LADCC Nominates These as the Best of 2012

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Alan Mandell and Barry McGovern in Center Theatre Group's "Waiting for Godot" at Mark Taper Forum. Photo by Craig Schwartz

Three very disparate productions — Jitney, Silence! the Musical and Waiting for Godot — won the most nominations for Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) awards that will honor 2012 achievements in LA or Orange County theater.  Each of the three shows received five nods, while close behind were three productions that received four nominations each — Bad Apples, Cyrano and The Treatment.

Charlie Robinson and Larry Bates in South Coast Repertory’s production of "Jitney" at Pasadena Playhouse

Center Theatre Group garnered 13 nominations, including the five for Godot at CTG’s Mark Taper Forum — the biggest haul for any single company. South Coast Repertory placed second on this list, with eight nods including the five for Jitney (which moved to Pasadena Playhouse following its South Coast run).

Besides the competitive nominations, the circle also announced three already-voted awards for 2013 accomplishments and six special awards.

At the ceremony on March 18, already-voted awards will go to Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Theatre, in recognition of the design, fabrication, and direction of the puppets of War Horse at Ahmanson Theatre, and to David McCormick and Kelly Todd for their fight direction of West Side Story at Chance Theater in Anaheim. In addition, a special plaque will be awarded to Center Theatre Group for an excellent season.

The six recipients of special awards are:

Evelina Fernández, the Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play for her A Mexican Trilogy, three chapters of which were presented at Los Angeles Theatre Center (two in 2012 and one in 2011). The award is accompanied by an offer to publish from Samuel French, Inc.

Celebration Theatre, the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater. It includes an honorarium funded by FootLights Publishing, Inc.

Fountain Theatre, the Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theater. It’s accompanied by an honorarium funded by the Nederlander Organization.

Stephen Gifford, the Bob Z Award for sustained achievement in set design, funded by Bitter-Lemons.com.

David O, the Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theater, including an honorarium funded by an anonymous donor.

Elina de Santos, the Milton Katselas Award for career or special achievement in direction, with an honorarium funded by Beverly Hills Playhouse.

Christine Lakin and Davis Gaines in "Silence! The Musical." Photo by Michael Lamont

The 44th annual LADCC Awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 18 at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring Street in downtown L.A. All tickets have been reduced to $30. Tickets can be arranged by emailing crixawards2013@gmail.com, and PayPal will be accepted prior to March 18. Credit cards will be accepted at the door. Nominees are entitled to a single complimentary ticket. Additional information may be found at www.ladramacriticscircle.com, the Circle’s website.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. on March 18 for drinks, music, hors d’oeuvres (no full dinner) and conversation, while at a Silent Auction attendees can bid on theater and film related items, as long as they have cash or checks if they win. The show will commence at 7:30 pm.

The scheduled host, French Stewart, is a 25-year mainstay of the Los Angeles theater scene and a notable star of TV and film. Best known for his six seasons co-starring on NBC’s 3rd Rock From the Sun, he is a member of Sacred Fools and played the title role in that company’s 2012 production of Stoneface, The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, which has received two LADCC nominations.

The nominees for the competitive 2012 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards are as follows:

Production

Bad Apples, Tim Wright and Jennifer A. Skinner, Circle X Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre
Cyrano, Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre at Fountain Theatre
Jitney, South Coast Repertory’s production at Pasadena Playhouse
Justin Love, David Elzer, Peter Schneider, and Justin Rush Productions, LLC, in association with Celebration Theatre at Celebration Theatre
Silence! The Musical, Theater Mogul/Oskar Eiriksson and MagicSpace Entertainment at Hayworth Theatre
The Book of Mormon, Anne Garefino and Scott Rudin, Pantages Theatre
The Grönholm Method, Baby Tiger Productions, Daniel Wallace and Trish Whitehurst in association with Falcon Theatre at Falcon Theatre
War Horse, Center Theatre Group, Bob Boyett, National Theatre of Great Britain, Ostar Productions and Ken Gentry at Ahmanson Theatre

McCulloh Award for Revival (of shows between 1920 and 1980)

Heartbreak House, Theatricum Botanicum
Waiting for Godot, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum
West Side Story, Chance Theater

Lead Performance

Pascale Armand, The Convert, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre
Linda Gehringer, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, South Coast Repertory
Rafael Goldstein, Hamlet, Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre
Troy Kotsur, Cyrano, Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre at Fountain Theatre
Christine Lakin, Silence! The Musical, Theater Mogul/Oskar Eiriksson and MagicSpace Entertainment at Hayworth Theatre
Alan Mandell, Waiting for Godot, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum
Marco Naggar, New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation, Amsterdam, July 27, 1656, West Coast Jewish Theatre at Pico Playhouse
JoBeth Williams, The Fall to Earth, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre

Featured Performance

Larry Bates, Jitney, South Coast Repertory’s production at Pasadena Playhouse
William Dennis Hunt, Heartbreak House, Theatricum Botanicum
Lesli Margherita, Man of La Mancha, Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center
Michael A. Newcomer, The Bungler, A Noise Within
Jonica Patella, Hamlet, Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater
Charlie Robinson, Jitney, South Coast Repertory’s production at Pasadena Playhouse
Ellis E.Williams, Jitney, South Coast Repertory’s production at Pasadena Playhouse

Ensemble Performance

42nd Street, Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center
In the Red and Brown Water, Fountain Theatre
The Color Purple, Celebration Theatre
The New Electric Ballroom, Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater
The Savannah Disputation, Colony Theatre
The Treatment, Theatre @ Boston Court in collaboration with Theatre Movement Bazaar at Theatre @ Boston Court
Waiting for Godot, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum

Solo Performance

Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Geffen Playhouse and Hershey Felder at Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse
John Hurt, Krapp’s Last Tape, Center Theatre Group, Gate Theatre Dublin’s production at Kirk Douglas Theatre
Leslie Jordan, Fruit Fly, Celebration Theatre in association with Reaction Productions at Celebration Theatre

Writing

Bill Cain, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, South Coast Repertory
Danai Gurira, The Convert, Center Theatre Group in association with McCarter Theatre Center and Goodman Theatre at Kirk Douglas Theatre
Michael Hollinger, Ghost-Writer, International City Theatre at Long Beach Performing Arts Center
David Ives, New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation, Amsterdam, July 27, 1656, West Coast Jewish Theatre at Pico Playhouse
Jim Leonard, Bad Apples, Circle X Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre

Writing (Adaptation)

Stephen Sachs, Cyrano, Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre at Fountain Theatre
Troubadour Theater Company, Two Gentlemen of Chicago, Troubadour Theater Company at Falcon Theatre

Musical Score

Ryan Johnson, Stoneface, The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, Sacred Fools Theater Company at Sacred Fools Theater.
Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan, Silence! The Musical, Theater Mogul/Oskar Eiriksson and MagicSpace Entertainment at Hayworth Theatre
Robert Lopez, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon, Anne Garefino and Scott Rudin at Pantages Theatre
Lori Scarlett (music and lyrics) and David Manning (music), Justin Love, David Elzer, Peter Schneider, and Justin Rush Productions, LLC, in association with Celebration Theatre at Celebration Theatre
Beth Thornley and Rob Cairns, Bad Apples, Circle X Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre

Music Direction

Michael Borth, 42nd Street, Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center
Eric Heinly, A Christmas Westside Story, Troubadour Theater Company at Falcon Theatre
Gregory Nabours, The Color Purple, Celebration Theatre
Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon, Anne Garefino and Scott Rudin at Pantages Theatre

Choreography

Christopher Gattelli, Silence! The Musical, Theater Mogul/Oskar Eiriksson and MagicSpace Entertainment at Hayworth Theatre
Bill T. Jones, Fela!, Center Theatre Group, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Fela Broadway LLC in association with National Theatre of Great Britain at Ahmanson Theatre
Tina Kronis, The Treatment, Theatre @ Boston Court in Collaboration with Theatre Movement Bazaar at Theatre @ Boston Court
Janet Roston, The Color Purple, Celebration Theatre

Direction

Michael Arabian, Waiting for Godot, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum
Shirley Jo Finney, In the Red and Brown Water, Fountain Theatre
Christopher Gattelli, Silence! The Musical, Theater Mogul/Oskar Eiriksson and MagicSpace Entertainment at Hayworth Theatre
Simon Levy, Cyrano, Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre at Fountain Theatre
Kent Nicholson, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, South Coast Repertory
Ron OJ Parson, Jitney, South Coast Repertory’s production at Pasadena Playhouse
Elissa Weinzimmer, Tape, Identity Productions at ArtWorks Theatre and Theatre Asylum

Set Design

Edward E. Haynes Jr., Fraternity, Ebony Repertory Theatre at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
John Iacovelli, Waiting for Godot, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum
David Mauer and Hazel Kuang, Dirty Filthy Love Story, Rogue Machine at Theatre/ Theater
Desma Murphy, The Water’s Edge, The Road Theatre Company at Lankershim Arts Center

Lighting Design

Lap Chi Chu, The Convert, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre
Paule Constable (original) and Karen Spahn (additional and adaptation), War Horse, Center Theatre Group, Bob Boyett, National Theatre of Great Britain, Ostar Productions and Ken Gentry at Ahmanson Theatre
Jeremy Pivnick, Bad Apples, Circle X Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre
Dan Weingarten, No Good Deed, Furious Theatre Company at [Inside] the Ford

Costume Design

Angela Balogh Calin, Cymbeline, A Noise Within
Ellen McCartney, The Treatment, Theatre @ Boston Court in Collaboration with Theatre Movement Bazaar at Theatre @ Boston Court
Val Miller, Heartbreak House, Theatricum Botanicum
Leah Piehl, Intimate Apparel, Pasadena Playhouse

Sound Design

Ben Williams, Gatz, Elevator Repair Service at REDCAT
John Zalewski, Macbeth, Antaeus Company at Deaf West Theatre
John Zalewski, The Treatment, Theatre @ Boston Court in Collaboration with Theatre Movement Bazaar at Theatre @ Boston Court

CGI/Video

Anthony Beckman and Ben Rock, Stoneface, The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, Sacred Fools Theater Company at Sacred Fools Theater
Tei Blow, In Paris, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Dmitry Krymov Laboratory, AG Foundation in association with the Korjaamo Culture Factory at Broad Stage
Greg Sowizdrzal, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Geffen Playhouse and Hershey Felder at Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse
Jason H. Thompson, No Good Deed, Furious Theatre Company at [Inside] the Ford

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 theater in Greater Los Angeles. The 2012 membership consisted of:

Pauline Adamek, LA Weekly; ArtsBeatLA.com
F. Kathleen Foley, Los Angeles Times
Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers; stagehappenings.com
Hoyt Hilsman, Back Stage, The Huffington Post
Mayank Keshaviah, LA Weekly
Amy Lyons, Back Stage, LA Weekly
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com
Terry Morgan, LAist.com; Daily Variety
Steven Leigh Morris, LA Weekly
David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times, Back Stage
Sharon Perlmutter, TalkinBroadway.com
Melinda Schupmann, Back Stage; ShowMag.com; ArtsInLA.com
Madeleine Shaner, Park La Brea News/Beverly Press; Back Stage
Les Spindle, Frontiers; Theatremania; EDGE LA
Bob Verini, Daily Variety; ArtsInLA.com
Neal Weaver, LA Weekly; Back Stage

An Interview with CTG’s Sherwood Award Winner, Mat Diafos Sweeney

“I think LA theatre is at its best when it’s reaching across forms and reinventing its relationship to a live audience, and at its worst when it’s trying to fit an existing mold or production model that made sense in New York a century ago. LA is the future- our garden is wilder, vaster, and more diverse so it should be tended differently.”

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