NYMF Awards For Excellence Announced; Rapp, Tartaglia Added to Gala

By Zachary Pincus-Roth
30 Oct 2006

Smoking Bloomberg, Kingdom and River's End are among the winners of awards for excellence at the recently completed New York Musical Theatre Festival.



As previously reported, the awards will be given out at a Nov. 12 gala ceremony that will honor the Broadway producer Kevin McCollum.

John Tartaglia and Anthony Rapp, who starred in McCollum's Avenue Q and Rent, respectively, have been added to the list of gala performers, which already included Sutton Foster and Beth Leavel, both of the McCollum-produced The Drowsy Chaperone, plus the cast of McCollum's [title of show]. Bob Martin, who plays Man in Chair in Drowsy, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

The jury for the 2006 NYMF awards includes Jennifer Costello (Live Nation), Robert Diamond (BroadwayWorld.com), Frank Evans (BMI), Peter Filichia (Newark Star-Ledger/TheaterMania), Tim Jerome (National Music Theater Network), Clifford Lee Johnson III (Manhattan Theatre Club), Beverly MacKeen (New World Stages), Matt Windman (AM New York) and Wayman Wong (New York Daily News/Playbill.com).

The only award not picked by the jury is the audience prize, for which audience members voted by sending a text message with the code of their favorite show.

The awards follow:

Verizon "Best of Fest" Audience Prize
Smoking Bloomberg
Runner Up: The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun

Most Promising New Musical
Kingdom
Honorable Mention: Common Grounds and The Screams of Kitty Genovese

Theater for the American Musical Prize, presented by National Music Theatre Network
River's End

Excellence in Musical Theatre Writing (Music)
Have a Nice Life, music by Conor Mitchell
Honorable Mention: Three Sides, music by Grant Olding; The Screams of Kitty Genovese, music by Will Todd; and White Noise, music by Joe Drymala with additional songs by Ben Cohn & Sean McDaniel, Rick Crom, Glen Kelly, Laurence O'Keefe, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, and Eric Svejcar

Excellence in Musical Theatre Writing (Lyrics)
Three Sides, lyrics by Grant Olding
Honorable Mention: J.O.B. the Hip Hopera, lyrics by Jerome Sable and Eli Batalion and Night of the Hunter, lyrics by Stephen Cole

Excellence in Musical Theatre Writing (Book)
Desperate Measures, book by Peter Kellogg and Gutenberg the Musical, book by Anthony King and Scott Brown (tie)
Honorable Mention: Smoking Bloomberg, book by David Cornue, Sam Holtzapple, Warren Loy and Chris Todd

Excellence in Direction and Choreography
Common Grounds, direction by Igor Goldin, choreography by Ron De Jesus, Ray Leeper, Mia Michaels, Jeff Shade, and Lisa Stevens
Honorable Mention: All is Love, choreography and direction by Josh Walden; Desperate Measures, direction and choreography by Eleanor Reissa; and J.O.B. the Hip Hopera, direction by Stefan Novinsk and Hassan Christopher, choreography by Hassan Christopher

Excellence in Design
Journey to the West, set design by John Rager, costume design by Elizabeth Cox, lighting design by Maggie M. Bailey and sound design by Brian Hsieh
Honorable Mention: Emerald Man, set design by Donyale Werle, costume design by Lisa Zinni, lighting design by James Milkey and sound design by Yoshi Lee and River's End, set design by Elisha Schaefer, costume design by Brigid Brown, lighting design by Herrick Goldman and sound design by Daniel von Erdberg

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
Have a Nice Life, Emily Skinner, Michael Berry, Michelle Blakely, Kevin Carolan, Jacquelyn Piro, Charles Hagerty and Nikki Snelson
Honorable Mention: Having it Almost, Anastasia Barzee, Amy Eschman, Liz Larsen, Stefanie Morse and Wendy Perelman; and Hot and Sweet, Mimi Bensinger, Jo Lynn Burks, Elaine Burt, Rebecca Buxton , Jami Dauber, Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen, Laura Dreyer, Rebecca Eichenberger, Katie Finneran, Margaret Goodman, Alex Hanna, Elizabeth Inghram, Anne Lieberwirth, Stephanie Long, Allison Mahoney, Clarice Mazanec, Barbara Merjan, Jack Metzger, Lea Michele, Kyra Miller, Lizzie Moore, Bill Parry, Reut Regev, Andy Sandberg and Maria Vassallo

Outstanding Individual Performances
Christian Campbell, Drift
Donna Lynne Champlin, Flight of the Lawnchair Man
Laura Daniel, The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun
Marisa Echeverría, Kingdom
Chris Fitzgerald, Gutenberg the Musical
Jeff Hiller, The Children
Greg Naughton, Alive in the World
Jeremy Shamos, Gutenberg the Musical!
Max Von Essen, Desperate Measures

NYMF 2006 featured 34 full musical productions and many other events, including developmental productions, concerts, seminars, panels, partner events and the NYMF Dance Series.

The New York Musical Theatre Festival has premiered 99 musicals in its first three years. Festival shows that have found life after the event include Altar Boyz, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Captain Louie, [title of show] and Shout!.

(Playbill.com is a media partner of the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2006.)