Winners in FL Carbonell Stock/Roadshow Categories Announced; Walnut Street, Hairspray, Stritch Win

News   Winners in FL Carbonell Stock/Roadshow Categories Announced; Walnut Street, Hairspray, Stritch Win
A new chapter for The Carbonell Awards began March 23 when the winners in a new and separate Stock/Roadshow area were announced, to complement the Carbonells, which celebrate resident South Florida productions.

Resident professional Florida theatres will be honored April 10 at the Carbonell Awards. On March 23, road shows and co-productions between Florida and national stock houses were recognized. The latter Stock/Roadshow winners are determined by a panel of critics. A wider body votes on resident works. All will be mentioned and included in the April 10 ceremony.

The rise of independent productions, large scale regional shows and co-productions led the Carbonell Awards' to re-establish a full slate of Stock/Roadshow awards this year, according to board president Leslie J. Feldman, publisher of Playbill Magazine in Southern, Southwest and Midwest regions.

M. Somerset Maugham's 1926 comedy The Constant Wife and the musical tour of Hairspray took multiple honors in the newly-minted Stock/Roadshow categories of the 30th Annual Carbonell Awards.

(Ironically, Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre, by choice, does not participate in Philly's Barrymore Awards, but snagged a South Florida Carbonell for its co-pro of The Constant Wife, with Coconut Grove.)

Other winners include Harold Gould in Tuesdays With Morrie, Elaine Stritch in At Liberty, two separate productions of Anna in the Tropics, plus the tours of Chicago and The King and I. These honorees, plus winners to be announced in over 20 regional theatre and arts categories, will be feted April 10 in ceremonies at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, the program's principal sponsor.

Florence Henderson is mistress of ceremonies.

The Constant Wife was co-production of Miami's Coconut Grove Playhouse and Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre, was chosen Best Production and Malcolm Black as Best Director in balloting by area theatre critics.

The tour of Hairspray that appeared at Fort Lauderdale's Broward Center for the Performing Arts won for Best Choreography by Jerry Mitchell, and for Kenneth Posner's lighting.

Elaine Stritch was named Best Actress for At Liberty at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and Harold Gould won Best Actor for Tuesdays With Morrie, also produced by the Grove and picked up for the Broadway Across America tour, beginning at Fort Lauderdale's Parker Playhouse.

Also on the Broadway Across America lineups were Chicago at the Kravis Center, whose Anne L. Nathan was chosen Best Supporting Actress as Mama Morton, and the Broward Center appearance of The King and I, winner of Best Costumes for Roger Kirk.

Two separate productions of Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Anna in the Tropics won stock/roadshow awards. John Herrera was named Best Supporting Actor for an appearance at Maltz Jupiter Theatre in a co-production with The Seattle Repertory Company, which mounted the show. Herrera won a Carbonell best actor award in 1990 for the national tour of Chess. A Coconut Grove production of Anna directed by author Cruz was a finalist in several categories, and won for Best Scenic Design by Adrian W. Jones.

Plays and musicals are lumped together in Stock/Roadshow categories, which include non-resident touring shows, co-productions, and the Grove Playhouse's large-scale shows.

A total of 34 shows from Miami through Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches were eligible, although return engagements by some touring companies previously eligible were open for consideration for cast replacements only.

"Combined Stock/Roadshow awards were routinely presented in the 1970s and 80s but stock was dropped due to changes in the theatre industry, and touring citations were limited to a few categories," according to a statement.

The overall tally shows the Grove and Broadway Across America presentations with four awards apiece, and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre with two.

"The awards for co-productions among distant major regional theaters involving the Grove, Walnut Street, Maltz Jupiter and Seattle Repertory theaters are unique in modern theatre awards around the country," according to a statement.

Further, the development of large-scale regional theatres such as the Coconut Grove, Walnut, Goodman, Denver Center Theatre Company and others add new dynamics to the 1970s and 80s style definitions of "resident," "regional" and "stock" theatres.

While the term "stock" is a throwback, "it represents better than any other yet devised the emerging dynamics, according to Carbonell organizers." The Carbonell Awards are the first to recognize this emergence of a new tier in American national theatre, Feldman said.

Complicating definitions, the Grove's production of Tuesdays With Morrie was picked up by LiveNation for its Broadway Across America touring series in several markets, further blending the contemporary regional-stock-touring market.

According to the Carbonells, Large LORT and other heavily-capitalized regional theatres in major regional theatre markets have uneasy relationships with resident theatres and regional theatre awards programs.

The Walnut Street Theatre does not participate in Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards, the Goodman briefly seceded from Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Awards, and the Denver Center Theatre Company has had adversarial relationships with other local troupes in that area's awards, among other examples.

While the Carbonell "Stock/Roadshow" awards borrow traditional labels, Feldman said the new definition recognizes the most up-to-date developments in American theatre where local, regional and national interests converge.

The major difference between Stock/Roadshow and Regional voting processes is that only critics on shared opening-night press lists participate in Stock/Roadshow balloting.

A larger panel including arts professionals and patrons consider over 100 resident company productions in 20 categories, separating plays and musicals.

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