Monday, May 4, 2009

Things I Have Yet To Comment On

I've been lax about writing, but a flurry of posts are coming in the next few days (hopefully). Here are a few things I have failed to mention recently:

The nominations for Chicago's Non-Equity Jeff Awards have been announced. You can see the full list of nominations here, but here are a few thoughts:

--Congratulations to Brian Plocharczyk, nominated for Lead Actor for his work in Stage Left's fall show, After Ashley. He was exceptional. I'm disappointed that The Day of Knowledge didn't get any nominations, but we knew that was coming when the committee failed to recommend us. Ah well, you can't please all of the people all of the time.

--David Cromer's hugely popular production of Our Town (which I never got to see) was nominated for Production and Director, but had no acting or design nominations. Given that the praise was spread pretty widely for that show, I find that pretty shocking. (Cromer now has a version of Our Town running Off-Broadway which opened to similarly rave reviews, and similarly sold-out houses, and just won the Lucille Lortel for Best Revival and Best Director.)

--An advance congratulations to Amanda Hartley of The Robber Bridegroom, the only nominee for Supporting Actress in a Musical. Work on that speech.

--Have The Hypocrites gone equity since Our Town? I'm shocked at no nominations for The Threepenny Opera, which was one of my favorites of last season.

--Congratulations to Joanie Schultz! She directed me in Saint Joan when I was an undergrad and she was getting her MFA at Northwestern, and her production of In Arabia We'd All Be Kings got nominations for Production, Director, Ensemble, Leading Actor, and Supporting Actress.

--I'm not sure what was going on in the "New Adaptation" category, but neither of the shows in that category that I saw were successful adaptations. The Picture of Dorian Gray at Lifeline was not terribly scary (though Supporting Actor nominee Paul S. Holmquist did do strong work) and generally confused. And Scoundrel Time at City Lit somehow managed to take all of the drama out of the story of Lillian Hellman and the blacklist--quite a feat, but not quite nomination-worthy.

--Overall, it reminded me of how much theatre I don't see. I don't think I made it to more than six or eight of the nominated shows. Need to get on that in the future.


There has been shockingly little mention in the press of the death of Augusto Boal on Saturday. Boal was the legendary Brazilian director and educator who pioneered the "Theatre of the Oppressed," which used performance to engage people with their lives and political situations. Anybody who works in theatre education and creative drama has made use of his work, even if they haven't read his works. He  has left an exceptional legacy.


The Tony nominations are tomorrow, and today the committee announced the special awards. The winners include composer Jerry Herman, who won a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Washington DC's Signature Theatre, which won the Outstanding Regional Theatre award. Full details on Playbill.

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