Kevin Kline Award Winners for St. Louis Theatre Announced

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis dominated the second annual Kevin Kline Awards ceremony, winning 18 Kevins for four separate productions. The Rep's Off-Ramp production of the irreverent Urinetown, the Musical was the evening's big winner, earning seven Kevin Kline Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Musical. The Rep's world premiere production of the musical Ace received six Kevin Kline Awards, including Outstanding New Play or Musical. The Rep's staging of the one-man drama I Am My Own Wife received three Kevin Kline Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Play. In addition, The Musical of Musicals – The Musical! earned two awards.

In all, 23 Kevin Kline Awards were bestowed in 22 categories. (The voting in one category – Outstanding Costume Design – resulted in a tie.) Sponsored by the Professional Theatre Awards Council to honor theater achievement in St. Louis, the March 26 ceremony was held at the Roberts Orpheum Theater.

Nine of the 37 plays and musicals that received nominations were recognized with awards Those nine plays and musicals were staged by five different theater companies. In addition to the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Kevin Kline Awards also went to HotCity Theatre (Polish Joke and The Probe: An Inquiry into the Meteoric Rose and Spectacular Fall of Orson Welles in Hollywood, which HotCity produced in conjunction with Theatre de la Belle Bete), New Jewish Theatre (From Door to Door), the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis (Julius Caesar) and Stages St. Louis (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown).

Director Rob Ruggiero became the first person to win multiple Kevin Kline Awards. Last year Ruggiero was voted Outstanding Director of a Play for Take Me Out. This year he was voted Outstanding Director of a Musical for Urinetown, the Musical. 

The gala ceremony was hosted by former St. Louisan Ken Page, star of such Broadway hits as Cats and Ain't Misbehavin'. Guest presenters included Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Willy Holtzman and Urinetown composer Mark Hollmann, both of who hail from St. Louis, and veteran Broadway actor Edmund Lyndeck.

The Professional Theatre Awards Council (PTAC) was formed in 2004 to heighten awareness of theater in St. Louis. During the twelve months of 2006, 95 different plays and musicals were evaluated by a floating pool of 45 judges. Each show was seen by seven judges, and each judge was required to submit his or her ballot within 24 hours of attending a production, thus insuring that each production was weighed on its own merits rather than in comparison to others.

The winners and nominees follow (categories listed in the order in which they were announced):

Outstanding Production for Young Audiences
Winner: YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Stages St. Louis)
Other nominees: Beowulf (Metro Theater Company)
Do Over (Spotlight Theatre)
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse (Metro Theater Company)
The Velveteen Rabbit (The Imaginary Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
Winner: URINETOWN, THE MUSICAL (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)
Other nominees: Ace (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)
Aida (The Muny)
Cabaret (Stages St. Louis)
Johnny Appleweed (New Line Theatre)
The Musical of Musicals – The Musical! (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
Winner: THE PROBE: AN INQUIRY INTO THE METEORIC RISE AND  SPECTACULAR FALL OF Orson Welles IN HOLLYWOOD (HotCity Theatre Company and Theatre de la Belle Bete)
Other nominees: The Crucible (Muddy Waters Theatre)
Marija's Pictures (Upstream Theater)
Metamorphoses (St. Louis Shakespeare)
The Pillowman (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)

Outstanding Lighting Design
Winner: CHRIS AKERLIND (Ace, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)
Other nominees: F. Mitchell Dana (I Am My Own Wife, The Repertory Theatre of  St. Louis)
Mary Jo Dondlinger (The Musical of Musicals – The Musical!, The Repertory Theatre of  St. Louis)
James Sale (Of Mice and Men, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)
Peter E. Sargent (Urinetown, the Musical, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis)

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