2001 TONY AWARDS SPOTLIGHT: Nominees for Best Costume Design

News   2001 TONY AWARDS SPOTLIGHT: Nominees for Best Costume Design Theoni V. Aldredge, Follies
The New York Times recently profiled Aldredge's work on the revival of Follies, and no wonder. She's designed for more than 150 Broadway shows, garnering three Tony Awards for Annie, Barnum and La Cage aux Folles, plus an Oscar for "The Great Gatsby." With great plays (Sweet Bird of Youth, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), legendary musicals (A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls, Gypsy) and 20 years of principal designing for the New York Shakespeare Festival on her resume, Aldredge was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1986. Interesting to note, Aldredge designed the original 42nd Street and finds herself competing against the revival's designer, Roger Kirk.

Theoni V. Aldredge, Follies
The New York Times recently profiled Aldredge's work on the revival of Follies, and no wonder. She's designed for more than 150 Broadway shows, garnering three Tony Awards for Annie, Barnum and La Cage aux Folles, plus an Oscar for "The Great Gatsby." With great plays (Sweet Bird of Youth, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), legendary musicals (A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls, Gypsy) and 20 years of principal designing for the New York Shakespeare Festival on her resume, Aldredge was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1986. Interesting to note, Aldredge designed the original 42nd Street and finds herself competing against the revival's designer, Roger Kirk.

Roger Kirk, 42nd Street
Although much of his work has been off these shores, Kirk won a Tony Award for his sumptuous designs for the recent revival of The King and I. His Australian and United Kingdom work includes Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar revival and Whistle Down the Wind, The White Devil and the Australian musical The Boy From Oz. Also prolific in opera work, he has designed sets and costumes for "The Magic Flute," "Iolanthe," "The Pirates of Penzanze," "Don Pasquale," "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Manon Lescaut."

William Ivey Long, The Producers
The last time Ivey Long took home Tony he was, coincidentally, working on a Susan Stroman show, Crazy for You. His task on The Producers was comically difficult —how to make laughable Nazi uniforms and a Hitler who induces giggles? He rose to the task with sequins, sparkles and a humongous sausage and even gets to pay homage to himself with a costume designer character called Kevin, decked out in an lavender Ivey Long-esque suit (minus the tennis shoes). His multiple recent Broadway credits include Contact, The Music Man, Cabaret, Chicago, Seussical, Swing!, Annie Get Your Gun, The Man Who Came To Dinner, 1776 and Guys and Dolls. Ivey Long is the winner of an Obie (Assassins), two Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Hewes Award, two Drama Desk Awards and a second Tony (for Nine).

David C. Woolard, The Rocky Horror Show
Got a rock 'n' roll show and need a costume designer? Woolard's your man —he was Tony and Olivier nominated for The Who's Tommy and has lent his talents to Off-Broadway's The Bomb-itty of Errors, The Donkey Show and Godspell. His gothy S&M designs for Rocky Horror contrast nicely with his more down-to-earth work on Broadway's Wait Until Dark, The Young Man From Atlanta, A Few Good Men and Marlene. His most recent musical was Manhattan Theatre Club's revue newyorkers.

Analysis: Each designer had their own special challenges to overcome— Woolard needed to wink at a film version that imprinted Tim Curry in fishnets onto the nation's brain, but create his own vision of sweet transvestite and innocent teenagers; while Kirk had to fashion a new look for a musical only 20 years old and still fresh in the Broadway mind. Aldredge worked in two very distinct and very different periods—that of the Follies in the '20s and '10s and the specific year 1971. But Ivey Long should win the Tony this year for his creative costumes that not only make a neo-Nazi musical come to life, but also peoples the stage with a memorable chorus of old ladies, bag ladies, village people and beautiful chorines. —By Christine Ehren