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The Secret Garden

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Lucy Simon’s hauntingly beautiful score for THE SECRET GARDEN remains one of the glories of the Broadway stage. Marsha Norman’s book is often blamed for the fact that the show is infrequently performed. Critical voices find the opening sequence, set in India, confusing, and the balance of the action, set in a desolate and crumbling English manor, a bit too Gothic for the youngsters.

But, in a pre-Disney Broadway world, Norman and Simon dared to explore the darker elements of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel which itself waited until after the author’s death to be appreciated.

The palpable nature of the ghosts and their lingering tragedies might scare off some producers, but there are also tremendous vocal challenges. The score is an unabashed modern operetta and demands skillful singing from highly trained voices, both in the principal roles and the chorus. It also requires British accents from everyone, including two children. And three important characters must use a thick Yorkshire accent. It's a sound not always easy for American actors to master and one even harder for American audiences to comprehend.

Then there is Mary Lennox, the central character in the story. Mary is a traumatized pre-teen who survives a cholera epidemic which killed her parents and everyone she knows. She has none of the smiling optimism of her contemporary fictional characters, Pollyanna and  Anne Shirley. Packed off to her nearest surviving relative-by-marriage to eke out her days in a cold and foreign landscape, she is confused and angry.

3-D Theatricals is lucky to have found as skilfull a young performer as Glory Joy Rose to play Mary. Rose’s performance provides a strong foundation for the show, and both her singing and her accent are laudable. But, more importantly, the actress carefully reveals Mary’s emotional life. She charts the character’s journey from a withdrawn and resentful girl with no interest in life to a confident youngster with a mission.

Finding and restoring the titular secret garden is what heals Mary’s soul, but Mary and her garden cannot help but affect some of the other brokenhearted members of her family. Chief among them is Archibald Craven (Dino Nicandros), a bitter and tortured hunchback haunted by the ghost of his wife, Lily (Jeanette Dawson). Nicandros was born to play this role. His dark, brooding looks and the agony he tries to hide with a veneer of harshness make the character’s kinship with Heathcliff more apparent than in any previous production I’ve seen. Nicandros is always an expressive singer, but Archibald is a challenge he pours his heart into. He soars effortlessly to every vocal climax but always manages to keep a delicate thrum of the character’s vulnerability alive in the sound.

Sam Ludwig’s Neville Craven is a strong vocal match for Nicandros, but he particularly shines allowing us to see how his twisted feelings of jealousy for his brother’s relationship with Lily have set him on his own path of despair. Brightening up the general gloom is Renna Nightingale’s eminently practical Martha. A maid in the house, she quickly takes Mary’s measure and prods the girl in the right direction. Nightingale’s Yorkshire accent sounds believable but can be hard to understand, particularly in her otherwise well-sung solos.

Martha’s brother Dickon is often cast in a slightly elfin mode. Brandon Root is a strapping young man who is definitely flesh and blood, but he brings a pleasant sound to his numbers and serves as an important guide for Mary. As Lily, Dawson moves gracefully through the role. Her soprano has a large, plummy sound and the role has a very high tessitura. This makes diction a larger problem than it would be from someone with a more slender tone. Evan Gutierrez makes a convincingly petulant Colin with a lovely soprano and a decent accent.

Strong performances also come from Richard Gould’s crusty, but lovable, Ben and Jillian Doyle’s hiss-worthy Mrs. Medlock. There is terrific singing from the entire ensemble, but mention should be made of Ari Aaron’s Fakir, Randi de Marco’s Ayah, and Travis Leland’s lovely solo lines as the ghost of Mary’s father, which make you want to hear more. Finally, veteran performer Tracy Lore gives a brief master class in scene-stealing when she steps out as Mrs. Winthrop in the second act.

Allen Everman does a terrific job in his musical direction of the company as well as his stirring conducting of the lush score. Director T.J. Dawson does strong work with enhancing and clarifying the emotional life of the characters, something that resonates in all the small scale scenes. I must admit that some of the full company scenes feel a bit unfocused with staircases moving because they can, and people marching about without much seeming purpose. At the same time, I have to report that I was sitting in the second row and all the way to the side of the house. A more central seat, further back, might have given me a clearer view of the action.

Despite my minor caveats, the opportunity to see a production of THE SECRET GARDEN this well cast, acted, and sung is a thrill that you shouldn’t let pass you by.

Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts    May 3 – 19, 2019    www.cerritoscenter.com

 

Spotlight

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Announces Awards for 2019
April 9, 2019…Los Angeles…TheLos Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced the recipients of its 50thannual awards for distinguished achievement in theatre last night, Monday, April 8, 2019, at Pasadena Playhouse. Wenzel Jones presided over the festivities, and Christopher Raymond served as music director.
There were four recipients of the 2018 Production award: Cambodian Rock Band (South Coast Repertory), Come From Away (Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre), Cry It Out (Echo Theater Company), and Sell/Buy/Date (Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center). Awards in 17 other categories celebrated a wide range of Los Angeles theater, with 17 different productions taking home honors. Celebration Theatre’s Cabaret took home the most awards for a single production, with six, including a nod for Revival. Antaeus Theatre Company received the most awards, with three of its productions winning a combined seven trophies. In a competitive category, Tom Hanks received a lead actor award for his performance as Falstaff in The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of Henry IV.
In addition, the LADCC presented eight previously announced special awards, including the Ted Schmitt award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play to Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band, the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater to Sacred Fools Theater Company, and the inaugural Theater Angel award for distinguished service to Los Angeles theater to Yvonne Bell.
The complete list of award recipients is as follows:
PRODUCTION (4):
Cambodian Rock Band, produced by South Coast Repertory and Honorary Producers Carolyn and Bill Klein and Samuel and Tammy Tang, South Coast Repertory.
Come From Away, produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Jerry Frankel, Latitude Link, Smith & Brant Theatricals, Steve & Paula Reynolds, David Mirvish, Michael Rubinoff, Alhadeff Productions, Michael Alden & Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Sam Levy, Rodney Rigby, Spencer Ross, Richard Winkler, Yonge Street Theatricals, Sheridan College, Michael & Ellise Coit, Ronald Frankel, Sheri & Les Biller, Richard & Sherry Belkin, Marlene & Gary Cohen, Allan Detsky & Rena Mendelson, Lauren Doll, Barbara H. Freitag, Wendy Gillespie, Laura Little Theatricals, Carl & Jennifer Pasbjerg, Radio Mouse Entertainment, The Shubert Organization, Cynthia Stroum, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Gwen Arment/Molly Morris & Terry McNicholas, Maureen & Joel Benoliel/Marjorie & Ron Danz, Pamela Cooper/Corey Brunish, Demos Bizar/Square 1 Theatrics, Joshua Goodman/Lauren Stevens, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams Productions, Bill & Linda Potter/Rosemary & Kenneth Willman and La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.
Cry It Out, produced by Chris Fields and Rachael Zambias / Echo Theater Company, Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre.
Sell/Buy/Date, produced by Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center, Andrew Carlberg, and Foment Productions, Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center.
MCCULLOH REVIVAL (3):
Cabaret, produced by Michael Matthews, Michael O’Hara, Jay Marcus, Mark Giberson, Alan Wethern, David Tran, Parnell Damone Marcano, Constance Jewell Lopez, Celebration Theatre.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within.
The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.
LEAD PERFORMANCE (5):
MaameYaa Boafo, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre. 
Tom Hanks, Henry IV, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.
Kasey Mahaffy, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within.
Alex Nee, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre.
Conrad Ricamora, Soft Power, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.
FEATURED PERFORMANCE (2):
Rob Nagle, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.
Daisuke Tsuji, Cambodian Rock Band, South Coast Repertory.
ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE (2):
Come From Away, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.
The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.
SOLO PERFORMANCE (1):
Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date,Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center.
WRITING (2):
Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date,Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Molly Smith Metzler,Cry It Out, Echo Theater Company.
WRITING ADAPTATION (1):
Patrick Marber,Three Days in the Country, Antaeus Theatre Company.
MUSICAL SCORE (1):
Irene Sankoff and David Hein,Come From Away, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.
MUSICAL DIRECTION (2):
Ian Eisendrath, Come From Away, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.
Anthony ZedikerCabaret, Celebration Theatre.
CHOREOGRAPHY (1):
Janet RostonCabaret, Celebration Theatre.
DIRECTION (2):
Jennifer Chang, Vietgone, East West Players.
Geoff Elliott, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, A Noise Within.
SET DESIGN (2):
Stephen Gifford, Cabaret, Celebration Theatre.
John Iacovelli, The Little Foxes, Antaeus Theatre Company.
LIGHTING DESIGN (2):
Matthew Brian DenmanCabaret, Celebration Theatre.
Andrew SchmedakeNative Son, Antaeus Theatre Company.
COSTUME DESIGN (2):
Allison DillardBLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!),Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre.
Allison Dillard, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre.
SOUND DESIGN (2):
Jeff GardnerNative SonAntaeus Theatre Company.
Joshua D. ReidA Christmas Carol, Geffen Playhouse.
CGI/PROJECTION (1):
Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson,Vietgone, East West Players.
SPECIALTY (2):
Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki for Fight Choreography,Vietgone, East West Players.
Jim Steinmeyer for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic CarpetAladdin, Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
The LADCC special award recipients were as follows:
The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre was awarded to Sacred Fools Theater Company.
The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre was awarded to Echo Theater Company.
The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play was awarded to Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band, originally produced by South Coast Repertory.
The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design was awarded to sound designer Robert Oriol.
The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre was awarded to La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts & McCoy Rigby Entertainment.
The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction was awarded to Cameron Watson.
The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community was awarded to Native Voices at the Autry.
TheTheater Angel Awardfor distinguished service to Los Angeles theater was awarded to Yvonne Bell.
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
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw, Arts in LA
Shirle Gottlieb, Arts in LA, StageHappenings.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Harker Jones, Edge Media Network
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw, LA Weekly, Capital & Main
Jenny Lower, Stage Raw
Dany MargoliesArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, Stage Raw, TalkinBroadway.com
Steven Leigh Morris, LA Stage Alliance
Melinda SchupmannShowMag.comArtsinLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-OwenTheatermania.comArtsinLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway
Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

LADCC Logo.jpg

 
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.