Chicago Jeff Awards, With Nominees Including Follies, Iceman Cometh, Amy Morton, Brian Dennehy, Handed Out Oct. 15

By Kenneth Jones
15 Oct 2012

Brian Dennehy in The Iceman Cometh
Brian Dennehy in The Iceman Cometh
Photo by Liz Lauren

The Jeff Awards, celebrating excellence in Chicago-area Equity theatre, will be given out Oct. 15. A dozen new plays or adaptations are in the mix, pointing to Chicago as a continuing breeding ground for new work. The nominees for work seen between Aug. 1, 2011, and July 31, 2011, include Brian Dennehy, Amy Morton, Tracy Letts, Robert Falls, Harry Groener, Liz McCartney and more.

By company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater earned 18 nominations (two are in association with Redmoon) and Goodman Theatre earned 18 (two in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, three in association with Center Theatre Group and McCarter Theatre Center, four presenting the Teatro Vista production of Fish Men).

The productions earning the most multiple nominations (seven each) are The House Theatre of Chicago's Death and Harry Houdini, Chicago Shakespeare's Follies and Court Theatre's Invisible Man.

The 44th Annual Jeff Awards ceremony is at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. For more information, visit jeffawards.org.



In the area of new works, five world-premiere plays, two musicals (Hero the Musical by Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler from Marriott Theatre and Eastland: A New Musical by Andrew White, Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman from Lookingglass Theatre Company) and five new adaptations received Jeff nominations.

Director Robert Falls was nominated for his work on the Goodman's The Iceman Cometh, which earned acting noms for Brian Dennehy and the Ensemble, and a nom for Production.

Harry Groener, who played General William Tecumseh Sherman in an adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's Civil War-set novel, "The March," for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, was nominated for his work, as was actor Ian Barford. Frank Galati was nominated in the Adaptation category for tackling the novel. Among his competition is Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts, for his version of Chekhov's Three Sisters.

2012 EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
Angels in America, Parts One and Two - Court Theatre
Clybourne Park - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
The Convert - Goodman Theatre in association with Center Theatre Group and McCarter Theatre Center
Elizabeth Rex - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
The Iceman Cometh - Goodman Theatre
In the Next Room or the vibrator play – Victory Gardens Theater
Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Oedipus el Rey - Victory Gardens Theater

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
Blizzard '67 - Chicago Dramatists
Chesapeake - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago
Disgraced - American Theater Company in special arrangement with The Araca Group
Enron - TimeLine Theatre Company
Fish Men - Goodman Theatre presents the Teatro Vista production
Freud's Last Session - Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman, and Jack Thomas present the Barrington Stage Production
Immediate Family - Paul Boskind, Ruth Hendel and Stephen Hendel by special arrangement with Goodman Theatre, and in association with About Face Theatre Company
The Pitmen Painters - TimeLine Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
Eastland: A New Musical - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Hairspray - Drury Lane Productions
A Little Night Music - Writers' Theatre
The Pirates of Penzance - Marriott Theatre
The Sound of Music - Drury Lane Productions
Sweeney Todd - Drury Lane Productions

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
A Catered Affair - Porchlight Music Theatre
The Christmas Schooner A Musical - The Mercury Theater
The Doyle & Debbie Show - lonesome road productions in association with Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions
Rent - American Theater Company and About Face Theatre

PRODUCTION – REVUE
Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together - Porchlight Music Theatre
We're All in This Room Together - The Second City e.t.c.

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Nathan Allen - Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago
J. Nicole Brooks - Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Robert Falls - The Iceman Cometh - Goodman Theatre
BJ Jones - The Pitmen Painters - TimeLine Theatre Company
Christopher McElroen - Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
Amy Morton - Clybourne Park - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Charles Newell - An Iliad - Court Theatre
Ron OJ Parson - The Caretaker - Writers' Theatre
Sandy Shinner - In the Next Room or the vibrator play - Victory Gardens Theater
Chay Yew - Oedipus el Rey - Victory Gardens Theater

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
William Brown - A Little Night Music - Writers' Theatre
Amanda Dehnert - Eastland: A New Musical - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Gary Griffin - Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Tammy Mader - Hairspray - Drury Lane Productions
Dominic Missimi - The Pirates of Penzance - Marriott Theatre
Rachel Rockwell - The Sound of Music - Drury Lane Productions
Rachel Rockwell - Sweeney Todd - Drury Lane Productions

DIRECTOR – REVUE
Ryan Bernier - We're All in This Room Together - The Second City e.t.c.
Brenda Didier - Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together - Porchlight Music Theatre

ENSEMBLE
Ameriville by Universes - Victory Gardens Theater
Clybourne Park - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
The Iceman Cometh - Goodman Theatre
Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting - Lookingglass Theatre Company
The Pitmen Painters - TimeLine Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Usman Ally (Amir) - Disgraced - American Theater Company in special arrangement with The Araca Group
Teagle F. Bougere (Invisible Man) - Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
William J. Norris (Davies) - The Caretaker - Writers' Theatre
Martin Rayner (Sigmund Freud) - Freud's Last Session - Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman, and Jack Thomas present the Barrington Stage Production
Steven Sutcliffe (Ned Lowenscroft) - Elizabeth Rex - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Larry Yando (Roy M. Cohen) - Angels in America, Parts One and Two - Court Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Adrian Aguilar (Jon) - tick…tick… BOOM! - Porchlight Music Theatre
Bruce Arntson (Doyle Mayfield) - The Doyle & Debbie Show - lonesome road productions in association with Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions
Clarke Hallum (Ralphie) - A Christmas Story, The Musical - Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Mariano Tolentino, Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Timothy Laczynski, Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, Angela Milonas and Bradford W. Smith
Andrew Lupp (Phil Davis) - Irving Berlin's White Christmas The Musical - Marriott Theatre
Kelvin Roston, Jr. (Jackie Wilson) - The Jackie Wilson Story (My Heart is Crying, Crying) - Black Ensemble Theater
Rashawn Thompson (Marvin Gaye) - The Marvin Gaye Story (Don't Talk About My Father Because God is My Friend) - Black Ensemble Theater

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Pascale Armand (Jekesai/Ester) - The Convert - Goodman Theatre in association with Center Theatre Group and McCarter Theatre Center
Janet Ulrich Brooks (Anya Botvinnik) - A Walk in the Woods - TimeLine Theatre Company
Kate Buddeke (Tanya) - The North Plan - Theater Wit
Diane D'Aquila (Queen Elizabeth I) - Elizabeth Rex - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Kate Fry (Catherine Givings) - In the Next Room or the vibrator play - Victory Gardens Theater
Lia Mortensen (Lynn Fontanne) - Ten Chimneys - Northlight Theatre
Kelli Simpkins (Darcy) - The Kid Thing - Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Jennifer Blood (Maria Rainer) - The Sound of Music - Drury Lane Productions
Lillian Castillo (Tracy Turnblad) - Hairspray - Drury Lane Productions
Shannon Cochran (Desirée Armfeldt) - A Little Night Music - Writers' Theatre
Rebecca Finnegan (Aggie Hurley) - A Catered Affair - Porchlight Music Theatre
Jenny Littleton (Debbie) - The Doyle & Debbie Show - lonesome road productions in association with Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions
Liz McCartney (Mrs. Lovett) - Sweeney Todd - Drury Lane Productions
Caroline O'Connor (Phyllis Rogers Stone) - Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Edgar Blackmon (Ensemble) - Who Do We Think We Are? - The Second City
McKinley Carter (Woman #1) - Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together - Porchlight Music Theatre
Mike Kosinski (Ensemble) - We're All in This Room Together - The Second City e.t.c.
Adam Pelty (Man #1) - Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together - Porchlight Music Theatre

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Greg Matthew Anderson (Kerr) - Chesapeake - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Timothy Edward Kane (Poet) - An Iliad - Court Theatre
Deborah Staples (Performer) - The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead - Writers' Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Brad Armacost (Phil Hogan) - A Moon for the Misbegotten - Seanachaí Theatre Company
Ian Barford (Arly Wilcox) - The March - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Brian Dennehy (Larry Slade) - The Iceman Cometh - Goodman Theatre
Alex Goodrich (Ellard Simms) - The Foreigner - Provision Theater
Harry Groener (General William Tecumseh Sherman) - The March - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Ron Orbach (Nick Bottom) - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Dan Waller (Oliver Kilbourn) - The Pitmen Painters - TimeLine Theatre Company
Howard Witt (Adam Kirchbaum AKA Ninety-Two) - Fish Men - Goodman Theatre presents the Teatro Vista production

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Brandon Dahlquist (Count Carl-Magnus & Lieder Singer) - A Little Night Music - Writers' Theatre
Alex Goodrich (Kirk) - Hero the Musical - Marriott Theatre
Kevin Earley (Pirate King) - The Pirates of Penzance - Marriott Theatre
Ross Lehman (Major-General) - The Pirates of Penzance - Marriott Theatre
Michael Aaron Lindner (Edna Turnblad) - Hairspray - Drury Lane Productions
Rod Thomas (Orin Scrivello, Derelict, Customer, Radio Announcer, Bernstein, Mrs. Luce, Skip Snip, and Patrick Martin) - Little Shop of Horrors - Theatre at the Center

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Mai Tamba) - The Convert - Goodman Theatre in association with Center Theatre Group and McCarter Theatre Center
Hannah Gomez (Maribel) - Crooked - Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Mary Cross and Sharon Furiya
Patrese D. McClain (The Folk) -Spunk - Court Theatre
Polly Noonan (Sabrina Daldry) - In the Next Room or the vibrator play - Victory Gardens Theater
MaryAnn Thebus, (Vera) - After the Revolution - Next Theatre Company
Kristina Valada-Viars (Mandy Bloom) - Time Stands Still - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Natalie West (Gail) - The Butcher of Baraboo - A Red Orchid Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Dara Cameron (Susan Schmitty) - Hero the Musical - Marriott Theatre
Patti Cohenour (The Mother Abbess) - The Sound of Music - Drury Lane Productions
Hollis Resnik (Carlotta Campion) - Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Alene Robertson (Martha Watson) - Irving Berlin's White Christmas The Musical - Marriott Theatre
Christine Sherrill (Paulette) - Legally Blonde The Musical - Marriott Theatre

NEW WORK – PLAY OR MUSICAL
Ayad Akhtar - Disgraced - American Theater Company in special arrangement with The Araca Group
John Conroy - My Kind of Town - TimeLine Theatre Company
Sarah Gubbins - The Kid Thing - Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre
Andrew Hinderaker - I Am Going to Change the World - Chicago Dramatists
Jon Steinhagen - Blizzard '67 - Chicago Dramatists
Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler - Hero the Musical - Marriott Theatre
Andrew White, Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman - Eastland: A New Musical - Lookingglass Theatre Company

NEW ADAPTATION – PLAY
Calixto Bieito and Marc Rosich - Camino Real - Goodman Theatre
Frank Galati - The March - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Oren Jacoby - Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
Tracy Letts - Three Sisters - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jessica Thebus and Frank Maugeri - The Feast: an intimate Tempest - Chicago Shakespeare Theater in association with Redmoon

CHOREOGRAPHY
Tammy Mader - Hairspray - Drury Lane Productions
Matt Raftery - The Pirates of Penzance - Marriott Theatre
Jessica Redish - Pippin - The Music Theatre Company
Marc Robin - Irving Berlin's White Christmas The Musical - Marriott Theatre
Alex Sanchez - Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Jenny Giering - Elizabeth Rex - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Andrew Hansen - A Walk in the Woods - TimeLine Theatre Company
Lindsay Jones - Timon of Athens - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Kevin O'Donnell - Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago
David Singer - Three Sisters - Steppenwolf Theatre Company

MUSIC DIRECTION
Austin Cook - Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together - Porchlight Music Theatre
Roberta Duchak - The Sound of Music - Drury Lane Productions
Roberta Duchak - Sweeney Todd - Drury Lane Productions
Brad Haak - Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Valerie Maze - A Little Night Music – Writers' Theatre
Robert Reddrick - The Marvin Gaye Story (Don't Talk about My Father Because God is My Friend) - Black Ensemble Theater

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Ira Amyx and Merje Veski - A Moon for the Misbegotten - Seanachaí Theatre Company
John Iacovelli - Immediate Family - Paul Boskind, Ruth Hendel and Stephen Hendel by special arrangement with Goodman Theatre, and in association with About Face Theatre Company
Jack Magaw - Disgraced - American Theater Company in special arrangement with The Araca Group
Brian Prather - Freud's Last Session - Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman, and Jack Thomas present The Barrington Stage Production
Chelsea M. Warren - The Kid Thing - Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
Kevin Depinet - The Iceman Cometh - Goodman Theatre
Troy Hourie - Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
Jack Magaw - The Caretaker - Writers' Theatre
Jack Magaw - In the Next Room or the vibrator play - Victory Gardens Theater
Dan Ostling - Eastland: A New Musical - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Todd Rosenthal - Clybourne Park - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Todd Rosenthal - An Iliad - Court Theatre
Todd Rosenthal - Red - Goodman Theatre in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater
Walt Spangler - Time Stands Still - Steppenwolf Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Jesse Klug - The Amish Project - American Theater Company
Jesse Klug - Fish Men - Goodman Theatre presents the Teatro Vista production
JR Lederle - Chesapeake - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Michael McNamara - The Turn of the Screw - First Folio Theatre
Ben Wilhelm - Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
John Culbert - Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
James F. Ingalls - Camino Real - Goodman Theatre
Natasha Katz - The Iceman Cometh - Goodman Theatre
Jesse Klug - Sweeney Todd - Drury Lane Productions
Keith Parham - Red - Goodman Theatre in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
David Hyman - Rent - American Theater Company and About Face Theatre
Branimira Ivanova - Cloud 9 - The Gift Theatre
Lee Keenan - Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago
Kate Murphy - Absolute Hell - The Gift Theatre
Michael Alan Stein - The Nativity - Congo Square Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Jacqueline Firkins - In the Next Room or the vibrator play - Victory Gardens Theater
Rachel Anne Healy - A Little Night Music - Writers' Theatre
Virgil C. Johnson - Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Nancy Missimi - The Pirates of Penzance - Marriott Theatre
Nancy Missimi - Irving Berlin's White Christmas The Musical - Marriott Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Victoria DeIorio - Falling: A Wake - Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Mikhail Fiksel - Fish Men - Goodman Theatre presents the Teatro Vista production
Christopher Kriz - The Turn of the Screw - First Folio Theatre
Kevin O'Donnell and Harrison Adams - Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago
Rick Sims - Chesapeake - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
Mikhail Fiksel - Oedipus el Rey - Victory Gardens Theater
Joshua Horvath and Kevin O'Donnell - Angels in America, Parts One and Two - Court Theatre
Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen - The 39 Steps - Drury Lane Productions
Andre Pluess - An Iliad - Court Theatre
Josh Schmidt - The March - Steppenwolf Theatre Company

PROJECTIONS / MEDIA DESIGN
Maya Ciarrocchi - Crowns - Goodman Theatre
Seth Henrikson & Oddmachine - Megacosm - A Red Orchid Theatre
Alex Koch - Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
Mike Tutaj - I Am Going to Change the World - Chicago Dramatists
Mike Tutaj - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Mike Tutaj - A Walk in the Woods - TimeLine Theatre Company

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Kurt Alger - Wig Design - Hairspray - Drury Lane Productions
Jesse Mooney-Bullock - 3D Puppetry Design - The Feast: an intimate Tempest - Chicago Shakespeare Theater in association with Redmoon
Melissa Veal - Wig and Make-up Design - Elizabeth Rex - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Dennis Watkins - Magic Designer - Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago