2011 BroadwayWorld Chicago Award Winners Announced! FOLLIES, PUSSY ON THE HOUSE, CATS and More To Be Honored at 12/28 Celebration at The Call

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BroadwayWorld.com is proud to announce the results of the second annual BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards, voted on by fans of Chicagoland theater over the past six weeks. The Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier is the big winner overall, with six Broadies in the Resident Equity categories, including four for Gary Griffin's celebrated fall production of "Follies." The production picks up four awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, and the Best Actor, Actress and Choreography awards as well (Brent Barrett, Caroline O'Connor and Alex Sanchez, respectively). CST's "The Madness Of George III" is being honored as Best Revival of a Play, and Scott Davis wins the Scene Design award for "Murder For Two," the musical that played an extended run in the upstairs space.

Other productions being honored by the fans of Chicago theater with multiple awards include the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf," which supplied Amy Morton and Tracy Letts with acting honors for Resident Equity Plays. Not to be outdone, three productions from Resident Non-Equity companies are receiving multiple awards. Three BWW Awards will go to "Pussy On The House," from Hell In A Handbag Productions (the gender-bending re-imagining of Tennessee Williams' "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" is winning performance awards for Jeremy Myers and Honey West and the Best Costume Design award for John Nasca). Also, two awards each will go to "Cats" from Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre (Best Revival of a Musical and Best Choreography by Brenda Didier) and "Violet" from Bailiwick Chicago (Best Actress to Harmony France and Best Scene Design to John Zuiker). (Note that Hell In A Handbag's musical "Rudolph The Red-Hosed Reindeer," 2010 edition, won Michael Hampton the award for Best Actor.)

Porchlight Music Theatre productions were responsible for two awards. Bill Morey won in the Equity Best Costume category for "The King And I," and the company's production of "Putting It Together" has won Best Revue (Resident). Speaking of Stephen Sondheim productions, the lauded revival of "Sweeney Todd" at the Drury Lane Theatre has been awarded the coveted Best Ensemble prize. Other winners include the play "Old Times" from Strawdog Theatre Company (Best Revival of a Play, Resident Non-Equity) and the recurring concert experience "Alien Queen," winner of Best Theatrical Event from producer The Scooty and JoJo Show.

Besides Barrett and O'Connor, other prominent theater artists who don't live in Chicago, but whose work graced our stages during the eligibility period of September 2010 through October of 2011, are winners of the BCAs. These include the Best Actress and Actor in a Touring Production  (Tony winner Alice Ripley in "Next To Normal" at the Bank of America Theatre and Logan Denninghoff for his Gaston in the Oriental Theatre's "Beauty And The Beast"), and the writing team of the StarKid Productions new musical "Starship," which includes Hollywood and "Glee" star Darren Criss in addition to his Chicago-based co-writers Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Brian Holden and Joseph Walker. Also note that the winner for Best Touring Production was the return visit of Chicago favorite "Wicked," at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.



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Paul W. Thompson Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to BroadwayWorld.com since 2007, is a Chicago-based singer, actor, musical director, pianist, vocal coach, composer and commentator. His career as a performer, teacher and writer is centered at Paul W. Thompson Music, located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, where he teaches the great songs of Broadway to the next generation of musical theater performers. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Paul was raised in a family of professional musicians and teachers, steeped in classical, gospel, country, pop, sacred and show music. Dubbed a “thin, winsome lad” at the age of 13 by a critic for the Nashville Banner, he earned two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. Paul’s memberships include Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (proud voter for the Grammy Awards!), the National Association of Teachers of Singing and New York’s Drama League.

Moving easily between the worlds of classical music, religious music, classic pop and musical theater, Paul has appeared onstage or in the orchestra pit in concerts, musicals, operettas and operas in 30 states and in Europe, in a career spanning more than 35 years. His Chicagoland stage credits include “Forever Plaid” at the Royal George Theater and twenty mainstage productions at Light Opera Works. Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 1995 (he was Tenor I Section Leader for four years and sings on two Grammy-winning recordings), and is one of Chicago’s foremost liturgical singers, marking 20 years as a member of the choir at St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) in 2011.He has composed and arranged a number of anthems, hymns and songs for worship and concert use, and collaborates on the creation of new works of musical theater. Paul can be found on Monday nights watching showtune videos at the world-famous Sidetrack nightclub, the inspiration for his weekly column, “The Showtune Mosh Pit.” His proudest achievement is that he has seen the original Broadway production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical since “Cats.” No, really. Since “Cats!”