On May 25, the awards ceremony of the Max Awards, the Spanish equivalent of the Tony or the Olivier Awards, took place in Madrid.
The grand winner in this inaugural awards caremony was Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd, winning 4 out of its 5 nominations.
Lluis Pascual directed the ceremony, which included an ongoing skit revealing the actors seated in the audience, complaining about the present theater situation in Spain as the awards were being granted.
The awards granted by vote were the following:
Cegada de Amor, written by Jordi Milan, director of La Cubana ( a famous theater group from Barcelona . BEST MUSICAL
Sweeney Todd, by Stephen Sondheim. Produced by Pigmalion
BEST DANCE SHOW
Gitano, by Antonio Canales
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS
Vicky Pena in Sweeney Todd
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR
Ramon Fontserre in Dr Floit y Mr Pla
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS
Natalia Dicenta in A Bocados
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR
Francisco Maestre in Pelo de Tormenta
Mario Gas for Sweeney Todd
La Cubana for Cegada de Amor
Antonio Gades for Fuenteovejuna
Jaume Sisa for Torito Bravo
BEST AUTHOR IN A PLAY
Albert Boadella for Ubu President
BEST SCENIC DESIGN
Jon Berrondo, Sweeney Todd
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Maria Araujo, Sweeney Todd
BEST ADAPTATION OR TRANSLATION
Fernando Fernan Gomez, El Lazarillo de Tormes
BEST FEMALE DANCER
Aida Gomez in El Sombrero de tres picos
BEST MALE DANCER
Antonio Gades in Carmen
BEST CIRCUS OR CABARET
De la Prospe Aqui
BEST CHILDREN'S PLAY, PUPPET SHOW OR MARIONETTES SHOW
In addition to the awards granted by vote, there were four other special awards being granted that night:
The Spanish-American Award for Scenic Arts -Alicia Alonso, director of the national ballet.
Alternative Theater Award - Rodrigo Garcia.
Honor Award - Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid
Best International Performance - Fausto 3.0 The Fura dels Baus Theater Company.
Among the attendees of the ceremony, were such people as the productor Luis Ramirez (Man of La Mancha and Sweeney Todd), the composer Fernando Arbex (Goya, the Musical), the director Mario Gas (Golfus of Rome, Master Class and Sweeney Todd), the cultural minister Esperanza Aguirre and a great number of actors like Vicky Penya (Golfus of Rome, Sweeney Todd and Guys & Dolls), Imanol Arias, Pilar Bardem, Juan Echanove, etc.
Next year, the awards ceremony will take place in Barcelona and the competitors will be plays that premiered from January 1998 to December of the same year.
--By Carlos Lorenzo