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Merrily We Roll Along

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The new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along begins with an open door. A moment later, Franklin Shepard trudges up from the Stygian black through a trap door as his wife and child push the Ghostlight across the stage. As Sondheimphiles know, the open door is both a potent metaphor and an important section of the show. It is also a signal that Michael Arden’s direction will be bold and visible as he charts Shepard’s life and relationships over a quarter century.

Merrily is the show that derailed the seemingly invincible collaboration of Sondheim and Harold Prince. Throughout the 1970’s the two men were responsible for Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd. These were shows which challenged and changed the face of the American musical in a way not seen since the early 1940’s.

Based an unsuccessful play by George S. Kauffmann and Moss Hart, Merrily’s 16-performance Broadway run in 1981 was a stunning and painful defeat for both Sondheim and Prince. A new documentary film, The Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened charts the high hopes that were dashed by the disastrous reception the original production received.

The quick demise of the show was variously blamed on the youth of the cast, the unlikability of the main character, and the fact that the complicated plot is told in reverse. But the richness of Sondheim’s lyrics and score, thankfully preserved in a cast recording, sounded like anything but a flop. Even the unique structure might be seen as an asset for a show that only needed some tinkering to be recognized as an undiscovered masterpiece.

By the mid-80’s, that tinkering had begun with a major revival at the La Jolla Playhouse. And a number of high profile productions through the 90’s continued that trend. There were new songs added and new recordings of the score issued. At some point, even before book writer George Furth’s death, the artistic team seemed satisfied that they had done their best with the property. I still believe the bookending of the graduation ceremony that existed in the original provides a better start and ending to the show, but the creative team doesn’t agree, and I don’t expect to see that version again.

Arden flanks the playing space with banks of dressing table vanities, their bright lights oddly conjuring both traditional theatrical glamour and Brechtian astringency. Cast members watch scenes unfold and make costume changes from the sidelines.

In the simplest of terms, Merrily charts the lives of three friends: Franklin Shepard (Aaron Lazar), Charlie Kringus (Wayne Brady) and Mary Flynn (Donna Vivino). Moving backwards in time, it starts with Frank at the pinnacle of his commercial success in Hollywood and ends with his starving artist days in New York. Along the way, Frank loses his ideals, discards his wife, and becomes ever more cynical and venal. Charlie, after endless attempts to salvage their writing partnership, breaks away entirely from Frank. Mary, who has always carried a torch for Frank, never fulfills her writing promise and dissolves into drunken inertia. The purpose in telling the story in reverse is to end with the ironic statement of how far these smart young idealists go astray.

Arden directs the book scenes with care and clarity. And his dark and harsh concept works very well for the first 2/3 of the show, which chronicles Frank’s gradual loss of principles. It is less successful in framing the youthful exuberance of the trio’s early years.

Arden has also brought in Eamon Foley to choreograph three dancers who embody the spirits of the youthful Frank, Charlie, and Mary. They dart in and out of scenes, adding little more than the occasional interesting composition to the proceedings. In the final scene, they take over the roles of Frank, Charlie, and Mary, singing the show’s paean to optimism, “Our Time,” while their older counterparts watch. This is a solid intellectual conceit, but Merrily is already a show with little opportunity for the audience to emotionally connect. This choice distances the characters from a crucial moment, muting the poignancy of audience’s final revelation.

Furth’s one-dimensional characters rely on the actors’ skills and personalities to add color and depth. Lazar captures Frank’s driven personality and even manages to show his softer side, but he never conjures the charisma which makes so many overlook his flaws, and he has little chemistry with either of his wives. Lazar is a wonderful singing actor, but Frank’s character is also unique in his lack of a big solo number. Brady’s Charlie is less quirky than usual, and his easy-going style makes for an interesting energy contrast within the trio. He easily handles the very tricky “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” number and provides a solid foundation throughout. Vivino’s Mary is easily the best I’ve seen. She makes the character clichés feel newly minted, commands attention even when she’s silent, and sings with a Broadway belt that contains equal amounts of cream and brass.

Whitney Bashor does her best to bring life to the underwritten role of Frank’s first wife, Beth. She also does a lovely job with the show’s best-known number, “Not a Day Goes By.” Though, because of the reverse chronology, the song has probably the worst placement in musical theater history. Saycon Sengbloh makes her moments count as Gussie wife #2, and Amir Talai reveals a heartbreaking soul under the crusty exterior of the team’s first producer, Joe Josephson.

Music Supervisor Matt Gould’s work sparkles throughout, and his energetic conducting of a part of the show’s overture, presented as an entr’acte, makes one yearn to hear it all.

Overall, this is a strong production of a troubled musical, which will never entirely work. But the individual elements are so compelling that talented directors like Arden will always be drawn to “fix” it. Sondheim fans will certainly buy seats for Merrily, but this is a rare chance for all serious theatergoers to see a first-class production of this flawed and fascinating musical.

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts    December 2 – December 18, 2016    www.thewallis.org

 

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