You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown's Kristin Chenoweth and Side Man's Robert Sella have won the 54th Annual Clarence Derwent Awards, bestowed by the Actors' Equity Foundation. The winners were announced April 28 by Carl Harms, award trustee and Equity Foundation president.
The Derwent Awards honor most promising male and female performers on the metropolitan scene. Chenoweth and Sella will each receive $1,000 and a crystal trophy at a ceremony June 8 at Equity's New York office.
Chenoweth, who also appeared in William Finn's latest musical, A New Brain, plays Sally, a character written into the current Charlie Brown revival. Sella, a Juilliard graduate, played Freddie Hill opposite Richard Chamberlain in the last Broadway My Fair Lady. He recently returned to Side Man to play Clifford, the son affected by his parents' dismal marriage.
Established in 1944 by actor Clarence Derwent, the Derwent Awards have honored such performers as George C. Scott, Ann Reinking, Gene Wilder and James Woods.
The same as in 1998, judges for this year's awards were Harms, critics Irene Backalenick (Back Stage), Clive Barnes (NY Post), Michael Kuchwara (AP) and Michael Sommers (Newhouse newspapers), Douglas Watt (NY Daily News), Betty Corwin (of the NY Public Library's Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts' Film & Tape Archive), librettist Peter Stone, producer Robert Whitehead, and Actors' Equity President Ron Silver.