Road Show, Burstyn, Grisetti, Our Town, Jones, Fela! Among 2009 Lortel Nominees

News   Road Show, Burstyn, Grisetti, Our Town, Jones, Fela! Among 2009 Lortel Nominees
The Lucille Lortel Award nominations, honoring excellence in Off-Broadway theatre for the 2008-09 season, were announced April 2 by the Off-Broadway League. Productions of Othello and Fela! were the top-earners among nominees, taking six and five nominations, respectively.
Our Town star David Cromer
Our Town star David Cromer Photo by Carol Rosegg

David Cromer's Our Town, York Theatre Company's Enter Laughing and its young star Josh Grisetti, Playwrights Horizons' Saved, Manhattan Theatre Club's Ruined and Second Stage's Becky Shaw are also among nominees.

The Lark Play Development Center will be given a special award for Outstanding Body of Work. Ira Weitzman, the in-house musical theatre producer at Lincoln Center Theater, will be given a Lortel for Sustained Excellence.

The awards ceremony will be held May 3 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel; this year's ceremony will benefit The Actors Fund.

The Lortel voting committee is comprised of representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors' Equity Association, Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals.

The 2009 voting committee includes Jeremy Dobrish, John Clinton Eisner, Barrack Evans, Kurt Everhart, Peter Filichia, David Finkle, Jeffrey Fiske, Elizabeth Frankel, Melanie Herman, Linda Herring, Matthew Kelty, Walt Kiskaddon, Renée Lasher, Russell Lehrer, Niclas Nagler, Barbara Pasternack, Richard Price, Mark Rossier, David Savran and Barbara Toy. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation with support provided by Theatre Development Fund.

Visit the Lortel Awards website at


Outstanding Play
Animals Out of Paper; Second Stage Theatre, Producer; Rajiv Joseph, Playwright

Becky Shaw; Second Stage Theatre, Producer; Gina Gionfriddo, Playwright

Ruined; Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre, Producer; Lynn Nottage, Playwright

The Good Negro; The Public Theater in association with Dallas Theater Center, Producers; Tracey Scott Wilson, Playwright

The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928); New York Theatre Workshop and Elevator Repair Service, Producers; Text by William Faulkner, Created by Elevator Repair Service

Outstanding Musical
Fela! A New Musical; Ruth and Stephen Hendel and Roy Gabay, Producers; Book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones, Music and Lyrics by Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Add'l Music by Aaron Johnson and Jordan McLean, Add'l Lyrics by Jim Lewis.

My Vaudeville Man!; The York Theatre Company and Melanie Herman, Producers; Book by Jeff Hochhauser, Music by Bob Johnston, Lyrics by Bob Johnston and Jeff Hochhauser

Road Show; The Public Theater, Producer; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by John Weidman

Saved; Playwrights Horizons in association with Elephant Eye Theatrical, Producers; Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman, Book and Lyrics by John Dempsey and Rinne Groff

This Beautiful City; Vineyard Theatre, Producer; Composer and Lyricist Michael Friedman, Librettist Steve Cosson and Jim Lewis, Created by The Civilians

Outstanding Solo Show
Humor Abuse; Manhattan Theatre Club, Producer; Created by Lorenzo Pisoni and Erica Schmidt, Performed by Lorenzo Pisoni

Sleepwalk With Me; Eli Gonda, Ryan Scott Warren, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, and Nathan Lane, Producers; Written and Performed by Mike Birbiglia

Outstanding Revival

Enter Laughing nominee Josh Grisetti
photo by Carol Rosegg

Enter Laughing, The Musical; The York Theatre Company, Producer; Book by Joseph Stein, Music and Lyrics by Stan Daniels, Based on the play Enter Laughing by Joseph Stein, from the novel by Carl Reiner Othello; Theatre for a New Audience, Producer; William Shakespeare, Playwright

Our Town; Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Tom Wirtshafter, Ted Snowdon, Eagle Productions, Dena Hammerstein/Pam Pariseau, The Weinstein Company, Burnt Umber Productions, Producers; Thornton Wilder, Playwright

The Cripple of Inishmaan; Atlantic Theater Company and Druid Theatre Company, Producers; Martin McDonagh, Playwright

The Glass Cage; Mint Theater Company, Producer; J.B. Priestley, Playwright

Outstanding Director
Arin Arbus, Othello
David Cromer, Our Town
Garry Hynes, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Kate Whoriskey, Ruined
Robert Woodruff, Chair

Outstanding Choreographer
Martha Clarke, Garden of Earthly Delights
Bill T. Jones, Fela! A New Musical
Janet Miller, The Marvelous Wonderettes
Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Shonn Wiley, My Vaudeville Man!
Sergio Trujillo, Saved

Outstanding Lead Actor
Ned Eisenberg, Othello
Brian d'Arcy James, Port Authority
Josh Grisetti, Enter Laughing, The Musical
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela! A New Musical
John Douglas Thompson, Othello

Othello nominees Juliet Rylance and John Douglas Thompson
photo by Gerry Goodstein

Outstanding Lead Actress
Ellen Burstyn, The Little Flower of East Orange
Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Ruined
Carmen M. Herlihy, crooked
Kellie Overbey, The Savannah Disputation
Annie Parisse, Becky Shaw Outstanding Featured Actor
Utkarsh Ambudkar, Animals Out of Paper
Francois Battiste, The Good Negro
John McMartin, Saturn Returns
Aaron Monaghan, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Thomas Sadoski, Becky Shaw

Outstanding Featured Actress
Annika Boras, Chair
Kerry Condon, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Lisa Emery, Distracted
Mamie Gummer, Uncle Vanya
Juliet Rylance, Othello

Outstanding Scenic Design
Beowulf Boritt, Animals Out of Paper
Marina Draghici, Fela! A New Musical
Roger Hanna, The Glass Cage
James Schuette, Wig Out!
David Zinn, Chair

Outstanding Costume Design
Marina Draghici, Fela! A New Musical
Ann Hould-Ward, Road Show
Toni-Leslie James, Wig Out!
Karen Perry, The First Breeze of Summer
Theresa Squire, Rafta, Rafta…

Outstanding Lighting Design
Christopher Akerlind, Garden of Earthly Delights
Mark Barton, Chair
Lap Chi Chu, The Good Negro
Marcus Doshi, Othello
Jason Lyons, Mourning Becomes Electra

Outstanding Sound Design
Quentin Chiappetta, Irena's Vow
John Gromada, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment
Robert Kaplowitz, Wig Out!
Jane Shaw, The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd
Matt Tierney, The Sound and the Fury (April Seventh, 1928)

Special Awards

Edith Oliver Award for Sustained Excellence
Ira Weitzman

Outstanding Body of Work
The Lark Play Development Center


The 24th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards will be presented May 3. A cocktail reception honoring this year's nominees will be held April 20 at Ruth's Chris Steak House.

Thomas Sadoski and Annie Parisse
Thomas Sadoski and Annie Parisse
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