Best of St. Louis Theatre Honored at March 20 Kevin Kline Awards

News   Best of St. Louis Theatre Honored at March 20 Kevin Kline Awards Recognizing outstanding achievement in professional theatre in the Greater St. Louis Area, The Kevin Kline Awards will be handed out March 20, in a ceremony hosted by Broadway's Jason Danieley, a St. Louis native.

Jason Danieley
Jason Danieley Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Theatre artists and productions will be honored in over 20 categories. The awards are named in honor of St. Louis native Kevin Kline, the Tony and Academy Award winning actor, who will be in attendance and present six awards. Also presenting will be St Louis natives Ken Page and Rocco Landesman.

"I've long been under the impression that people didn't lend their names to awards until after they had died," Kline said in an earlier statement, when the awards were announced. "I'm in pretty good health right now, and feeling all the better for having received this lovely and unexpected honor. It's gratifying to think that I can continue to be associated with theatre excellence in the city where so many of my earliest theatre impressions were formed."

Like most resident theatre communities, shows are created by a mix of local and visiting talent. Among East Coast names nominated are actresses Andrea Burns, Georgia Engel, Natascia Diaz and Kate Baldwin, actors Ken Page, Nat Chandler and Nat DeWolf, musical director Ben Whiteley and director Rob Ruggiero, among others.

Indicating the health of the St. Louis theatre community, the Kline Awards boast a category for Outstanding New Play or Musical. The new-work nominees include Lee Patton Chiles' Dancing on Air; So to Speak, created by the Ensemble of Washington Avenue Players Project; and Margeau Steinau, B. Weller and Rachel Jackson's Famous Monsters.

A spokesman for the Kline Awards said the new works category was included to help encourage world premieres (or premieres of substantially revised works) in the community. The first annual Kevin Kline Awards will be presented March 20 in the restored Robert's Orpheum Theatre (formerly the American Theatre). For tickets or more information, call (314) 276-8165. For more information, visit www.kevinklineawards.org.

2006 Kevin Kline Awards Nominees

Outstanding Production of a Musical
Footloose, Stages St. Louis
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Man of La Mancha, Stages St. Louis
West Side Story, The Muny

Outstanding Production of a Play
Going to See the Elephant, Orange Girls
The Merchant of Venice, New Jewish Theatre
Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis
Valhalla, HotCity Theatre

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Kevin Backstrom, West Side Story, The Muny
Ron Gibbs, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Muny
Michael Hamilton, Footloose, Stages St. Louis
Michael Hamilton, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Michael Hamilton, Man of La Mancha, Stages St. Louis
Edward Stern, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Director of a Play
Deanna Jent, Going to See the Elephant, Orange Girls
Tom Martin, Lobby Hero, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Rob Ruggiero, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Wayne Salomon, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Spotlight Theatre
Russell Treyz, The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis

Outstanding Musical Direction
Lisa Campbell Albert, Man of La Mancha, Stages St. Louis
Tim Carpenter, Crowns, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Al Fischer, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Kelsey Halbert, West Side Story, The Muny
Ben Whiteley, Beauty and the Beast, The Muny

Outstanding Choreography
Kevin Backstrom, West Side Story, The Muny
Dana Lewis, Footloose, Stages St. Louis
Dana Lewis, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Janet Watson, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Vivian Anderson-Watt and Theodore Jamison, Dancing on Air, Historyonics

Outstanding Costume Design
Lou Bird, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Jennifer "JC" Carter, Dangerous Liaisons, St. Louis Shakespeare
Michael J. McDonald, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Reggie Ray, Crowns, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Austin Sanderson, The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis

Outstanding Lighting Design
Christopher Edwards, Valhalla, HotCity Theatre
Don Guy, The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis
John Lasiter, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Matthew McCarthy, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Matthew McCarthy, Man of La Mancha, Stages St. Louis
Peter Sargent, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Set Design
John Ezell, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Mark Halpin, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Adrian W. Jones, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Christopher Pickart, Lobby Hero, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Christopher Pickart, The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis

Outstanding Sound Design
Janet Kalas, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Jason Krueger, West Side Story, The Muny
Nathan Ruyle, Adult Entertainment, HotCity Theatre
Ann Slayton & Robin Weatherall, The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis
John Taylor, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Spotlight Theatre

Outstanding New Play or Musical
Lee Patton Chiles, Dancing on Air, Historyonics
The Ensemble, So to Speak, Washington Avenue Players Project
Margeau Steinau, B. Weller and Rachel Jackson, Famous Monsters, HotCity Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
Adult Entertainment, HotCity Theatre
Going to See the Elephant, Orange Girls Lobby Hero, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis This Is Our Youth, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
Crowns, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Footloose, Stages St. Louis
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Man of La Mancha, Stages St. Louis
West Side Story, The Muny

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Bill Lynch, Footloose, Stages St. Louis
Ben Nordstrom, Footloose, Stages St. Louis
David Schmittou, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Matthew Scott, West Side Story, The Muny
Bob Walton, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Jim Butz, Lobby Hero, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Nat DeWolf, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Norman McGowan, I'm Not Rappaport, New Jewish Theatre
Andrew Michael Neiman, The Elephant Man, Stray Dog Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, The Sound of Music, The Muny
Andrea Burns, West Side Story, The Muny
Kari Ely, Footloose, Stages St. Louis
Sarah Litzsinger, Beauty and the Beast, The Muny
Zoe Vonder Haar, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Michelle Hand, Separate Tables, Act Inc.
Michelle Hand, A Streetcar Named Desire, Stray Dog Theatre
Darrie Lawrence, The Retreat from Moscow, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Nancy Lewis, Going to See the Elephant, Orange Girls
Meghan Maguire, Going to See the Elephant, Orange Girls

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Nat Chandler, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Thomas E. O'Brien, Man of La Mancha, Stages St. Louis
Ken Page, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Muny
Jeffrey Pruett, The Robber Bridegroom, New Line Theatre
John Seidman, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
Michael Balsley, Take Me Out, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Gary Wayne Barker, Driving Miss Daisy, New Jewish Theatre
Drew Bell, Glen or Glenda: Live!, Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre
Jim Butz, The Merchant of Venice, New Jewish Theatre
John Kinney, Unexpected Tenderness, New Jewish Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Melissa Bohon, Hello, Dolly!, Stages St. Louis
Natascia Diaz, West Side Story, The Muny
Lynn Eldredge, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Georgia Engel, Mame, The Muny
Lynette Knapp, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Jamie McKittrick, The Robber Bridegroom, New Line Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
Teresa Doggett, Separate Tables, Act Inc.
Brooke Edwards, Going to See the Elephant, Orange Girls
Michelle Hand, Going to See the Elephant, Orange Girls
Liz Hopefl, Separate Tables, Act Inc.
Rory Lipede, Valhalla, HotCity Theatre
Magan Wiles, The Tempest, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis

Outstanding Production for Young Audiences
Bah! Humbug!, The Imaginary Theatre Company/The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Free to Be … You and Me, Stages St. Louis
Honk!, DramaRama
Salt & Pepper, Metro Theatre Company
The Tempest in a Flash, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis

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The Professional Theatre Awards Council, formed in 2004, launched and operates the Kevin Kline Awards judging process and ceremony to recognize, celebrate and promote outstanding achievement in professional theatre in greater St. Louis. Judging began in January 2005. Nominees were announced in January 2006.