Cats, Lost, Cops and Freedom Top NYC Fringe Awards

News   Cats, Lost, Cops and Freedom Top NYC Fringe Awards
 
Thirty-three of the more than 200 productions which participated in the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival were honored Aug. 24 at the award ceremony which capped the two-week-long event.
Freedom of Speech's writer/performer, Eliza Jane Schneider.
Freedom of Speech's writer/performer, Eliza Jane Schneider.

Among the winners were audience and critic favorites like Cats Talk Back, Lost, Pinafore, Freedom of Speech and How to Act Around the Cops. The latter was the only offering to take home two awards—for direction and playwriting.

A complete list of winners follows:

Overall ProductionPinafore
Overall ProductionCats Talk Back
Overall ProductionTuesdays And Sundays
Overall Productionexpat/inferno
Solo ShowTom Crean—Antarctic Explorer
Solo ShowFreedom of Speech
Solo ShowA Life in Her Day
Solo Show - Brain Freeze
Unique Theatrical ExperienceWax & Wayne
Unique Theatrical Experience – Charles Phoenix’s God Bless Americana
PuppeteeringNosferatu
Puppeteering – Bob Brown Puppet’s Carnival of the Animals
Music And LyricsLost
Costume Design – Wade Laboissonniere, Suspect
Costume Design – Markas Henry, Escape From Pterodactyl Island
Scenic DesignHouse of Merry
Ensemble PerformanceCelebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Ensemble PerformanceSlavery
Ensemble PerformancePoseidon!—An Upsidedown Musical
Ensemble PerformanceSides...The Fear Is Real
PlaywritingRoberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Say You Love Satan
PlaywritingMichael Jackson, A Taste of Heaven
Playwriting – Brendan Bates, The Savior of Fenway
Playwriting – Logan Brown, How to Act Around Cops
Playwriting – Timothy Nolan, Acts of Contrition
Choreography – John Ficarra, Scalpel
Choreography – Ksenia Vidyaykina, Trapped
Performance – Rick Batalla, Blake...Da Musical
Performance - Boo Killibrew, This Is a Newspaper
Performance - Kathryn Foster, Final Countdown
Performance - Alexander Gemignani, Trapped Family Singers
Direction – John Schumacher – How to Act Around Cops
Theatremania Audience AwardMeaningless Sex; (Runner Up: Poop)

The awards are judged by a panel of sixty theater/industry professionals, including critics, managers, agents, actors and playwrights.

* The festival that gave birth to Urinetown, Debbie Does Dallas and Matt & Ben began swamping downtown Manhattan with theatre fare on Aug. 8. This year's FringeNYC featured works from ten countries and fifteen states. For the first time, the summer event—which was once centered around the Lower East Side and East Village—added many West Village venues, resulting in a more sprawling event than in years past, when theatres were often located across the block or down the street from one another. (The Present Company Theatorium on Stanton Street, once Fringe headquarters, is no longer a venue.)

Another change from years previous was the demand for tickets. Despite sweltering temperatures and a citywide blackout that resulted in two nights of canceled shows, audiences flocked to the festival. Even the most obscure attractions reported audiences ranging from seventy to one hundred percent capacity. Certain shows sold out before the run and had to add performances, and it was nearly impossible to gain access to hit productions.

It's a little too early to discern which shows will find commercial futures. However, Lost, the spooky operatic musical by composer Jessica Grace Wing and lyricist-librettist Kirk Wood Bromley, and one of the better reviewed offerings, will jump to the Connelly Theater after its Fringe run.

Other well-received attractions include Cats Talk Back, A mock theatre talk-back featuring five former cast members of Andrew Lloyd Webber's longest running show in Broadway history, Cats, and featuring New York Times arts scribe Jesse McKinley as himself; Pinafore!, Mark Savage's (Naked Boys Singing) re-envisioning of the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta; and Eliza Jane Schneider's comic one-person show Freedom of Speech. A spokesman said Poseidon! An Upside-Down Musical perhaps sold more tickets than any other Fringe show, and reported that both Freedom of Speech and How to Act Around Cops are talking to producers.

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