As part of Playbill On-Line's continuing attempt to give readers fun and useful information, and to demystify the occasionally daunting process of theatregoing, we will, from time to time, do stories to help clarify things. Please feel free to e-mail us with your own questions and queries.
Today's puzzle: Scott Ellis vs. Scott Elliott.
Even though they're both directors currently working on Broadway, they're not the same person. Scott Elliott, an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre, is readying an all-star production of Chekhov's Three Sisters for that theatre. He's already represented on Broadway this season with Present Laughter, a high-energy mounting of Noel Coward's comedy which stars Frank Langella.
Elliott, founding artistic director of The New Group, nabbed an Obie Award in 1996 for directing them in Off-Broadway's Curtains, a dark British comedy about euthanasia. Previously, he staged the Group's Ecstasy and won a Calloway Award for Excellence. Elliott also received a Lucille Lortel Award for directing The Monogamist.
Other Elliott directing credits include the American premiere of Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan at the Williamstown Theater Festival, where he also directed Jon Robin Baitz's The End of the Day. So who is Scott Ellis? The director of Kander & Ebb's big Broadway spring musical, Steel Pier, that's who! Also affiliated with the Roundabout, Ellis has solidified his reputation directing revivals of musicals. His mounting of She Loves Me led to a Tony nomination and two Outer Critics Circle Awards, for himself and for best revival. He also staged She Loves Me in London's West End, garnering Olivier Awards for Best Director and Best Revival. At Roundabout Ellis also staged Sondheim/Furth's Company and the Outer Critics Circle nominated, non-musical Picnic.
Off-Broadway, Ellis ranged from Eric Overmyer's Dark Rapture to Kander & Ebb musical revue, And The World Goes 'Round, for which he won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Director. (Karen Ziemba, a Steel Pier lead, first came to critical attention in that show.) Ellis also honed his Kander & Ebb skills staging Flora, the Red Menace at the Vineyard Theater. A graduate of Chicago's Goodman School of Drama, Ellis helmed the New York City Opera productions of 110 in the Shade and A Little Night Music (Drama Desk Awards, Best Director, Best Revival).
--By David Lefkowitz