Ghetto and 1776 Win Top Jeff Awards in Chicago

News   Ghetto and 1776 Win Top Jeff Awards in Chicago Famous Door's Ghetto and Drury Lane Oakbrook's 1776 were big winners at the 32nd annual Joseph Jefferson Awards, held this year on Oct. 30 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Famous Door's Ghetto and Drury Lane Oakbrook's 1776 were big winners at the 32nd annual Joseph Jefferson Awards, held this year on Oct. 30 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Ghetto won for outstanding production of a play, beating out Rebecca Gilman's Boy Meets Girl at the Goodman Theatre. The latter, however, won for best new work. Ghetto claimed two other prizes, including best director of a play for Calvin MacLean. That award was recently renamed the "Michael Maggio Award for Outstanding Director—Play," after the late Chicago-area director.

Mary Zimmerman, the director famous for her large-scale conceptions, won for best new adaptation for The Odyssey at the Goodman. Zimmerman had a big Monday. Her Metamorphoses, a theatrical retelling of Ovid's ancient stories, won best play in a large theatre and best director of a play trophies at the L.A. Ovation Awards, which were also announced Oct. 30.

1776 won for best production of a musical, and best director of a musical, for Ray Frewen and Gary Griffin. Other big winners were veteran actors Irma P. Hall (for A Raisin in the Sun) and Roy Dotrice (for A Moon for the Misbegotten, which eventually went on to Broadway).

* As previously announced, special awards went to Joyce and Byrne Piven, of the Piven Theatre Workshop, and Kary M. Walker, retired executive producer of the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

The Piven Theatre Workshop has operated in the Chicago area for 30 years. The Pivens have trained and taught scores of actors in their classes, including the Cusack siblings, John and Joan, Lili Taylor and Aidan Quinn, all of whom got their start in Chicago and went on to film careers. Joyce and Byrne's son is the television and film actor, Jeremy Piven.

Producer Kary M. Walker ran the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire for 20 years, transforming it into a powerhouse institution with 36,000 subscribers and almost 300 Jeff nominations inspired by 98 productions.

*

The 1999-2000 Joseph Jefferson Award Equity and Non-Resident winner (in boldface) are:

NEW WORK
Rebecca Gilman, Boy Gets Girl, The Goodman Theatre
Jenny Laird, Ballad Hunter, Chicago Dramatists
Charles Smith, Knock Me a Kiss, Victory Gardens Theater
Jeffrey Sweet, Bluff, Victory Gardens Theater
Kristine Thatcher, Voice of Good Hope, Victory Gardens Theater

NEW ADAPTATION
Timothy Hendrickson, with Ann Boyd and Julia Neary, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Running With Scissors
Tom Szentgyorgyi, Among the Thugs, The Next Theatre
Mary Zimmerman, The Odyssey, The Goodman Theatre

PRODUCTION – PLAY
Boy Gets Girl, The Goodman Theatre
Ghetto, Famous Door Theatre Co.
The Learned Ladies, Court Theatre
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
The Odyssey, The Goodman Theatre
Shakespeare's R&J, Apple Tree Theatre in association with Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL
1776, Drury Lane Oakbrook
A Chorus Line, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire
My One and Only, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Once on This Island, Apple Tree Theatre

MICHAEL MAGGIO AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR - PLAY
Kate Buckley, Among the Thugs, The Next Theatre
Joe Calarco, Shakespeare’s R&J, Apple Tree Theatre in association with Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Abigail Deser, This Is Our Youth, Roadworks Productions
Calvin MacLean, Ghetto, Famous Door Theatre Co.
Mary Zimmerman, The Odyssey, The Goodman Theatre

DIRECTOR - MUSICAL
Peter Amster, Once on This Island, Apple Tree Theatre
Ray Frewen and Gary Griffin, 1776, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Ray Frewen, My One and Only, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Kenny Ingram, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire
Marc Robin, A Chorus Line, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Voice of Good Hope, Victory Gardens Theater
Mary Beth Fisher, Boy Gets Girl, The Goodman Theatre
Irma P. Hall, A Raisin in the Sun, The Goodman Theatre
Mariann Mayberry, Hysteria, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Carmen Roman, Medea, American Theater Company

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Lance Baker, This Is Our Youth, Roadworks Productions
William Brown, Nixon’s Nixon, Writers’ Theatre
Tony Mockus, God’s Man in Texas, Northlight Theatre
Frank Nall, Ghetto, Famous Door Theatre Co.
Mike Nussbaum, Visiting Mr. Green, Northlight Theatre
Roderick Peeples, The Homecoming, Famous Door Theatre Co.
Gary Sinise, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Mark Ulrich, Descent (A Darwinian Comedy), The Aardvark
Larry Yando, Nixon’s Nixon, Writers’ Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Karla L. Beard, Voice of Good Hope, Victory Gardens Theater
Kirsten Fitzgerald, Mr. Bundy, A Red Orchid Theatre
Heidi Mokrycki, Closer, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Julia Neary, Ghetto, Famous Door Theatre Co.
Andrea Washburn, Ballad Hunter, Chicago Dramatists
Ann Whitney, Ballad Hunter, Chicago Dramatists

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Roy Dotrice, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Goodman Theatre
Mark Douglas-Jones, A Dybbuk, Red Hen Productions
Michael Grant, God’s Man in Texas, Northlight Theatre
Tim Grimm, Bluff, Victory Gardens Theater
Howard Witt, Boy Gets Girl, The Goodman Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Karla L. Beard, Once on This Island, Apple Tree Theatre
Kristen Behrendt, Side Show, Northlight Theatre
E. Faye Butler, Dinah Was, Northlight Theatre
Susie McMonagle, Side Show, Northlight Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Guy Adkins, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Andrew J. Lupp, My One and Only, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Roger Mueller, 1776, Drury Lane Oakbrook

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Kelly Anne Clark, Victor/Victoria, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire
Carla J. Hargrove, Dinah Was, Northlight Theatre
Paula Scrofano, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Nikkieli DeMone, Side Show, Northlight Theatre
Don Forston, The Pirates of Penzance, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire
David Lively, 1776, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Lee Worthy, Stones, Bailiwick Repertory Theater

ACTRESS IN A REVUE
La Tonya Beacham, Mahalia, The Black Ensemble Theater
Catherine Curtin, Love, Janis, Reading Entertainment, Off Broadway Investments, Alan J. Schuster, Jam Theatricals and Metropolitan Group
Andra C. Mitrovich, Love, Janis, Reading Entertainment, Off Broadway Investments, Alan J. Schuster, Jam Theatricals and Metropolitan Group
Stephnie Weir, Second City 4.0, The Second City

ACTOR IN A REVUE
Martin Garcia, History Repaints Itself, The Second City e.t.c.
Chester Gregory II, The Jackie Wilson Story, The Black Ensemble Theater

ENSEMBLE
Among the Thugs, The Next Theatre
A Chorus Line, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park

SCENIC DESIGN
Scott Cooper, American Buffalo, American Theater Company
Geoffrey M. Curley, [sic], Roadworks Productions in association with Soho Rep
David Gropman, Hysteria, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Daniel P. Ostling, Valparaiso, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Michael Philippi, Boy Gets Girl, The Goodman Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN
Mara Blumenfeld, The Learned Ladies, Court Theatre
Mara Blumenfeld, The Odyssey, The Goodman Theatre
Michael Krass, All’s Well That Ends Well, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Nancy Missimi, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire
Gregory W. Slawko, My One and Only, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Paul Tazewell, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

LIGHTING DESIGN
Christopher Akerlind, Antony and Cleopatra, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
John Culbert, Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards, Court Theatre
T. J. Gerckens, The Odyssey, The Goodman Theatre
Jeffrey Lowney, Shakespeare’s R&J, Apple Tree Theatre in association with Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Kevin Rigdon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN
JR Conklin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Lindsay Jones, Among the Thugs, The Next Theatre
Lindsay Jones, Shakespeare’s R&J, Apple Tree Theatre in association with Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen, Valparaiso, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Roderick Peeples, Ghetto, Famous Door Theatre Co.
Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman, Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards, Court Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Randy Duncan, Once on This Island, Apple Tree Theatre
Rudy Hogenmiller, A Chorus Line, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park
Kenny Ingram, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire
Tammy Mader, My One and Only, Drury Lane Oakbrook
Marc Robin, The Pirates of Penzance, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Michael Bodeen and Willie Schwarz, The Odyssey, The Goodman Theatre
Alaric Jans, All’s Well That Ends Well, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

MUSICAL DIRECTION
Sam Andrew, Love, Janis, Reading Entertainment, Off Broadway Investments, Alan J. Schuster, Jam Theatricals and Metropolitan Group
William Knowles, Dinah Was, Northlight Theatre
Jeff Lewis, Side Show, Northlight Theatre
Tom Murray, Once on This Island, Apple Tree Theatre
Jimmy Tillman, The Jackie Wilson Story, The Black Ensemble Theater

PRODUCTION - NON-RESIDENT
Aida, Walt Disney Theatrical Productions, Peter Schneider & Thomas Schumacher
Fosse, Fosse Touring LLC, an SFX Entertainment Company
Miss Saigon, Cameron Mackintosh

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - NON-RESIDENT
Heather Headley, Aida, Walt Disney Theatrical Productions, Peter Schneider & Thomas Schumacher
Reva Rice, Fosse, Fosse Touring LLC, an SFX Entertainment Company

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - NON-RESIDENT
Joseph Anthony Foronda, Miss Saigon, Cameron Mackintosh
Van Zeiler, Buddy, The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts by arrangement with Paul Elliott, Laurie Mansfield, and Greg Smith

During the 1999-2000 season (Aug. 1, 1999-July 31, 2000), the 45 member Jeff Committee judged a total of 118 Equity productions offered by 55 producing organizations. The committee recommended a total of 87 productions presented by 38 producing organizations. The final roster of 114 Jeff nominations in 24 categories represents 50 productions from 26 producing organizations. The seven Non-Resident nominations in three categories represent four productions offered by four producing organizations.

Founded in 1968, the mission of the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee is to honor excellence in theatrical productions in the Chicago theatre community. Originally chartered to recognize Equity productions, the Citations non-Equity wing was founded in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union Chicago theatre. Non-Resident award categories were established in 1992 in recognition of the contributions to Chicago theatre by non-local producing organizations. The 45-member Committee, composed of theatre professionals and enthusiasts, evaluates approximately 200 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies each year. The Citations Awards, honoring outstanding achievement in non-union productions, are presented in early June. The Jeff Awards for excellence in Equity and Non-Resident theatre are celebrated in late October or early November.

--By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones