2011 Non-Equity Jeff Award Winners!

Jeff Awards Chicago header

2011 Non-Equity Jeff Award Recipients

Monday, June 6th 2011

32 different companies were recognized going into the 2011 non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards. The Hypocrites, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre and Lifeline Theatre had the most nominations. Redtwist Theatre was close behind while scoring 3 out of the 6 Best Play Production nominations. The non-equity Jeff Awards got off to a bang at the Park West Monday night with a lively Red Carpet show broadcast online prior (pictures), hosted by Eric Roach and Anderson Lawfer. The awards show was hosted by Kevin Bellie of Circle Theatre. It kicked off with a musical number from Theo Ubique’s Cats. After the parade of nominees, and a Lady Gaga bit performed by Bellie, the awards were doled out. The awards did not go off without a hitch, as the Best Director of a Musical was at first awkwardly announced incorrectly. Here’s how everything played out:

2011 NON-EQUITY JEFF AWARD RECIPIENTS

PRODUCTION / PLAY

Man from Nebraska Redtwist Theatre 

PRODUCTION / MUSICAL

Cabaret – The Hypocrites

DIRECTOR / PLAY

Jimmy McDermott   (Three Faces of Doctor Crippen, The Strange Tree Group)
James Palmer   (The Love of the Nightingale, Red Tape Theatre

DIRECTOR / MUSICAL

Matt Hawkins   (Cabaret, The Hypocrites)

ENSEMBLE

Shakespeare’s King Phycus, The Strange Tree Group w/ Lord Chamberlain’s Men

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / PLAY

Chuck Spencer in Man from Nebraska, Redtwist Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / MUSICAL

Andrew Mueller in Big River, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / PLAY

Caroline Neff in Helen of Troy, Steep Theatre Company
Nicole Wiesner in First Ladies, Trap Door Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE / MUSICAL

Jessie Fisher in Cabaret, The Hypocrites

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE / PLAY

Brian Perry in Shining City, Redtwist Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE / MUSICAL

Courtney Crouse in Big River, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTNG ROLE / PLAY

Sara Pavlak in Agnes of God, Hubris Productions

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE / MUSICAL OR REVUE

Kate Harris in Cabaret, The Hypocrites

NEW WORK

Emily Schwartz for The Three Faces of Doctor Crippen, The Strange Tree Group

NEW ADAPTATION

Robert Kauzlaric for Neverwhere, Lifeline Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY

Brenda Didier for Cats, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC

Chris Gingrich, Henry Riggs, Thea Lux, and Tara Sissom That Sordid Little Story,  The New Colony

MUSIC DIRECTION

Austin Cook for Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN

Alan Donahue for Neverwhere, Lifeline Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN

Jared Moore for No Exit, The Hypocrites

COSTUME DESIGN

Matt Guthier for Cats, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Alison Siple for Cabaret, The Hypocrites

SOUND DESIGN

Mikhail Fiksel for Neverwhere, Lifeline Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION

Glen Aduikas, Rick Buesing, Mike Fletcher, Salvador Garcia, Stuart Hecht, David Hyman, Terry Jackson, Don Kerste, Bruce Phillips, Al Schilling, Lisi Stoessel, Eddy Wright – Robot design and engineering for Heddatron, Sideshow Theatre Company

Izumi Inaba: Makeup Design for Cats, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

  
  

Jeff Award nominations – Court and Timeline lead the pack

Court and TimeLine Clean Up

The Jeff Awards has announced 162 nominations in 31 categories for Chicago Equity theatrical productions which opened between August 1, 2009, and July 31, 2010. The 42nd Annual Jeff Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the immediate Chicago area will be held on Monday, October 25, at Drury Lane Oakbrook. Musical numbers featuring cast members from nominated musicals and video segments from nominated plays will be included in the Jeff Awards ceremony, emceed by luminary actors Deanna Dunagan and Felicia P. Fields. The evening is black tie optional and the public is cordially invited to attend. Full list of nominees is after the jump.

 

 Production – Play – Large

The Brother/Sister Plays – Steppenwolf Theatre   (our review ★★★★)
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Victory Gardens Theater i/a/w Teatro VistaTheatre With a View  (our review ★★★½)
The Illusion – Court Theatre   (our review ★★★)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Court Theatre  (our review ★★★★)
The Mystery of Irma Vep – Court Theatre  (our review ★★★★
A Streetcar Named Desire – Writers’ Theatre   (our review ★★★★)

Production – Play – Midsize

Abigail’s Party – A Red Orchid Theatre   (our review ★★★½)
All My Sons – TimeLine Theatre Company    (our review ★★★★
The Farnsworth Invention – TimeLine Theatre  (our review ★★★½)
‘Master Harold’…And The Boys – TimeLine Theatre (our review ★★★½)
Tobacco Road – American Blues Theater   (our review ★★★)

Production – Musical – Large

Animal Crackers – Goodman Theatre   (our review  ★★★)
Cabaret – Drury Lane Productions  (our review ★★½)
The Drowsy Chaperone – Marriott Theatre  (our review ★★★½)
Hairspray – Marriott Theatre  (our review ★★★★)
Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions  (our review ★★★★)
Thoroughly Modern Millie – Drury Lane Productions  (our review ★★★)

Productions – Revue

The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life – Second City etc (our review ★★★½)   
Low Down Dirty Blues – Northlight Theatre  (our review ★★★½)
Oh Coward! – Writers’ Theatre   (our review ★★★½)

Ensemble

Abigail’s Party – A Red Orchid Theatre
Animal Crackers – Goodman Theatre
The Brother/Sister Plays – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
The Farnsworth Invention – TimeLine Theatre Company
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Court Theatre
Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
The Wedding – TUTA Theatre Chicago

New Work – Play

Kristoffer DiazThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Victory Gardens Theater i/a/w Teatro Vista…Theatre With a View
Michael Golamco Year Zero – Victory Gardens Theater
Andrew Hinderaker Suicide, Incorporated – The Gift Theatre
Jim Lynch The Tallest Man – The Artistic Home
Bruce Norris A Parallelogram – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
David Schwimmer and Andy Bellin Trust – Lookingglass Theatre Company
Craig WrightMistakes Were Made – A Red Orchid Theatre

Director – Play

Nick Bowling The Farnsworth Invention – TimeLine Theatre Company
David Cromer A Streetcar Named Desire – Writers’ Theatre
Sean Graney The Mystery of Irma Vep – Court Theatre
Tina Landau The Brother/Sister Plays – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Shade MurrayAbigail’s Party – A Red Orchid Theatre
Charles Newell The Illusion – Court Theatre
Kimberly Senior All My Sons – TimeLine Theatre Company
Edward Torres The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Victory Gardens Theater i/a/w Teatro Vista…Theatre With a View

Director – Musical or Review

Jim CortiCabaret – Drury Lane Productions
Jim Corti Oh Coward! – Writers’ Theatre
William Osetek Thoroughly Modern Millie – Drury Lane Productions
Marc Robin The Drowsy Chaperone – Marriott Theatre
Marc Robin Hairspray – Marriott Theatre
Rachel Rockwell Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Henry Wishcamper Animal Crackers – Goodman Theatre

Actor in a Principal Role – Play

Desmin Borges The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Victory Gardens Theater i/a/w Teatro Vista…Theatre With a View
Brian Dennehy Hughie/Krapp’s Last Tape – Goodman Theatre
Rob Fagin The Farnsworth Invention – TimeLine Theatre Company
Erik Hellman The Mystery of Irma Vep – Court Theatre
Tracy Letts American Buffalo – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Nick Sandys Les Liaisons Dangereuses – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Michael Shannon Mistakes Were Made – A Red Orchid Theatre
Chris Sullivan The Mystery of Irma Vep – Court Theatre

Actor in a Principal Role – Musical

Quentin Earl Darrington Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
James Harms The Drowsy Chaperone – Marriott Theatre
Max Quinlan Jesus Christ Superstar – Theatre at the Center
Alan Schmuckler Sugar – Drury Lane Productions
Joey Slotnick Animal Crackers – Goodman Theatre

Actress in a Principal Role – Play

Tracy Michelle ArnoldPrivate Lives – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Cassandra Bissell Mary’s Wedding – Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Janet Ulrich Brooks All My Sons – TimeLine Theatre Company
Kirsten Fitzgerald Abigail’s Party – A Red Orchid Theatre
Natasha Lowe A Streetcar Named Desire – Writers’ Theatre
Lia MortensenThe Hiding Place – Provision Theater
Allison Torem Trust – Lookingglass Theatre Company

Actress in a Principal Role – Musical

Holly Ann Butler Thoroughly Modern Millie – Drury Lane Productions
Cory Goodrich Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Heidi Kettenring I Do! I Do! – Theatre at the Center
Marissa Perry Hairspray – Marriott Theatre

Solo Performance

Mary Beth Fisher The Year of Magical Thinking – Court Theatre
Dael Orlandersmith Stoop Stories – Goodman Theatre

Actor in a Supporting Role – Play

Allen GilmoreSizwe Banzi is Dead – Court Theatre
Francis Guinan A Guide for the Perplexed – Victory Gardens Theater
Tom IrwinA Parallelogram – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Timothy Edward Kane The Illusion – Court Theatre
Nick SandysTwelfth Night – First Folio Theatre
Lindsay Smiling Blue Door – Victory Gardens Theater
Michael Patrick Thornton Suicide, Incorporated – The Gift Theatre

Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical

Mark David Kaplan Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Peter Kevoian The Christmas Schooner – Theatre at the Center
David Lively Cabaret – Drury Lane Productions
Adam Pelty The Drowsy Chaperone – Marriott Theatre

Actress in a Supporting Role – Play

Janet Ulrich Brooks When She Danced – TimeLine Theatre Company
Cindy Gold Awake and Sing! – Northlight Theatre
Rebecca Spence Les Liaisons Dangereuses – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Stacy Stoltz A Streetcar Named Desire – Writers’ Theatre
Wandachristine The Old Settler – Writers’ Theatre
Natalie West Abigail’s Party – A Red Orchid Theatre
Jacqueline Williams The Brother/Sister Plays – Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical

Rebecca Finnegan Cabaret – Drury Lane Productions
Heidi Kettenring Hairspray – Marriott Theatre
Valisia LeKae Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Barbara Robertson Yeast Nation (the triumph of life) – American Theater Company
Paula Scrofano Thoroughly Modern Millie – Drury Lane Productions

Actor in a Revue

Mississippi Charles Bevel Low Down Dirty Blues – Northlight Theatre
Rob Lindley Oh Coward! – Writers’ Theatre
Gregory Porter Low Down Dirty Blues – Northlight Theatre
Sam Richardson Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies – The Second City

Actress in a Revue

Christina Anthony The Absolute Best Friggin’ Time of Your Life – The Second City e.t.c.
Felicia P. Fields Low Down Dirty Blues – Northlight Theatre
Kate Fry – Oh Coward! – Writers’ Theatre
Sandra Reaves-Phillips – Low Down Dirty Blues – Northlight Theatre

Scenic Design – Large

Jeffrey Bauer A Guide for the Perplexed – Victory Gardens Theater
John Culbert Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Court Theatre
Kevin Depinet Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Kevin Depinet Thoroughly Modern Millie – Drury Lane Productions
Collette Pollard The Illusion – Court Theatre
Todd Rosenthal A Parallelogram – Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Walt Spangler A True History of the Johnstown Flood – Goodman Theatre

Scenic Design – Midsize 

Aimee Hanyzewski Of Mice and Men – Oak Park Festival Theatre
James Leaming Tobacco Road – American Blues Theater
Timothy Mann ‘Master Harold’…And The Boys – TimeLine Theatre Company
Angela Miller Jeeves in Bloom – First Folio Theatre
Inseung Park The Hiding Place – Provision Theatre

Costume Design – Large

Jacqueline Firkins The Illusion– Court Theatre
Nancy Missimi The Drowsy Chaperone – Marriott Theatre
Tatjana Radisic Cabaret – Drury Lane Productions
Alison Siple The Mystery of Irma Vep – Court Theatre

Costume Design – Midsize

William J.  Morey Into the Woods – Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Sarah E. Ross & Kristin DeiTos Tobacco Road – American Blues Theater
Emily Waecker Les Liaisons Dangereuses – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Sound Design – Large

Mikhail Fiksel The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Victory Gardens Theater i/a/w Teatro Vista…Theatre With a View
Joshua Horvath and Nick Keenan The Illusion Court Theatre
Joshua Horvath and Ray Nardelli Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom– Court Theatre
Ray Nardelli Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale – Lookingglass Theatre Company and Silverguy Entertainment

Sound Design – Midsize

Victoria Delorio Mary’s Wedding – Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Mikhail Fiksel – War With The NewtsNext Theatre Company
Nick Keenan End Days – Next Theatre Company
Miles Polaski One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest The Gift Theatre

Lighting Design – Large

Brian Sidney Bembridge Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale – Lookingglass Theatre Company and Silverguy Entertainment
John Culbert The Illusion– Court Theatre
Jesse Klug Cabaret – Drury Lane Productions
Jesse Klug Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Jesse Klug Thoroughly Modern Millie – Drury Lane Productions

Lighting Design – Midsize

Lee Fiskness End Days – Next Theatre Company
Jesse Klug Yeast Nation (the triumph of life) – American Theater Company
Keith Parham The Farnsworth Invention – TimeLine Theatre Company
Jaymi Lee Smith Mary’s Wedding – Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Choreography

John Carrafa Animal Crackers – Goodman Theatre
Tammy Mader Thoroughly Modern Millie – Drury Lane Productions
Marc Robin The Drowsy Chaperone Marriott Theatre
Marc Robin Hairspray – Marriott Theatre

Original Incidental Music

Alaric Jans The Hiding Place – Provision Theater
Lindsay Jones Richard III – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Henry Marsh Twelfth Night – First Folio Theatre
Ray Nardelli and Joshua Horvath The Long Red Road – Goodman Theatre
Ray Nardelli, Andre Pluess and Josh Horvath Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Lookingglass Theatre Company and Silverguy Entertainment – Circus Tale
Jesse TerrillThe Wedding – TUTA Theatre Chicago

Music Direction

Roberta Duchak Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Doug Peck Animal Crackers – Goodman Theatre
Doug Peck Cabaret – Drury Lane Productions
Doug Peck Oh Coward! – Writers’ Theatre
Robert Reddrick Nothing But the Blues – Black Ensemble Theater

Artistic Specialization

Bridges Media – Multimedia Design – Trust – Lookingglass Theatre Company
Sage Marie Carter – Projections Design – Ragtime – Drury Lane Productions
Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi – Circus Choreography and Movement Direction – Icarus – Lookingglass Theatre Company
Nick Sandys – Fight Choreography – Les Liaisons Dangereuses – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
David Woolley – Fight Choreography – The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Victory Gardens Theater i/a/w Teatro Vista…Theatre With a View

 

For more info about the Jeff Awards,

please visit www.jeffawards.org .

Non-Equity Jeff Awards nominees announced

chicagoatnight

2010 Non-Equity Jeff Award Nominees

 

 

Production – Play
  Busman’s Honeymoon Lifeline Theatre (review ★★★)
Death of a Salesman Raven Theatre (review ★★★½)
Killer Joe Profiles Theatre (review ★★★½ )
The PillowmanRedtwist Theatre (review ★★★)
St. Crispin’s Day Strawdog Theatre Company (review ★★)
Wilson Wants It All The House Theatre of Chicago (review ★★★)

 

Production – Musical
  Chess  Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James (review ★★½)
Evolution/Creation  -   Quest Theatre Ensemble (review ★★★)
The Glorious Ones   Bohemian Theatre Ensemble (review ★★★)
The Who’s Tommy Circle Theatre 

 

Director – Play
  Aaron Todd Douglas: Twelve Angry Men Raven Theatre  (review ★★★)
Michael Menendian: Death of a SalesmanRaven Theatre (review ★★★½)
Michael Rohd: Wilson Wants It All House Theatre of Chicago (review ★★★)
Kimberly Senior: The PillowmanRedtwist Theatre (review ★★★)
Rick Snyder: – Killer Joe Profiles Theatre  (review ★★★½)

  

Director – Musical
  Fred Anzevino & Brenda Didier: Chess – Theo Ubique Theatre (review ★★½)
Jeffrey CassThe Who’s TommyCircle Theatre
Stephen M. Genovese: The Glorious Ones Boho Rep (review ★★★)
Andrew Park: Evolution/CreationQuest Theatre Ensemble  (review ★★★)

 

Ensemble
  The Glorious Ones Bohemian Theatre Ensemble (review ★★★)
Red Noses Strawdog Theatre Company
Twelve Angry Men
Raven Theatre  (review ★★★)
Under Milk Wood  Caffeine Theatre  (review ★★)

 

Actor in a Principal Role – Play
  Tony Bozzuto: On an Average DayBackStage Theatre Company 
Darrell W. Cox: Killer Joe
Profiles Theatre  (review ★★★½)
Andrew Jessop: The PillowmanRedtwist Theatre (review ★★★)
Peter Robel: I Am My Own Wife Bohemian Theatre  (review ★★★★)
Chuck Spencer: Death of a Salesman Raven Theatre  (review ★★★½)

 

Actor in a Principle Role – Musical
  Courtney Crouse: ChessTheo Ubique Cabaret Theatre  (review ★★½)
Tom McGunn: The Who’s Tommy Circle Theatre
Eric Damon SmithThe Glorious Ones
Bohemian Theatre (review ★★★)
Jeremy Trager: Chess Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre   (review ★★½)

   

Actress in a Principle Role – Play
  Brenda BarrieMrs. CalibanLifeline Theatre  (review ★★★★)
LaNisa FrederickThe Gimmick Pegasus Players (review ★★)
Millicent HurleyLettice & Lovage Redtwist Theatre (review ★★★★)
Kendra Thulin: Harper Regan Steep Theatre  (review ★★½ )
Rebekah Ward-Hays: Aunt Dan and Lemon BackStage Theatre 

 

Actress in a Principle Role – Musical
  Danielle Brothers: Man of La Mancha Theo Ubique Theatre  (review ★★★)
Sarah Hayes: Man of La ManchaTheo Ubique Theatre   (review ★★★)
Maggie PortmanChess  Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre  (review ★★½)

 

Actor in a Supporting Role – Play
  Chance Bone: Cooperstown Theatre Seven of Chicago  (review ★★)
Jason HuysmanDeath of a Salesman Raven Theatre (review ★★★½)
Edward KuffertThe CrucibleInfamous Commonwealth (review ★★★)
Peter Oyloe: The Pillowman Redtwist Theatre   (review ★★★)
Phil TimberlakeBusman’s Honeymoon Lifeline Theatre  (review ★★★)

 

Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical
  Eric Lindahl: The Who’s Tommy Circle Theatre
Steve Kimbrough:
Poseidon! An Upside Down Musical Hell in a Handbag
John B. LeenChess Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre  (review ★★½)

 

Actress in a Supporting Role – Play
  Nancy Friedrich: The Crucible Infamous Commonwealth (review ★★★)
Vanessa Greenway: The Night SeasonVitalist Theatre i/a/w Premiere Theatre & Performance (review ★★★★)
Kelly Lynn HoganThe Night Season Vitalist Theatre i/a/w Premiere Theatre & Performance (review ★★★★)
Kristy Johnson: A Song for Coretta Eclipse Theatre  (review ★★)
Mary RedmonThe Analytical Engine  – Circle Theatre  (review ★★★)

 

Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical
  Kate GarassinoBombs Away!  – Bailiwick Repertory Theatre  
Danni Smith
The Glorious Ones  -   Bohemian Theatre (review ★★★)
Trista Smith: Poseidon! An Upside Down Musical  -  Hell in a Handbag
Dana Tretta
The Glorious Ones  Bohemian Theatre   (review ★★★)

 

New Work
  Aaron CarterFirst Words  MPAACT (review ★★★)
Ellen FaireyGraceland Profiles Theatre  (review ★★★)
Tommy Lee JohnstonAura  Redtwist Theatre
Andrew Park and Scott Lamps
Evolution/Creation  -   Quest Theatre Ensemble (review ★★★)
Michael Rohd & Phillip C. KlapperichWilson Wants It All  -  The House Theatre of Chicago  (review ★★★)

 

New Adaptation
  Bilal Dardai: The Man Who Was ThursdayNew Leaf Theatre  
Sean Graney:  –
Oedipus  The Hypocrites (review ★★★★)
Frances LimoncelliBusman’s Honeymoon Lifeline Theatre (review ★★★)
Frances Limoncelli:  – Mrs. Caliban  – Lifeline Theatre (review ★★★)
William Massolia: Little Brother  Griffin Theatre

 

Choreography
  Kevin BellieThe Who’s Tommy  Circle Theatre
Brenda Didier
Chess   Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre (review ★★½)
James Brigitte DitmarsPoseidon! An Upside Down Musical  Hell in a Handbag Productions

 

Original Incidental Music
  Andrew Hansen: Treasure Island  -  Lifeline Theatre  (review ★★★½)
Kevin O’Donnell:   -  Wilson Wants It All  -   House Theatre   (review ★★★)
Trevor WatkinThe Black Duckling  -  Dream Theatre

 

Music Direction
  Ryan BrewsterChess  – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre (review ★★½)
Gary PowellEvolution/Creation  Quest Theatre   (review ★★★)
Nick SulaThe Glorious Ones  Bohemian Theatre   (review ★★★)

 

Scenic Design
  Tom BurchUncle Vanya Strawdog Theatre  (review ★★★)
Alan DonahueTreasure Island Lifeline Theatre (review ★★★½)
Heath HaysOn an Average Day  -   BackStage Theatre Company
Bob Knuth
The Analytical Engine  Circle Theatre (review ★★★)
Bob KnuthLittle Women  -   Circle Theatre (review ★★★)
John Zuiker:   I Am My Own Wife  -   Bohemian Theatre (review ★★★★)

 

Lighting Design
  Diane FairchildThe Gimmick  -  Pegasus Players (review ★★)
Kevin D. Gawley: Treasure Island Lifeline Theatre (review ★★★½)
Sean MallarySt. Crispin’s Day  – Strawdog Theatre Company (review ★★)
Jared B. MooreThe Man Who Was Thursday New Leaf Theatre
Katy PetersonI Am My Own Wife
Bohemian Theatre (review ★★★★)

 

Costume Design
  Theresa HamThe Glorious Ones  -  Bohemian Theatre  (review ★★★)
Branimira IvanovaTreasure Island  Lifeline Theatre (review ★★★½)
Joanna MelvilleSt. Crispin’s Day  -  Strawdog Theatre Company (review ★★) Jill Van BrusselThe Taming of the Shrew  Theo Ubique  (review  ★★★)
Elizabeth WislarThe Analytical Engine  – Circle Theatre (review ★★★)

 

Sound Design
  Mikhail FikselOedipus The Hypocrites (review ★★★★)
Michael GriggsWilson Wants It AllThe House Theatre (review ★★★)
Andrew HansenTreasure Island Lifeline Theatre  (review ★★★½)  
Joshua HorvathMrs. CalibanLifeline Theatre (review ★★★★)
Miles PolaskiMouse in a Jar Red Tape Theatre  (review ★★)

 

Artistic Specialization
  Kevin Bellie: Projection Design, The Who’s Tommy  -   Circle Theatre
Elise Kauzlaric: Dialect Coach, 
Busman’s Honeymoon  Lifeline Theatre (review ★★★)
Lucas Merino: Video Design, Wilson Wants It AllThe House Theatre of Chicago (review ★★★)
James T. Scott:  Puppets, Evolution/Creation Quest Theatre (review ★★★)

 

Fight Choreography
  Geoff Coates: On An Average Day  -  BackStage Theatre Company
Geoff Coates
Treasure Island  Lifeline Theatre   (review ★★★½)
Matt HawkinsSt. Crispin’s DayStrawdog Theatre Company (review ★★)
R & D ChoreographyKiller Joe  Profiles Theatre  (review ★★★½  )

 

More info at the Jeff Awards website.

   
   

REVIEW: Return to Haifa (Next Theatre)

Accomplished design team elevates poignant story

 

ReturnToHaifa26 

Evanston’s Next Theatre presents:

Return to Haifa

by M.E.H. Lewis
directed by
Jason Southerland
through March 7th (more info)

review by Aggie Hewitt

Return to Haifa is a smart and moving new play that follows two couples, one Jewish and one Palestinian during the ugly formation of the Jewish state. M.E.H. Lewis, a Chicago playwright, has created a nicely structured play, balancing the two couples against each other in a simple and effective way. She is credited in director’s note as being “famous as a playwright who does research worthy of a PhD dissertation,” and that is evident in her work – though, at times, it feels too academic.

ReturnToHaifa21 The Jewish & Palestinian husbands (nicely played by Daniel Cantor & Anish Jethmalani , respectively) are named Jacob & Ishmail for the estranged decedents of Abram who fathered Judaism and Islam. Playwright Lewis does not allow Ishmail a single scene in the first act where he does not mention a goat: “He will be so strong he will be able to kick a goat over the ocean” or “He can’t even milk a goat without knocking the bucket over three times.” Do you get it? Palestinians used a lot of goats in the 1940’s. This kind of writing can feel a little bit cold, especially during the first act, where large chunks feel like historical exposition. By the second act, however, all of this research comes together; creating a tension and frustration in the dialogue that would not be possible without the sometimes-alienating moments in Act One.

It’s the production’s women that make the play: Diana Simonzadeh as Safiyeh does some of the best on stage aging I have ever seen, both physically and emotionally. She goes from a playful, happy young mother to a wise, angry, regretful old woman without ever losing a bit of integrity or honesty. Her counter part, Saren Nofs-Snyder, gives a truly heartbreaking performance as Sarah, the holocaust survivor.

The over-arching themes of Return to Haifa deal with one’s possessions and where you call home. The house that these women both call home at different points of the play is always the most prominent thing on stage, and it’s well designed by Tom Burich. The walls are made of gauzy scrim, giving the inside of the house a nostalgic, dream-like and unattainable feel.

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Whenever Jared Moore is involved in lighting design, he seemingly becomes one of the play’s leading roles, as he comments on and advances the story on stage. He is so intuitive and artful about his work. The house is lit mostly in warm ambers, making it look inviting and safe, until it isn’t, and the stage becomes washed out with a nauseous grey blue that actually looks like death.

Return to Haifa is a good show, and a good choice for Next Theatre, whose shows often tend to be more traditional. Return to Haifa is not a challenging play, even though the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a challenging topic. It examines horrible things without any true horror. The result is a nice and moving drama, which focuses more on the emotional than the political.

Rating: ★★★

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REVIEW: Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol”

Get ready to love Christmas!

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Goodman Theatre presents:

 A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Tom Creamer
Directed by
William Brown
thru December 31st (ticket info)

Reviewed by Oliver Sava

Pictured in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, directed by William Brown are (top to bottom) Penelope Walker (Ghost of Christmas Present), John Babbo (Ignorance) and Caroline Heffernan (Want).If you’re not filled with the holiday spirit yet, you will be after Goodman’s A Christmas Carol.  Now in its 30th year, Charles Dickens‘ tale of redemption is brought to life by an all-star cast of Chicago talent, creating a emotional journey through one man’s mistakes that will resonate long after the curtain goes down.

This year’s production begins with a beautiful medley of holiday songs that immediately establishes the idea that Ebeneezer Scrooge (Larry Yando) detests: Christmas brings warmth and calm to a cold, chaotic world. But happiness is not profitable, and the great Yando plays an excellent curmudgeon in the opening scenes. Hunched over books of number and growling at charity workers, he is the portrait of loneliness. Yando begins to transform as he is shown visions of the past and present, and almost immediately the images awaken feelings that have been long buried. A scene between young Scrooge (Andy Truschinski) and his fiancee Belle (Jessie Mueller) is particularly heartbreaking because of the dedication Yando brings to his attempts to change the events that have shaped (destroyed?) him. The journey through his past tortures him, but he cannot escape viewing his own actions – the ultimate punishment. The pain of these moments is heightened by the contrast between the nature of the prison and the characterizations of the jailers: the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Alex Weisman) and Present (Penelope Walker).

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Weisman, fresh off a Jeff award win for Timeline Theatre’s The History Boys, looks like he is having the time of his life as he flies across the stage, and his jolly nature is a great fit for the early moments of Scrooge’s past, especially the Christmas party at Fezziwig’s. Walker is beautiful in a massive gold and red gown, and she sprinkles glitter with ebullient laughter that forces a smile out of the coldest hearts. As Scrooge’s memories sour, so do his tour guides. The aforementioned scene between Scrooge and Belle stifles the gleeful fire that burns in Weisman, and as Walker reveals the disdain Scrooge’s peers have toward him, as well as the troubles they themselves face, she becomes an almost malevolent force. A scene where she introduces Scrooge to the two children that represent Ignorance and Want, crawling out from beneath her garment to maximum dramatic effect, is particularly haunting, and the perfect introduction to the most terrifying of Dickens’ heralds: the Ghost of Christmas Future. Major props to the Goodman design team for creating the horrifically huge puppet for this last ghost, giving the spirit an overwhelming dreadfulness.

ChristmasCarol-5 The supporting cast impresses, balancing the community’s spite toward Scrooge with the good cheer of the holiday season. The Cratchit family is the heart of the show, and Ron Rains brings a wonderful caring energy as the patriarch Bob, always showing respect to his cruel boss. The scenes in the Cratchit household are brimming with love between husband and wife, parent and child, and actor and script. Fiercely committed, the actors have found the beauty in their misfortune, making Tiny Tim’s (John Francis Babbo) death in the future all the more tragic.

While sadness and loss are major factors of Dickens’ tale, Goodman’s production is filled with humor and moments of pure glee. The party at Fezziwig’s is positively rollicking and Scrooge’s nephew Fred’s (Matt Schwader) Christmas dinner is a joyful celebration filled with music and laughter. Where the show is most successful, though, is in the final moments when Scrooge vows to redeem himself, and Yando skips, jumps, and laughs his way into the hearts of the audience, a humbug no more.

 

Rating: ★★★½

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Jeff Awards announced for 2008-2009 season

PRODUCTION — PLAY – LARGE
Ruined Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club
The SeafarerSteppenwolf Theatre 

PRODUCTION — PLAY – MIDSIZE
The History Boys TimeLine Theatre 

PRODUCTION — MUSICAL – LARGE
Caroline, or Change Court Theatre

PRODUCTION — MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
Tomorrow Morning – Hilary A. Williams, LLC

PRODUCTION — REVUE
Studs Terkel’s Not Working The Second City e.t.c.

ENSEMBLE
The History BoysTimeLine Theatre 

NEW WORK — PLAY
Lynn NottageRuined Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club

NEW ADAPTATION — PLAY
Seth BockleyJonCollaboraction

NEW WORK OR ADAPTATION – MUSICAL
Josh Schmidt, Jan Tranen & Austin PendletonA Minister’s Wife Writers’ Theatre 

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Nick BowlingThe History BoysTimeLine Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Charles NewellCaroline, or Change Court Theatre

DIRECTOR — REVUE
Matt HovdeStuds Terkel’s Not WorkingThe Second City e.t.c.

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE — PLAY
Larry Neumann, Jr. – A Moon for the MisbegottenFirst Folio Theatre
William L. PetersenBlackbirdVictory Gardens Theatre 

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE — MUSICAL
Joseph Anthony ForondaMiss Saigon Drury Lane Oakbrook

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Saidah Arrika EkulonaRuinedGoodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE — MUSICAL
E. Faye ButlerCaroline, or Change Court Theatre

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Max McLeanMark’s GospelFellowship for the Performing Arts

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE — PLAY
Alex WeismanThe History Boys TimeLine Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE — MUSICAL
Max Quinlan – The Light in the PiazzaMarriott Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE — PLAY
Spencer KaydenDon’t Dress for Dinner – The British Stage Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Liz Baltes – A Minister’s WifeWriters’ Theatre
Summer SmartThe Light in the Piazza Marriott Theatre

ACTOR IN A REVUE
Mark David KaplanForbidden Broadway: Dances with the StarsJohn Freedson, Harriet Yellin and Margaret Cotter

ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Amanda Blake DavisStuds Terkel’s Not WorkingThe Second City e.t.c.

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
Lucy OsborneTwelfth NightChicago Shakespeare Theater

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Brian Sidney BembridgeThe History Boys TimeLine Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Mara BlumenfeldThe Arabian NightsLookingglass Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN — MIDSIZE
Rachel LaritzThe Voysey Inheritance Remy Bumppo Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Lindsay JonesThe K of D: An Urban LegendRoute 66 Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN — LARGE
Christopher AkerlindRock ‘n’ Roll Goodman Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN — MIDSIZE
Jesse Klug – Hedwig and the Angry InchAmerican Theater Company

CHOREOGRAPHY
David H. BellThe Boys from Syracuse Drury Lane Oakbrook

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Dominic KanzaRuinedGoodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club

MUSIC DIRECTION
Doug PeckCaroline, or Change Court Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SPECIAL EFFECTS
Steve Tolin – Special Effects – The Lieutenant of Inishmore Northlight Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEO DESIGN
Mike Tutaj – Film & Video Design – Tomorrow Morning – Hillary A. Williams

Review: Rivendell’s “These Shining Lives”

Find Time To See It!

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Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents:

These Shining Lives

by Melanie Marnich
directed by Rachel Walshe
at the Raven Theatre thru November 21st (buy tickets)

reviewed by Katy Walsh

Catherine is elated to be starting a new job painting 100+ watches a day at 8 cents a watch. Time is her friend? Or is it? Rivendell Theatre Ensemble remounts its critically acclaimed and Jeff Award nominated These Shining Lives.  Directed by Rachel Walshe,These Shining Lives is the true story of four of the many women who work at the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois in the 1920’s. Unaware of the risk, these workers paint the glow-in-the-dark faces on watches utilizing radium. Women are voting, smoking in public and joining the workforce. Having a well-paying job in a challenging economy brings independence and validation. Later, suspecting that something isn’t quite right, the women struggle to not lose the freedom, security and camaraderie of employment. These Shining Lives uses a tragedy in history to illustrate the strong bonds of marriage and friendship.

As Catherine (Kathy Logelin) tells us at the beginning of the show “this story starts out as a fairy tale.” And she’s right – it’s enchanting!  Playwright Melanie Marnich chooses the non-Silkwood route and focuses instead on the vulnerability and innocence of a young woman’s love for her husband, her job and her friends. The onstage intimacy between Logelin and her husband Tom (Guy Massey) isn’t of the sizzle variety (that never sustains anyway). It’s the “looks like you had a worse day at work than me, Katy, I’ll cook dinner” charming kind. Logelin also shines with her gal pals: Charlotte (Ashley Neal), Frances (Caitlin McGlone) and Pearl (Rani Waterman). They start as a work clique with mindless chatter to fill up the workday. “Gossip is the devil’s radio,” proclaims Frances. “It’s my favorite station,” quips Charlotte. Then, it’s six years later, and the women with whom Catherine has randomly been assigned to have become her family. And her family is dying. Under the direction of Rachel Walshe, the cast does an excellent job of portraying finding joy in the simplistic shininess of the everyday.

Throughout the play, we wonder why these women stick a radium laced paintbrush repeatedly in their mouth. This conjures up the ominous thought that perhaps sometime in the future, people may be surprised, but not shocked, to learn there is a link between cell phones and brain tumors….

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is giving Chicago a second opportunity to find joy in the simplistic times of These Shining Lives. It would be a tragedy to miss it! (Remember to turn off your cell phone during the show.)

Rating: ««««

 

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The offstage Tom described the show as beautiful, ornate and tragic.

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