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Chicago Shakes, Goodman Take 2011 Jeffs Print E-mail
Theatre
Written by Carrie L. Kaufman   
Monday, 07 November 2011 20:29

It was a good night for established theatres at the 43rd Annual Jeff Awards Monday night. Goodman and Chicago Shakespeare took home the most awards in the large theatre category, with seven apiece, while Remy Bumppo and American Theater Company took home top honors for best play and musical in the midsize theatre category.

Goodman took seven Jeffs – five for it's production of Candide (including best musical) and two for Chinglish.

Chicago Shakes's production of The Madness of George III garnered four Jeffs, including for play, director (Penny Metropulos) and principal actor (Harry Groener). The theatre took home another award for fight choreographer Rick Sordelet's work on Romeo and Juliet.

Remy took home two Jeffs for Edward Albee's The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, but they were big ones – production of play and principal actress (Annabel Armour).

American Theater Company only scored one Jeff with The Original Grease, but it, too, was big – musical production for a midsize company. They also got the coveted ensemble award for The Big Meal.

Silk Road Theatre Project won three Jeffs for Scorched; Second City took three awards for Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting); and Writers and Timeline won three for three statues for three different shows.

This year's special award went to Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss. And Equity Central Region executive director Kathryn V. Lamkey was honored with a Tribute award.

Do you really want to read more analysis? Here are the winners:

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
The Madness of George III - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
Edward Albee's The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
Candide - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
The Original Grease - American Theater Company

PRODUCTION – REVUE
Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) - The Second City e.t.c.

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Penny Metropulos -  The Madness of George III - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Charles Newell -  The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess - Court Theatre

ENSEMBLE
The Big Meal - American Theater Company

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Harry Groener -  The Madness of George III – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Geoff Packard -  Candide - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Annabel Armour -  Edward Albee's The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Jessie Mueller -  She Loves Me - Writers' Theatre

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Tim Baltz -  Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) - The Second City e.t.c.

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Barbara Robertson -  The Detective's Wife - Writers' Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Mike Nussbaum -  Broadway Bound - Drury Lane Productions

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Larry Yando -  Candide - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Diana Simonzadeh -  Scorched - Silk Road Theatre Project

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Hollis Resnik -  Candide - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

NEW WORK – PLAY
Bruce Graham -  The Outgoing Tide - Northlight Theatre
David Henry Hwang -  Chinglish - Goodman Theatre

NEW WORK – MUSICAL OR REVUE
Tim Baltz, Aidy Bryant, Jesse Case, Matt Hovde, Brendan Jennings, Jessica Joy, Michael Lehrer, and Mary Sohn -  Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting) - The Second City e.t.c.
Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair -  Murder for Two - A Killer Musical - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

NEW ADAPTATION – PLAY OR MUSICAL
Mary Zimmerman - Candide - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

CHOREOGRAPHY
Tammy Mader -  42nd Street - Marriott Theatre

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Andrew Hansen -  To Master the Art - TimeLine Theatre Company

MUSIC DIRECTION
Doug Peck -  The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess - Court Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
David Korins -  Chinglish - Goodman Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Collette Pollard -  The Front Page - TimeLine Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
Jason Lyons -  White Noise - Holly Way, Jay Strommen, Jimmy Mack, Deborah Taylor/Chris Bensinger, Tom Leonardis and Whoopi Goldberg

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Sarah Hughey -  Scorched - Silk Road Theatre Project

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Susan E. Mickey -  The Madness of George III - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Bill Morey -  The King and I - Porchlight Music Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
Mikhail Fiksel -  Travels with My Aunt - Writers' Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Peter J. Storms -  Scorched - Silk Road Theatre Project

FIGHT / MOVEMENT DIRECTION
Rick Sordelet - Romeo and Juliet - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PROJECTIONS / VIDEO DESIGN
John Boesche -  A Twist of Water - Route 66 Theatre Company
Mike Tutaj -  In Darfur - TimeLine Theatre Company

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Tracy Otwell - Toy Theatre Design -  The Last Act of Lilka Kadison - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Melissa Veal - Wig and Make-up Design -  The Madness of George III - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

SPECIAL AWARD
Hedy Weiss

TRIBUTE AWARD
Kathryn V. Lamkey

Last Updated on Monday, 07 November 2011 22:09
 
Robots, Cats and Cabarets Big Winners at Jeffs Print E-mail
Theatre
Written by Carrie L. Kaufman   
Monday, 06 June 2011 14:05
The Non-Equity Jeff Awards put tech theatre front and center on Monday night. Not only did they honor the 12 people who built the robots for Sideshow Theatre's Heddatron with a specialization award, but they used their robots to deliver awards, to much fanfare. The specialization award was shared with Izumi Inaba, who did makeup for Theo Ubique's Cats. No cats were used in the production of the Jeff Awards.

But Theo Ubique's musical did garner three other awards, for Brenda Didier's choreography and direction and Matt Guthier's costume design.

The Hypocrites' production of Cabaret garnered five awards, including best production of a musical, director (Matt Hawkins), principal actress (Jessie Fisher), supporting actress (Kate Harris), and costumes (Alison Siple). They also took one award for lighting designer Jared Moore's work on No Exit.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 June 2011 21:02
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A Subtle Look at the Other Side of Illegal Immigration Print E-mail
Review Roundup
Written by Kevin Heckman   
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 13:10
I have spent a lot of time thinking about the future of theatre. Does it matter? Is it sustainable? And one of the models that I thought made a lot of sense was the neighborhood theatre. Rather than aiming for shows with a broad appeal, they would specifically cater to the needs and interests of people who live right around the theatre. This would encourage theatre to have immediate specific relevance, not to some imagined theatrical canon, but to real people who are right there, ready and interested.

There are already theatres in Chicagoland who sort of fit this mold. The Gift in Jefferson Park, for example, or Next Theatre in Evanston. But while both those companies make themselves a critical part of their communities, I’m not sure that the work they choose is consistently informed by those communities.

16th Street Theatre in Berwyn, however, seems to be taking that next step. Helmed by Ann Filmer, this four-year-old company produces entirely new work. And given Berwyn’s large Latino population, Filmer has programmed a number of works by Latino artists. It remains to be seen whether this working-class neighborhood will support a new-work-centric Equity theatre, but it’s certainly a noble experiment.

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Hypocrites, Ubique Lead Non-Equity Jeffs Print E-mail
Theatre
Written by Carrie L. Kaufman   
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 16:27
The Hypocrites and Theo Ubique have captured Jeff Committee members this season with two old favorite musicals: Cats and Cabaret.

Theo Ubique's Cats leads all shows with eight nominations, including Production of a Musical and Director, Ensemble, Choreography, Music Direction and Costumes. The production also got two artistic specialization nominations, for wig and makeup design. Ubique also received two nominations each for Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Sweet and Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen.

The Hypocrites also had three shows nominated. Cabaret garnered seven nominations, including Production of a Musical, Director, Choreography, Costumes and Supporting actress. There's also going to be an intra-show showdown in the Principal Actress category, with both Jessie Fisher and Lindsay Leopold receiving nominations.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 April 2011 07:57
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Theatre: An Antidote to a Really Bad Week Print E-mail
Behind the Curtain
Written by Kerry Reid   
Sunday, 20 March 2011 22:03

Let’s just get this out of the way: this has been one spectacularly bad week for the planet, and thoughts and good wishes go out to the people of Japan. Times like this make me wonder what the role of art can be—and the good folks at Links Hall tackle that question head-on with “To Art and Profit: What Is it Good For? Defining Art’s Purpose Now.” Addressing the role of art in social action, the festival incorporates dialogues and performances and continues April 15-17 and May 20-22. Complete info online.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 March 2011 22:19
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Theatre Around the World in Chicago Print E-mail
Behind the Curtain
Written by Kerry Reid   
Friday, 04 March 2011 15:54

It’s not for Those Darn Ides—March is now about World Theatre Day. On March 27, theatres around the globe will be asked to share a message with patrons from Jessica A. Kaahwa, a professor at Makerere University in Uganda, on the necessity of theatre as “that universal language by which we can advance messages of peace and reconciliation.” The League of Chicago Theatres will be sponsoring more events for WTD—check their website for updates.

March is also Women’s History Month, and so perhaps it’s fitting that one of the women who has kept the flame of Chicago theatre lit for so long is taking a bow. As reported by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune, Abena Joan Brown, who founded and led eta Creative Arts Foundation for over 40 years, is stepping down as president. She will be succeeded by Phillip Thomas, formerly of Chicago Community Trust.

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