Though the 1999-2000 season featured the one-two punch of Susan Stroman, seemingly at the peak of her career directing and choreographing The Music Man and Contact, other directors and choreographers did fine work as well, as recognized by the Joe A. Callaway Award, which was announced by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Oct. 30. Though “Stro” was a nominee for her choreography of the aforementioned musicals, it was Gabriel Barre and Mark Dendy, for their respective direction and choreography of Manhattan Theatre Club’s The Wild Party, who came away with the 2000 Callaway Award.
Matthew Warchus received “honorable mention” status for his revival of True West, which recieved much attention owing to its two leads switching roles every few performances. Bartlett Sher’s elegant revival of the political drama Waste also took an honorable mention nod.
Other Callaway nominees were Michael Blakemore (Kiss Me, Kate and Copenhagen), Marion McClinton (Jitney), Kyle Donnelly (Give Me Your Answer, Do), David Petrarca (Fuddy Meers), Lynne Taylor-Corbett (Swing!) and Jerry Zaks (this season’s The Man Who Came to Dinner).
Though the winner were announced at SDCF’s “Celebrate Five” gala Oct. 30, the awards ceremony won’t happen till Nov. 13, in a 6 PM event at the American Airlines Theatre.
SDCF executive director David Diamond noted that the annual Callaways can be a bit confusing because different categories are handled by different organizations and announced at different times of the year. (For example, the Callaway Awards for acting are chosen by Actors’ Equity and generally distributed in mid-winter.) “I had tried to coordinate it so that all the awards were announced at the same time, but it just got too complicated,” Diamond told Playbill On-Line. -- By David Lefkowitz