Kiss Me Kate Tops 2011 Ovation Award Nominations

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Bradley Benjamin, Seán Martin Hingston, Meg Gillentine, Lesli Margherita, Tom Hewitt, Jennifer Brasuell and Justin Jones in "Kiss Me Kate"; Photo by Ed Krieger

Nominees for the 2011 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards were announced Monday at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank.

The most nominations for a single production went to Reprise Theatre Company’s  Kiss Me Kate (14), Center Theatre Group’s Venice (11), Troubadour Theater Company’s A Wither’s Tale (10), Ebony Repertory Theatre’s A Raisin in the Sun (8) and Demand Productions’ Having It All (7).

Matt Sax and the cast of "Venice"; Photo by Craig Schwartz

Among producing organizations, Reprise Theatre Company received the most nominations (17), followed by the Troubadour Theater Company (16), Center Theatre Group (12) and Demand Productions (11). Reprise garnered nominations for Kiss Me, Kate (14), Gigi (1), They’re Playing Our Song (1), and Best Season. The Troubies’ nominations are for A Withers Tale (10), and The First Jo-el (5), as well as Best Season (which also included Fleetwood Macbeth). The CTG nominations are for Venice at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (11), and Leap of Faith at the Ahmanson (1). Demand Productions’ nominations are for Having It All (7) and Girls Talk (4).

The other three Best Season nominations were received by Celebration Theatre (Bash’d! A Gay Rap Opera, The Next Fairy Tale, Take Me Out), the Fountain Theatre (Bakersfield Mist, A House Not Meant to Stand, The Train Driver), and Theatre Banshee (The Crucible, The Field, The Walworth Farce, War).

Mike Sulprizio, Lisa Valenzuela, and Brandon Breault in "A Withers Tale"; Photo by Chelsea Sutton.

Ovation Honors, which recognize outstanding achievement in areas that are not among the standard list of nomination categories, have been awarded to the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (Composition for a Play, Much Ado About Nothing), Theatre Banshee (Fight Choreography, The Walworth Farce) Rogue Artists Ensemble (Puppet Design, D is for Dog), and Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre (Video Design, Venice).

Productions that are imported from other regions or are re-created with the same artists from other regions are not eligible for Ovation Awards, as the current Ovations acknowledge only work that was newly created in Los Angeles.

Starting with the upcoming 2011/2012 season, however, imported or re-created productions will be eligible for consideration in their own dedicated “Presented Production” category.  This category operates much like the old “Touring Production'” category — the individual artists are not eligible in their categories (directing, acting, design, etc.), but the production as a whole may be honored.   By adding this new category for 11/12, LA STAGE Alliance intends to recognize the work of LA’s producers in bringing outstanding productions to Los Angeles to add to the landscape of work being generated here.

Kenya Alexander, Kevin Carroll and Deidre Henry in "A Raisin in the Sun"; Photo by Craig Schwartz

The 2011 nominations were revealed by 2010 Ovation Award winners Brendan Hunt, Bruce French, Alan Mandell, David St.Louis, Beth Grant, and Anna Khaja, along with LA Stage Alliance Chief Executive Officer Terence McFarland.

Founded in 1989, the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theater awards in Los Angeles. For the 2010-2011 voting season, there are a grand total of 196 nominations for 65 productions, presented by 44 companies. There were 388 total productions registered from 173 companies. Of those productions registered, 97 were Ovation Recommended, identified during their run as scoring in the top quarter of all productions in the Overall Production categories.

Lindsey Alley, Kim Huber, Alet Taylor, Jennifer Leigh Warren and Shannon Warne in "Having It All"; Photo by Michael Lamont

Voters are L.A. theater professionals who are chosen each season by the Ovation Awards Rules Committee (through an application process). The list of nominees is determined by a tabulation of scores conducted by the entertainment accounting firm Green Hasson Janks.

The 2011 Ovation Awards ceremony will take place on Monday, November 14 at the Orpheum Theatre, 842 South Broadway, in downtown Los Angeles. The curtain will rise at 7:30 pm. For more information, visit www.LASTAGEOvations.com.

2011 LA STAGE ALLIANCE OVATION AWARD NOMINEES

BEST SEASON

Celebration Theatre ““ BASH’d! A Gay Rap Opera, The Next Fairy Tale, Take Me Out

Fountain Theatre ““ Bakersfield Mist, A House Not Meant to Stand, The Train Driver

Reprise Theatre Company ““ Gigi, Kiss Me, Kate, They’re Playing Our Song

Theatre Banshee ““ The Crucible, The Field, The Walworth Farce, War

Troubadour Theater Company ““ The First Jo-el, Fleetwood Macbeth, A Wither’s Tale

BEST PLAY ““ INTIMATE THEATER

EVERYTHING WILL BE DIFFERENT
The Echo Theater Company

HELLO
Crooked Arrow Productions

NAZI HUNTER ““ SIMON WIESENTHAL
Theatre 40

NEIGHBORS
The Matrix Theatre Company

SMALL ENGINE REPAIR
Rogue Machine

VOICE LESSONS
Linda Toliver and Gary Guidinger in Association with Sacred Fools Theater Company

THE WAR CYCLE: GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FIRST SQUAD
Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble

BEST PLAY ““ LARGE THEATER

EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS
Geffen Playhouse

MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS
Rubicon Theatre Company

A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

SUPERIOR DONUTS
Geffen Playhouse

WAITING FOR LEFTY
Theatre West

BEST MUSICAL ““ INTIMATE THEATER

BASH’D! A GAY RAP OPERA
Celebration Theatre

HAVING IT ALL
DEMAND Productions

HOBOKEN TO HOLLYWOOD
Reasoner Associates LLC

JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA
The Chance Theater

RE-ANIMATOR: THE MUSICAL
Red Hen Productions and the Schramm Group LLC

BEST MUSICAL ““ LARGE THEATER

FASCINATING RHYTHMS
Rubicon Theatre Company

KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Cabrillo Music Theatre

VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

ACTING ENSEMBLE FOR A PLAY

The cast of EVERYTHING WILL BE DIFFERENT
The Echo Theater Company

The cast of GIRLS TALK
DEMAND Productions

The cast of NEIGHBORS
The Matrix Theatre Company

The cast of A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

The cast of SMALL ENGINE REPAIR
Rogue Machine

The cast of VOICE LESSONS
Linda Toliver and Gary Guidinger in Association with Sacred Fools Theater Company

The cast of THE WAR CYCLE: GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FIRST SQUAD
Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble

ACTING ENSEMBLE OF A MUSICAL

The cast of HAVING IT ALL
DEMAND Productions

The cast of JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA
The Chance Theater

The cast of KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

The cast of VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

The cast of A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

CHOREOGRAPHY

Debbie Allen
TWIST ““ AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
Pasadena Playhouse

Molly Alvarez
THE FIRST JO-EL
Troubadour Theater Company

Cate Caplin
FASCINATING RHYTHMS
Rubicon Theatre Company

Jason Chong
KRUNK FU BATTLE BATTLE
East West Players

Ameenah Kaplan
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

Lee Martino
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Kelly Todd
JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA
The Chance Theater

MUSIC DIRECTION

Darryl Archibald
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Cabrillo Music Theatre

Eric Heinly
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

DJ Jedi
BASH’D! A GAY RAP OPERA
Celebration Theatre

Paul Litteral
HOBOKEN TO HOLLYWOOD
Reasoner Associates LLC

Curtis Moore
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

Michael Paternostro
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Mike Wilkins
JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA
The Chance Theater

BOOK FOR AN ORIGINAL MUSICAL

David Goldsmith and Wendy Perelman
HAVING IT ALL
DEMAND Productions

William Norris, Stuart Gordon, and Dennis Paoli
RE-ANIMATOR: THE MUSICAL
Red Hen Productions and the Schramm Group LLC

Brian Pugach
THE NEXT FAIRY TALE
Celebration Theatre

LYRICS/MUSIC FOR AN ORIGINAL MUSICAL

Gregory Nabours
THE TROUBLE WITH WORDS
Coeurage Theatre Company

Mark Nutter
RE-ANIMATOR: THE MUSICAL
Red Hen Productions and the Schramm Group LLC

Eric Rosen and Matt Sax
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

PLAYWRITING OF AN ORIGINAL PLAY

Tom Burmester
THE WAR CYCLE: GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FIRST SQUAD
Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble

Donald Jolly
BONDED
Playwrights’ Arena

Marja-Lewis Ryan
DYSNOMIA
Jessie Warner and Marja-Lewis Ryan

Stefan Marks
HELLO
Crooked Arrow Productions

John Pollono
SMALL ENGINE REPAIR
Rogue Machine

Elliot Shoenman
AFTERMATH
Linda Toliver/Gary Guidinger

David Wiener
EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS
Geffen Playhouse

DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Trevor Biship
JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA
The Chance Theater

Cate Caplin
FASCINATING RHYTHMS
Rubicon Theatre Company

Ameenah Kaplan
BASH’D! A GAY RAP OPERA
Celebration Theatre

Michael Michetti
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Eric Rosen
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

Matt Walker
THE FIRST JO-EL
Troubadour Theatre Company

Matt Walker
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theatre Company

DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

Andrew Block
SMALL ENGINE REPAIR
Rogue Machine

Stefan Marks
HELLO
Crooked Arrow Productions

Michael Matthews
TAKE ME OUT
Celebration Theatre

Phylicia Rashad
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

Jaime Robledo
WATSON: THE LAST GREAT TALE OF THE LEGENDARY SHERLOCK HOLMES
Sacred Fools Theatre Company

Danika Sudik & Tom Burmester
THE WAR CYCLE: GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FIRST SQUAD
Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble

Jenny Sullivan
NAZI HUNTER ““ SIMON WIESENTHAL
Theatre 40

LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Alaman Diadhiou as Twist
TWIST ““ AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
Pasadena Playhouse

Luca Ellis as The Crooner
HOBOKEN TO HOLLYWOOD
Reasoner Associates LLC

Raul Esparza as Jonas Nightingale
LEAP OF FAITH
Center Theatre Group: Ahmanson Theatre

Tom Hewitt as Fred Graham/Petruchio
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

David Laffey as Jonathan Weirus/Satan
JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA
The Chance Theatre

Jesse Merlin as Dr. Hill
RE-ANIMATOR: THE MUSICAL
Red Hen Productions and the Schramm Group LLC

Graham Skipper as Herbert West
RE-ANIMATOR: THE MUSICAL
Red Hen Productions and the Schramm Group LLC

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Lindsey Alley as Sissy
HAVING IT ALL
DEMAND Productions

Stephanie Block as Sonia Walsk
THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG
Reprise Theatre Company

Kim Huber as Lizzie
HAVING IT ALL
DEMAND Productions

Lesli Margherita as Lilli Vanessi/Kate
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Kelli Provart as Grizabella
CATS
Musical Theatre West

Alet Taylor as Carly
HAVING IT ALL
DEMAND Productions

Shannon Warne as Amy
HAVING IT ALL
DEMAND Productions

LEAD ACTOR IN A PLAY

Obba Babatunde as Waters
A SOLDIER’S PLAY
Malibu Stage Company

Jon Bernthal as Terence Swaino
SMALL ENGINE REPAIR
Rogue Machine

Tom Dugan as Simon Wiesenthal
NAZI HUNTER ““ SIMON WIESENTHAL
Theatre 40

Joe Fria as Sherlock Holmes
WATSON ““ THE LAST GREAT TALE OF THE LEGENDARY SHERLOCK HOLMES
Sacred Fools Theatre Company

Anthony J. Haney as Sam
MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS
Rubicon Theatre Company

Stefan Marks as Clark
HELLO
Crooked Arrow Productions

French Stewart as Nate
VOICE LESSONS
Linda Toliver and Gary Guidinger in Association with Sacred Fools Theater Company

LEAD ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Susan Claassen as Edith Head
A CONVERSATION WITH EDITH HEAD
El Portal Theatre

Alana Dietze as Charlotte
EVERYTHING WILL BE DIFFERENT
The Echo Theater Company

Diarra Kilpatrick as Lou
THE INTERLOPERS
Bootleg Theatre

Sandy Martin as Bella McCorkle
A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND
Fountain Theatre

Laurie Metcalf as Virginia
VOICE LESSONS
Linda Toliver and Gary Guidinger in Association with Sacred Fools Theater Company

Beth Patrik as Alice
HELLO
Crooked Arrow Productions

Constance Zimmer as Claire
GIRLS TALK
DEMAND Productions

FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Willem de Vries
FASCINATING RHYTHMS
Rubicon Theatre Company

Sean Hingston as Bill Calhoun/Lucentio
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Morgan Rusler as King Herod/Frankenstein
THE FIRST JO-EL
Troubadour Theater Company

Isaac Wade as Dr. Allen
GROUP: A MUSICAL
Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble

Matt Walker as Leontes/Clown
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

Matt Walker as Joseph/Gold
THE FIRST JO-EL
Troubadour Theater Company

Jay Winnick as Man #1
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Anya
FASCINATING RHYTHMS
Rubicon Theatre Company

Meg Gillentine as Lois Lane/Bianca
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Beth Kennedy as Paulina/Shepard
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

Beth Kennedy as Hoffy/Virginia/Winter Warlock
THE FIRST JO-EL
Troubadour Theater Company

Katherine Malak as Perdita
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

Millicent Martin as Mamita
GIGI
Reprise Theatre Company

Victoria Platt as Emilia Monroe
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

Francois Chau as Dr. Heng
EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS
Geffen Playhouse

Henry Dittman as James Moriarty
WATSON ““ THE LAST GREAT TALE OF THE LEGENDARY SHERLOCK HOLMES
Sacred Fools Theatre Company

Edi Gathegi as Franco Wicks
SUPERIOR DONUTS
Geffen Playhouse

Michael Pappas as PFC Raasch
THE WAR CYCLE: GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FIRST SQUAD
Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble

Darryl Stephens as Victoria
THE INTERLOPERS
Bootleg Theatre

French Stewart as Freud/Queen Victoria
WATSON ““ THE LAST GREAT TALE OF THE LEGENDARY SHERLOCK HOLMES
Sacred Fools Theatre Company

Greg Watanabe as Sopoan
EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS
Geffen Playhouse

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Andrea Bendewald as Jane
GIRLS TALK
DEMAND Productions

Meredith Bishop as Natalie
AFTERMATH
Linda Toliver/Gary Guidinger

Anne Gee Byrd as Mrs. Ellis
THE AUTUMN GARDEN
The Antaeus Company

Deidrie Henry as Ruth Younger
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

Vivian Kerr as Mary Warren
THE CRUCIBLE
Theatre Banshee

Nicole Paggi as Scarlett
GIRLS TALK
DEMAND Productions

Daniele Watts as Topsy
NEIGHBORS
The Matrix Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN ““ INTIMATE THEATER

Ken Booth
A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND
Fountain Theatre

Ken Booth
THE TRAIN DRIVER
Fountain Theatre

Bosco Flanagan
AWAKE
Bootleg Theatre

Christopher Kuhl
HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY AND NEVER BE FOUND
The Theatre @ Boston Court

Matt Richter
SKELETON STORIES
Theatre of NOTE

Matt Richter
SHOE STORY
Theatre of NOTE

Mark Svastics
HELLO
Crooked Arrow Productions

LIGHTING DESIGN ““ LARGE THEATER

Howell Binkley
TWIST ““ AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
Pasadena Playhouse

Elizabeth Harper
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

Paulie Jenkins
MOONLIGHT & MAGNOLIAS
The Colony Theatre Company

Jeremy Pivnick
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

Jared Sayeg
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

David Weiner
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

Dan Weingarten
KRUNK FU BATTLE BATTLE
East West Players

SCENIC DESIGN ““ INTIMATE THEATER

Kurt Boetcher
HEAVIER THAN”¦
The Theatre @ Boston Court

Tom Buderwitz
THE AUTUMN GARDEN
The Antaeus Company

Joel Daavid
SKELETON STORIES
Theatre of NOTE

Joel Daavid
THE VIOLET HOUR
Hollywood Food Chain Productions

Jeff McLaughlin
BAKERSFIELD MIST
Fountain Theatre

Jeff McLaughlin
THE TRAIN DRIVER
Fountain Theatre

Jeff McLaughlin
A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND
Fountain Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN ““ LARGE THEATER

John Arnone
SUPERIOR DONUTS
Geffen Playhouse

Tom Buderwitz
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Michael Ganio
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

Stephen Gifford
THE CLEAN HOUSE
International City Theatre

John Iacovelli
ON GOLDEN POND
The Colony Theatre Company

Meghan Raham
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

Todd Rosenthal
TWIST ““ AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
Pasadena Playhouse

SOUND DESIGN ““ INTIMATE THEATER

Peter Bayne
A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND
Fountain Theatre

Alyssa Ishii
AWAKE
Bootleg Theater

Bryan Maier
SHOE STORY
Theatre of NOTE

David Marling
THE TRAIN DRIVER
Fountain Theatre

Mark McClain Wilson
SKELETON STORIES
Theatre of NOTE

John Zalewski
HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY AND NEVER BE FOUND
The Theatre @ Boston Court

John Zalewski
MARGO VEIL
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

SOUND DESIGN ““ LARGE THEATER

Philip Allen
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Bob Blackburn
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

Jonathan Burke
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Cabrillo Music Theatre

Kenny Hobbs
MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS
Rubicon Theatre Company

Joshua Horvath
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

Vincent Olivieri
EXTRAORDINARY CHAMBERS
Geffen Playhouse

Richard Woodbury
SUPERIOR DONUTS
Geffen Playhouse

COSTUME DESIGN ““ INTIMATE THEATER

Naila Alladin-Sanders
NEIGHBORS
The Matrix Theatre Company

Ann Closs-Farley
KEN ROHT’S 99 CENT ONLY SAME-O, AN ELECTRIC BALLAD
Bootleg Theater

Ann Closs-Farley
THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO
Deaf West Theatre

Tina Haatainen-Jones
THE AUTUMN GARDEN
The Antaeus Company

Shon LeBlanc
THE VIOLET HOUR
Hollywood Food Chain Productions

Tifanie McQueen
ENDGAME
Sacred Fools Theatre Company

A. Jeffrey Schoenberg
THE MALCONTENT
The Antaeus Company

COSTUME DESIGN ““ LARGE THEATER

Christa Armendariz
BEEHIVE ““ THE1960’S GIRL GROUP MUSICAL
Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities

Angela Calin
GREAT EXPECTATIONS
A Noise Within

Ruth Carter
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Ebony Repertory Theatre

Garry Lennon
KISS ME, KATE
Reprise Theatre Company

Sharon McGunigle
A WITHER’S TALE
Troubadour Theater Company

Meghan Raham
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

Emilio Sosa
TWIST ““ AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
Pasadena Playhouse

OVATION HONORS CATEGORIES

Composition for a Play
Brian Joseph, Lyle Lovett, Fred Sanders, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Fight Choreography
Brian Danner
THE WALWORTH FARCE
Theatre Banshee

Puppet Design
Kristopher Bicknell, Gwyneth ConawayBennison, and Miles Taber
D IS FOR DOG
Rogue Artists Ensemble

Video Design
Jason Thompson
VENICE
Center Theatre Group: Kirk Douglas Theatre

LA STAGE Alliance

LA STAGE Alliance

LA STAGE Alliance is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles.