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Central City

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Cognizant of their position as “the richest square mile on earth,” the citizens of Central City, Colorado proudly opened a Grand Opera House in 1878. However, the coming of the railroad to Denver and the depletion of the mines meant that both the city and the opera house fell on hard times. Reopened in 1932, the opera house has been producing a summer season of theatre and opera nearly every year since.

My first visit to Central City coincided with a particularly eclectic and ambitious season of opera: the North American premiere of an obscure Handel opera, AMADIGI DI GAULA (which I unfortunately missed); three one-act operas boasting varying degrees of familiarity, Puccini’s GIANNI SCHICCHI, Poulenc’s BREASTS OF TIRESIAS and Weill’s SEVEN DEADLY SINS; plus the inevitable warhorse, Bizet’s CARMEN.

For CARMEN, Director/Choreographer Daniel Pelzig envisioned a stripped-down, industrial setting in which Carmen could create her amorous mayhem. This  neutral backdrop allowed the emotions to take center stage. Pelzig’s best ideas brought a visceral energy to the familiar, like portraying Michaela as  less passive than usual. At one point she even hauled off and gave Jose a well-deserved slap. Other concepts seem less fully formed. The prelude to the First Act found Jose under arrest at a police station, apparently setting up the opera to unfold as a flashback. The Second Act prelude continued in this vein with the music underscoring his arrest for helping Carmen escape justice. But, after that, the concept vanished. The Third and Fourth Act preludes didn't include Jose, nor did the arrest come full circle at the opera's end.

That said, Pelzig offered a clearly focused and impressively physical production. He excels in using the Chorus to create dynamic stage pictures which subtly enhance the story. Another wonderful surprise is to hear CARMEN done in the opera comique style (with spoken dialog) envisioned by Bizet. Most companies outside France perform the opera with unauthorized recitatives composed after Bizet’s death. While this is the best known version of the opera, there is an undeniable authenticity to hearing the dialog spoken.

In truth, a good chunk of the dialog, particularly in the First Act, has been cut, along with some major choral stretches, but these snips suit the lean and mean concept. Though one regrets missing what Pelzig might have done with the bustling chorale at the top of the final act.

As the eponymous heroine, Kirstin Chavez has the richly voluptuous tone and  easy sensuality of a born Carmen. She had no trouble commanding the stage, but her performance was played, for the most part, at one level. She's a good enough actress to find more layers in Carmen's flirtatious bravado. Vocally she delivered the goods, singing with power, passion and style, though with the occasional approximate pitch. (a problem which completely disappeared by the second half) Her Jose, Jonathan Burton, was announced as indisposed, but there was little evidence of illness in his vocal performance. He revealed a clear and unforced tenor sound, backed up by solid musicianship. However, the erotic temperature between the lovers was disappointingly tepid. One couldn't help feeling that this Jose was simply too nice a guy to be led astray by a woman like Carmen. Still both sang the final scene with great energy and admirable commitment.

As previously noted, Michaela was re-conceived as an intelligent woman with a backbone as opposed to the customary simpering innocent. Elizabeth Caballero happily threw herself into this interpretation  while singing with warmth and spirit. Gustavo Ahualli proved a suave and far less stentorian Escamillo than usual. All the soloists displayed commendable French diction in both the dialog and the singing.

As the Director of three disparate one-acts from the first half of the 20th Century, Ken Cazan had his work cut out for him. The pieces were written in three languages, by three distinctive composers, under very different circumstances and all of them demand extensive, but varied, resources. Attempting to produce all three in a major house would strain their means. Accomplishing it in Central City with such positive results is little less than a miracle.

Puccini's GIANNI SCHICCHI is a true ensemble piece as well as his only comedy. To illustrate the story of the lowborn upstart who pits his native cunning against the greed of old money family, Cazan updated the opera from its Medieval origins to the more familiar Florence of the mid 20th Century.

The comedy depends on singers willing to show the uglier side of their nature and this cast was more than happy to disport themselves, warts and all. The opera was ably anchored by Daniel Belcher's winning Schicchi whose generous and beautifully produced baritone effortlessly filled the house. A naturally appealing comedian, Belcher is that rare performer who lights up a stage with every entrance. Noticeably younger and sexier than most Zita's, Peabody Southwell attacked the role with an antic verve which proved infectious while Andrew Harris' Simone matched her step for step as the family patriarch dropping every bit of decorum. As the young lovers in the opera, Norman Reinhardt's acting of Rinuccio proved more impressive than his rather pinched tenor while Joanna Mongiardo's Lauretta easily stopped the show with “O mio babbiono caro.”

For my taste, the frantic slapstick and over-the-top performances seemed occasionally indulgent, but there's no denying that the staging was genuinely funny and delighted its' audience. And if you thought that Puccini and his librettist fashioned the opera with a neat reversal, Southwell and Cazan provided an extra twist at the curtain which I'll long remember.

Kurt Weill's final collaboration with Bertolt Brecht was DIE SIEBEN TODSUNDEN (The Seven Deadly Sins), a genre-defying and savagely funny satire of bourgeois morality. Deliberately schizophrenic, the narrative follows two women Anna 1 (a singer) and Anna 2 (a dancer) as they seek their fortune in the world. Are they sisters, or two aspects of the same person? Anna I's practical mind concocts a plan in which they'll visit seven cities in America, staying a year in each until they achieve their financial goal and can return home to Louisiana to buy a home for their family. And, if at the end, Anna II's spirit is crushed by Anna I's relentless pimping her out, they have achieved the American Dream.

Peabody Southwell sang a richly nuanced and compelling Anna I. Not only does her pliant mezzo easily navigate the opera's vocal demands, but she nimbly changes style to accommodate Weill's eclectic score. Sarah Tallman proved a supple and sympathetic Anna II. The family, written for a Male Quartet with the bass as the mother, was sung with appropriately craven personality by Norman Reinhardt, Phillippe Pierce, Robert Gardner and Andrew Harris.

The typical solution for staging the SINS is to hire singers and a small ballet corps. No doubt money played a part in deciding that Anna II would be the only true dancer, but this choice proved a brilliant solution as it forced the Quartet to portray the men the Annas encountered . While this meant that the choreography would  remain less complex, it also forced the singers to relate to the story in a way they might never realize when standing by and commenting the actions of the dancers.

Like cooking their souffles, producing French comedy is risky. A slight miscalculation in timing or ingredients can spell disaster and your buoyant romp falls flat. The danger only increases when your production is a surreal feminist critique of gender roles in which your protagonist, Therese, wishes her breasts away (they are balloons which conveniently fly off) and takes on the male character of Teresias. Meanwhile her husband dons woman's clothing and discovers a way to give birth. To 40,000 children. Appolinaire wrote LES MAMELLES DE TERISIAS (The Breasts of Terisias) as a reaction to the devastation of WWI. Similarly, Poulenc composed the operatic adaptation after WWII.

After appearing as father and daughter in SCHICCHI, Joanna Mongiardo  and Daniel Blecherreturned in a different familial connection, as Therese/Terisias and her unnamed husband. Freed from the confines of Puccini's sweet Lauretta, Mongiardo blossomed and revealed herself as a powerful stage animal who sang with high flying excitement. Belcher's sympathetic presence brought a comforting sense of believability to his confused husband and Timothy J. McDevitt made the most of his lovesick Gendarme.

Unlike the other one-acts, MAMELLES requires a full chorus. And, if there is a complaint to be made about the production, it is the clumsy blocking for the crowd scenes. Particularly when contrasted with the slick work done in CARMEN.

Cazan and Scenic Designer, Cameron Anderson neatly solved finding a cohesive look for these disparate pieces by realizing that each opera features a home as an important goal. So each set was dominated by the lopsided, partial framework of a house which could be added to or subtracted from, depending on the needs of the individual opera.

As I write this, Central City's current season is only days from closing, but they've announced next summer's season which will include: OKLAHOMA, THE TURN OF THE SCREW and LA BOHEME. Beyond the mainstage operas are a host of  small-scale opera performances and seminars. Not to mention the historic city itself. I can assure you that a trip to Central City is well worth the your time.

For information, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 302 292-6700.

 

Spotlight

Hollywood Fringe Awarded 10K from National Endowment for the Arts

Hollywood, CA -- The Hollywood Fringe Festival is proud to announce that it has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant of $10,000 to support the Fringe Scholarships program. This grant stems from more than $82 million approved by NEA Chairman Jane Chu to fund local arts projects and partnerships. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“Hollywood Fringe began only seven years ago and has grown into a festival reaching tens of thousands of people,” says Festival Director Ben Hill. “This funding allows us to sustain that growth by supporting artists and programming that is diverse, inclusive, and relevant to the local community. We are truly honored to have been selected a recipient."

The Fringe Scholarships program strives to provide a platform for artists to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view, by offering unique and underserved artists scholarships to participate in the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Scholarships will be awarded to artists whose festival participation will increase festival attendance and participation by local Hollywood residents, increase arts participation of ethnically diverse and/or low-income artists, and enrich audience experience through the presentation of unique, underrepresented themes and/or narratives.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from Hollywood Fringe Festival offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

ABOUT HOLLYWOOD FRINGE

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an annual, open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community. Each June during the Hollywood Fringe, the arts infiltrates the Hollywood neighborhood: Fully equipped theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other unexpected places host hundreds of productions by local, national, and international arts companies and independent performers. The 2016 festival runs June 9th - 26th and offers over 1,400 performances in over 30 venues.

Participation in the Hollywood Fringe is completely open and uncensored. This free-for-all approach underlines the festival’s mission to be a platform for artists without the barrier of a curative body. By opening the gates to anyone with a vision, the festival is able to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view the world has to offer. Additionally, by creating an environment where artists must self-produce their work, the Fringe motivates its participants to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurialism in the arts. 

Want more information? Contact us at press@hollywoodfringe.org or by visiting the website at www.HollywoodFringe.org/press.

 
Laguna Playhouse Announces Ellen Richard as its Interim Executive Director

May 3, 2016…Laguna Beach, Calif…Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that, later this month, Ellen Richard will be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years.

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairmens of the Board of Directors, said “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” Comments Ellen Richard, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”

ABOUT ELLEN RICHARD

Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015.  During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34,000 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards.  She opened the 50 seat Costume Shop Theater, a 49-seat “black box” venue used for the company’s Master of Fine Arts students and for shows by other local companies.  Ms. Richard was also credited with expanding the company’s educational efforts, coming up with programs like the San Francisco Semester, which brings undergraduate acting students to ACT from around the world, and Stage Coach, a community theater mobile unit that reaches into diverse neighborhoods

She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed.

From 1983 to 2005, Ms. Richard enjoyed a rich and varied career with Roundabout Theatre Company. The Roundabout that Ms. Richard joined was a small nonprofit theater company in bankruptcy. By the time she departed as Managing Director, Roundabout had become one of the country’s largest and most successful theater companies of its kind, with net assets in excess of $67 million dollars. Ms. Richard is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer, for Roundabout productions of Cabaret (1998), A View from the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). As producer of more than 125 shows at Roundabout, she had direct supervision of all management and marketing functions. She created Roundabout’s “Theatre-PLUS” programs, which include singles, teachers, family, gay and lesbian, wine tasting, and the 7 p.m. “Early Curtain” series, all of which grew to represent more than 10 percent of Roundabout’s 40,000 subscribers.

As director of design and construction at Roundabout, Ms. Richard was responsible for more than $50 million of theater construction for 11 projects. She conceptualized the three permanent Roundabout stages — The Broadway venues of Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre, and the Off-Broadway venue The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre She directed the location search for Cabaret and oversaw the creation of the production’s environmental Kit Kat Klub. Prior to her tenure at Roundabout, Ms. Richard served as business manager of Westport Country Playhouse, theater manager for Stamford Center for the Arts, and business manager for Atlas Scenic Studio. She began her career working as a stagehand, sound designer, and scenic artist assistant.

 
Los Angeles Drama Critics Announce Nominations for 2015

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) has announced its nominations and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theatre for the year 2015 (Dec. 1, 2014 – Nov. 30, 2015). The 47th annual LADCC awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 14, 2016 at The Ann & Jerry Moss Theater at New Roads School, in the Capshaw-Spielberg Center for Arts and Educational Justice at the Herb Alpert Educational Village, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA. (There is some onsite parking and ample street parking.) All event tickets are $40, and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com (small service fee applies) or at the door if available. (Purchased tickets will be held at Will Call.) Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for our Silent Auction, hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m. Further information will be found at www.ladramacriticscircle.com. Inquiries to: 2016criticsawards@gmail.com.

 

The awards will be hosted by Jake Broder, accomplished actor, writer, musician, and composer whose original music for Miravel, a play he also wrote and starred in at Sacred Fools Theater, has been nominated as one of the year’s outstanding scores. Broder co-wrote the acclaimed musical bio Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara, and originated the role of “Louis Prima.” Musical director Corey Hirsch, recipient of a 2014 LADCC award for A Man of No Importance and one of the busiest musical directors on the local scene, will appear for the third consecutive year.

The evening’s theme will be “OUR THEATER IS UNIQUE.” We will be mindful of the ways in which the theatrical art in general, and local theater in particular, are like no other art forms.

One or more plaques will be presented in each of 18 categories. Two of those achievements have already been voted plaques. For Writing (Adaptation), Luis Alfaro will be honored for Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, produced at The Getty Villa by J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court. The McCulloh Award for Revival—for a production of a play originally written between 1920 and 1980—will be presented to Anna Christie, produced by Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at the Odyssey Theatre. In addition, six special awards will also be presented through the sponsorship of organizations to which the LADCC is most grateful.

The LADCC special award recipients are as follows:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre goes to Deaf West Theater Company. The award is accompanied by an honorarium, sponsor to be announced, and will be presented by Circle member Sharon Perlmutter.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to Qui Nguyen for Vietgone, originally produced by South Coast Repertory. The award is accompanied by an offer to publish by Samuel French, Inc., and will be presented by Circle member and event producer Bob Verini.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre goes to International City Theatre. The award is accompanied by an honorarium funded by the Nederlander Organization, and will be presented by Circle member Shirle Gottlieb.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for outstanding achievement in theatrical design goes to projections designer Jason H. Thompson. The award is accompanied by an honorarium funded by Kinetic Lighting, and will be presented by Circle President Margaret Gray.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theatre goes to director-choreographer Janet Miller. The award is accompanied by an honorarium, sponsor to be announced, and will be presented by Circle member David C. Nichols.

The Milton Katselas Award for career or special achievement in direction goes to Michael Matthews. The award is accompanied by an honorarium funded by the Beverly Hills Playhouse, and will be presented by Circle Vice President Jonas Schwartz-Owen.

 

The nominees for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for theatrical excellence in 2015 are as follows:

Production

·       André & Dorine, Kulunka Teatro at Los Angeles Theatre Center.

·       Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.

·       Enron, The Production Company at The Lex.

·       Fences, International City Theatre.

·       Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles       LGBT Center.

·       Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.

·       Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

·       The Gospel at Colonus, Ebony Repertory Theatre at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.

 

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1980)

·       Anna Christie, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.

Lead Performance

·       Angela Bullock in Watching O.J., Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA at Atwater Village Theatre Complex.

·       Jason Dechert in Picnic, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       Mary Beth Fisher in Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.

·       Matthew Hancock in Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·       Ted Heyck in God’s Man in Texas, A Guest Production at The Blank Theatre’s 2nd Stage.

·       Lily Knight in A Small Fire, The Echo Theater Company @ Atwater Village Theatre.

·       Troy Kotsur in American Buffalo, Cal State L.A. Department of Music, Theatre and Dance and Deaf West Theatre at State Playhouse.

·       Emily Lopez in Carrie the Musical, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, The Transfer Group, Michael T. Cohen/Robin Reinach, Kraige Block and Joe Everett Michaels, in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and The Los Angeles Theatre.

·       Zoe Perry in Anna Christie, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.

·       Tiffany Royale in The Best of Enemies, The Colony Theatre.

·       Michael A. Shepperd in Fences, International City Theatre.

·       Jimmi Simpson in Trevor, Circle X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre.

·       Jeff Skowron in Into the Woods, Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

·       Sabina Zuniga Varela in Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

Featured Performance

·       Richard Fancy in Awake and Sing!, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.

·       Charlotte Gulezian in Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·       Charlie Hofheimer in Bent, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum.

·       Tracie Lockwood in A Permanent Image, Rogue Machine Theatre at Theatre/Theater.

·       Elyse Mirto in Figaro, A Noise Within.

·       Martin Rayner in Oedipus Machina, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and KOAN at Odyssey Theatre.

·       Bryce Ryness in Matilda the Musical, Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.

·       Michael A. Shepperd in Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.

Ensemble Performance

·       André & Dorine, Kulunka Teatro at Los Angeles Theatre Center.

·       Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.

·       Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·       Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.

·       Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

Solo Performance

 

·       Orson Bean in Safe at Home: An Evening With Orson Bean, Pacific Resident Theatre.

·       Monica Piper in Not That Jewish, Jewish Women’s Theatre at The Braid.

·       John Douglas Thompson in Satchmo at the Waldorf, The Long Wharf Theatre and Shakespeare & Company Production at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

 

Direction

·       Jessica Kubzansky, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

·       Jaime Robledo, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre.

·       Kim Rubinstein, Anna Christie, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.

·       Ken Sawyer, Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·       August Viverito, Enron, The Production Company at The Lex.

Writing

·       Rebecca Gilman, Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.

·       Nick Jones, Trevor, Circle X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre.

·       Robert O’Hara, Bootycandy, Celebration Theatre at The Lex.

·       Lucy Prebble, Enron, The Production Company at The Lex.

·       Micah Schraft, A Dog’s House, IAMA Theatre Company at Elephant Theatre.

Writing (Adaptation)

·       Luis Alfaro, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

Musical Score

·       Stu Barker, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.

·       Jake Broder, Miravel, Sacred Fools Theater Company at Sacred Fools Theater.

·       Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical, Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.

·       Anna Waronker and Charlotte Coffey, Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.

 

Music Direction

·       Stu Barker, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.

·       Brian P. Kennedy, Carrie the Musical, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, The Transfer Group, Michael T. Cohen/Robin Reinach, Kraige Block and Joe Everett Michaels, in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and The Los Angeles Theatre.

·       Abdul Hamid Royal, The Gospel at Colonus, Ebony Repertory Theatre at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.

·       Julie Wolf, Girlfriend, The Actors Theatre of Louisville Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.

 

Choreography

·       Christopher Gattelli, Newsies, Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher at Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

·       Josh Rhodes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Koos, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Carola Productions, Roy Furman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, James Spry, Eric Schmidt, and Blanket Fort Productions, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.

·       Dana Solimando, Billy Elliot, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts & McCoy Rigby Entertainment at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

·       Angela Todaro, American Idiot, DOMA Theatre Company at The MET Theatre.

 

Set Design

·       Tom Buderwitz, The Whipping Man, South Coast Repertory and The Pasadena Playhouse.

·       Mimi Lien, Appropriate, Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum.

·       Don Llewellyn, Fences, International City Theatre.

·       Bill Mitchell, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.

Lighting Design

·       Martin Labrecque, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities, Cirque du Soleil at Dodger Stadium.

·       Tom Ontiveros, My Barking Dog, The Theatre @ Boston Court.

·       Matt Richter, Hit the Wall, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at The Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·       Malcolm Rippeth, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.

Costume Design

·       Angela Balogh Calin, Figaro, A Noise Within.

·       Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!, Geffen Playhouse in association with Atlantic Theater Company presents the Yale Repertory Theatre Production at Geffen Playhouse.

·       Philippe Guillotel, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities, Cirque du Soleil at Dodger Stadium.

·       Wade Laboissonniere, Waterfall, The Pasadena Playhouse in association with The 5th Avenue Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse.

·       William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Koos, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Carola Productions, Roy Furman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, James Spry, Eric Schmidt, and Blanket Fort Productions, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.

Sound Design

·       Gregory Clarke, Tristan & Yseult, Kneehigh at South Coast Repertory.

·       Bruno Louchouarn, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum and The Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

·       Jaime Robledo, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre.

·       John Zalewski, My Barking Dog, The Theatre @ Boston Court.

 

CGI/Video

·       Anthony Backman and Jim Pierce, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre.

·       Nicholas Santiago, A Permanent Image, Rogue Machine Theatre at Theatre/Theater.

 

Specialty

·       Gieselle Blair, Figaro, A Noise Within. (Hair, wigs, and makeup)

·       Garbiñe Insausti, André & Dorine, Kulunka Teatro at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. (Masks)

·       Aviva Pressman, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre. (Live art direction)

·       Jim Steinmeyer, Carrie the Musical, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, The Transfer Group, Michael T. Cohen/Robin Reinach, Kraige Block and Joe Everett Michaels, in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and The Los Angeles Theatre. (Illusion design)

 

 

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 on our LADCC website, in the event program, and (when applicable) on a recipient’s awards 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 2015 membership consisted of:

Pauline Adamek, ArtsBeatLA.com, Stage Raw

Paul Birchall, Stage Raw, Stage and Cinema

Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers, StageHappenings.com

Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times

Hoyt Hilsman, The Huffington Post

Deborah Klugman, LA Weekly, ArtsBeatLA.com, Stage Raw

Jenny Lower, Stage Raw, LA Weekly

Jon Magaril, CurtainUp.com

Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, LANG (Los Angeles News Group)

Myron Meisel, Stage Raw

Terry Morgan, TalkinBroadway.com

Steven Leigh Morris, LA Weekly, Stage Raw

David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times

Sharon Perlmutter, TalkinBroadway.com

Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com

Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com

Madeleine Shaner, Park La Brea News & Beverly Press

Don Shirley, LA Observed

Les Spindle, Frontiers, EDGE LA

Bob Verini, Variety, ArtsinLA.com, Stage Raw

Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

 

Citations by production:

Hit the Wall (Los Angeles LGBT Center) 7

Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (Getty Villa) 6

Tristan & Yseult (South Coast Repertory) 5

Astro Boy and the God of Comics (Sacred Fools) 4

Bootycandy (Celebration Theatre) 4

Luna Gale (Kirk Douglas Theatre) 4

André & Dorine (Los Angeles Theatre Center) 3

Anna Christie (Odyssey Theatre) 3

Carrie the Musical (La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts and Los Angeles Theatre) 3

Enron (The MET Theatre) 3

Fences (International City Theatre) 3

Figaro (A Noise Within) 3

A Permanent Image (Rogue Machine) 2

Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities (Dodger Stadium) 2

Matilda the Musical (Ahmanson Theatre) 2

My Barking Dog (The Theatre @ Boston Court) 2

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Ahmanson Theatre) 2

The Gospel at Colonus (Nate Holden Performing Arts Center) 2

Trevor (Atwater Village Theatre) 2

A Dog’s House (Elephant Theatre) 1

American Buffalo (Cal State L.A.) 1

American Idiot (MET Theatre) 1

A Small Fire (Echo Theatre) 1

Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum) 1

Awake and Sing! (Odyssey Theatre) 1

Bent (Mark Taper Forum) 1

Billy Elliot (La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts) 1

Girlfriend (Kirk Douglas Theatre) 1

God’s Man in Texas (Blank Theatre) 1

Into the Woods (Wallis Annenberg Center) 1

Miravel (Sacred Fools Theatre) 1

Newsies (Hollywood Pantages) 1

Not That Jewish (The Braid) 1

Oedipus Machina (Odyssey Theatre) 1

Picnic (Antaeus) 1

Safe at Home: An Evening With Orson Bean (Pacific Resident Theatre) 1

Satchmo at the Waldorf (Wallis Annenberg Center) 1

The Best Of Enemies (Colony Theatre) 1

These Paper Bullets! (Geffen Playhouse) 1

The Whipping Man (South Coast Repertory/Pasadena Playhouse) 1

Vietgone (South Coast Repertory) 1—The Ted Schmitt Award

Watching O.J. (Atwater Village Theatre) 1

Waterfall (Pasadena Playhouse) 1