Joanna Gleason and John Rubenstein hosted the 1996 Ovation Awards, which recognize excellence in Los Angeles area theatre, on Nov. 18 at Century City's Shubert Theatre.
The biggest winner of the larger theatres was Center Theatre Group, which received 7 awards for their various productions at both the Ahmanson and Mark Taper Forum Theatres. Tim Robbins' smaller theatre company The Actor's Gang, took home the most awards (4) for their production of The Imaginary Invalid, including Best New Translation/Adaptation.
Special awards went to Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright, August Wilson, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Matrix Theatre Artistic Director and producer Joseph Stern, who won the first annual James A. Doolittle Award for Leadership in Los Angeles.
Here is a complete list of the nominees, with winners highlighted and with an asterisk:
Musical/Larger Theatres: Kiss of the Spider Woman, Livent (U.S.) Inc. at Ahmanson Theatre; Carousel, Ahmanson Theatre; *Radio Gals, La Mirada Theatre;Annie Get Your Gun, La Mirada Theatre; The Taffetas, MusiComedy Co. at Gem Theatre. Musical/Smaller Theatres: Dinah Was, Douglas Sills and Blind Pig Productions, Tina Treadwell Productions, at Coast Playhouse; Guys and Dolls, Actors Co-op; *City of Angels, Colony Studio Theatre; Twist of Fate, Mindy Schwartz at Tiffany Theater; Avenue X, Odyssey Theatre.
Writing of a World Premiere: Vince Waldron, Confessions of a Lady Killer; *Jim McGrath, The Ellis Jump; Joe Santi, Blue Laws; Maurice Keller, Wilde . . . and Wonderful; Del Shores, Sordid Lives.
Best Play/Larger Theatres: The 24th Day, produced by Seth Flicker and Michael Filerman at Coronet Theatre; Psychopathia Sexualis, Three Tall Women,*Changes of Heart, Mark Taper Forum; An Inspector Calls, Ahmanson Theatre.
Best Play/Smaller Theatres: *The Central Ave. Chalk Circle, Cornerstone Theater at Watts Labor Community Action Committee; Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami, Culture Clash at Tamarind Theatre; A Language of Their Own, East West Players; The Ellis Jump, Met Theatre; Great Expectations, A Noise Within.
Translation or Adaptation: *Beth Milles, The Imaginary Invalid; Stephen Keep Mills, A Christmas Carol: The Ghost Story of Christmas; Alan Palmer, Songs the Girls Sang; Dan Shor, He Who Gets Slapped (The Painted Laugh); Ed Trotta, Animal Farm.
Leading Actor in a Play: John Michael Higgins, Changes of Heart; Bruce Wright, The Ellis Jump; John Aylward, Psychopathia Sexualis; *Alec Mapa, Porcelain; Robert Prosky, Camping With Henry and Tom.
Director of a Play: *Ron Orbach, The Ellis Jump; Bill Rauch, The Central Ave. Chalk Circle; Greg Howells, Family Secrets; Jeff Seymour, El Salvador; Roger Guenveur Smith, Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami.
Featured Actor in a Play: Christopher Liam Moore, Deporting the Divas; *Steven M. Porter, The Imaginary Invalid; Laurence O'Dwyer, Changes of Heart; Hank Cheyne, A Kind Man and a Good Lover; Tom Fitzpatrick, The Imaginary Invalid.
Featured Actress in a Play: Maria Canals, Changes of Heart; Katy Selverstone, Breaking the Code; Tracy Middendorf, Orpheus Descending; *Jane Kaczmarek, Kindertransport; Melinda Peterson, The Illustrated Woman.
Featured Actor in a Musical: Bud Leslie, Dinah Was; Brett Rickaby, Carousel; Dorian Harewood, Kiss of the Spider Woman; *Lego Louis, City of Angels; Victor Love, Dinah Was.
Featured Actress in a Musical: Julianne Buescher, Tight Quarters; Sherry D. Boone, Carousel; Rebecca Eichenberger, Carousel; *Melody Garrett, Dinah Was; Merle Louise, Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Ensemble Performance: casts of Mad Forest, *Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami, Confessions of a Lady Killer, Hellcab, El Salvador.
Choreography: Patsy Sabline, The Taffetas; Michael Lichtefeld, Annie Get Your Gun; Vincent Paterson and Rob Marshall, Kiss of the Spider Woman; Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Carousel; *Patti Colombo, Radio Gals.
Set Design/Larger Theatres: Jerome Sirlin, Kiss of the Spider Woman; Yael Pardess, Blade to the Heat; Bob Crowley, Carousel; *James Leonard Joy, Camping With Henry and Tom; Ian MacNeil, An Inspector Calls.
Set Design/Smaller Theatres: Yuki Nakamura, And the Soul Shall Dance; Douglas D. Smith, Death of a Salesman; Rick Ortenblad, Birdsend; *Deborah Raymond and Dorian Vernacchio, Mad Forest; Robert W. Zentis, Orpheus Descending.
Costume Design/Larger Theatres: Bob Crowley, Carousel; Candice Cain, Blade to the Heat; Ian MacNeil, An Inspector Calls; *Martin Pakledinaz, Changes of Heart; Florence Klotz, Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Costume Design/Smaller Theatres: Kristen Anacker, El Salvador; Mary Jane Miller, Home Fires; Lynn Jeffries, The Central Ave. Chalk Circle; Franco Carbone, The Triumph of Love; *Alix Hester, The Imaginary Invalid.
Lighting Design/Larger Theatres: *Rick Fisher, An Inspector Calls; Anne Militello, Blade to the Heat; Howell Binkley, Kiss of the Spider Woman; Chris Parry, Camping With Henry and Tom; Paul Pyant, Carousel.
Lighting Design/Smaller Theatres: Ken Booth, Orpheus Descending; Lisa Hashimoto, Porcelain; Ken Booth, Kindertransport; *J. Kent Inasy, Mad Forest; Russell Champa, The Imaginary Invalid.
Sound Design/Larger Theatres: Jon Gottlieb, Changes of Heart; *Steven Canyon Kennedy, Carousel; T. Richard Fitzgerald, An Inspector Calls; Jon Gottlieb, Blade to the Heat; Martin Levan, Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Sound Design/Smaller Theatres: Dwayne Douglass, Birdsend; Yuki Nakamura, And the Soul Shall Dance; Jeff Seymour, El Salvador; Charles Dayton, Park Your Car in Harvard Yard; *Laurence O'Keefe, The Imaginary Invalid.