Jefferson Mays, Marriott Theatre, Seven Guitars Among 2005 Jeff Award Winners

By Kenneth Jones
November 7, 2005

Chicago area productions of Beauty and the Beast and Seven Guitars received top honors in the production categories of "musical" and "play" at the 2005 Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremony Nov. 7 in the Windy City.



Congo Square Theatre Company staged August Wilson's drama, and Marriott Theatre produced the Disney musical fairy tale.

The categories of Best New Work and Best Adaptation had two recipients each: Jeffs went to Bruce Norris for The Pain and the Itch and Adam Rapp for Red Light Winter (New Work) and Rebecca Gilman for Dollhouse and Andrew White for 1984 (Adaptation).

The most awards won by a production was four, for Porchlight Music Theatre's Sweeney Todd. The company that earned the most awards was Marriott Theatre with six.

Jefferson Mays, already a Tony Award winner for his turn in Doug Wright's solo play I Am My Own Wife on Broadway, also won a Jeff for Actor in a Principal Role-Play (Goodman Theatre staged the work).

Marc Robin was a double director recipient for Swing! (Revue) and Beauty and the Beast (Musical). Both musicals were staged by Marriott. Actress Rebecca Finnegan also snagged two Jeffs — for Actress in a Principal Role-Musical (Sweeney Todd) and Actress in a Revue (Closer Than Ever). Both works were produced by Porchlight.

Dennis Zacek, artistic director of Victory Gardens Theatre, received a special award for Outstanding Achievement in Chicago Equity Theatre. The Jeff Awards honor Equity work in fall, and the Equity Citations honor non-union work in the spring.

For more information, visit www.jeffawards.com.

The 2005 Jeff Awards nominees and recipients are listed below, with winners noted by an asterisk and by boldface type.

Production—Play
A Delicate Balance, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Kabuki Lady Macbeth, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
The Pain and the Itch, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
*Seven Guitars, Congo Square Theatre Company
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Court Theatre

Production—Musical
*Beauty and the Beast, Marriott Theatre
The Full Monty, Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place
She Loves Me, Theatre at the Center
Sunset Boulevard, Marriott Theatre
Sweeney Todd, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Wicked, Broadway in Chicago-Wicked Chicago

Ensemble
To the Green Fields Beyond, Writers' Theatre
Closer Than Ever, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Lookingglass Alice, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Actors Gymnasium
Omnium Gatherum, Next Theatre Company
*Seven Guitars, Congo Square Theatre Company
Swing!, Marriott Theatre

New Work
David C. Field, Symmetry, Victory Gardens Theater
Mia McCullough, Since Africa, Chicago Dramatists
Tom Mula and Steve Rashid, W!, Theater Wit
*Bruce Norris, The Pain and the Itch, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
*Adam Rapp, Red Light Winter, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Karen Sunde and Shozo Sato, Kabuki Lady Macbeth, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

New Adaptation
Curt Columbus, Cherry Orchard, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
*Rebecca Gilman, Dollhouse, Goodman Theatre
Tim Gregory and David Bell, A Christmas Carol, Provision Theater Company
*Andrew White, 1984, Lookingglass Theatre Company

Director—Play
James Bohnen, A Delicate Balance, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Kate Buckley, To the Green Fields Beyond, Writers’ Theatre
Jason Loewith, Omnium Gatherum, Next Theatre Company
Charles Newell, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Court Theatre
Shozo Sato, Kabuki Lady Macbeth, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
*Derrick Sanders, Seven Guitars, Congo Square Theatre Company
Anna D. Shapiro, The Pain and the Itch, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Director—Musical
Joe Leonardo, Sunset Boulevard, Marriott Theatre
Joe Mantello, Wicked, Broadway in Chicago-Wicked Chicago
Dominic Missimi, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Marriott Theatre
*Marc Robin, Beauty and the Beast, Marriott Theatre
L. Walter Stearns, Sweeney Todd, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago

Director—Revue
Nick Bowling, Closer Than Ever, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Mick Napier, Red Scare, The Second City
*Marc Robin, Swing!, Marriott Theatre

Actor in a Principal Role—Play
Lance Stuart Baker, Travesties, Court Theatre
Kevin Gudahl, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Court Theatre
Tracy Letts, The Dresser, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
*Jefferson Mays, I Am My Own Wife, Goodman Theatre
John Mossman, Peer Gynt, The Artistic Home
Dale Rivera, Guinea Pig Solo, Collaboraction
John Sterchi, A View from the Bridge, American Theater Company
Greg Vinkler, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Actor in a Principal Role—Musical
Guy Adkins, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Marriott Theatre
Bradley Armacost, A Christmas Carol, Provision Theater Company
Sean Allan Krill, Brigadoon, Marriott Theatre
*Michael Aaron Lindner, Sweeney Todd, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Aaron Serotsky, The Immigrant, Northlight Theatre and Arizona Theatre Company

Actress in a Principal Role—Play
Charin Alvarez, Two Sisters and a Piano, Apple Tree Theatre and Teatro Vista
Sandra Marquez, Living Out, American Theater Company and Teatro Vista
*Barbara E. Robertson, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Court Theatre
Kathy Scambiatterra, Natural Affection, The Artistic Home
Maggie Siff, Dollhouse, Goodman Theatre

Actress in a Principal Role—Musical
*Rebecca Finnegan, Sweeney Todd, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Ana Gasteyer, Wicked, Broadway in Chicago-Wicked Chicago
Johanna McKenzie Miller, Beauty and the Beast, Marriott Theatre
Kate Reinders, Wicked, Broadway in Chicago-Wicked Chicago
Paula Scrofano, Sunset Boulevard, Marriott Theatre

Actor in a Supporting Role--Play
*Tom Aulino, Take Me Out, About Face Theatre
Lance Stuart Baker, Dollhouse, Goodman Theatre
Matthew Brumlow, A View from the Bridge, American Theater Company
Tony Dobrowolski, The Importance of Being Earnest, First Folio Shakespeare Festival
Robert Petkoff, Romeo and Juliet, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Actress in a Supporting Role—Play
*Jayne Houdyshell, The Pain and the Itch, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Lisa Joyce, Red Light Winter, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Martha Lavey, Lost Land, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Rondi Reed, Romeo and Juliet, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Peggy Roeder, The Dresser, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Whitney Sneed, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Court Theatre

Actor in a Supporting Role—Musical
Larry Adams, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Theatre at the Center
Sean Fortunato, Brigadoon, Marriott Theatre
Michael Aaron Lindner, The Full Monty, Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place
*Peter Pohlhammer, Sweeney Todd, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Bernie Yvon, Beauty and the Beast, Marriott Theatre

Actress in a Supporting Role—Musical
*Renee Matthews, The Full Monty, Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place
Cristen Paige, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Marriott Theatre
Rondi Reed, Wicked, Broadway in Chicago-Wicked Chicago
Paula Scrofano, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Theatre at the Center

Actor in a Revue
Antoine McKay, Red Scare, The Second City
Gregory Porter, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Northlight Theatre
*"Mississippi" Charles Bevel, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Northlight Theatre

Actress in a Revue
*Rebecca Finnegan, Closer Than Ever, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Maribeth Monroe, Red Scare, The Second City

Choreography
Jim Corti, The Full Monty, Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place
Randy Duncan, Hello Again, Apple Tree Theatre
*Mark Stuart Eckstein, Beverly Durand and Marc Robin, Swing!, Marriott Theatre
Ron Hutchins, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Marriott Theatre
Marc Robin, Beauty and the Beast, Marriott Theatre

Scenic Design
*Scott Bradley, Silk, Goodman Theatre
Santo Loquasto, The Dresser, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jack Magaw, Seven Guitars, Congo Square Theatre Company
James Noone, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Keith Pitts, Vincent in Brixton, Apple Tree Theatre

Costume Design
Mara Blumenfeld, Lookingglass Alice, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Actors Gymnasium
Mara Blumenfeld, Silk, Goodman Theatre
Jacqueline Firkins, The Importance of Being Earnest, Court Theatre
Fritz Masten, Diva Diaries, The Diva Company LLC
*Nancy Missimi, Beauty and the Beast, Marriott Theatre
Mariann Verheyen, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Sound Design
Andy Brommel and Andre Pluess, The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Next Theatre Company
Joshua Horvath and Andre Pluess, 1984, Lookingglass Theatre Company
Lindsay Jones, Kabuki Lady Macbeth, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
*Lindsay Jones, Kid-Simple, American Theater Company
Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman, Red Herring, Northlight Theatre

Lighting Design
Chris Binder, Lookingglass Alice, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Actors Gymnasium
T. J. Gerckens, Silk, Goodman Theatre
*Michael Rourke, Kabuki Lady Macbeth, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Diane Ferry Williams, Beauty and the Beast, Marriott Theatre
Diane Ferry Williams, Sunset Boulevard, Marriott Theatre

Musical Direction
Eugene Dizon, Closer Than Ever, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
*Eugene Dizon, Sweeney Todd, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago
Joel Hoekstra, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Northlight Theatre
Doug Oberhamer, Swing!, Marriott Theatre
Doug Peck, Hello Again, Apple Tree Theatre

Original Incidental Music
Alaric Jans, Measure for Measure, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Alaric Jans, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Aaron Krister Johnson, Peer Gynt, The Artistic Home
*Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman, Red Herring, Northlight Theatre
Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman, Silk, Goodman Theatre

Special Achievement
*John Boesche, Sunset Boulevard, Marriott Theatre: Special Achievement in Projection Design
*Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, Lookingglass Alice, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Actors Gymnasium: Special Achievement in Circus Choreography

*

Founded in 1968, the mission of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee is to honor excellence in theatrical productions in the Chicago theatre community. The committee, comprised of theatre professionals and experienced theatergoers, evaluates approximately 200 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize Equity productions, the Citations (non-Equity) wing was founded in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union Chicago theatre, and that ceremony is held annually in June.