At Wit's End, Music Lesson, Violet, Laramie Win Big at 2001 Carbonells in FL

News   At Wit's End, Music Lesson, Violet, Laramie Win Big at 2001 Carbonells in FL At Wit's End, the world premiere musical about the founding of The New Yorker and the wits of the Algonquin Round Table, won the 2001 Carbonell Award for Best New Work at the Nov. 19 ceremony honoring the best of South Florida Theatre.
Blake Hammond and Kathy Santen (seated) and Sean Grennan in the musical, At Wit's End.
Blake Hammond and Kathy Santen (seated) and Sean Grennan in the musical, At Wit's End. (Photo by Photo by Susan Green)

At Wit's End, the world premiere musical about the founding of The New Yorker and the wits of the Algonquin Round Table, won the 2001 Carbonell Award for Best New Work at the Nov. 19 ceremony honoring the best of South Florida Theatre.

The new musical, written by Chicago collaborators Cheri Coons (book and lyrics) and Michael Duff (music) was produced by Florida Stage, and also took home Carbonells for Best Actor in a Musical (Blake Hammond, who played Alexander Woolcott) and Best Musical Director (Craig D. Ames).

Playbill On-Line has learned that the writers are in discussions with Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL, for the possible Midwest premiere of the sophisticated musical, set in the Algonquin Hotel and centering on machinations by Alexander Woolcott.

The Actors' Playhouse staging of Violet was one of the big Carbonell winners Monday night at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. The Jeanine Tesori Brian Crawford musical about a disfigured girl's spiritual odyssey, won in the musical categories of Best Musical, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actor.

Florida Stage's The Music Lesson won Best Production of a Play, Best Director (co-directors Louis Tyrrell and Mark Lynch) and Actress (Jessica K. Peterson). Dan Lauria won the Best Actor in a Play award for playing one of two sparring brothers in Coconut Grove Playhouse's revival of Arthur Miller's The Price.

The Best Ensemble Award went to Caldwell Theatre Company's The Laramie Project, which also won in the lighting and sound design categories.

Special awards went to arts executive and philanthropist Rhoda Levitt (The Howard Kleinberg Award, for special contributions to the development of the arts in South Florida), actress and producer Jan McArt and the late director Bob Bogdanoff (the Ruth Foreman Award, for contributions to South Florida theatre), and designer Kenneth N. Kurtz, a longtime professor designer at the University of Miami theatre department (the Bill Hindman Award for long-term achievement).

The George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts went to Christine Dolen, theatre critic of The Miami Herald.

Awards for non-resident shows went to Dame Edna: the Royal Tour (Best Production), Zenzi Mbuli (Best Director, for Gumboots), Barry Humphries (Best Actor, Dame Edna: The Royal Tour), Bea Arthur (Best Actress, And Then There's Bea), Everett Quinton (Best Supporting Actor, Cinderella), Andrea Chamberlain (Best Supporting Actress, Men).

The 2001 Carbonell Award nominees and winners (marked in boldface) are:

Best New Work (award to author):
As Fate Would Have It, by Tony Finstrom, Footlights Inc.
At Wit's End, book and lyrics by Cheri Coons, music by Michael Duff, Florida Stage
Karen, by Leonard David Berkowitz, Coconut Grove Playhouse
land/audiovideo, by Michael John Garces, Juggerknot Theatre Company.

Best Ensemble Production:
A Grand Night for Singing, Hollywood Playhouse
As Thousands Cheer, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
Jerry's Girls, Broward Stage Door Theatre
The Laramie Project, Caldwell Theatre Company
Summer Shorts, City Theatre

PLAYS

Best Production of a Play (award to producer):
The Blue Room, GableStage
The Laramie Project, Caldwell Theatre Company
The Music Lesson, Florida Stage
Syncopation, Florida Stage
Wit, New Theatre

Best Director:
Rafael de Acha, Wit, New Theatre
Joseph Adler, The Blue Room, GableStage
Michael Hall, The Laramie Project, Caldwell Theatre Company
Ken Kay, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Caldwell Theatre Company
Louis Tyrrell and Mark Lynch, The Music Lesson, Florida Stage

Best Actor:
Stephen G. Anthony, The Real Thing, GableStage
Dan Lauria,The Price, Coconut Grove Playhouse
David Mann, The Blue Room, GableStage
Joris Stuyck, The Music Lesson, Florida Stage
Jack Willis, Art, Coconut Grove Playhouse

Best Actress:
Jessica K. Peterson, The Music Lesson, Florida Stage
Rosemary Prinz, Master Class, Coconut Grove Playhouse
Barbara Sloan, Wit, New Theatre
Cary Anne Spear, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Caldwell Theatre Company
Frances Sternhagen, The Exact Center of the Universe, Florida Stage

Best Supporting Actor:
John Archie, Lobby Hero, Caldwell Theatre Company
Liam Christopher O'Brien, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Caldwell Theatre Company
Michael O. Smith, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Caldwell Theatre Company
Tom Wahl,Summer Shorts, City Theatre
Bill Yule, Summer Shorts, City Theatre

Best Supporting Actress:
Virginia Light, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Caldwell Theatre Company
Harriet Oser, Summer Shorts, City Theatre
Tara Reid, Far East, New Theatre
Pamela Roza, Bash, Juggerknot Theatre Company
Sloane Shelton, The Exact Center of the Universe, Florida Stage

MUSICALS

Best Production of a Musical (award to producer):
At Wit's End, Florida Stage
The Devil's Music, Florida Stage
Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Fiddler on the Roof, Hollywood Playhouse
Violet, The Actors' Playhouse

Best Director:
David Arisco, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
David Arisco, Violet, The Actors' Playhouse
Joe Leonardo, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
J. Barry Lewis, As Thousands Cheer, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
Andy Rogow, Fiddler on the Roof, Hollywood Playhouse

Best Choreographer:
Jose de la Cuesta, 42nd Street, Broward Stage Door Theatre
Barbara Flaten, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Barbara Flaten, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Actors' Playhouse
Maria Lampert, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
Melissa Rae Mahon, As Thousands Cheer, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Best Musical Director:
Eric Alsford, Fiddler on the Roof, Hollywood Playhouse
Craig D. Ames, As Thousands Cheer, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
Craig D. Ames, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
David Nagy, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
David Nagy, Violet, The Actors' Playhouse

Best Actor:
Vincent D'Elia, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Darryl Reuben Hall, Violet, The Actors' Playhouse
Blake Hammond, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
Avi Hoffman, Fiddler on the Roof, Hollywood Playhouse
Christopher A. Kent, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Actors' Playhouse

Best Actress:
Miche Braden, The Devil's Music, Florida Stage
Rachel Cohen, Funny Girl, Broward Stage Door Theatre
Jennifer Hughes, Violet, The Actors' Playhouse
Rachel Jones, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Margot Moreland, Fiddler on the Roof, Hollywood Playhouse

Best Supporting Actor:
Christopher A. Kent, 42nd Street, Broward Stage Door Theatre
Dan Leonard, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
Gary Marachek, Violet, The Actors' Playhouse
Yuri Rodriguez, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Barry Tarallo, Violet, The Actors' Playhouse.

Best Supporting Actress:
Ingrid Cole, A Grand Night for Singing, Hollywood Playhouse
Elizabeth Dimon, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
Gwen Hollander, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Julie Kleiner, Fiddler on the Roof, Hollywood Playhouse
Whitney Weber, Violet, The Actors' Playhouse

DESIGN AWARDS

Best Costumes:
Bernard Grenier, As Thousands Cheer, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
Mary Lynne Izzo, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Suzette Pare, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
Penny Koleos Williams, The Laramie Project, Caldwell Theatre Company
Penny Koleos Williams, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Caldwell Theatre Company

Best Lighting:
Ginny Adams, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Jim Fulton, The Music Lesson, Florida Stage
Jim Fulton, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
Jeff Quinn, The Blue Room, GableStage
Thomas Salzman, The Laramie Project, Caldwell Theatre Company

Best Set Design:
Lyle Baskin, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Tim Bennett, The Laramie Project, Caldwell Theatre Company
Tim Bennett, Lobby Hero, Caldwell Theatre Company
James Morgan, At Wit's End, Florida Stage
Klara Zieglerova, The Music Lesson, Florida Stage

Best Sound:
Nate Rausch, Citizen Tom Paine, GableStage
Nate Rausch, Mindgame, GableStage
Steve Shapiro/Nate Rausch, Evita, The Actors' Playhouse
Steve Shapiro, Far East, New Theatre
Steve Shapiro, The Laramie Project, Caldwell Theatre Company

— By Kenneth Jones