Parton Gets L.A. Critics Award for 9 to 5; Friedman, Glover, Louis & Keely Also Win

By Kenneth Jones
17 Mar 2009

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Dolly Parton, Andy Blankenbuehler, Michael Friedman, John Glover, and productions of Anything, Gem of the Ocean, Of Mice and Men and Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara won prizes at the March 16 ceremony of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.

Songwriter Parton won the LADCC award for Musical Score for the tryout run of her Broadway musical 9 to 5 (which played the Ahmanson Theatre in 2008), and Michael Friedman also won in that category for his score to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Kirk Douglas Theatre). Blankenbuehler (a Tony Award winner for In the Heights) won in the Choreography category for his work in 9 to 5, sharing the category with Lee Martino for Havok Theatre Company's Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Louis & Keely, about entertainers Louis Prima and Keely Smith, is aiming for a wider commercial future. A revamped version of the musical is now playing the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in L.A. Taylor Hackford now directs.

The LADCC awards were handed out March 16 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, honoring theatrical excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County for the year 2008. The 40th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony was co-hosted by Vicki Lewis (TV's "NewsRadio" and Ovation award winner for Hotel C'est L'Amour) and critic Wenzel Jones.

For more information visit www.ladramacriticscircle.com.



Here are the nominees and winners of the 2008 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. Winners are in boldface and indicated with an asterisk.

Production
*Anything, Elephant Theatre Company
As U2 Like It, Troubadour Theater Company
Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, A Noise Within
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Havok Theatre Company
*Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre
Long Day's Journey Into Night, Theatricum Botanicum
*Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theater Company

McCulloh Award for Revival (shows written between 1920 and 1980)
Fata Morgana, Pacific Resident Theatre
*Of Mice and Men, Theatre Banshee
The Time of Your Life, Pacific Resident Theatre

Direction
*Jeremy Aldridge, Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theater Company
*Ben Bradley, Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre
Heidi Helen Davis, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Theatricum Botanicum
*David Fofi, Anything, Elephant Theatre Company
Ken Sawyer, Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre

Writing
*Athol Fugard, Victory, the Fountain Theatre
Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill, The Common Air, SoulArt and Elephant C.A.F.E
Tim McNeil, Anything, Elephant Theatre Company

Writing (Adaptation)
Neil Bartlett, Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, A Noise Within
Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus, Crime and Punishment, Actors Co-op
*Sean T. Cawelti with Miles Taber and the Rogues, The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, Rogue Artists Ensemble at Bootleg Theater

Music Direction
Andy Einhorn and David Loud, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre
*Dennis Kaye, Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theater Company
Michael Paternostro, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Havok Theatre Company at Bootleg Theatre

Choreography
*Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5: The Musical, Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre
Christine Lakin, As U2 Like It, Troubadour Theater Company
*Lee Martino, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Havok Theatre Company
Lee Martino, All Shook Up, Musical Theatre West

Musical Score
*Michael Friedman, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
*Dolly Parton, 9 to 5: The Musical, Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre
Anna Waronker and Charlotte Caffey, additional lyrics by Jeffery Leonard Bowman, Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre

Lead Performance
Chad Borden, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Havok Theatre Company
*Sean Branney, Of Mice and Men, Theatre Banshee
*Jake Broder, Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theater Company
Joe Egender, He Asked for It, Theatre of NOTE
*Ellen Geer, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Theatricum Botanicum
*John Glover, Secrets of the Trade, the Black Dahlia Theatre
*Louis Jacobs, Anything, Elephant Theatre Company
*Judy Kaye, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre
Katrina Lenk, Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre
Libby West, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, International City Theatre

Featured Performance
*JD Cullum, Don Juan, A Noise Within
*Beth Kennedy, As U2 Like It, Troubadour Theater Company at the Falcon Theatre
*Sharon Lawrence, Orson's Shadow, Pasadena Playhouse
Irene Roseen, Fata Morgana, Pacific Resident Theatre
Joseph Ruskin, The Last Seder, Ensemble Studio Theatre—LA and the Greenway Arts Alliance
Jimmy Swan, Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre
*Adolphus Ward, Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre

Ensemble Performance
*Assassins, West Coast Ensemble at The El Centro Theatre
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Havok Theatre Company
Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre
The Kentucky Cycle Part II, California Repertory Company
Stupid Kids, Celebration Theatre

Set Design
Danny Cistone, On An Average Day, VS. Theatre Company
Joel Daavid, The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, Rogue Artists Ensemble
*Laura Fine Hawkes, Snake in the Grass, Salem K Theatre Company

Lighting Design
Christian Epps, Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre
Derrick McDaniel, On An Average Day, VS. Theatre Company
Steven Young, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Havok Theatre Company
*Steven Young, Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, Havok Theatre Company

Costume Design
Audrey Eisner, Fata Morgana, Pacific Resident Theatre
Sharon McGunigle, Alice in One-Hit Wonderland 2: Through the Looking Glass, Troubadour Theater Company
Nailia Aladdin Sanders, Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre
*Shigeru Yaji, An Italian Straw Hat: A Vaudeville, South Coast Repertory

Sound Design
David B. Marling, Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre
*Ken Rich, The Common Air, SoulArt and Elephant C.A.F.E
Eric Snodgrass, Snake in the Grass, Salem K Theatre Company at The Matrix Theatre

Solo Performance
Alex Lyras, The Common Air, SoulArt and Elephant C.A.F.E
*Nilaja Sun, No Child…, Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

CGI/Video
Marc Rosenthal, Gem of the Ocean, Fountain Theatre
*Brian White, The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, Rogue Artists Ensemble

Puppet and Mask Design
*Joyce Hutter and Patrick Rubio, The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, Rogue Artists Ensemble

Fight Choreography
*Ned Mochel, On An Average Day, VS. Theatre Company
*

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

Five special awards (previously announced) were also given:

The 2008 Special Award Recipients

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play will be awarded to EM Lewis for Song of Extinction. The award is accompanied by an offer to publish and a $1,000 check funded by Samuel French, Inc.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to Sacred Fools Theater Company. The award is accompanied by a $500 check, funded by the Nederlander Organization.

The Angstrom Award for career achievement in lighting design will be awarded to Lisa D. Katz. The award is accompanied by a $1,000 check, funded by Angstrom Lighting.

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company. The Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theatre will be awarded to Nick DeGruccio.