1997 Olivier Awards Announced

News   1997 Olivier Awards Announced
 
Just days before making its Broadway debut, Pam Gems' play Stanley has walked off with four awards including Best Play at London's Laurence Olivier Awards ceremony Feb.16.

Just days before making its Broadway debut, Pam Gems' play Stanley has walked off with four awards including Best Play at London's Laurence Olivier Awards ceremony Feb.16.

Boublil-Schonberg's Martin Guerre nabbed the Best New Musical prize, while the just-closed Tommy won three awards, including Outstanding Musical Production. Yasmina Reza's Art, was named Best Comedy.

Besides its citation for Best Play, Stanley was honored with awards for Best Actor (Antony Sher), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Deborah Findlay), and Best Set Designer (Tim Hatley). Sher and Findlay are reprising their London triumphs in the Broadway production, set to open at the Circle in the Square Theatre Feb. 20.

In what could be considered a minor upset, Janet McTeer (A Doll's House) triumphed over presumed winner Diana Rigg (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) New Yorkers will get to see McTeer's performance later this season, when the acclaimed London production (adapted by Frank McGuinness and directed by Anthony Page) transfers to Broadway. In limbo for several weeks while producer Bill Kenwright negotiated with Actor's Equity over American work permits for the British cast, the production is now a definite go. Word has been received - confirmed by spokesperson Philip Rinaldi - that the requisite permits have been obtained. A late-March start is expected.

In the musical categories, the revised Cameron Mackintosh production Martin Guerre took home a Best Theatre Choreographer award (Bob Avian) in addition to its Best Musical trophy. Performance awards went to Robert Lindsay (Best Actor in a Musical) in another Mackintosh show, Oliver!, Maria Friedman (Best Actress in a Musical) for Passion, and Clive Rowe (Best Supporting Performance in a Musical) for the National's revival of Guys and Dolls. The role of Fosca in Stephen Sondheim's Passion now has the distinction of garnering the top musical performance prize for the two actresses who have essayed the role on both sides of the Atlantic: Donna Murphy in New York and Friedman in London. Friedman is currently prepping a highly anticipated revival of Lady in the Dark at London's National Theatre.

At the awards ceremony, held at Grosvenor House in London, Richard Eyre, retiring head of the Royal National Theatre, was presented with the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement. During Eyre's tenure, the National has originated such acclaimed productions as Carousel, Indiscretions, Arcadia, Skylight, An Inspector Calls, and Stanley.

Here is a complete list of the 1997 Olivier Award winners and nominees. Winners are indicated with an asterisk (*):

Best New Play
THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE by Martin McDonagh at the Royal Court
BLINDED BY THE SUN by Stephen Poliakoff at the RNT Cottesloe
THE HERBAL BED by Peter Whelan at the RSC Pit
*STANLEY by Pam Gems at the RNT Cottesloe

Best New Comedy
*ART by Yasmina Reza at the Wyndham's
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield with additional meterial by Reed Martin at the Criterion
LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR by Neil Simon at the Queen's

Best New Musical
*MARTIN GUERRE, book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, lyrics by Edward Hardy and Stephen Clark, at the Prince Edward
NINE, book by Arthur Kopit, music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, adapted from the Italian by Mario Fratti, at the Donmar Warehouse
PASSION, book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, at the Queen's

Outstanding Musical Production
BY JEEVES, by Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber based on the Jeeves stories by P G Wodehouse, at the Duke of York's, now Lyric
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, book by Tom O'Horgan lyrics by Tim Rice music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, at the Lyceum
SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, music and lyrics by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, at the Prince of Wales
*TOMMY, book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff, music and lyrics by Pete Townshend, additional music and lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon, at the Shaftesbury

Best Actress
Eileen Atkins for JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN at the RNT Lyttelton
*Janet McTeer for A DOLL'S HOUSE at the Playhouse
Vanessa Redgrave for JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN at the RNT Lyttelton
Diana Rigg for WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at the Aldwych

Best Actor in a Play
Paul Scofield for JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN at the RNT Lyttelton
*Anthony Sher for STANLEY at the RNT Cottesloe
Ken Stott for ART at the Wyndham's
David Suchet for WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at the Aldwych

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Frances Barber for UNCLE VANYA at the Albery
Clare Holman for WHO'S AFRIAD OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at the Aldwych
Anna Chancelloe for STANLEY at the RNT Cottesloe
*Deborah Findley for STANLEY at the RNT Cottesloe

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Stephen Boxer for THE HERBAL BED at the RSC Pit
*Trevor Eve for UNCLE VANYA at the Albery
Tony Haygarth for TWELVE ANGRY MEN at the Comedy
Owen Teale for A DOLL'S HOUSE at the Playhouse

Best Actress in a Musical
B J Crosby for SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE at the Prince of Wales
*Maria Friedman for PASSION at the Queen's
Joanna Riding for GUYS and DOLLS at the RNT Olivier
Imelda Staunton for GUYS AND DOLLS at the RNT Olivier

Best Actor in a Musical
Iain Glen for MARTIN GUERRE at the Prince Edward
*Robert Lindsay for OLIVER! at the London Palladium
Paul Keating for TOMMY at the Shaftesbury
Steven Pacey for BY JEEVES at the Duke of York's

Best Supporting Performance in a Musical
James Gillan for TOMMY at the Shaftesbury
Hugh Ross for PASSION at the Queen's
*Clive Rowe for GUYS AND DOLLS at the RNT Olivier
Tony Selby for PAINT YOUR WAGON at the Open Air

Best Director
Richard Eyre for JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN at the RNT Lyttelton
*Dec McAnuff for TOMMY at the Shaftesbury
Anthony Page for A DOLL'S HOUSE at the Playhouse
Matthew Warchus for ART at the Wyndham's

Best Theatre Choreographer
*Bob Avian for MARTIN GUERRE at the Prince Edward
Wayne Cilento for TOMMY at the Shaftesbury

Best Costume Design
Louise Belson for BY JEEVES at the Duke of York's, now Lyric
William Dudley for MARY STUART at the RNT Lyttelton
*Tim Goodchild for THE RELAPSE at the RSC Pit
David C Woolard for TOMMY at the Shaftesbury

Best Lighting Designer
Mark Henderson for JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN at the RNT Lyttelton
David Hersey for MARTIN GUERRE at the Prince Edward
*Chris Parry for TOMMY at the Shaftesbury
Hugh Vanstone for ART at the Wyndham's

Best Set Designer
John Arnone for TOMMY at the Shaftesbury
Paul Farnsworth for PASSION at the Queen's
*Tim Hatley for STANLEY at the RNT Cottesloe
Mark Thompson for ART at the Wyndham's

Best New Opera Production
Welsh National Opera's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA/PAGLIACCI at the Royal Opera House
English National Opera's FIDELIO at the London Coliseum
*English National Opera's TRISTAN AND ISOLDE at the London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Opera
Wolfgang Gobbel for the lighting design of The Royal Opera's THE MIDSUMMER MARRIAGE at the Royal Opera House and of English National Opera's TRISTAN AND ISOLDE at the London Coliseum
*Elgar Howarth for conducting English National Opera's DIE SOLDATEN and THE PRINCE OF HOMBURG at the London Coliseum
Karita Mattila for her performance in The Royal Opera's DON CARLOS at the Royal Opera House

Best New Dance Production
English National Ballet's ALICE IN WONDERLAND at the London Coliseum
The Birmingham Royal Ballet's CARMINA BURANA at the Royal Opera House
*English National Ballet's CINDERELLA at the London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Dance
Sue Blane for her design of English National Ballet's ALICE IN WONDERLAND at the London Coliseum
Viviana Durante for her performances in The Royal Ballet's ANASTASIA and ...NOW LANUOROUS, NOW WILD... at the Royal Opera House
Thomas Edur for his performances in English National Ballet's ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CINDERELLA and GISELLE at the London Coliseum
*The Dancers of Rambert Dance Company for their season at the London Coliseum

Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement
Richard Eyre

The Special Award
Margaret Harris

What do you think of these winners? Are any especially deserving? Was a favorite overlooked? Please give your opinion in our Playbill Poll in Theatre News

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