Marber's Closer & Disney's Beast Top Argentina's ACE Awards

News   Marber's Closer & Disney's Beast Top Argentina's ACE Awards Louder cheers for homegrown productions notwithstanding, the big winners at Argentina's annual ACE Awards came from foreign shores. Patrick Marber's Closer took the Best Drama honor, Disney's Beauty and the Beast won for Best Musical, while The Beauty Queen of Leenane garnered two major acting trophies.
http://images.playbill.com/photo/n/e/ne_91546.gif

Louder cheers for homegrown productions notwithstanding, the big winners at Argentina's annual ACE Awards came from foreign shores. Patrick Marber's Closer took the Best Drama honor, Disney's Beauty and the Beast won for Best Musical, while The Beauty Queen of Leenane garnered two major acting trophies.

Argentine theatregoers could take comfort, however, in the double victory of 82-year-old Aida Luz, who won a Best Actress in a Drama Award for Beauty Queen, as well as the Gold ACE for lifetime achievement.

Held Nov. 8 at the Opera Theatre in Buenos Aires and televised live on America TV, the Awards (full title: Asociacion de Cronistas del Espectaculo) are the Argentine equivalent of the Tonys, though unlike the spectacle-oriented, North American event, the ACEs are mostly presentations and speeches, with only two musical breaks offered this year.

This year's ACE festivities also stood in the center of a crisis facing local actors. Comic and dramatic television programming has shrunk drastically over the past year, and actors are having a difficult time finding work. Not only that, they're being pressured to do more talk shows instead, where the paychecks are only $44. Most of the actors receiving ACE awards, as well as sympathetic playwrights and directors, took to the stage wearing plastic signs reading, "Somos actores, queremos actuar." Many also ended their speeches with these words, which mean "We are actors, we want to act."

Nina Cortese, president of the ACE Awards, opened the proceedings with a speech favoring the actors and hoping for a solution. The two-and-a-half hour ceremony also took time to remember theatre artists who passed in the past twelve months. Founded in 1992, the ACE Awards honor the best in straight plays, musicals, solo shows, foreign productions and dance. Journalists, critics and members of the media select the nominees and vote for the winners, in categories that range from Broadway-scale productions to "Off." This year, 33 ACE nominees were announced in mid-October, covering shows running Aug. 1998-July 1999.

Other notable winners this year included Roberto Cossa's off-beat comedy El Saludador ("The Greeter"), which won for best Argentine work. The play featured a mother coping with a son who can never quite get the job interview he needs, and a husband who keeps running off to revolutions and losing limbs in the process. Nacha Guevera, a singer-actress hand-selected by Harold Prince to star in the Latin American Kiss of the Spider Woman -- won Best Concert for her show, dedicated to tango songwriter, Discepolo.

Here's the line-up of this year's ACE Award winners, marked in bold and with an asterisk:

Best Drama:
* Closer by Patrick Marber, Broadway Theatre (producer: Alejandro Romay)
The Sin That Can'T Be Mentioned by Sportivo Teatral based on Roberto Arlt's novel (producer: Sportivo Teatral and Teatro San Martin Production)
Galileo Galilei by Bertolt Brecht, San Martin Theatre (producer: Teatro San Martin)
Breaking The Code by Hugh Whitemore, La Plaza. (producers: Kompel Production and Miriam Bendjuia)

Best Leading Actor in a Drama
* Arturo Puig for Breaking the Code
Jorge Marrale for Closer
Ulises Dumont for Night Express

Best Leading Actress in a Drama:
* Aida Luz for The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Alicia Bruzzo for Misery
Andrea Bonelli for Geometry
Rita Cortese for About That Can't Talk

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
* Alejandro Awada for The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Cutuli for Bohemia's Lights
Jorge Suarez for Night Express

Best Supporting Actress in Drama:
Alicia Zanca for Maternal Profession
* Catalina Speroni for The Maternal Profession
Inda Lavalle, for Perestroika

Best Drama Director:
Alberto Felix Alberto for Lulu
Laura Yusem for The Maternal Profession
* Ricardo Bartis for The Sin That Can't Be Mentioned
Villanueva Cosse for Bohemia's Lights

Best Comedy:
The Lover by Harold Pinter, Andiamo 90 (producer: Julio Belando)
Puck -- Summer Dream, inspired by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, La Trastienda. (producers: Daniel Grinbak, La Trastienda and Teatro, San Martin)
* Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin by Roberto Cossa, Cervantes. (producer: Teatro Nacional Cervantes)

Best Leading Actor in a Comedy:
Claudio Gallardou for Puck -- Summer Dream
Dario Grandinetti for Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin
* Hugo Arana for The Greeter
lorenzo quinteros for The Lover

Best Leading Actress in a Comedy:
* Claudia Lapaco for The Dinner
Maria Cristina Laurenz for The Greeter
Veronica Llinas for The Submarine

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy
* Adolfo Yanelli for Puck -- Summer Dream
Damian De Santo for The Seven Cats
Juan Manuel Tenuta for Summer Mad

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy:
Adela Gleijer for Greek
Cristina Fridman for Puck -- Summer Dream
* Maria Ibarretta for Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin
Rita Terranova for Summer Mad

Best Comedy Director
Claudio Gallardou for Puck -- Summer Dream
Omar Grasso for Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin
* Ruben Pires for The Indian Was Very Angry

Best Argentine New Play
The Maternal Profession by Griselda Gambaro, Del Pueblo Theatre. (producers: Teatro del Pueblo and Teatro San Martin)
* The Greeter by Roberto Cossa, San Martin. (producer: Teatro San Martin)
Night Express, Foxtrot Air, by Mauricio Kartun, San Martin. (producer: Teatro San Martin)

Best Solo
Pepe Monje in The Showman Blues by Bobby Flores. Concert Theatre
* Elena Tasisto in Isabel Without A Crown by Kado Kostzer, British Art Centre
Marzenka Nowak In Marzenka by Marzenka Nowak and Manuel Gonzalez Gil, Centro Cultural Borges

Best Entertainment:
* Bang, Bang And We Are History by Martin Gervasoni and Wilfredo Van Broock, Actor's Studio
The Amazing History Of The Unforgettable Marrapodi by Los Macocos, San Martin. (producer: Teatro San Martin)
All For Your Smile by Les Luthiers, Coliseo

Best Musical:
* Beauty and the Beast by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice & Linda Woolverton, Opera Theatre (producer: Daniel Grinbak)
Tango Reviu by Alejandra Radano and Fabian Luca, Foro Gandhi Theatre
Your Kisses Were Mine by Betty Gambartes and Diego Vila, De la Comedia

Best Concert Show:
Dance Academy by Alberto Munoz, Babilonia. (producer: Teatro San Martin)
* Nacha Sings Discepolo by Nacha Guevara, Club del Vim. (producer: Brunelli)
Talisman by Kado Kostzer and Sergio Garcia-Ramirez, Oliverio Always Theatre. (producer: Mahnos)

Best Actor in a Musical.
Diego Jaraz for Beauty And The Beast (as Gaston)
Gustavo Monje for Beauty and The Beast (as Lefou)
Omar Pini for Beauty And The Beast as (Dindon)
* Pablo Lizaso for Beauty And The Beast (as Lumiere)

Best Actress in a Musical:
* Graciela Pal for Talisman
Nacha Guevara for Nacha Sings Discepolo
Nelly Fontan for Beauty And The Beast (as Madame de la Grande Bouche)
Susanna Moncayo for La Voix Humaine by Francis Poulenc

Best Children's Show
Chumban Los Parches by Caracachumba, C. C. San Martin
* The Fernandez Family by Hugo Midon, La Plaza
Viva the Theatre by Pipo Pescador, Auditorium San Isidro

Best Production
Teatro Alvear for Eleven Heart, Dream's Life, Summer Mad and Tango For Pablo
* Teatro Nacional Cervantes for Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin, I See to God and The Indians Were Very Angry
Teatro San Martin for Night Express, Lulu, Galileo Galilei and Bohemia's Lights

Best Foreign Show
Carmen by La Cuadra de Sevilla, (from Spain), Luna Park
* The Old Man and the Sea by Quetzal Company (from Costa Rica). Il Iberoamerican Theatre Meeting, Teatro Nacional Cervantes.
Fausto, V 3.0. by La Fura Del Baus (from Spain), Lola Membrives.

Best "Off" Play:
The King Died by Eugene Ionesco, Payro
The Escrushantes by Alberto Vacarezza, Del Otro Lada
* Minetti by Thomas Bernhard, Babilonia (producer: Teatro San Martin)

Best Actor in an "Off" Play
* Aldo Braga for Minetti
Cesar Repetto for A Hamlet by suburbio
Eduardo Pavlosky for Poroto.

Best Actress in an "Off" Play
* Maria Comesana for Minetti
Maria Elina Ruas for What The River Let Us
Monica Santibanez, for The Sinning
Vera Fogwill for The Sinning

Best "Off" Play Director
Cristina Banegas for The Sinning
Hector Possett0 for The Strange Afternoon of Dr. Burke
* Lorenzo Quinteros for The Escrushantes

Best Theatre Choreographer
Ana Maria Stekelman for Your Kisses Were Mine
Doris Petroni for Fernandez Family
* Silvia Vladimivsky for The Indians Were Very Angry

Best Original Music
Carmen Baliero for The Sin That Can't Be Mentioned and The Sinning
Hector Magni and Pablo Clemente for The Indians Were Very Angry
* Jorge Valcarcel for Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin and The Greeter

Best Set Design
* Alberto Negrin for Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin, Frida Kahlo and Dream's Life
Graciela Galan for Night Express and The Wall
Norberto Lain0 for The Sin That Can't Be Mentioned and The Sinning
Tito Egurza for The Greeter and Bohemia's Lights

Best Costume Design
Daniela Taiana for Eleven Heads and Bohemia's Lights

Fabian Luca for Lulu and Tango Reviu
* Mini Zuccheri for The Amazing Story of the Unforgettable Marrapodi, Frida Kahlo and Dream's Life

Best Lighting Design
* Felix Monti and Alfredo Morelli for Breaking The Code, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Wall
Jorge Pastorino for Nobody Remembers Frederic Chopin, The Sin That Can't Be Mentioned, Minetti and Dream's Life
Roberto Traferri for Night Express, Frida Kahlo, Maternal Profession and The Indians Were Very Angry
Tito Egurza and Miguel Morales for The Greeter and Bohemia's Lights

Best Male Newcomer
Gabriel Fernandez for the lead in the "Off" play, The Strange Afternoon of Dr. Burke
* Oscar Guzman for his supporting performance in the comedy, The Indians Were Very Angry
Wilfredo Van Broock, actor & playwright of Bang Bang, And We Are History.

Best Female Newcomer
Carmen Arrieta, playwright of What The River Let Us
Estela Leiva for her supporting perfomance in the musical, Caruso's Daughters
* Mia Maestro for her lead role in Lulu

-- By David Lefkowitz