Iceman Cometh, Follies, Hero, Disgraced, Caroline O'Connor Are 2012 Jeff Award Winners
By Kenneth Jones
The Goodman Theatre's production of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh and Chicago Shakespeare Theater's revival of Follies each took six Joseph Jefferson Awards at the Oct. 15 ceremony celebrating excellence in Chicago-area Equity theatre.
Both Follies (directed by Gary Griffin) and Iceman (directed by Robert Falls) won in production and direction categories. Brian Dennehy was named Supporting Actor for Iceman (he played Larry Slade), while Caroline O'Connor was named Actress in a Musical for playing dry Phyllis in Follies. Local star Hollis Resnik won the Supporting Actress award for playing Carlotta, who sings "I'm Still Here" in the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical about a reunion of former revue performers.
Iceman, a hit for Goodman that starred Nathan Lane as Hickey, also won the Ensemble award. There was some buzz that commercial New York producers were circling the production earlier this year, but no announcement of a move has transpired.
The Production-Musical Award for midsize theatres went to The Doyle & Debbie Show, a commercial production from lonesome road productions in association with Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions, which had a run of several months at the Royal George Theatre. Bruce Arntson, the creator of the parody of country music duos, also won the Principal Actor in a Musical award.
A Special Award was presented to Actors' Equity Association in celebration of their century of service to actors and stage managers in Chicago and across America.
In the New Work division, the existence of which usually indicates the health of a theatre community, awards for New Work-Play went to Ayad Akhtar for his drama Disgraced by American Theater Company in special arrangement with The Araca Group (the play is currently being produced by LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in New York City), and to Sarah Gubbins' The Kid Thing produced by Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre. Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler won a New Work-Musical Jeff Award for Hero the Musical at Marriott Theatre, and Oren Jacoby won New Adaptation-Play honors for his version of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man at Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions.
The gala 44th Annual Equity Jeff Awards ceremony was held at Drury Lane Oakbrook.
The 44th Equity season of the Jeff Awards ran Aug. 1, 2011-July 31, 2012. The Jeff Awards Committee judged the opening nights of 118 productions from 55 producing organizations. Of these, 96 productions were "Jeff Recommended," which made them eligible for award nominations.
2012 Equity Jeff Award Recipients
PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
PRODUCTION – REVUE
DIRECTOR – PLAY
DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
DIRECTOR – REVUE
ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL Alex Goodrich – HERO the Musical – Marriott Theatre
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
NEW WORK – PLAY (TWO RECIPIENTS)
Sarah Gubbins – The Kid Thing – Chicago Dramatists and About Face Theatre
NEW WORK – MUSICAL
NEW ADAPTATION – PLAY
ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
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