Nominees for the 1999 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre in the Philadelphia, PA area will be announced Sept. 8 at the Prince Music Theatre.
The fifth annual event will offer more than 20 standard awards plus three special nods: the F. Otto Haas Award for an emerging artist, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service, and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Awards ceremony will take place at the Irvine Auditorium on Spruce Street, Oct. 18. For information call (215) 413-7150.
Last year's big winners, announced Oct. 19, 1998, included the Arden Theatre Company (which led nominations at 24), winning for Overall Production of a Play (Midsummer), Direction of a Play (Aaron Posner, Midsummer), Supporting Actor in a Play (Robert Christophe, Midsummer) and Supporting Actor in a Musical (Tony Freeman, Merrily We Roll Along).
The American Music Theater Festival's Band in Berlin, about a group of jazz singers in Nazi Germany, picked up four awards: Overall Production of a Musical, Direction of a Musical (Patricia Birch & Susan Feldman), Sound Design (David Schnirman) and Ensemble Performance, though the show did poorly in its Broadway transfer. Philadelphia Theatre Company's Birdy won two awards, for Set Design (Kevin Knight) and Lighting Design (Brian Nason).
The Barrymore Awards is a program of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to enhancing awareness and appreciation of Philadelphia area professional theatre. The awards are named after the legendary theatre family -- John, Ethel and Lionel, among others -- that had its roots in Philadelphia.
-- By David Lefkowitz