Lion King director/co-writer/co-designer Julie Taymor added another award to her collection June 15. Taymor won the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence at the 16th annual Elliot Norton Awards in Boston, MA. The 10-member Selection Committee singled out Taymor as "an inspired director and designer who has enriched stages here and elsewhere with unforgettable artistry." Taymor's other credits include Juan Darien, and The Green Bird.
Another relatively young theatre artist won the Norton's Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Thomas, a veteran of Hartford Stage in nearby Connecticut. Thomas currently appears there in Tiny Alice and had previously played Hamlet and Peer Gynt, though he's best known for playing John-Boy on TV's "The Waltons." Thomas was also the Guest of Honor at the Awards.
Sponsored by the Boston Theatre Critics Assocation, the Norton Awards, which honor excellence in Boston-area theatre, were founded in honor of critic Elliot Norton at his retirement in 1982. According to spokesperson Nance Movsesian, the 95-year-old Norton attended the June 15 ceremony at Boston's Park Plaza Hotel.
Other 1998 Norton winners:
Outstanding Production by a Large Resident Company:
Cabaret (Barrington Stage & Foxborough Center at Hasty Pudding Theatre) and Chicago at the Colonia Theatre. Outstanding Production by a Small Resident Company: Faith Healer (Gloucester Stage Company).
Outstanding Production by a Local Fringe Company: Plum Pudding / "Freaks! (Raven Theatrical).
Outstanding Director - Large Resident Company: Robert Woodruff, In The Jungle of the Cities (American Repertory).
Outstanding Director - Small Resident Company: Scott Edmisson, Molly Sweeney (Nora Company).
Outstanding Designer - Large Company: Thomas Lynch (set), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes) & Peter Kaczorowski (lighting) for The Game of Love and Chance at Huntington Theatre Company.
Outstanding Designer - Small Company: Eric Levenson (sets on Old Wicked Songs at Jewish Theatre of New England and Balm In Gilead at SpeakEasy Stage.
Outstanding Script In Its Local Premiere: Ambition Facing West by Anthony Clarvoe (at Trinity Rep).
Outstanding Actress - Large Resident Company: Kristin Flanders as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew (American Repertory).
Outstanding Actor - Large Resident Company: Don Reilly as Jack/Don Juan in Man and Superman (American Repertory).
Outstanding Actress - Small Resident Company: Lizbeth Mackay in `Night Mother (Foxborough Center).
Outstanding Actor - Small Resident Company: Jonathan Hammond as the emcee in Cabaret at Barrington Stage/Foxborough Center.
Special Citation: Paul Schmidt "for his dedicated decades of sterling stage translations from ancient Greek, French, German and Russian."
Selecting the Norton Awards winners this year (as they did last year) were critics Skip Ascheim, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Iris Fanger, Arthur Friedman, Joyce Kulhawik, Jon Lehman, Bill Marx, Ed Siegel and Caldwell Titcomb.
"We strive for excellence and professionalism in the arts," Norton Awards spokesperson Movesesian told Playbill On-Line.
-- By David Lefkowitz