Starry Lortel Awards Celebrate Best of Off-Broadway May 6; Sarandon and Robbins Host

News   Starry Lortel Awards Celebrate Best of Off-Broadway May 6; Sarandon and Robbins Host The 17th annual Lucille Lortel Awards, honoring the best of the Off Broadway season, will be doled out May 6 in a ceremony hosted by Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins at the famed Lortel Theatre, one of the major venues associated with the birth of Off-Broadway.

The 17th annual Lucille Lortel Awards, honoring the best of the Off Broadway season, will be doled out May 6 in a ceremony hosted by Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins at the famed Lortel Theatre, one of the major venues associated with the birth of Off-Broadway.

The League of Off-Broadway Theaters & Producers announced the award winners April 22; The Lucille Lortel Foundation sponsors the awards. Public tickets for the ceremony are available through the Actors' Fund of America. Call (212) 221-7300 ext. 133.

Beyond the nominees, including Elaine Stritch, those expected at the ceremony include Simon Callow, Rachel Miner, Amy Irving, Tom Wopat, James Naughton, Mercedes Ruehl, among many others.

The ceremony is 7 PM May 6 at the Lortel — formerly Theatre de Lys, home to the groundbreaking Threepenny Opera in the 1950s — on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. A dinner at the Bryant Park Grill in Midtown follows.

Metamorphoses, the unique fusion of Greek myths into a seamless evening of storytelling (with a glittering pool of water as the central playing area), was named Outstanding Play, and earned the Outstanding Director nod for Mary Zimmerman and well as Outstanding Lighting (TJ Gerckens). The sensual work began in Chicago regional theatre and made its New York debut at Second Stage in fall 2001 before moving to Broadway, where it's currently playing Circle in the Square. Lortel Best Musical winner, Urinetown, which had an Off-Off Broadway start and then a makeover before 2001's Off Broadway run, moved to Broadway in fall 2001. It's currently running at The Henry Miller. It also won a Lortel for Outstanding Choreography (John Carrafa).

The Lucille Lortel Awards 2002 nominating-voting committee includes representatives of the Off-Broadway League, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Actors' Equity Association, Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers, journalists, educators, and other artistic contributors to Off-Broadway.

Three special awards will be presented May 6. Elaine Stitch at Liberty will receive a trophy for Unique Theatrical Experience. The Edith Oliver Award for Sustained Excellence will go to actress Ruby Dee. And a laurel for Outstanding Body of Work will go to Second Stage Theatre, which produced in the last season Crimes of the Heart and Metamorphoses—both 2002 Lortel nominees.

In addition, playwright Edward Albee will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for "his longstanding and unique contribution to Off Broadway" and a star bearing the name of fellow scribe Romulus Linney's name will be added to the "Playwrights Sidewalk" that lies outside the theatre. The ceremony is a gala benefit for The Actors' Fund of America.

The nominees and recipients follow, with winners listed in boldface.

Outstanding Play of 2002


Outstanding Musical of 2002

  • Dragapella! by The Kinsey Sicks with original music and lyrics by Ben Schatz (Ben Schatz, Irwin Keller, Maurice Kelly, Chris Dilley, in association with Maria Di Dia, Executive Producer)
  • The Last 5 Years by Jason Robert Brown (Arielle Tepper, Marty Bell in association with Libby Adler Mages/Mari Glick, Rose/Land Productions)
  • tick, tick. BOOM!, book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson (Victoria Leacock, Robyn Goodman, and Dede Harris, Lorie Cowen Levy, Beth Smith)
  • Urinetown , music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann, book and lyrics by Greg Kotis (The Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals, in association with TheaterDreams Inc. and Lauren Mitchell)

Outstanding Revival of 2002

  • Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley (Second Stage Theatre)
  • Cymbeline by William Shakespeare (Theatre for a New Audience)
  • Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse (Atlantic Theatre Company)
  • Pirates of Penzance by W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan, adapted by Michael Scheman and Steven Gross (On Deck Entertainment, Brett Singer & Diane Krausz)

Outstanding Director of 2002

  • John Rando ( Urinetown )
  • Bartlett Sher ( Cymbeline )
  • Mark Wing-Davey ( 36 Views )
  • Mary Zimmerman ( Metamorphoses )

Outstanding Choreographer of 2002

  • John Carrafa ( Urinetown )
  • Tony Parise ( Pirates of Penzance )
  • Tony Stevens ( The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged))

Outstanding Actor of 2002

  • Norbert Leo Butz ( The Last 5 Years )
  • Hunter Foster ( Urinetown )
  • Peter Frechette ( The Dazzle )
  • Reg Rogers ( The Dazzle )
  • Jeffrey Wright ( Topdog/Underdog )

Outstanding Actress of 2002

Outstanding Featured Actor of 2002

  • David Aaron Baker ( Hobson's Choice )
  • Keith Nobbs ( Four )
  • Andrew Weems ( Cymbeline )
  • Frederick Weller ( The Shape of Things )
  • Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (Four )

Outstanding Featured Actress of 2002

  • Spencer Kayden ( Urinetown )
  • Gretchen Mol ( The Shape of Things )
  • Amy Sedaris ( Wonder of The World )
  • Robin Weigert ( Madame Melville )
  • Kathleen Widdoes ( Franny's Way )

Outstanding Scenic Design of 2002

  • David Gallo ( Wonder of the World )
  • Allen Moyer ( The Dazzle )
  • Daniel Ostling ( Metamorphoses )
  • Scott Pask ( Urinetown )
  • Douglas Stein ( 36 Views )

Outstanding Costume Design of 2002

  • Jonathan Bixby and Gregory Gale ( Urinetown )
  • Mara Blumenfeld (Metamorphoses )
  • Susan Hilferty and Linda Ross ( Franny's Way )
  • Bob Miller and Steven Howard ( Dragapella!)
  • Elizabeth Caitlin Ward ( Cymbeline )

Outstanding Lighting Design of 2002

  • TJ Gerckens ( Metamorphoses )
  • Traci Klainer ( Four )
  • Brian MacDevitt ( Urinetown )
  • David Weiner ( 36 Views )

Outstanding Sound Design of 2002

  • Brett Jarvis ( Brutal Imagination )
  • Scott Lehrer ( Franny's Way )
  • Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman ( Metamorphoses )
  • Dan Moses Schreier ( Homebody/Kabul )

MULTIPLE AWARDS: Metamorphoses (3)
Cymbeline (2)
Franny's Way (2)
Urinetown (2)
*

The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers created these Awards in recognition of Lucille Lortel's lifelong devotion to Off-Broadway. Awarded annually since 1986, the Lortel Awards are produced by the League in association with the Lucille Lortel Foundation.  Additional support is provided by Theatre Development Fund.

— By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson