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Aladdin

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Channeling Robin Williams' manic take on the genie in Walt Disney's animated feature Aladdin, Michael James Scott takes center stage as the Broadway Arabian nights tale of the "street rat" from the fictional city of Agrabah gets three wishes from from a genie in a magic lamp and has a happy romance with a princess. It is tailor-made for Disney, as their princesses are big business for the company, and the audience on opening night was liberally sprinkled with little girls cheering on the hero and heroine. Some were carrying purchased Jasmine dolls. Its message is positive, and it is delivered with humor and a generous portion of energy.

 

The creative team of Alan Menken (music) and Howard Ashman (lyrics), having successes with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, collaborated on the animated Aladdin in 1992 along with Tim Rice, who contributed additional lyrics. When the Broadway show was produced in 2014, the original music was used along with additional songs with lyrics by Chad Beguelin, who wrote the book. It is among the most successful of Disney's forays into live theater, with numerous global productions.

 

Casey Nicholaw, whose work on The Drowsy Chaperone, The Book of Mormon, and Elf had given him liberal accolades, was chosen as director and choreographer for the production, and his imaginative choreography brings the fantasy alive. An amalgam of the classic story and contemporary A Chorus Line-style dancing, its appeal lies in the enthusiasm of its cast and the stellar special effects. Bob Crowley's scenic design combined with Ken Travis' sound and Natasha Katz's lighting design make for satisfying dramatics. Jim Steinmeyer is also credited with illusion design. Gregg Barnes' costumes are particularly effective, especially in the Act I finale. Stars twinkle, lights crackle and pop, and scenery transforms to magical effect. Of course, the hit of the evening is Aladdin and Jasmine's soaring magic carpet ride over the stage.

As Princess Jasmine, Isabelle McCalla is spunky and much less the demure maiden of earlier Disney films like Cinderella and Snow White. She challenges the authority of the ruthless Jafar (Jonathan Weir) and ventures far beyond the confines of her kingdom. Weir's villainy is measured and droll, making his characterization more palatable for a younger audience. He is accompanied by Iago (Reggie De Leon), a pint-sized comic figure who substitutes for the parrot in the animated feature. His snarky asides add humor to the overall production.

Adam Jacobs makes a scrappy and appealing Aladdin. His boyish enthusiasm and upbeat characterization is a good counterfoil for Scott's over-the-top genie. Their "Friend Like Me" number is one of the highlights of the show. Also adding some fun to the adventure are Aladdin's street pals played by Zach Bencal, Philippe Arroyo, and Mike Longo. Athleticism and energy give their portrayals punch. JC Montgomery also makes an appealing sultan, who belies the usual autocratic father.

The creative team of this production is extensive, as is often the case with Disney works. Orchestrations by Danny Troob, music supervision and incidental music and vocal arrangements by Michael Kosarin, dance music arrangements by Glen Kelly, and music coordination by Howard Joines combine to make the musical effective. Led by music director/conductor Brent-Alan Huffman, the show is snappy, fast-paced, and lively. A case might be made for some excision of musical numbers to trim the show from 2 1/2 hours to 2, making it more child friendly.

Some songs were added to the stage version of Aladdin. A particular favorite is delivered by Jacobs, "Proud of Your Boy," addressing the loss of his parents and his need to make his own way in the world.

Overall, the production has won awards wherever it has been performed. It was awarded Best Musical, Score, Book, and Choreography, among others, on Broadway and has garnered numerous others in London and Australian productions. "Friend Like Me" and "A Whole New World" have earned a life beyond the stage.

It should be noted that a Disney production always has a message. Loyalty, being true to your word, and honesty are explored without being too heavy handed or preachy. It was Walt Disney's special ambition.

Though Disney is often thought of as a children's franchise, it always plays well to adult audiences as well. Humor largely understood by adults is always injected into the productions making them universally popular. This touring production has all the flash and dazzle required to ensure audiences will enjoy it and can appeal across a broad spectrum of ticket buyers. This is often evidenced by people taking selfies and posing in front of Aladdin signs to post on social media. On opening night, crowds on the sidewalk impeded traffic so they could take pictures with the theater marquee as a backdrop. It is sure to continue to be a success.

 

 

Spotlight

50TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE NOMINATIONS

50TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION

OF LOCAL THEATRE

BY LOS ANGELES DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE

KICKS OFF WITH 2018 NOMINATIONS

 

February 15, 2019…Los Angeles…The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC), which presented its first awards for excellence in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura County a half-century ago, has begun the gala celebration of its 50th anniversary by announcing its nominations for the year 2018 (Dec. 1, 2017 – Nov. 30, 2018).

The LADCC is further thrilled to announce that this historic occasion will take place on Monday, April 8, 2019 at one of the region's most historic and beautiful theatres, Pasadena Playhouse, at 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena.

Although Pasadena Playhouse is hosting the LADCC Awards for the very first time, onstage host Wenzel Jonesof IMRU, the LGBTQI Radio News Magazine on KPFK 90.7, has served in that capacity numerous times, most recently in 2018. Noted local composer-conductor Christopher Raymond will serve in the capacity of musical director for the second consecutive year. The entire production will be in the hands of stage manager Heatherlynn Gonzalez, veteran of more than a decade's worth of LADCC service.

Standard general admission tickets are $40 and can be purchased at https://2019criticsawards.brownpapertickets.com/ (a small service fee applies) or at the door if available. All purchased tickets will be held at Will Call. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-show reception in the courtyard. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m. Nominees will receive instructions via email regarding how to claim complimentary tickets. Inquiries to: criticsawards2019@gmail.com.

One or more plaques will be presented in each of 18 categories. Seven special awards will also be presented.

The LADCC special award recipients are as follows:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to Sacred Fools Theater Company.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to Echo Theater Company.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band, originally produced by South Coast Repertory.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design goes to sound designer Robert Oriol.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre goes to McCoy Rigby Entertainment

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction goes to Cameron Watson.

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community will be presented to Native Voices at the Autry.

The nominees for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for theatrical excellence in 2018 are as follows:

Production

·       A Picture of Dorian Gray, A Noise Within.

·       Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.

·       Come From Away, Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre.

·       Cry It Out, Echo Theater Company.

·       Sell/Buy/Date,Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·       The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

·       Vietgone, East West Players.

 

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1993)

·       A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Pasadena.

·       Cabaret,Celebration Theatre.

·       Cabaret,La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

·       Haiti,Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum.

·       Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within.

·      The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·      The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.

 

Lead Performance

·       MaameYaa Boafo in School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,

Center Theatre Group / Kirk Douglas Theatre.

·       Graham Hamilton in The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       Tom Hanks in Henry IV, Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.

·       Sylvia Kwan in Vietgone, East West Players.

·       Kasey Mahaffy in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within.

·       Saundra McClain in A Raisin in the Sun, A Noise Within.

·       Alex Nee in Cabaret, Celebration Theatre.

·       Joe Ngo in Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.

·       Adam Peltier in Red Speedo, The Road Theatre Company.

·       Conrad Ricamora in Soft Power, Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre.

·       French Stewart in Finks, Rogue Machine Theatre.

·       Paul Yen in Vietgone, East West Players.

 

Featured Performance

·       JD Cullum in The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       John Perrin Flynn in 100 Aprils, Rogue Machine Theatre.

·       Sarah Hollis in A Raisin in the Sun, A Noise Within.

·       Wesley Mann in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within.

·       Rob Nagle in The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       Felix Solis in Cost of Living, TheFountain Theatre.

·       Daisuke Tsuji in Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.

 

Ensemble Performance

·      Come From Away, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre.

·      Cult of Love, IAMA Theatre Company.

·      School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Center Theatre Group,

Kirk Douglas Theatre.

·      The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·      Vietgone,East West Players.

 

Solo Performance

·       Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date, Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·      Jefferson Mays, A Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse.

 

Direction

·       Jennifer Chang, Vietgone, East West Players.

·       Nike Doukas, The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       Geoff Elliott, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within.

·       Annie Tippe, Cult of Love, IAMA Theatre Company.

·       Chay Yew, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.

 

Writing

·       Inda Craig-Galvin, I Go Somewhere Else, Playwrights Arena.

·       Bernardo Cubría, The Giant Void in My Soul, Ammunition Theatre Company.

·       Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Gloria, Echo Theater Company.

·       Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date, Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center.

·       Molly Smith Metzler, Cry It Out, Echo Theater Company.

 

Writing (Adaptation)

·       Sean Graney, The Pirates of Penzance, Pasadena Playhouse.

·       Patrick Marber, Three Days in the Country, Antaeus Theatre Company.

 

Musical Score

·       Sara Bareilles, Waitress, Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

·       Dengue Fever + others, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.

·       Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen, Center Theatre Group,

Ahmanson Theatre.

·       Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away, Center Theatre Group,

Ahmanson Theatre.

 

Music Direction

·       Ian Eisendrath, Come From Away, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre.

·       Matthew MacNelly, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.

·       David O, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

·       Anthony Zediker, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre.

 

Choreography

·       Janet Roston, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre.

·       Dana Solimondo, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

·       Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud, Center Theatre Group /Ahmanson Theatre.

·       Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet, Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

 

Set Design

·       Tom Burch, The Pirates of Penzance, Pasadena Playhouse.

·       Stephen Gifford, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre.

·       John Iacovelli, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, A Raisin in the Sun, A Noise Within.

 

Lighting Design

·       Ken Booth, Henry V, A Noise Within.

·       Matthew Brian Denman, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre.

·       Andrew Schmedake, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       Steven Young, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

 

Costume Design

·       Allison Dillard, Bliss, Or Emily Post Is Dead, Moving Arts.

·       Allison Dillard, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre.

·      Terri A. Lewis, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       David Kay Mickelsen, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

 

Sound Design

·       Josh Bessom, Cabaret, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

·       Mikhail Fiksel, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.

·       Jeff Gardner, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company.

·       Joshua D. Reid, A Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse.

 

CGI/Video

·       Lucy Mackinnon, A Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse.

·       Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, Vietgone, East West Players.

·       Nicholas E. Santiago, Arrival & Departure, The Fountain Theatre.

 

Specialty

·       Klint Flowers for Wigs and Makeup, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,

A Noise Within.

·       Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki for Fight Choreography, Vietgone,

East West Players.

·       Dane Oliver for Fight Choreography, Haiti, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum.

·       Jim Steinmeyer for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet, Aladdin,

Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

 

 

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 award 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 2018 membership consisted of:

Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review

Paul Birchall, Stage Raw, Stage & Cinema

Katie Buenneke, LA Weekly, Stage Raw

Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen

Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld LA, Musicals in LA, The Three Tomatoes

Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw, Arts in LA

Shirle Gottlieb, Arts in LA, StageHappenings.com

Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times

Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post

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

Harker Jones, Edge Media Network

Jenny Lower, Stage Raw

Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group

Myron Meisel, Stage Raw

Terry Morgan, Stage Raw, TalkinBroadway.com

Steven Leigh Morris, LA Stage Alliance

Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com

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

Don Shirley, LA Observed

Les Spindle, EDGE LA

Rob Stevens, haineshisway

Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

 

Citations by production:

 

Cambodian Rock Band (South Coast Repertory)…………………………………8

Vietgone (East West Players)………………………………………………………7

Cabaret (Celebration Theatre)……………………………………………………  6

Cabaret (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts)…………………………  6

The Little Foxes (Antaeus Theatre Company)…………………………………….5

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (A Noise Within)……………………… 5

Come From Away (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre)………………..4

The Hothouse (Antaeus Theatre Company)……………………………………….4

A Christmas Carol (Geffen Playhouse)……………………………………………. 3

A Raisin in the Sun (A Noise Within)………………………………………………3

Sell/Buy/Date (Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center)………………… 3

Cry It Out (Echo Theater Company)……………………………………………….2

Cult of Love (IAMA Theatre Company)…………………………………………   2

Haiti (Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum)………………………………………  2

Native Son (Antaeus Theatre Company)………………………………………….. 2

The Pirates of Penzance (Pasadena Playhouse)…………………………………     2

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Center Theatre Group /

Kirk Douglas Theatre)………………………………………………………………2

100 Aprils (Rogue Machine Theatre)………………………………………………..1

Ain’t Too Proud (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre) ………………….1

Aladdin (Hollywood Pantages Theatre)…………………………………………….1

Arrival and Departure (The Fountain Theatre)…………………………………     1

Bliss, Or Emily Post is Dead (Moving Arts) ………………………………………   1

Cost of Living (The Fountain Theatre) …………………………………………     1

Dear Evan Hansen (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre) ……………….1

Finks (Rogue Machine Theatre)……………………………………………………  1

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts) 1

The Giant Void in My Soul (Ammunition Theatre Company)……………………   1

Gloria (Echo Theater Company)……………………………………………………  1

I Go Somewhere Else (Playwrights Arena)……….………………………………….1

Henry IV (The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles)………………………………. 1

Henry V (A Noise Within)…………………………………………………………… 1

On Your Feet (Hollywood Pantages Theatre)……………………………………….1

A Picture of Dorian Gray (A Noise Within)………………………………………… 1

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Celebration Theatre)………………………………..1

Red Speedo (The Road Theatre Company)……….…………………………………1

Soft Power (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre)…………………………1

A Streetcar Named Desire (Boston Court Pasadena)………………………………. 1

Three Days in the Country (Antaeus Theatre Company)…………………………   1

Waitress (Hollywood Pantages Theatre)……………………………………………  1

 

 

Citations by company:

Antaeus Theatre Company…………………………………………………………….12

A Noise Within………………………………………………….………………………10

Center Theatre Group……………………………………….…………………………..9

South Coast Repertory…………………………………………………………………..8

East West Players………………………………………………………………..……… 7

Celebration Theatre………………………………………………………….…………  6

Geffen Playhouse………………………………………………………………….……   6

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts…………………………………………   6

Echo Theater Company…………………………………………………………..……  4

Hollywood Pantages Theatre.....................................................................................        3

The Fountain Theatre………………………………………………………..…………  2

IAMA Theatre Company………………………………………………………………   2

Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center……… 2

Pasadena Playhouse…………………………………………………………………….…2

Rogue Machine Theatre……………………….……..…………………………………   2

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum………………………………………………………2

Ammunition Theatre Company…………………………………………………………   1

Boston Court Pasadena…………………………………………………………………… 1

Moving Arts…………………………………………………………………………………1

Native Voices at the Autry…………………………………………………………………1

Playwright’s Arena…………………………………………………………………………1

The Road Theatre Company……………………………………………………………….1

Sacred Fools Theater Company……………………………………………………………1

The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles..............................................................................1

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.............................................................1

 

 

 
Robby Awards 2018

The 33rd Annual Robby Awards for Excellence in Los Angeles Area Theatre were presented by long time theatre critic Rob Stevens at a laugh and song-filled evening at Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal in North Hollywood on Monday, February 4. Linda Hart and Bruce Kimmel co-hosted the show which featured performances by nominated actors Eileen Barnett, Erica Hanrahan-Ball, Ashley Fox Linton, Cassandra Marie Murphy, Jeffrey Scott Parsons, Jenna Lea Rosen, Shaunte Tabb Massard and Robert Yacko from their shows. Former Robby Award winner Jane A. Johnston also delivered a dramatic rendition of “The Ladies Who Lunch”. Other previous Robby Award winners Belinda Balaski, Carole Cook, Richard Doyle, John Iacovelli, Michael Kearns and Tom Troupe also presented awards. Cook had the audience roaring with laughter at her take down of Stevens and her reactions to her husband Troupe’s comments.

 

Hollywood’s Celebration Theatre was the big winner of the night, taking home nine awards—five for PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT and four for CABARET. CABARET tied for Best Musical of the year with Me + You Productions’s SPRING AWAKENING. Hollywood’s The Fountain Theatre’s production of THE CHOSEN won Best Drama as well as two other awards while Pasadena’s A Noise Within’s production of NOISES OFF was named Best Comedy. Twenty-two productions at sixteen different Los Angeles venues won awards.

 

MUSICALS

TERI RALSTON AWARD FOR PRODUCTION (TIE)

Cabaret, Celebration Theatre

Spring Awakening, Me + You Productions

VIRGINIA CAPERS AWARD FOR DIRECTOR (TIE)

Jessica Hanna, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre

Michael Matthews, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre

MICHAEL G. HAWKINS AWARD FOR ACTOR

Alex Nee, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre

MICHELLE NICASTRO AWARD FOR ACTRESS

Kelly Lester, Cabaret, McCoy Rigby Entertainment

GARY BEACH AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jason Graae, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Musical Theatre West

LISA ROBINSON AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Stephanie Fredricks, High Society, Musical Theatre Guild

DOM SALINARO AWARD FOR CHOREOGRAPHY

Peggy Hickey, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Musical Theatre West

ELAN MCMAHAN AWARD FOR MUSICAL DIRECTION

Jennifer Lin, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre

JOHN RAITT AWARD FOR MUSIC & LYRICS

Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away, Ahmanson Theatre

LIES AND LEGENDS AWARD FOR ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

Kevin Carolan, Harter Clingman, Nick Duckart, Chamblee Ferguson, Becky Gulsvig, Julie Johnson, Christine Toy Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Megan McGinnis, Andrew Samonsky, Danielle K. Thomas, Emily Walton, Come From Away, Ahmanson Theatre

BILLY BARNES AWARD FOR BEST CABARET PERFORMANCE

Jeffrey Scott Parsons, Comfy, Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal

 

DRAMA

NAN MARTIN AWARD FOR PRODUCTION

The Chosen, The Fountain Theatre

MARTIN BENSON AWARD FOR DIRECTOR

Emma Rice, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, The Wallis

RAY STRICKLYN AWARD FOR ACTOR

Dor Gvirtsman, The Chosen, The Fountain Theatre

SALLY KEMP AWARD FOR ACTRESS

Lesley Manville, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Wallis

RICHARD DOYLE AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alan Blumenfeld, The Chosen, The Fountain Theatre

BELINDA BALASKI AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Anna Stromberg, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Blanket Fort Entertainment

MICHAEL DEVEREAUX AWARD FOR PLAYWRITING

Maureen Huskey, The Woman Who Went To Space As A Man, Son of Semele

 

COMEDY

CAROLE COOK AWARD FOR PRODUCTION

Noises Off, A Noise Within

RON LINK AWARD FOR DIRECTOR

Geoff Elliott, Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within

TOM TROUPE AWARD FOR ACTOR

Paul Rodriguez, Steambath, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

LU LEONARD AWARD FOR ACTRESS

Nike Doukas, Three Days in the Country, Antaeus Theatre Company

ALBERT LORD AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTOR

Armin Shimerman, Three Days in the Country, Antaeus Theatre Company

DEE CROXTON AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Lila Hood, Bad Jews, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

 

TECHNICAL

JOHN IACOVELLI AWARD FOR SCENIC DESIGN (TIE)

Pete Hickok, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre

John Iacovelli, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company

PROJECTION DESIGN AWARD

Aaron Rhyne, Love Actually Live, The Wallis

PAULIE JENKINS AWARD FOR LIGHTING DESIGN

Matthew Brian Denman, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre

GARLAND RIDDLE AWARD FOR COSTUME DESIGN

Allison Dillard, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre

STEVE "CANYON" KENNEDY AWARD FOR SOUND DESIGN

Martin Carillo, The Woman Who Went To Space As A Man, Son of Semele

 

SPECIAL AWARD FOR WIG DESIGN

Byron Batista, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre

SPECIAL AWARD FOR FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY

Dane Oliver, Haiti, Theatricum Botanicum

SPECIAL AWARD FOR THE RETURN OF GOOD POLITICAL SATIRE

Joe Keenan, Everybody Rise! A Resistance Cabaret, Rockwell Table & Stage

 

 
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.