Chasing Nicolette, Sweeney Todd, Elegies Among 2005 Barrymore Award Nominees in Philly
By Kenneth Jones
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.
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 Theaterís 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
OUTSTANDING OVERALL PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
OUTSTANDING OVERALL PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A PLAY
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A PLAY
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OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL
For further information, visit www.theatrealliance.org or call the Theatre Alliance at (215) 413-7150.
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