All three shows were nominated as Outstanding New Musical. Outstanding Original Score nominees are Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik for Whisper House and Christopher Curtis for his Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin.
More than 100 nominees from 12 San Diego County theatres will compete in 29 artistic categories at the ninth annual awards program.
The Jan. 10, 2011, ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, will be dedicated to the memory of the awards' namesake, Craig Noel, the founding artistic director of San Diego's Old Globe Theatre who died in April at the age of 94.
The 2010 nominees include composer-lyricist Sheik (Spring Awakening) for Whisper House, a tale of a haunted lighthouse, at The Old Globe; director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, who staged the Broadway-aimed Robin and the 7 Hoods, inspired by the movie, at The Old Globe Theatre; director Liesl Tommy for Ruined at La Jolla Playhouse; and lead performers Ashley Brown and Rob McClure, of the Charlie Chaplin bio show, Limelight, at La Jolla Playhouse.
Although director Michael Unger had parted ways with Limelight, with his task assumed by Warren Carlyle, both men were nominated for their direction of the show. Carlyle (Finian's Rainbow) was also nominated for his choreography. Eric Schneider, not a marquee name but a tireless showman, was rewarded with a nomination as Lead Actor in a Musical for playing the Sinatra "Robbo" role in Robin and the 7 Hoods.
British director Adrian Noble was nominated for his work on The Madness of King George III, for The Old Globe.
The 2010 Craig Noel Awards production nominees follow. For a complete list of nominees, visit www.sdcriticscircle.org.
Outstanding Resident Musical
Sweeney Todd, Cygnet Theatre
Title of Show, Diversionary Theatre
Hairspray, San Diego Repertory Theatre
MiXtape, Lamb’s Players Theatre
Miss Saigon, Moonlight Stage Productions
Outstanding New Musical
Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin, La Jolla Playhouse
Whisper House, The Old Globe
Robin and the 7 Hoods, The Old Globe
Outstanding Touring Production
Aurelia's Oratorio, La Jolla Playhouse
Burn the Floor, Broadway/San Diego
Notes From Underground, La Jolla Playhouse
Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, San Diego Repertory Theatre
Outstanding Dramatic Production
Hurlyburly, Ion Theatre
Ghosts, North Coast Repertory Theatre
The Madness of George III, The Old Globe
Yellow Face, Mo'olelo Performing Arts
Ruined, La Jolla Playhouse
Other awards to be announced on Jan. 10: Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Performance in a Touring Production, Outstanding Young Artist, Producer of the Year, Actor of the Year and the Des McAnuff New Visions Award.
Founded in 1983 and re-established in 2002, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle is an independent, nonprofit organization of print and online theatre critics dedicated to open and honest dialogue about theatre in San Diego County and to honoring artistic excellence.
The members of the organization are professional critics writing for daily newspapers, magazines, alternative weeklies, entertainment trade publications and Web sites in San Diego County.