Chasing Nicolette, Sweeney Todd, Elegies Among 2005 Barrymore Award Nominees in Philly

By Kenneth Jones
10 Aug 2005

The New York-bound musical Chasing Nicolette, the world premieres of Gemini the Musical and Raw Boys, and the late actress-singer Jilline Ringle are among nominees for the 2005 Barrymore Awards, celebrating excellence in the Philadelphia area theatre.



The Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia announced the nominees from the 2004-05 season Aug. 10. The awards will be presented Oct. 10 at the Merriam Theater. Theatres in nearby cities such as Wilmington, DE, and such Philly suburbs as Media, PA, and Marlton, NJ, are included in the Alliance.

Each year, over 100 productions, produced by Philadelphia professional theatres, are reviewed by the Barrymore nominating committee. More than 100 actors, directors and designers representing 40 productions became nominees for the 2005 Barrymore Awards.

Arden Theatre Company tops the list with a record-setting 25 nominations (the most ever received by one theatre company), followed by Philadelphia Theatre Company with 16 nominations, and The Wilma Theater with 14 nominations.

Musicals that captured the most nominations were Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street from Arden Theatre Company with 13 nominations, followed by Prince Music Theater’s Chasing Nicolette with 10 nominations, while Philadelphia Theatre Company's Take Me Out received six nominations, the most for a play.

Borrowing elements and cast members from the Philly staging, producers will present the Off-Broadway premiere of Chasing Nicolette, by Peter Kellogg and David Friedman, this fall at the Little Shubert Theatre on West 42nd Street. The show was Barrymore nominated for Direction of a Musical (Ethan McSweeny), Leading Actor in a Musical (Bronson Pinchot,) Leading Actress in a Musical (Jasika Nicole Pruitt), Musical Direction (Robert K. Mikulski), Overall Production of a Musical, Supporting Actress in a Musical (Rebecca Bellingham), Costume Design (Constance Hoffman), Sound Design (Nick Kourtides), Outstanding Original Music (David Friedman) and Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical.

Jilline Ringle, the beloved singer and actress who is nominated this year in the category of Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for her work in 1812 Productions' Always a Lady: A celebration of funny women for the holidays, died Feb. 28 after a battle with cancer. She was 40.

Yellowman playwright Dael Orlandersmith's Raw Boys at the Wilma was among nominees for Outstanding New Play, a major category if one considers new work to be a sign of health in a resident arts community. The nominess include Bruce Graham's The Philly Fan, Pamela Parker's A Higher Place in Heaven, Adriano Shaplin's Hell Meets Henry Halfway and John Wolfson's The Lives of Bosie.

The musical version of Albert Innaurato's 1970s play Gemini earned nominations for Todd Buonopane and Anne DeSalvo (for supporting acting) and Charles Gilbert (for his original score).

The F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, is given to a Philadelphia theatre artist (director, designer, actor, choreographer, or writer) who shows outstanding promise in his or her field and is dedicated to working in the Philadelphia theatre community. An "emerging artist" is one who has worked for at least three years and for no more than 10 years in the professional theatre. The 2005 Emerging Artist Award nominees are Ben Dibble, Madi Distefano, Matt Saunders, Geoff Sobelle and James Sugg.

The 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award honors the career of Dr. James J. Christy, professor of Theatre at Villanova University for over 38 years who will retire this year. A key director in Villanova Theatre's professional graduate program, Dr. Christy is also a top director of local professional productions, with credits at Arden Theatre Company, The People's Light & Theatre Company, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival and others.

The Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service includes a $1,500 cash prize sponsored by the Harvey & Virginia Kimmel Arts Education Fund and "promotes the participation of theatres and theatre artists who provide innovative theatre and educational experiences as a vehicle for betterment within the community." The 2005 nominees are InterAct Theatre Company's InterAction, Philadelphia Young Playwrights' Classic Program of Playwriting Workshops, Theater Catalyst's 2nd Stage Program, Walnut Street Theatre's Adopt-A-School, and The Wilma Theater's Wilmagination.

The Ted and Stevie Wolf Award for New Approaches to Collaborations recognizes Theatre Exile and Reconstruction Pictures' production of the film cellar, which features a cast of local theatre artists and premiered during the 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival.

Here are the 2005 Barrymore Awards nominees:

OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY
The Philly Fan by Bruce Graham at Theatre Exile
Raw Boys by Dael Orlandersmith at The Wilma Theater
A Higher Place in Heaven by Pamela Parker at The People's Light & Theatre Company
Hell Meets Henry Halfway by Adriano Shaplin for Pig Iron Theatre Company
The Lives of Bosie by John Wolfson at Hedgerow Theatre.

OUTSTANDING OVERALL PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
1812 Productions' Recent Tragic Events
The People's Light & Theatre Company's String of Pearls
Philadelphia Theatre Company's Take Me Out
Philadelphia Theatre Company's Trumbo
The Wilma Theater's The Clean House

OUTSTANDING OVERALL PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
Act II Playhouse's The Big Bang
Arden Theatre Company's Sweeney Todd
Arden Theatre Company's A Year with Frog and Toad
Philadelphia Theatre Company's Elegies: A Song Cycle
Prince Music Theater's Chasing Nicolette

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY
James J. Christy Take Me Out
Daniel Fish The Clean House
Maria Mileaf The Story
Pete Pryor Recent Tragic Events
Jiri Zizka Outrage

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Joe Calarco Elegies: A Song Cycle
Whit MacLaughlin A Year with Frog and Toad
Ethan McSweeny Chasing Nicolette
Terrence J. Nolen Sweeney Todd
Richard M. Parison, Jr. The Big Bang

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
Eric Ebbenga Sweeney Todd
Charles Gilbert A Year with Frog and Toad
Kimberly Grigsby Elegies: A Song Cycle
Robert K. Mikulski Chasing Nicolette
Jim Ryan The Big Bang

OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Jamie Harris Raw Boys
Bill Irwin Trumbo
John Keating Raw Boys
Jered McLenigan The Elephant Man
Ernest Perry, Jr. Fences

OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Stephanie Berry Fences
Madi Distefano Eden
Juliette Dunn Recent Tragic Events
Jilline Ringle Always a Lady: A celebration of funny women for the holidays
Catharine K. Slusar The Syringa Tree

OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Richard Amelius Cabaret
Tony Braithwaite The Big Bang
Ben Dibble The Big Bang
Bronson Pinchot Chasing Nicolette
Thom Sesma Sweeney Todd

OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Audri T. Dalio Miss Saigon
Sherri L. Edelen Elegies: A Song Cycle
Mary Martello Sweeney Todd
Donna Migliaccio Elegies: A Song Cycle
Jasika Nicole Pruitt Chasing Nicolette

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY
James Gale Raw Boys
Jeb Kreager Recent Tragic Events
Pete Pryor The Miser
Josh Shirley Take Me Out
Kraig Swartz Take Me Out
Ray Anthony Thomas Fences

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Jennifer Childs The Underpants
Alda Cortese The Miser
Emmanuelle Delpech-Ramey Hell Meets Henry Halfway
Jayne Houdyshell The Clean House
Karen Peakes Noises Off

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Todd Buonopane Gemini
Ben Dibble Sweeney Todd
Christopher Kale Jones Olympus on my Mind
Joshua Lamon Sweeney Todd
Joshua Lamon Year with Frog and Toad

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Rebecca Bellingham Chasing Nicolette
Anne DeSalvo Gemini
Sarah Doherty Grease and Desist
SuEllen Estey Olympus on my Mind
Denise Whelan Sweeney Todd

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
David Gallo Fences
David P. Gordon Sweeney Todd
Andrew Lieberman The Clean House
Mimi Lien Outrage
Todd Rosenthal Take Me Out

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
Russell H. Champa Raw Boys
Jerold R. Forsyth Outrage
Ac Hickox The Syringa Tree
John Stephen Hoey Sweeney Todd
Chris Lee Elegies: A Song Cycle

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Constance Hoffman Chasing Nicolette
Marla Jurglanis Sleeping Beauty: A Comic Panto in the British Style
Marla Jurglanis Sweeney Todd
Richard St. Clair A Year with Frog and Toad
Linda Bee Stockton Holiday

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
Jorge Cousineau Sweeney Todd
Nick Kourtides Chasing Nicolette
John Mock Looking Over the President's Shoulder
Bill Moriarty, Adriano Shaplin, & James Sugg for Hell Meets Henry Halfway
James Sugg all wear bowlers

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC
Charles Gilbert Gemini
David Friedman Chasing Nicolette
Jim Ryan Grease and Desist
Adriano Shaplin & James Sugg Hell Meets Henry Halfway
Adam Wernick Outrage

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY/MOVEMENT
Richard Amelius Cabaret
Karen Getz The Big Bang
Trey Lyford & Geoffrey Sobelle all wear bowlers
Jewel Walker Tuesday
Dorothy Wilke Death and the King's Horseman

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A PLAY Recent Tragic Events
Tuesday
Hell Meets Henry Halfway
Take Me Out
The Art of War

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL
Sweeney Todd
A Year with Frog and Toad
Forever Plaid
Elegies: A Song Cycle
Chasing Nicolette

For further information, visit www.theatrealliance.org or call the Theatre Alliance at (215) 413-7150.