Christine Ebersole, Patti LuPone & More Earn Jeff Awards Nominations

Christine Ebersole, Patti LuPone & More Earn Jeff Awards Nominations

Six world premiere plays and four new adaptations seen first by Chicago audiences were among those receiving nominations by The Jeff Awards Committee. 178 nominations in 32 categories honor Chicago Equity theatrical productions that opened between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016.

Multiple Jeff Award-winning actors Deanna Dunagan and Mike Nussbaum did the honor of announcing the nominees for the 2015-2016 Equity Jeff Awards. A video of the presentation is available at www.JeffAwards.org.

Paramount Theatre led all theatres with 14 nominations, all for musicals in the Large Theatre category. "West Side Story" received seven, "Oklahoma!" four, "Hairspray" two, and "A Christmas Story, the Musical" one. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Goodman Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre each had 12 nominations. Chicago Shakespeare's nominated productions included five for "The Tempest", four for "Ride the Cyclone", two for "The Heir Apparent", and one for "Othello". Goodman's nominations included five each for "2666" and "War Paint", and one each for "The Matchmaker" and "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window". Porchlight, a mid-sized theatre, garnered six for "Dreamgirls", four for "Sideshow", and two for "Far from Heaven".

For the coveted Ensemble category, the Jeff Awards Committee nominated six productions: Goodman's "2666", a five-and-a-half hour sprawling adaptation of Robert Bolaño's epic novel, with 15 actors playing 80 roles; "Charm" at Northlight Theatre, the true story of a transgender woman teaching etiquette to LGBTQ youth in Chicago; Writers Theatre's "Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody", a mash-up of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", "Our Town", "A Streetcar named Desire" and Death of a Salesman"; Chicago Shakespeare's "Ride the Cyclone", a quirky musical docudrama that explicates teen deaths at an amusement park; Timeline Theatre's "Spill", about the BP Deepwater Horizon 2010 oil spill; and The House Theatre of Chicago's "United Flight 232", a heart-pounding reflection by survivors of an airplane crash. Actors' Equity Association supports the Equity Jeff Awards by sponsoring the Ensemble Award.

New Work and New Adaptation nominations recognized plays and musicals that had their world premieres in Chicago. Two New Work nominations went to Phillip Dawkins, one for Northlight's "Charm" and the other for "Le Switch" at About Face Theatre, about a commitment-phobic gay man contemplating marriage. Other nominees are Rohina Malik's "Yasmina's Necklace" at 16th Street Theater, a story about immigrant assimilation confronting older refugees; Brian Quijada's multi-platform autobiography "Where Did We Sit on the Bus?" at Teatro Vista in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Victory Gardens Theater; John Reeger, Julie Shannon and Michael Mahler's musical "The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes" at Mercury Theater Chicago, a tale of mystery that ensues when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle kills off his famous detective; and Vanessa Stalling's "United Flight 232" at The House Theatre of Chicago. New Adaptation nominations went to Robert Falls and Seth Bockley for "2666" at Goodman Theatre; Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler for "October Sky" at Marriott Theatre, a musical adaptation of the movie set in the era of dreams of space exploration inspired by Sputnik; Frank Galati's "East of Eden" at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, adapted from the Steinbeck allegorical novel of the Cain and Abel story; and Mary Zimmerman for "Treasure Island" at Lookingglass Theatre Company and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate adventure.

During the 2015-16 season, Jeff Awards Committee judges attended opening nights of 158 Equity productions offered by 58 producing organizations, and from these openings, 112 productions were "Jeff Recommended" and eligible for award nominations.

The 48th Annual Equity Jeff Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the immediate Chicago area will be held on Monday, October 17 at Drury Lane Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.

Performances featuring cast members from nominated musicals and revues and video segments from nominated plays will highlight the October 17 ceremony. Pre-show appetizers and cash bar will be offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony, directed by Michael Weber, and a lavish buffet reception immediately thereafter.

Advance purchase tickets, which include the ceremony and pre- and post-show parties, are $75 ($55 for members of Actors' Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Stage Managers' Association, The Dramatists Guild of America, and American Federation of Musicians). The evening is black tie optional and the public is invited to attend. To purchase tickets, visit the Jeff Awards website at www.jeffawards.org. For more information, contact Jeff Awards Equity Ceremony Producer Merril Prager at producer@jeffawards.com

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With up to 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards Committee is dedicated to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. Each year, the Jeff Awards Committee evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards Non-Equity Wing was established in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre.

2016 EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES

PRODUCTION - PLAY - LARGE
"2666" - Goodman Theatre
"Arcadia" - Writers Theatre
"Between Riverside and Crazy" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
"Charm" - Northlight Theatre
"The House That Will Not Stand" - Victory Gardens Theater
"Long Day's Journey into Night" - Court Theatre
"The Tempest" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PRODUCTION - PLAY - MIDSIZE
"Good for Otto" - The Gift Theatre
"Le Switch" - About Face Theatre
"The Mutilated" - A Red Orchid Theatre
"Pilgrim's Progress" - A Red Orchid Theatre
"The Rainmaker" - American Blues Theater
"United Flight 232" - The House Theatre of Chicago

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL - LARGE
"Man of La Mancha" - Marriott Theatre
"Oklahoma!" - Paramount Theatre
"Ride the Cyclone" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
"War Paint" - Goodman Theatre
"West Side Story" - Paramount Theatre

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL - MIDSIZE
"Adding Machine: A Musical" - The Hypocrites
"Dreamgirls" - Porchlight Music Theatre
"Little Shop of Horrors" - American Blues Theater
"The Producers" - Mercury Theater Chicago
"Side Show" - Porchlight Music Theatre

DIRECTOR - PLAY
Edward Blatchford - "The Rainmaker" - American Blues Theater
Michael Halberstam - "Arcadia" - Writers Theatre
Aaron Posner and Teller - "The Tempest" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Vanessa Stalling - "United Flight 232" - The House Theatre of Chicago
Michael Patrick Thornton - "Good for Otto" - The Gift Theatre

DIRECTOR - MUSICAL
Nick Bowling - "Man of La Mancha" - Marriott Theatre
Jim Corti - "West Side Story" - Paramount Theatre
Brenda Didier - "Dreamgirls" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Rachel Rockwell - "Ride the Cyclone" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
L. Walter Stearns - "The Producers" - Mercury Theater Chicago
Michael Weber - "Side Show" - Porchlight Music Theatre

ENSEMBLE
"2666" - Goodman Theatre
"Charm" - Northlight Theatre
"Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody" - Writers Theatre
"Ride the Cyclone" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
"Spill" - TimeLine Theatre Company
"United Flight 232" - The House Theatre of Chicago

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Greg Matthew Anderson (Septimus Hodge) - "Arcadia" - Writers Theatre
Nate Dendy (Ariel) - "The Tempest" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Nicholas Harazin (Jimmy) - "Beautiful Autistic" - Chicago Dramatists
Timothy Edward Kane (Francis Henshall) - "One Man, Two Guvnors" - Court Theatre
Eamonn Walker (Pops) - "Between Riverside and Crazy" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Dan Waller (Conor) - "Spinning" - Irish Theatre of Chicago
Dexter Zollicoffer (Mama Darleena) - "Charm" - Northlight Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Matthew Crowle (Leo Bloom) - "The Producers" - Mercury Theater Chicago
Alex Goodrich (Buddy) - "Elf The Musical" - Marriott Theatre
Colte Julian (Curly) - "Oklahoma! " - Paramount Theatre
Michael Aaron Lindner (Arthur Conan Doyle) - "The Man Who Murdered
Sherlock Holmes" - Mercury Theater Chicago
Nick Sandys (Sherlock Holmes) - "The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes" -
Mercury Theater Chicago
Nathaniel Stampley (Cervantes/Don Quixote) - "Man of La Mancha" - Marriott Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Jennifer Engstrom (Celeste) - "The Mutilated" - A Red Orchid Theatre
Jessica Ervin (Ester) - "Dry Land" - Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Mary Beth Fisher (Judy) - "Domesticated" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Bryce Gangel (Amy) - "Dry Land" - Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Linda Reiter (Bessie) - "Marvin's Room" - Shattered Globe Theatre
Rebecca Spence (Susan Pierce) - "How the World Began" - Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Anji White (Nina) - "Sunset Baby" - TimeLine Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Michelle Aravena (Rose Alvarez) - "Bye Bye Birdie" - Drury Lane Productions
KLea Blackhurst (Hazel Burke) - "Hazel, a Musical Maid in America" - Drury Lane
Productions
Christine Ebersole (Elizabeth Arden) - "War Paint" - Goodman Theatre
Patti LuPone (Helena Rubinstein) - "War Paint" - Goodman Theatre
Donica Lynn (Effie Melody White) - "Dreamgirls" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Alexis J. Rogers (Ms. Divine) - "Don't Make Me Over (in Tribute to Dionne Warwick)"
- Black Ensemble Theater

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Shari Addison (Aretha) - "Dynamite Divas" - Black Ensemble Theater
Lisa Beasley (Ensemble) - "A Red Line Runs Through It" - The Second City e.t.c.
Rashada Dawan (Gladys) - "Dynamite Divas" - Black Ensemble Theater
Peter Kim (Ensemble) - "A Red Line Runs Through It" - The Second City e.t.c.
Melanie McCullough (Nancy) - "Dynamite Divas" - Black Ensemble Theater

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Manny Buckley (Alonzo Fields) - "Looking Over the President's Shoulder"
- American Blues Theater
Barbara Figgins (Angela) - "My Brilliant Divorce" - Irish Theatre of Chicago
Barry Shabaka Henley (Louis Armstrong and others) - "Satchmo at the Waldorf"
- Court Theatre
Brian Quijada (Himself) - "Where did We Sit on the Bus?" - Teatro Vista in association
with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and
Victory Gardens Theater
Gail Rastorfer (Mary Jane Kelly) - "The Unfortunates" - SoloChicago Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
John Kelly Connolly (Timothy Archer) - "Good for Otto" - The Gift Theatre
Mike Nussbaum (Gregory Solomon) - "The Price" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Rob Riley (Barnard) - "Good for Otto" - The Gift Theatre
Mark Roberts (Uncle Jim) - "New Country" - Fair Trade Productions
Kelvin Roston Jr. (Damon) - "Sunset Baby" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Cliff Saunders (Crispin) - "The Heir Apparent" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Sean Fortunato (Sir Lancelot et al.) - "Monty Python's Spamalot" - Theatre at the Center
Eric Lewis (Jimmy (James Thunder) Early) - "Dreamgirls" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Evan Tyrone Martin (Raymond Deagan) - "Far from Heaven" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Evan Tyrone Martin (Jake) - "Side Show" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Richard Ruiz (Sancho) - "Man of La Mancha" - Marriott Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Deanna Dunagan (Aunt Ruth) - "Marvin's Room" - Shattered Globe Theatre
Brookelyn Hébert (Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya) - "The Seagull" - The Artistic Home
Elizabeth Ledo (Sarah) - "Le Switch" - About Face Theatre
Elizabeth Ledo (Irene Molloy) - "The Matchmaker" - Goodman Theatre
Miriam Silverman (Mavis) - "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window" - Goodman Theatre
Jacqueline Williams (Makeda) - "The House That Will Not Stand" - Victory Gardens
Theater

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Mary Antonini (Anita) - "West Side Story" - Paramount Theatre
E. Faye Butler (Motormouth Maybelle) - "Hairspray" - Paramount Theatre
Susan Moniz (Elsie Hickam) - "October Sky" - Marriott Theatre
Lia Mortensen (Joanne) - "Company" - Writers Theatre
Alene Robertson (Martha Watson) - "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" -
Drury Lane Productions

NEW WORK
Philip Dawkins - "Charm" - Northlight Theatre
Philip Dawkins - "Le Switch" - About Face Theatre
Rohina Malik - "Yasmina's Necklace" - 16th Street Theater
Brian Quijada - "Where Did We Sit on the Bus?" - Teatro Vista in association
with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and
Victory Gardens Theater
John Reeger, Julie Shannon and Michael Mahler - "The Man Who Murdered
Sherlock Holmes" - Mercury Theater Chicago
Vanessa Stalling - "United Flight 232" - The House Theatre of Chicago

NEW ADAPTATION
Robert Falls and Seth Bockley - "2666" - Goodman Theatre
Frank Galati - "East of Eden" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler - "October Sky" - Marriott Theatre
Mary Zimmerman - "Treasure Island" - Lookingglass Theatre Company and
Berkeley Repertory Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
William Carlos Angulo - "West Side Story" - Paramount Theatre
Matthew Crowle - "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" - Drury Lane Productions
Brigitte Ditmars - "Xanadu" - American Theater Company
Danny Herman - "Nice Work If You Can Get It" - Theatre at the Center
Katie Spelman - "Oklahoma!" - Paramount Theatre

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Diego Colon and Christopher Kriz - "The Grapes of Wrath" - The Gift Theatre
Daniel Knox - "The Glass Menagerie" - The Hypocrites
Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen - "East of Eden" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
André Pluess - "Treasure Island" - Lookingglass Theatre Company and
Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Brando Triantafillou - "The Mutilated" - A Red Orchid Theatre

MUSIC DIRECTION
Austin Cook - "Little Shop of Horrors" - American Blues Theater
Ryan T. Nelson - "Man of La Mancha" - Marriott Theatre
Doug Peck - "Dreamgirls" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Tom Vendafreddo - "A Christmas Story, the Musical" - Paramount Theatre
Tom Vendafreddo - "Oklahoma!" - Paramount Theatre
Tom Vendafreddo - "West Side Story" - Paramount Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Thad Hallstein - "Jerusalem" - Profiles Theatre
Sarah E. Ross - "The Rainmaker" - American Blues Theater
Joe Schermoly - "The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence" - Theater Wit
Adam Veness - "The New Sincerity" - Theater Wit
Chelsea M. Warren - "After All the Terrible Things I Do" - About Face Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN - LARGE
Tom Burch - "Sucker Punch" - Victory Gardens Theater
Kevin Depinet - "The Heir Apparent" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Kevin Depinet - "West Side Story" - Paramount Theatre
Jeffrey D. Kmiec - "Deathtrap" - Drury Lane Productions
Jack Magaw - "Long Day's Journey into Night" - Court Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Mike Durst - "Adding Machine: A Musical" - The Hypocrites
Diane D. Fairchild - "Where Did We Sit on the Bus?" - Teatro Vista in association
with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and
Victory Gardens Theater
Matt Gawryk - "The Glass Menagerie" - The Hypocrites
William C. Kirkham - "United Flight 232" - The House Theatre of Chicago
Richard Norwood - " A Small Oak Tree Runs Red" - Congo Square Theatre Company
Michael Stanfill - "John Ball's In the Heat of the Night" - Shattered Globe Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN - LARGE
Lee Fiskness - "Sucker Punch" - Victory Gardens Theater
Jesse Klug - "Man of La Mancha" - Marriott Theatre
Jesse Klug - "West Side Story" - Paramount Theatre
Kenneth Posner - "War Paint" - Goodman Theatre
Aaron Spivey - "2666" - Goodman Theatre
Thom Weaver - "The Tempest" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
David Weiner - "East of Eden" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Jeremy W. Floyd - "The Explorers Club" - Windy City Playhouse
Frances Maggio - "The Producers" - Mercury Theater Chicago
Bill Morey - "Dreamgirls" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Bill Morey - "Far from Heaven" - Porchlight Music Theatre
Bill Morey - "Side Show" - Porchlight Music Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN - LARGE
Theresa Ham - "Hairspray" - Paramount Theatre
Ana Kuzmanic - "Treasure Island" - Lookingglass Theatre Company and
Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Nancy Missimi - "Elf The Musical" - Marriott Theatre
Brenda Winstead - "Nice Work If You Can Get It" - Theatre at the Center
Catherine Zuber - "War Paint" - Goodman Theatre

SOUND DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Christopher Kriz - "The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story" - First Folio Theatre
Steve Labedz - "United Flight 232" - The House Theatre of Chicago
Miles Polaski and Mikhail Fiksel - "Fulfillment" - American Theater Company and
The Flea Theater
Brian Quijada - "Where did We Sit on the Bus?" - Teatro Vista in association
with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and
Victory Gardens Theater
BranDon Reed - "A Small Oak Tree Runs Red" - Congo Square Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN - LARGE
Barry G. Funderburg - "The 39 Steps" - Theatre at the Center
Ryan Hickey - "Deathtrap" - Drury Lane Productions
Lindsay Jones - "Othello" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
André Pluess - "Spill" - TimeLine Theatre Company
André Pluess - "Treasure Island" - Lookingglass Theatre Company and
Berkeley Repertory Theatre

PROJECTIONS/VIDEO DESIGN
Joseph A. Burke - "1984" - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Liviu Pasare - "In the Time of the Butterflies" - Teatro Vista
Shawn Sagady - "2666" - Goodman Theatre
Mike Tutaj - " Chimerica" - TimeLine Theatre Company
Mike Tutaj - " Ride the Cyclone" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Chuck Coyl - Fight Choreography - "Sucker Punch" - Victory Gardens Theater
Christine Edison - Origami Art and Consultation - "Animals Out of Paper"
- Shattered Globe Theatre
Mary O'Dowd and Amy Peter - Properties Design - "The Price"
- TimeLine Theatre Company
Sarah E. Ross - Puppet Design - "Little Shop of Horrors" - American Blues Theater
Cassy Schillo - Properties and Set Dressing - "Deathtrap" - Drury Lane Productions
Johnny Thompson - Magic Design - "The Tempest" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

What Do You Think? Tell Us In The Comments!


Related Articles

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...