Chaperone, LaChiusa and More Win L.A. Drama Critics Circle A

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle has announced the winners and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theatre for the year 2005. The 37th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony took place Monday, March 13 at a sold-out ceremony at the historic El Portal Theatre, located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood.

Among those to receive awards were The Drowsy Chaperone, Michael John LaChiusa, Edward Albee, Casey Nicholaw and Matthew Bourne.

Donating his services as co-host was Los Angeles theatre favorite Jason Graae (The Grand Tour, Grand Hotel, Fully Committed), who was joined by Back Stage West critic (and perennial LADCC Awards co-host) Wenzel Jones.

Presenters included: Jay Johnson (Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!); Alan Vincent (The Swan/Stranger) and Vicky Evans (Restaging/Artistic Tour Manager) of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake; last year's award recipients Morlan Higgins (leading performance, Exits and Entrances), William Dennis Hurley (featured performance, Exits and Entrances), and L. Trey Wilson (writing, Stage Directions); and prior multiple recipients Jim Brochu & Steve Schalchlin (score, The Big Voice and The Last Session), and Jessica Kubzansky (direction, Toys in the Attic and the 2003 Margaret Harford Award); and Tim Dang (producing artistic director of East West Players).

Other performers included members of the cast of Pacific Resident Theatre's 20th anniversary revival of Happy End (which won this year's T.H. McCulloh Award for Revival); and Reece Holland, Roger Befeler, and Paul Keith, from A Man of No Importance (presented in concert by this year's Harford Award recipient, Musical Theatre Guild) and Bets Malone (who won an award for her featured performance for her work in nominated revival On The Town).

Awards were given in fifteen categories, honoring excellence in theatre over the past year. Six special awards were also given, including a new award, honoring the memory of LADCC member Joel Hirschhorn, which was awarded outstanding achievement in musical theatre.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

And The 2005 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Winners are:

PRODUCTION
The Drowsy Chaperone, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum
Pera Palas, The Theatre at Boston Court and The Antaeus Company, Boston Court
The Wild Party, Blank Theatre Company, Hudson Mainstage Theatre
Yellowman, Bennett Bradley, The Fountain Theatre

T.H. McCULLOH AWARD FOR REVIVAL
Happy End, Pacific Resident Theatre, Pacific Resident Theatre
Mother Courage and Her Children, The Antaeus Company, NewPlace Warehouse Theatre

DIRECTION
Michael Michetti, Pera Palas, The Theatre @ Boston Court and The Antaeus Company at Boston Court
Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ahmanson Theatre

MUSICAL DIRECTION
David O, The Wild Party, Blank Theatre Company at Hudson Mainstage Theatre

WRITING
Edward Albee, The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, Mark Taper Forum

ADAPTATION/TRANSLATION
KOAN Ensemble, Kafka Thing, Odyssey Theatre

MUSICAL SCORE
Michael John LaChiusa, The Wild Party, Blank Theatre Company at Hudson Mainstage Theatre

LEAD PERFORMANCE
Chris Butler, Yellowman, The Fountain Theatre
Deidrie Henry, Yellowman, The Fountain Theatre
Brian Kerwin, The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?, Mark Taper Forum
Bob Martin, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ahmanson Theatre

FEATURED PERFORMANCE
Frank Ashmore, National Pasttime, Fremont Centre Theatre
Nathan Lee Graham, The Wild Party, Blank Theatre Company at Hudson Mainstage Theatre
Daren A. Herbert, The Wild Party, Blank Theatre Company at Hudson Mainstage Theatre
Beth Leavel, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ahmanson Theatre
Bets Malone, On the Town, Reprise! Broadway's Best at UCLA Freud Playhouse

ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
Gorey Stories, Sacred Fools Theater
Pera Palas, The Theatre at Boston Court and The Antaeus Company at Boston Court

SCENIC DESIGN
Evan A. Bartoletti, Floyd Collins, West Coast Ensemble
Tom Buderwitz, Pera Palas, The Theatre @ Boston Court and The Antaeus Company at Boston Court
David Gallo, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ahmanson Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN
Cricket Sloat, Gorey Stories, Sacred Fools Theater

HAIR, MAKEUP & COSTUME DESIGN
Ann Closs-Farley (costumes, hair, wigs & makeup), Gorey Stories, Sacred Fools Theater

SOUND DESIGN
Cricket Myers, Floyd Collins, West Coast Ensemble

CHOREOGRAPHY
Matthew Bourne and the company, Play Without Words, Ahmanson Theatre

SPECIAL AWARDS:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater was awarded to Musical Theatre Guild.

The Ted Schmitt Award for world premiere of an outstanding new play was awarded to Jon Robin Baitz for The Paris Letter.

The Bob Z Award for career achievement in set design was awarded to Donna Marquet.

The Angstrom Award for career achievement in lighting design was awarded to Jeremy Pivnick.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theater was awarded to California Repertory Company.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theatre was awarded to Eric Anderson.

Special LADCC Theatrical Community Spirit Award was given to Jason Graae.

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