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:


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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