2010 OBIE Winners Announced!
The 55th Annual Village Voice OBIE Awards were presented on Monday, May 17, 2010, at a ceremony held at Webster Hall in Manhattan. Co-hosted by Michael Cerveris and former OBIE winner Anika Noni Rose, the awards were presented by J. Smith Cameron, Marin Ireland, Linda Lavin, Hamish Linklater, Michael Shannon, and Jennifer Westfeldt.
Entertainment for the ceremony was provided by the cast and band of the Broadway musical Fela!, including Tony nominee Sahr Ngaujah, a 2009 Obie Award winner for his performance in the show's title role during its previous Off-Broadway engagement. The performance was introduced by former OBIE winner Lillias White, currently playing "Mama Kuti" on Broadway. Antibalas, the nationally acclaimed, Brooklyn-based Afrobeat music collective to which Fela!'s band members belong, performed at the after-party that followed the ceremony.
Anika Noni Rose won an OBIE in 2001 for her performance in Eli's Comin'. Most recently, you may have heard Anika as the voice of ‘Princess Tiana' in Disney's The Princess & The Frog. She won acclaim in the film version of Dreamgirls, for which she received an NAACP nomination, and she received raves both Off- and on Broadway for her portrayal of Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change. She subsequently starred on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Mma Makutsi in the HBO series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, shot entirely on location in Botswana.
Michael Cerveris says: "I may have snuck in the back door of uptown theater while they weren't looking, but my career, my heart, and my residence have been below 14th Street more often than not over the years." His numerous roles Off-Broadway include Hedwig in the Obie-winning musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. On Broadway, he most recently won acclaim while starring in Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) . His many previous starring roles on Broadway include John Wilkes Booth in Sondheim's Assassins, and the title roles in both The Who's Tommy and the John Doyle production of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
Informally structured, with no strict categories, The Village Voice OBIE Awards honor excellence in every aspect of theater. Unlike most other entertainment awards, The Village Voice OBIE Awards publish no nominations. In the conviction that creativity is not competitive, the judges may give multiple OBIEs in any category, or even invent new categories, to reward exceptional artistic merit.
The Voice's chief theater critic, Michael Feingold, who chaired the OBIE Awards committee again this year, was recently honored as a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. The Pulitzer jury recognized Feingold "for his engaging, authoritative drama reviews that fuse passion and knowledge as he helps readers understand what makes a play or a performance successful."
His fellow judges this year included Voice critic Alexis Soloski and four guest judges: Andy Propst of AmericanTheaterWeb.com and TheaterMania, who also served as secretary to the committee; Kristin Marting, co-founder and current Artistic Director of HERE Arts Center, productions at which have received a total of 14 Obie Awards; Ralph B. Pena, a founding member and current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater, a 2003 Obie Award winner for his work on Ma-Yi's The Romance of Magno Rubio; and three-time Tony Award nominee Martha Plimpton, winner of a 2001 Obie for her performance in Hobson's Choice, and currently filming a recurring role (Atlantic Theater Company).
OBIE WINNERS 2010
The Sustained Achievement Award
Best New American Play (w/check for $1000)
Annie Baker, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION and THE ALIENS
Ensemble, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION (Playwrights Horizons)
(Reed Birney, Tracee Chimo, Peter Friedman, Deirdre O'Connell, Heidi Schreck)
Dane DeHaan, THE ALIENS (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater)
Jonathan Hammond, THE BOYS IN THE BAND (Transport Group)
Marc Damon Johnson, THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS (Public Theater)
Laurie Metcalf, A LIE OF THE MIND (The New Group)
Wendell Pierce, sustained excellence of performance
Juliet Rylance, AS YOU LIKE IT (Bridge Project/BAM)
Rocco Sisto, sustained excellence of performance
Enda Walsh, THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM (Druid Theatre / St. Ann's Warehouse)
Sam Gold, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION (Playwrights Horizons) and THE ALIENS (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater)
Pam MacKinnon, CLYBOURNE PARK (Playwrights Horizons)
Design / Music
Steven Dufala and Billy Blaise Dufala (machine design), MACHINES MACHINES
MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES (rainpan 43 /
HERE Arts Center)
Stephin Merritt (music & lyrics), CORALINE (MCC Theater)
Tyler Micoleau, sustained excellence of lighting design
Neil Murray (sets and costumes), Malcolm Rippeth (lighting), Gemma Carrington and Jon Driscoll (projection design), BRIEF ENCOUNTER (Kneehigh Theatre / St. Ann's Warehouse)
Ariane Mnouchkine & Théâtre du Soleil, LES ÉPHÉMÈRES (Lincoln Center Festival)
Taylor Mac, THE LILY'S REVENGE (HERE Arts Center)
The Ohio Theatre
Hoi Polloi and Rachel Chavkin, THREE PIANOS
(Hoi Polloi: Alec Duffy, Dave Malloy, and Rick Burkhardt) (Ontological)
Philippe Quesne and Gaëtan Vourc'h, L'EFFET DE SERGE (Vivarium Studio / Under the Radar)
Chris Wells, SECRET CITY
The Ross Wetzsteon Award (w/check for $1000)
Harlem School of the Arts
For more information about the Obie Awards, and a complete winners list, please visit: Obies.villagevoice.com