the dark HE MISSED THE SCENE. HE $%!&# MISSED IT.” Photo said, “Go ahead, Win, write your review.” Surely that was divine intervention.

Win is a New York Times bestselling author whose Dictionary of the American West is held in 728 libraries. Winner of the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement in writing literature of the West, he resides in Utah.

LAWRENCE CHRISTON
I came along during the period when the Showcase Code yielded to the 1972 Equity Waiver Rule, passage of which created a numerical explosion of new theaters all over the LA basin, like toadstools after rain. Some of them did lovely work, some of them were toilets. The LADCC was a strange, contentious group, some of whom looked like they only came out at night, at the center of which was a cabal of reviewers, led by Variety’s Bill Edwards, who got together to push their pets—mostly mediocre and worse performers—for awards and recognition at the annual LADCC banquet. The LA Times’ chief theater critic Dan Sullivan once called Edwards “an oaf,” which was a perfect description. But no one will ever know how much Edwards did to bring that rule into effect and thereby lead LA theater into its most vibrant period.

Lawrence is a former LA Times staff writer, where he was the first full-time comedy critic on an American daily newspaper. He has written widely on culture and the arts for such publications and internet sites as the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and CultureCrash.

SYLVIE DRAKE
My first review was of an adapted short story, long title, by Shaw, The Adventures of The Black Girl In Her Search for God at the Mark Taper. I wrote it for a weekly called The Canyon Crier, to find out if I could be a theatre critic as much as become one. My first review for the LA Times was a really good community production of Brigadoon. When I turned it in, Dan Sullivan, who’d assigned it, asked “Was it really that good?” I said yes. I don’t think he believed me. Dan urged me to join the LADCC, which I discovered was a handful of severely opinionated and argumentative people. What a surprise. I was its president twice. Over the 19 years we worked together, Dan and I took turns, with one of us threatening to resign from the group and the other saying no, no, you can’t. Neither of us did, until we each left town.

Sylvie Drake writes “on a fairly regular basis” for cultural weekly.com, and has also written recently for the Los Angeles Times and American Theatre.

RICHARD STAYTON
“If it’s important, it will come to New York.” My newspaper’s lead drama critic Jack Viertel stared incredulously. I’d asked The New York Times cultural editor which critic he’d assigned to review the ten-week Olympic Arts Festival. Nothing like it had been attempted before. Los Angeles would host over 140 productions, performed by 146 theater companies: from West Germany, Pina Bausch; from France, Ariane Mnouchkine’s Kabuki Shakespeare; from Italy, legendary maestro Giorgio Strehler’s Tempest. I assured my mentor that the NYT editor had indeed said, “No one.” But I covered that phenomenal 1984 festival for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. And it made me a drama critic. Extraordinary theater compelled a higher level of criticism. When Viertel was lured from journalism by Gordon Davidson to become the Mark Taper Forum’s dramaturge, I inherited Jack’s role. Privileged, I asked to review a Harold Pinter premiere. In London! My new boss said, “If it’s important, it will come to L.A.”

For 20 years Richard was editor-in-chief of Written By, the WGA West’s monthly magazine. His play After the First Death won the Goshen Peace Prize and was produced in theaters across the world.

JACK VIERTEL
I was once president of your august body, in 1983-84. My memories are mainly quite vague about the activities of that time, except for one extremely vivid one where two critics had a passionate disagreement (I forget about what) during a meeting, and then, following the meeting, one of them tried to run the other one over with her car (I am not kidding). It was a fairly wild bunch. I do remember our hosting an annual event, possibly in an auditorium at the Roosevelt Hotel, but that’s about it….As I live in New York now I won’t be able to attend, but I’m hoping for a great event for those who do.

Jack is senior V.P. of Jujamcyn Theaters and the author of The Secret Life of the American Musical. He actually presided over the 1984 dinner at Variety Arts Center, about which Sylvie Drake wrote it was “emceed with verve and dispatch by Circle president Jack Viertel (Herald-Examiner), and masterminded by David Galligan (Drama-Logue).”

DAN SULLIVAN
Los Angeles? They got theater out there?” said a NY Times pal when I jumped ship for the LA Times in the sixties. Nobody would ask that today.  Once a road town, today’s LA has become what a travel agent would call a destination city, a place with its own theatrical history, neighborhoods, legends, accents, costumes. and weird tales. What a great story to cover, and I had a front row seat — at the Taper, at the LA Theatre Center, at South Coast Repertory, at all those ratty little theaters on Melrose, at the acting troupes that went on to glory (the Company Theater,  the Actors’ Gang) and the high-minded ones that couldn’t make it work (the Inner City Cultural  Center.)  It’s all a blur now but I’ve got a closetful of scrapbooks that prove it happened. And still does, no question.

Dan has reviewed theater and music for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Minneapolis Tribune and other fine newspapers for many years. Today he writes letters to the editor and composes light verse.

SHARON PERLMUTTER
I believe I was the first member of the LADCC who wrote exclusively for the Internet. I wasn’t sure they’d admit me—wasn’t sure that writing for the Internet counted. Next thing I knew I was joining meetings in the Special Collections Room of the Glendale Public Library (we were a special collection, I was told), debating the relative artistic merits of shows, and negotiating out the most equitable way we could vote on nominations from a field of shows too numerous for anyone to possibly see them all. Most memorable LADCC moment: when I had to tell the group we couldn’t get our liquor license in time, so might have to have a dry awards. Most memorable review: Once, I was invited back to see a show a second time, because they had incorporated a couple changes I’d suggested. I always enjoyed knowing that the people who created shows I loved knew how much I loved their work; but knowing that my input made a show better warmed my icy little critic’s heart.

Sharon still occasionally writes reviews for TalkinBroadway.com, but now spends most of her free time traveling, coping with middle age gracefully, and trying to teach lawyers math.

AMY LYONS
Being part of the LADCC for three years was an amazing way to meet other critics and delve deeply into the extraordinary theatre community of Los Angeles. Co-producing an LADCC awards show with Bob Verini, hosted by the Troubies, was a highlight for me, except the part where I found out fifteen minutes before opening that the caterer had the date wrong. But the show, and the food, went on!

As a Los Angeles theater critic, Amy reviewed for LA Weekly, Backstage, The Santa Monica Mirror, Stage Raw, and The Beverly Press. These days, Amy splits her time between Los Angeles and the Washington D.C. area, where she contributes reviews to Washington City Paper. 

LES SPINDLE
Several years back, I was attending an opening night performance at the Malibu Playhouse. I arrived at the last minute, and did not initially notice that the woman seated next to me was a former child superstar and celebrated sitcom luminary. It was Rose Marie, who died in December of 2017, following the release of a fabulous documentary film about her extraordinary life and career. Clearly not a shy person, she apparently noticed my note-taking during the first act, and gently elbowed me in the ribs, saying, “Well, what do ya think?” I then noticed the tiny trademark hair bow she was wearing (Baby Rose Marie, grown up). We had a fabulous chat at intermission, as she relayed great anecdotes about Dick Van Dyke and Doris Day, and chatted up a storm. Halfway through the second act, an actress fainted onstage, and the show was interrupted for a while. Bow-haired Rosie quipped to me: “I could get up and do a dance.” Before long, we were told the actress was OK, and the show went on. I have never forgotten that funny and extraordinary encounter.

Les has worked as a journalist and critic since the 1980s for Backstage, Frontiers, LA Stage, and others. He has interviewed countless numbers of celebrities and is the author of a bio-bibliography of Julie Andrews.

BOB VERINI
When the set died during press night for 9 to 5: The Musical at the Ahmanson, the show’s composer-lyricist jumped up to jolly us into a singalong and wipe away any critical grumpiness (and we can be grumpy). 9 to 5 went on to cop LADCC awards for musical score and for choreography; who can say how much of the show’s lingering good cheer was set in motion that night by Miss Dolly Parton herself? I further recall the show’s director, the estimable Joe Mantello, taking exception to something I’d written in Variety in a fairly blistering e-mail. I wrote back politely, highly aware (without saying so) that the man was probably exhausted and may have regretted how he expressed himself. Our resulting exchange of ideas ended most pleasantly—a reminder that everyone in theater is trying to do their best, and that we’re all fallible human beings.

Bob covers New England theater for Variety and New York Stage Review. His Play-a-Day capsule commentaries, posted daily on Facebook, also appear in ArtsinLA.com.

DON SHIRLEY
Greater Los Angeles is one of the world’s most dramatic metropolises, thanks to the astonishing diversity of the people, their communities, even the physical topography. It’s also a magnet for people who want to act, write and direct. We have the ingredients for a great theater. But the sheer distances within LA, the domination of the Hollywood industry and the preponderance of very small venues sometimes prevent Angelenos from noticing their theater scene—and that includes many of those who now run LA’s major news organizations. Being an LA theater critic has repeatedly yanked me off my sofa, away from screens, and into face-to-face contact with the many communities where theater happens. I’d like to see those communities themselves reflected more often in their productions. But whatever is on the stage, I’m grateful that I’m able to get out there and take another look at what’s happening.

LOVELL ESTELL III
I was truly excited to see Brian Dennehy’s performance in Death of a Salesman, back in 2000 at the Mark Taper Forum. There was a buzz in the crowd, and a good hour before the show, I pampered myself with three or four glasses of wine. And, predictably, ten minutes before curtain, I had to make a stop. So, after waiting in line for a few minutes, I sauntered over to the WC, and as soon as I settled in, Kirk Douglas parks himself in the stall next to me. Hell, I was kind of surprised, and then I said “Hello, Mr. Douglas,” to which he replied, “Hello, how are you? Well, our “conversation” went on for a while, touching on the upcoming show, etc., etc. And then we parted ways. “Enjoy the show,” was the last thing he said to me. We could have just as well been talking over a cup of coffee!

MARGARET GRAY
Soon after I joined the LADCC in 2014, I attended my first awards show at the Colony Theatre, driving to Burbank with two small balloon arrangements I’d agreed to contribute. When I placed them on the tables, I saw them as they were: pathetic, sparse and wan to the point of hostility. They ripped away the tissue-thin veil of illusion that guards the human spirit from despair. I stood alone as the nominees arrived, mortified that they had dressed so nicely for such balloons. Yet during the awards presentation the winners looked thrilled and moved—some to tears—to receive their plaques. That’s when I got it: the whole value of the LADCC, theater criticism, awards shows, even balloons. The opportunity to shine a light, however dim, on people’s work in the theater. It requires witnesses, this work, audiences to seek it out, experience it, find meaning in it, and fight for it. My urge to see and write about plays didn’t have to be a weird, shameful quirk that annoyed everybody. It could lead to something valuable, sometimes. That was the first time I felt like part of this community.

MYRON MEISEL
Padua Hills’ groundbreaking work by Mednick, Fornes, Steppling, O’Keefe, Martell. Bernard Jackson’s Inner City Cultural Center: an epic Ethiopian war play, Fernando Arrabal, & Fugard’s Arrests Under Immorality Act. The King’s Road Globe’s King John & George Coulouris as Lear. Los Angeles Actors Theater, doing Richard Wesley and Miguel Piñero later at LATC with Etta Jenks. Olympic Arts Festival, especially Teatro Piccolo de Milano and Ariane Mnouchkine. Everything ever staged by Peter Brook, most daringly The Ik, performed in the corridors of UCLA’s Melnitz Hall. Richard Wilson/Lucinda Childs: I Was Sitting on my Patio… Richard Foreman Inside the Ford. Joe Stern’s heyday at the Matrix. Ron Sossi’s Brechts at the Odyssey: Poor Woman of SzechuanCaucasian Chalk Circle with Franklyn Seales, BaalAfter the Fall with Harris Yulin and Julie Cobb. Reza Abdoh. David Schweizer’s Plato and Broadway. Antaeus Classics Fests at Dakin’s original sweltering location, particularly Tony Amendola’s best Strindberg I’ve heard, reading of The Father. All Fugard premieres at the Fountain. Laura Comstock’s Bag-Punching Dog. Actor Solidarity, when they can muster it.

ROB STEVENS
I started reviewing the professional theatre scene in Los Angeles for a Southern California community theatre magazine in August, 1973, not realizing press got free tickets. I had season subscriptions for the LACLO, Ahmanson, Mark Taper and Huntington Hartford and reviewed their shows. I discovered Equity Waiver theaters on a memorable Sunday in February, 1974. I saw a matinee of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs at the MET Theatre, which was a 50-seat space on Poinsettia Place. The show was directed by co-founder Timothy Scott and starred co-founder James Gammon, Carol Vogel and Belinda Balaski. That evening at the Zephyr Theatre I saw The Onion Co.’s A View From the Bridge starring co-founders Ed Knight and Patricia Kane. Those companies are long gone as are Colony Studio Theatre Playhouse, The CAST, the Callboard, the Megaw, Theatre of Light, L.A. Actors Theatre and many more from the glorious 1970s & 1980s.

MELINDA SCHUPMANN
My Los Angeles theater experiences produce a kaleidoscope of memories. Newly arrived in town, I sat near Fred Astaire at the old Huntington Hartford, who was as delighted as I at seeing Myrna Loy in Barefoot in the Park, watched Katharine Hepburn acting from a wheelchair at the Ahmanson after fracturing her ankle, marveled at Julie Taymor’s stunning African animals in Lion King, danced in the aisles at Mamma Mia at the Shubert, and spent hundreds of hours in tiny, strip mall theaters all over the city putting on productions that made me laugh, weep, and everything in-between. The rich artistic environment that is LA theater inspires me every time I head out for a show.

JENNY LOWER
One of my earliest encounters with Los Angeles theater remains among the most arresting: Circle X’s exquisite 2006 production of Eurydice at Inside the Ford. I had found myself at the theater almost by accident, drawn only by a suspicion that the sensibility of both the material and the company would speak to mine. The Los Angeles premiere flayed me. John Langs’ direction brought Sarah Ruhl’s poetic elegy for her father gorgeously to life; within minutes, I was openly weeping. Brian Sidney Bembridge’s tiled dream-logic set, Robbin E. Broad’s otherworldly sound design, and most of all the devastating performances of the ensemble, led by John Getz, Kelly Brady and Tim Wright—all was note-perfect. At the end I poured myself out of my chair and into my car, and from there began a long relationship with the works of Sarah Ruhl and Circle X. Since then I’ve watched as the company has tackled more and more ambitious plays, but none has affected me quite like that one. I still have the postcard.

FRANCES BAUM NICHOLSON
One’s most memorable moment in the theater isn’t always the production which remains the most inspirational, or most artistically creative, though I could name several banner moments. Sadly, sometimes it’s the one which was the hardest to get through. That would be Hal Prince’s production of A Doll’s Life, which premiered at the Ahmanson before heading east in 1982. It was awful, on many levels. I was 24 years old, sitting at a typewriter, trying to figure out how to say that the hallowed Hal Prince, hot on the heels of Sweeney Todd and Evita, had laid an egg. Hardest thing I ever wrote. I was never more grateful to read the reviews of others and realize I was not alone. The invective Prince used toward LA critics is now legend, as is the New York reputation of the show as one of the most notorious flops in Broadway history.

KATIE BUENNEKE
One of the best things about being in the LADCC is that I’m constantly exposed to the opinions of other LA critics, who put shows on my radar that I otherwise might not see. I remember a few years back, Margaret Gray recommended a show called Good Grief, a world premiere that had just opened at the Kirk Douglas. I don’t typically enjoy watching sad stories, so I was wary, but I trusted Margaret, and caught Good Grief in Culver. I was astounded—it was one of the best pieces of writing I’d ever seen, a beautiful, moving piece that plays with memory and time in elegant ways. I’ve held the play near and dear to my heart since, re-reading it and proclaiming its virtues to anyone who will listen. I’m quite thankful for Margaret’s recommendation, Ngozi Anwanyu’s nimble writing, and CTG’s stellar production.

HARKER JONES
One night at the theater doesn’t necessarily equal another. Some are filled with colorful music and energetic dance. Some offer powerful and insightful drama. And—rarely—some are true, transformative experiences. the theater is a blank page was one of those experiences. The immersive and innovative production, with an actor reading text from Virginia Woolf’s seminal novel To the Lighthouse, leads viewers—actually, participants—through the theater, from the balcony to backstage to center stage with visual art by Ann Hamilton and interactions with cloth and confetti and even cookies. It’s ruminative and contemplative and cathartic. When it’s over, it’s like awakening from a meditation. Like you’ve gone somewhere without leaving, and are rejuvenated. You feel rested and solid, and clearer somehow. While theater may be a blank page for directors and artists to project their dreams, it is also vibrant and alive and even spiritual.

ELLEN DOSTAL
It’s hard to believe that eight bars of silence in a musical top my list of unforgettable moments in LA theatre, but those eight bars were thrilling. It was 2002 and Deaf West’s Big River had just transferred to the Taper. I’d never seen deaf and hearing actors together on stage before and I spent the entire show transported by the exhilarating, passionate, and lyrical integration of disciplines. It was one of the most expressive performances I’d ever witnessed, and then came the reprise of “Waitin’ For The Light To Shine” in Act II. The combination of hearing actors singing full voice and deaf actors singing in American Sign Language was gloriously triumphant…and then the voices dropped out and everyone sang the next chorus in silence choreographed only with ASL. A collective gasp when through the audience and I thought my heart would burst out of my chest. Tears? You bet.

ERIN CONLEY
As a relatively new resident of Los Angeles, my theater memories here only go back about 8 years, but there are three moments that stand out so far. The first is seeing the initial production of Deaf West’s Spring Awakening in 2014. I was so moved and amazed by how many new layers this version had uncovered in a show I thought I knew inside and out, a show that was formative for me, that I went home and published my thoughts on my blog. A year later, thanks to that unofficial review, I found myself at Antaeus for their lovely production of Picnic, my first as an invited critic. Finally, I’ll never forget sitting outside on a June night last year, watching Tom Hanks entertain the crowd with improv, never breaking character, when Henry IV was paused for a medical emergency.

LADCC To Honor Yvonne Bell with New Theater Angel Award

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) is delighted to announce its inaugural Theater Angel award, which will be presented to Yvonne Bell at the 2019 LADCC Awards Ceremony on April 8, 2019, at Pasadena Playhouse.

The LADCC was established in 1969 “to foster and reward merit in the American theater and encourage theater in Los Angeles,” according to an announcement in the Los Angeles Times on June 7 of that year. To commemorate its golden anniversary, the LADCC is planning a festive 50th Anniversary Awards Show.

In addition to presenting awards for the year 2018 (all nominees and Special Award winners were previously announced), the LADCC will take the opportunity to look back over the theatrical landscape of Los Angeles over the past half-century: highlights, low lights and degrees of luminosity in between.

Artists, producers and critics are essential to a flourishing theatrical ecosystem; but without sufficient funds, none of them can find a foothold. Sorting through memorabilia and re-encountering past productions has revealed to the Circle just how much the LA theater community owes to those who work behind the scenes to bring its visions to life. The LADCC’s Theater Angel award is designed to acknowledge and celebrate the generosity and advocacy of these often unsung benefactors.

In a long career devoted to fostering theater in Los Angeles, Yvonne Bell has led successful fundraising campaigns and helped open several cultural institutions, including The Museum of Contemporary Art and the California Science Center.

For the past 20 years, she has served as the Director of Development for Center Theatre Group and was promoted to Director of Institutional Advancement in 2017. Under her leadership, Center Theatre Group has almost tripled its annual fund from $4.4 million in 2000 to $12.5 million, opened the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2004 and successfully navigated the transition to a new artistic director.

Some of the theaters she has advised, directed contributions to or otherwise supported include Couerage Theatre Company, Echo Theater Company, the Fountain Theatre, Playwrights’ Arena, Critical Mass Performance Group, Celebration Theatre, IAMA Theatre Company, The Robey Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, The Blank Theatre, The Road Theatre Company and Antaeus Theatre Company.

It is the LADCC’s great honor to name Yvonne Bell its first Theater Angel. The award will be presented at the ceremony. A VIP pre-show reception will be held before the ceremony, at 6:30 p.m. in The Library, Pasadena Playhouse’s Member Lounge. VIP tickets, which include wine, champagne and appetizers at the reception, and VIP seating for the subsequent ceremony, cost $125 per person and can be purchased HERE.

Standard general admission tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased HERE (a small service fee applies) or at the door if available.

All purchased tickets will be held at Will Call. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-show reception in the courtyard. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m. Nominees will receive instructions via email regarding how to claim complimentary tickets.
Inquiries to: criticsawards2019@gmail.com.

Click Here for a list of the 2019 LADCC award nominees

Click Here for a list of Special Award winners

LOS ANGELES DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE Kicks Off 50th Annual Celebration of Local Theatre with 2018 Nominations

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC), which presented its first awards for excellence in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura County a half-century ago, has begun the gala celebration of its 50th anniversary by announcing its nominations for the year 2018 (Dec. 1, 2017 – Nov. 30, 2018).

The LADCC is further thrilled to announce that this historic occasion will take place on Monday, April 8, 2019 at one of the region’s most historic and beautiful theatres, Pasadena Playhouse, at 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena.

Although Pasadena Playhouse is hosting the LADCC Awards for the very first time, onstage host Wenzel Jones of IMRU, the LGBTQI Radio News Magazine on KPFK 90.7, has served in that capacity numerous times, most recently in 2018. Noted local composer-conductor Christopher Raymond will serve in the capacity of musical director for the second consecutive year. The entire production will be in the hands of stage manager Heatherlynn Gonzalez, veteran of more than a decade’s worth of LADCC service.

Standard general admission tickets are $40 and can be purchased HERE (a small service fee applies) or at the door if available. All purchased tickets will be held at Will Call. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-show reception in the courtyard. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m. Nominees will receive instructions via email regarding how to claim complimentary tickets. Inquiries to: criticsawards2019@gmail.com.

One or more plaques will be presented in each of 18 categories. Eight special awards will also be presented.

The LADCC special award recipients are:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to Sacred Fools Theater Company.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to Echo Theater Company.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band, originally produced by South Coast Repertory.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design goes to sound designer Robert Oriol.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre goes to McCoy Rigby Entertainment & La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction goes to Cameron Watson.

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community will be presented to Native Voices at the Autry.

The inaugural Theater Angel Award for distinguished service to Los Angeles Theater will be presented to Yvonne Bell.

The nominees for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for theatrical excellence in 2018 are:

Production

  • A Picture of Dorian Gray, A Noise Within
  • Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory
  • Come From Away, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Cry It Out, Echo Theater Company
  • Sell/Buy/Date, Geffen Playhouse/Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
  • Vietgone, East West Players

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1993)

  • A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Pasadena
  • Cabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
  • Haiti, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within
  • The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company

Lead Performance

  • MaameYaa Boafo in School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Graham Hamilton in The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Tom Hanks in Henry IV, Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
  • Sylvia Kwan in Vietgone, East West Players
  • Kasey Mahaffy in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within
  • Saundra McClain in A Raisin in the Sun, A Noise Within
  • Alex Nee in Cabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • Joe Ngo in Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory
  • Adam Peltier in Red Speedo, The Road Theatre Company
  • Conrad Ricamora in Soft Power, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • French Stewart in Finks, Rogue Machine Theatre
  • Paul Yen in Vietgone, East West Players

Featured Performance

  • JD Cullum in The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • John Perrin Flynn in 100 Aprils, Rogue Machine Theatre
  • Sarah Hollis in A Raisin in the Sun, A Noise Within
  • Wesley Mann in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within
  • Rob Nagle in The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Felix Solis in Cost of Living, The Fountain Theatre
  • Daisuke Tsuji in Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory

Ensemble Performance

  • Come From Away, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Cult of Love, IAMA Theatre Company
  • School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Vietgone, East West Players

Solo Performance

  • Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date, Geffen Playhouse/Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • Jefferson Mays, A Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse

Direction

  • Jennifer Chang, Vietgone, East West Players
  • Nike Doukas, The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Geoff Elliott, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within
  • Annie Tippe, Cult of Love, IAMA Theatre Company
  • Chay Yew, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory

Writing

  • Inda Craig-Galván, I Go Somewhere Else, Playwrights Arena
  • Bernardo Cubría, The Giant Void in My Soul, Ammunition Theatre Company
  • Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Gloria, Echo Theater Company
  • Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date, Geffen Playhouse/Los Angeles LGBT Center
  • Molly Smith Metzler, Cry It Out, Echo Theater Company

Writing (Adaptation)

  • Sean Graney, The Pirates of Penzance, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Patrick Marber, Three Days in the Country, Antaeus Theatre Company

Musical Score

  • Sara Bareilles, Waitress, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Dengue Fever + others, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory
  • Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Music Direction

  • Ian Eisendrath, Come From Away, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Matthew MacNelly, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory
  • David O, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
  • Anthony Zediker, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre

Choreography

  • Janet Roston, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • Dana Solimando, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
  • Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Set Design

  • Tom Burch, The Pirates of Penzance, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Stephen Gifford, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • John Iacovelli, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, A Raisin in the Sun, A Noise Within

Lighting Design

  • Ken Booth, Henry V, A Noise Within
  • Matthew Brian Denman, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre
  • Andrew Schmedake, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Steven Young, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Costume Design

  • Allison Dillard, BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!), Moving Arts
  • Allison Dillard, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre
  • Terri A. Lewis, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • David Kay Mickelsen, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Sound Design

  • Josh Bessom, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
  • Mikhail Fiksel, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory
  • Jeff Gardner, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Joshua D. Reid, A Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse

CGI/Video

  • Lucy Mackinnon, A Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse
  • Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, Vietgone, East West Players
  • Nicholas E. Santiago, Arrival & Departure, The Fountain Theatre

Specialty

  • Klint Flowers for Wigs and Makeup, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within
  • Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki for Fight Choreography, Vietgone, East West Players
  • Dane Oliver for Fight Choreography, Haiti, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Jim Steinmeyer for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet, Aladdin, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

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, in the event program, and (when applicable) on a recipient’s award plaque.

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 2018 membership consisted of:

Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Paul Birchall, Stage Raw, Stage & Cinema
Katie Buenneke, L.A. Weekly
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen, OnStage
Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld, Musicals in LA
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw
Shirle Gottlieb, Arts in LA, StageHappenings.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Harker Jones, Edge Media Network
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw, L.A. Weekly, Capital & Main
Jenny Lower, Stage Raw, L.A. Weekly
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, TalkinBroadway.com, Stage Raw
Steven Leigh Morris, LA Stage Alliance
Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway
Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

2017 LADCC Award Show Photos

Here is a selection of photos from the 49th Annual L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards. Congratulations to all of the award recipients and thank you to all who attended! Thanks to our photographer, Jayne Calucag. All photos are available for free low res download at her website, JayneCalPhotography.com HERE. There is a service charge for edit and high resolution images.

Judi Davidson and Steven Leigh Morris, winner of the Gordon Davidson Award

Judi Davidson and Steven Leigh Morris, winner of the Gordon Davidson Award

Cast and Creatives of Rotterdam

Cast and Creatives of Rotterdam

Shirley Jo Finney

Shirley Jo Finney

Julian Reeve

Julian Reeve

Artists from Actors Co-op representing 33 Variations

Artists from Actors Co-op representing 33 Variations

Michael Michetti and Jessica Kubzansky

Michael Michetti and Jessica Kubzansky

Jon Imparato & the LA LGBT Center posse

Jon Imparato and the LA LGBT Center posse

David Lamoureux, Dottie Reiner Michael Betts

David Lamoureux, Dottie Reiner and Michael Betts

Stephanie Kerley Schwartz & Michael Schwartz

Stephanie Kerley Schwartz and Michael Schwartz

Artists representing Geffen Playhouse

Artists representing Geffen Playhouse

Liz Ross & Alex Alpharaoh

Liz Ross and Alex Alpharaoh

Jaime Robledo

Jaime Robledo

Harry Groener, Dawn Didawick, Bill Brochtup and Kitty Swink

Harry Groener, Dawn Didawick, Bill Brochtup and Kitty Swink

Artists representing King Hedly II

Artists representing King Hedley II

Joel Daavid

Joel Daavid

Alessandro Canon and Belle Reve Theatre

Alessandro Canon and Belle Reve Theatre

Christopher Moscatiello

Christopher Moscatiello

Tim Cummings

Tim Cummings

 

RECIPIENTS OF THE 49TH ANNUAL LADCC AWARDS

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced the recipients of its 49th annual awards for distinguished achievement in theatre on March 19, 2018, at A Noise Within in Pasadena. Wenzel Jones presided over the festivities, and Christopher Raymond served as music director.

There were two winners of the 2017 Production award: Hamilton (Hollywood Pantages Theatre) and Rotterdam (Skylight Theatre). Awards in 17 other categories went to touring hits as well as productions by local 99-seat companies. In addition, the LADCC presented seven previously announced awards, including the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre, to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center; and the Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community, to Steven Leigh Morris.

Here is the complete list of winners. In some categories, multiple winners were named.

Production

  • Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1992)

  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company

Lead Performance

  • Tim Cummings in The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Carmen Cusack in Bright Star, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Joe Morton in Turn Me Loose, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
  • Tonya Pinkins in Time Alone, Los Angeles Theatre Center
  • Ashley Romans in Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre
  • Debra Jo Rupp in The Cake, The Echo Theater Company

Featured Performance

  • Harry Groener in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Matt McGrath in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse

Ensemble Performance

  • Into the Woods, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Solo Performance

  • Alex Alpharaoh, WET: A DACAmented Journey, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles

Direction

  • Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, Into the Woods, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Thomas Kail, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Jaime Robledo, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater

Writing

  • Jon Brittain, Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre

Writing (Adaptation)

  • Lisa Kron, Fun Home, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Musical Score

  • Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Music Direction

  • Julian Reeve, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Choreography

  • Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Matthew Bourne, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Set Design

  • Joel Daavid, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater

Lighting Design

  • Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Costume Design

  • E.B. Brooks, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse
  • Lez Brotherston, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Sound Design

  • Ian Dickinson (for Autograph), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Christopher Moscatiello, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theatre.

CGI/Video

  • Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Specialty

  • Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi for Aerial/Acrobatic Choreography, Moby Dick, South Coast Repertory
  • Lyndie Wright and Sarah Wright for Puppets, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

The following special award winners were previously announced:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre

  • Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre

  • The Theatre @ Boston Court

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play

  • Alessandro Camon for Time Alone, originally produced by Belle Rêve Theatre Co. at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design

  • Set Designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre

  • Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Staged Reading Series

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction

  • Shirley Jo Finney

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community

  • Steven Leigh Morris

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

The 2017 membership:

Pauline Adamek, ArtsBeatLA.com
Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Paul Birchall, Stage Raw
Katie Buenneke, Stage Raw
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw
Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers, StageHappenings.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw, L.A. Weekly, Capital & Main
Jenny Lower, Stage Raw
Jon Magaril, CurtainUp.com
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, TalkinBroadway.com, Stage Raw
Steven Leigh Morris, LA Stage Alliance
Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway
Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

LOS ANGELES DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE Announces Nominations for Achievements During 2017

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) has announced its nominations and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles, Orange County and Ventura County theatre for the year 2017 (Dec. 1, 2016 – Nov. 30, 2017). The 49th annual LADCC awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 19, 2018, at A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107. There is ample, free, on-site parking. All event tickets are $40 and can be purchased at 2018criticsawards.brownpapertickets.com (a small service fee applies) or at the door if available. (Purchased tickets will be held at Will Call.) Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a reception. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m. Inquiries and nominee RSVPs to: criticsawards2018@gmail.com.

Wenzel Jones, a co-host on IMRU, the LGBTQI Radio News Magazine on KPFK 90.7, will host the ceremony.

One or more plaques will be presented in each of 18 categories. One of those achievements has already been voted a plaque: In Writing (Adaptation) Lisa Kron will be honored for Fun Home. Seven special awards will also be presented.

The LADCC special award recipients are as follows:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center. The award is accompanied by an honorarium, sponsor to be announced.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to The Theatre @ Boston Court. The award is accompanied by an honorarium funded by the Nederlander Organization.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to Alessandro Camon for Time Alone, originally produced by Belle Rêve Theatre Co. at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. The award is accompanied by an offer to publish from Broadway Play Publishing.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design goes to set designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz. The award is accompanied by an honorarium funded by Kinetic Lighting.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre goes to Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Staged Reading Series. The award is accompanied by an honorarium, sponsor to be announced.

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction goes to Shirley Jo Finney. The award is accompanied by an honorarium funded by the Beverly Hills Playhouse.

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community will be presented to Steven Leigh Morris. The award is accompanied by an honorarium funded by Center Theatre Group.

The nominees for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for theatrical excellence in 2017 are as follows:

Production

  • 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Ah, Wildnerness!, A Noise Within
  • Caught, Think Tank Gallery
  • Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre
  • Trouble in Mind, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1992)

  • Ah, Wilderness!, A Noise Within
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theatre

Lead Performance

  • Tim Cummings in The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Carmen Cusack in Bright Star, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Alex Hernandez in Time Alone, Belle Rêve Theatre Co. at the Los Angeles Theatre Center
  • Nan McNamara in 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Joe Morton in Turn Me Loose, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
  • Tonya Pinkins in Time Alone, Belle Rêve Theatre Co. at the Los Angeles Theatre Center
  • Esau Pritchett in King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre
  • Ashley Romans in Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre
  • Debra Jo Rupp in The Cake, The Echo Theater Company
  • Miranda Wynne in Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre

Featured Performance

  • Dawn Didawick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Sandra Mae Frank and Sharon Pierre-Louis in Our Town, The Pasadena Playhouse
  • Harry Groener in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Ella Joyce in King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre
  • Frances Jue in King of the Yees, Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Matt McGrath in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse
  • Larry Powell in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse

Ensemble Performance

  • Into the Woods, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre
  • Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre

Solo Performance

  • Giovanni Adams, Love Is a Dirty Word, VS. Theatre
  • Alex Alpharaoh, WET: A DACAmented Journey, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles
  • Arye Gross, Underneath the Lintel – An Impressive Presentation of Lovely Evidences, Geffen Playhouse

Direction

  • Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, Into the Woods, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • David Catlin, Moby Dick, South Coast Repertory
  • Thomas Kail, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Michael Michetti, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Thomas James O’Leary, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Jaime Robledo, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater

Writing

  • Jon Brittain, Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre
  • Christopher Chen, Caught, Think Tank Gallery
  • Alice Childress, Trouble in Mind, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Dan O’Brien, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court

Writing (Adaptation)

  • Lisa Kron, Fun Home, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Musical Score

  • Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Music Direction

  • Rob Berman, Bright Star, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • David Lamoureux, Monty Python’s Spamalot, 3-D Theatricals
  • Julian Reeve, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Choreography

  • Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Matthew Bourne, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Keith Young, Five Guys Named Moe, Ebony Repertory Theatre
  • Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Set Design

  • Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op.
  • François-Pierre Couture, With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court.
  • Joel Daavid, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater.
  • John Iacovelli, King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre.

Lighting Design

  • Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Paule Constable, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Elizabeth Harper, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court

Costume Design

  • E.B. Brooks, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse
  • Lez Brotherston, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Jenny Foldenauer, A Tale of Two Cities, A Noise Within
  • Linda Muggeridge with Aviva Pressman (masks), Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater
  • Sully Ratke, Moby Dick, South Coast Repertory

Sound Design

  • Ian Dickinson (for Autograph), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, The Encounter, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
  • Christopher Moscatiello, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theatre
  • John Nobori, With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court

CGI/Video

  • Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Hana Sooyeon Kim, With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Tom Ontiveros, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Specialty

  • Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi for Aerial/Acrobatic Choreography, Moby Dick, South Coast Repertory
  • Lyndie Wright and Sarah Wright for Puppets, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

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 on our website, in the event program, and (when applicable) on a recipient’s award plaque.

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 2017 membership consisted of:

Pauline Adamek, ArtsBeatLA.com
Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Paul Birchall, Stage Raw
Katie Buenneke, L.A. Weekly
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen, OnStage
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw
Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers, StageHappenings.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw, L.A. Weekly, Capital & Main
Jenny Lower, Stage Raw, L.A. Weekly
Jon Magaril, CurtainUp.com
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, TalkinBroadway.com, Stage Raw
Steven Leigh Morris, LA Stage Alliance
Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway
Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

 

Winners announced for 47th Annual Awards

The evening's MC - Jake Broder - performing with  Musical Director Corey Hirsch; Kenny Elliot; Geoff Rakness.

The evening’s MC – Jake Broder – performing with Musical Director Corey Hirsch; Kenny Elliot; Geoff Rakness.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle named the multi-nominated Hit the Wall and Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles as 2015’s Outstanding Productions at the organization’s 47th annual awards event, held on Monday evening, March 14 at the Moss Theatre of New Roads School in Santa Monica.

Hit the Wall, playwright Ike Holter’s immersive recreation of the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots produced by the LA LGBT Center and Sixth Avenue, won honors for Lead Performer Matthew Hancock and Featured Performer Charlotte Gulezian. The show’s entire cast shared in an Ensemble Performance award, and Ken Sawyer was cited for Direction.

Another directing honoree was Jessica Kubzansky for Mojada at The Getty Villa. Luis Alfaro took Outstanding Adaptation for his transposition of the Euripides tragedy to America’s southern border, and Sabina Zuniga Varela was cited in the pivotal part of the betrayed wife.

The next largest number of plaques was earned by the Odyssey Theatre’s Anna Christie. The Westside company’s reinterpretation of the 1920 Eugene O’Neill classic received the Tom McCulloh Award for Outstanding Revival, and also won for Kim Rubinstein’s direction and Zoe Perry’s performance in the title role.

L.A.’s largest producing organization, Center Theatre Group, saw double honors go to Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (William Ivey Long’s costume design, and Josh Rhodes’ choreography) and Luna Gale (Lead Performance to Mary Beth Fisher, and Rebecca Gilman’s writing). Tim Minchin was cited for his Matilda score, Julie Wolf for musical direction for Girlfriend, and Mimi Lien for the set of Appropriate. CTG sponsored the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence, and artistic director Michael Ritchie spoke in praise of this year’s recipient, Deaf West Theatre.

Representing another major regional theater, South Coast Repertory, John Glore accepted the LADCC’s Ted Schmitt Award for an outstanding world premiere play on behalf of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone.

But the evening was a triumph for intimate local stages first and foremost.

Veteran star Orson Bean sailed off with Solo Performance honors for his memoir Safe at Home at Pacific Resident Theatre. Among double winners were Circle X’s Trevor (lead performer Jimmi Simpson, and Nick Jones’ writing); Rogue Machine’s A Permanent Image (featured performer Tracie Lockwood, and Nicholas Santiago’s projections); Sacred Fools’ Astro Boy and the God of Comics (Aviva Pressman’s live art direction, and projections by Anthony Backman and Jim Pierce); and The Theatre @ Boston Court’s My Barking Dog (Tom Ontiveros’ lighting and John Zalewski’s sound design).

In 2015, international sensations from Spain, Kulunka Teatro, brought to the LA Theatre Center Andre & Dorine, a wordless mask-theater exploration of an elderly couple faced with Alzheimer’s. The troupe was honored for Garbine Insausti’s exquisite mask work, and was also named an Outstanding Ensemble.

Actor, playwright and raconteur Jake Broder served as an elegant host for the evening, which included an award to him for his musical score for Miravel at Sacred Fools Theatre Company.

Long Beach’s International City Theatre won the Polly Warfield Award for the best season by a small-to-midsize theater, and previously announced special awards to longtime local director Michael Matthews, director-choreographer Janet Miller and projection designer Jason H. Thompson were presented in the beautiful Moss theater space, part of the Capshaw-Spielberg Center for Arts and Educational Justice on the campus of the Herb Alpert Educational Village. A complete list of honorees follows.

 

Members of the "Hit the Wall" ensemble.

Members of the “Hit the Wall” ensemble.

Production:

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.

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.

 

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

Anna Christie, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre. (previously announced)

 

Lead Performance:

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.

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.

Jimmi Simpson in Trevor, Circle X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre.

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, & Dorine.

 

Ensemble Performance:            

André & Dorine, Kulunka Teatro at Los Angeles Theatre Center.

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.

 

Solo Performance:

Orson Bean in Safe at Home: An Evening With Orson Bean, Pacific Resident Theatre.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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. (previously announced)

 

Musical Score:

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.

 

Music Direction:

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:

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.

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.

 

Lighting Design:

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.

 

Costume Design:

Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!, Geffen Playhouse in association with Atlantic Theater Company presents the Yale Repertory Theatre Production at Geffen 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:

John Zalewski, My Barking Dog, The Theatre @ Boston Court.

 

CGI/Video Design:

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: 

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)

 

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 2015 membership consisted of:

 

Pauline Adamek, ArtsBeatLA.com, Stage Raw

Paul Birchall, Stage Raw, Stage and Cinema

Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers, StageHappenings.com

Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times

Hoyt Hilsman, The Huffington Post

Deborah Klugman, LA Weekly, ArtsBeatLA.com, Stage Raw

Jenny Lower, Stage Raw, LA Weekly

Jon Magaril, CurtainUp.com

Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, LANG (Los Angeles News Group)

Myron Meisel, Stage Raw

Terry Morgan, TalkinBroadway.com, Stage Raw

Steven Leigh Morris, LA Weekly, Stage Raw

David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times

Sharon Perlmutter, TalkinBroadway.com

Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com

Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com

Madeleine Shaner, Park La Brea News & Beverly Press

Don Shirley, LA Observed

Les Spindle, Frontiers, EDGE LA

Bob Verini, Variety, ArtsinLA.com, Stage Raw

Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

 

 

 

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. Doors open at 6:30 pm.  The show begins at 7:30 pm.

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.

For questions regarding the upcoming Awards show, please email here: 2016criticsawards@gmail.com

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.

Hit-the-Wall-600x400

“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.
5612f940bcc9a.image

“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

 

2014 Awards – photos

Event_55

Director Chris Fields, playwright Tommy Smith and cast of Firemen

Bob Verini and Rebecca Grey

Bob Verini and Rebecca Grey

 

Marja Lewis-Ryan, awardee playwright for One in the Chamber

Marja Lewis-Ryan, awardee playwright for One in the Chamber

 

 

Guillermos  Cienfuegos, winner for best direction, Henry V

Guillermos Cienfuegos, winner for best direction, Henry V

 

 

Event_34

Michael Michetti accepting the writing award for Aaron Posner for Stupid Fucking BIrd, and playwright Tommmy Smith, winner for his play Firemen

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Producer Gary Grossman and LADCC recipient Robin Larsen

Producer Gary Grossman and LADCC recipient Robin Larsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Erika Soto, Nikhil Pai, Melissa Chalsma, David Melville and one other from the Independent Shakespeare Company

Erika Soto, Nikhil Pai, Melissa Chalsma, David Melville and one other from the Independent Shakespeare Company

 

 

 

Lori Thimsen of Samuel French and playwright Sheila Calaghan, Schmitt award winner

Lori Thimsen of Samuel French and playwright Sheila Calaghan, Schmitt award winner

 

Tyler Pierce, awardee for Everything You Touch

Tyler Pierce, awardee for Everything You Touch

 

Ian Bamberg, awardee for lead performance in Firemen

Ian Bamberg, awardee for lead performance in Firemen

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Jenny Foldenhauer

Jenny Foldenhauer, winner for best costumes in Everything You Touch

Christopher Rose, Johnny Thompson an Thom Rubino from SCR's The Tempest

Christopher Rose, Johnny Thompson an Thom Rubino from SCR’s The Tempest