Voting Begins for 2011 BWW Chicago Awards!

November 10
12:11 PM 2011


Today, is announcing the nominees for the 2011 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards! Representatives of 67 different Theater Productions, which played at 40 different Chicagoland theaters, are nominated in the 25 categories for the second annual Awards. As these are the only Theater Fan Choice Awards for the internationally known Chicago theater scene, the nominees rightly come from both Equity and Non-Equity theater companies, and from the worlds of plays, musicals, revues and touring shows.

The Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier is responsible for a whopping 18 nominations (an astounding showing), and the Goodman Theatre ranks second in nominations, with 9. Celebrities on the list include actor nominees John Mahoney and Constantine Maroulis, Best Theatrical Event solo stars Sutton Foster and Carrie Fisher, and writers David Henry Hwang and Darren Criss.

With a 14-month eligibility period, for productions which opened between September 1, 2010 and October 31, 2011, there are some fascinating choices for fans to make. Races may be hotly contested! Voting is open now, and will run through midnight on December 15, 2011, taking place through BroadwayWorld's international proprietary online voting system.

Look for the winners of the "Broadies" to be posted online about a week before Christmas. And make your plans now to attend the second annual BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Celebration at The Call nightclub in the Andersonville neighborhood, beginning at 9:00 pm on Wednesday evening, December 28th. It's a nighttime, post-Christmas party for the Chicago theater family--artists and fans alike. Come one, come all!

Click on the link below to begin casting your votes for the 2011 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards. And tell your friends!


Chicago Shakespeare Theater's remarkable nomination total is due to the company receiving multiple nominations for multiple productions. This fall's production of "Follies," directed by Gary Griffin, is nominated for 5 awards, including Best Revival of a Musical (Resident Equity) and for stars Caroline O'Connor and Brent Barrett as Best Actress and Best Actor in a Musical or Revue (Resident Equity). Last winter's production of "As You Like It," also directed by Griffin, is also up for 5 awards in the Resident Equity categories, including Best Revival of a Play. It's up against the company's spring production, "The Madness of George III," in that category (the Alan Bennett play received 3 nominations in all). And the summer's hit (and still running), the new musical "Murder For Two" is up for 4 Broadies, including Best New Work/New Adaptation (Resident). All of these productions, except for "Follies," are up for Best Costume Design, and the ChicagoShakes summer's alternative offering, "En Route," is nominated for Best Special Theatrical Event.


The Goodman Theatre's 9 nominations come from three productions, led by last fall's "Candide" with 5, including Best New Work/New Adaptation for Mary Zimmerman and Best Actor in a Musical or Revue nominee Geoff Packard. (As the two productions with the most nominations, it's worth noting that "Candide" and "Follies" will compete against each other for the Best Ensemble award.)  David Henry Hwang's "Chinglish," which debuted at the Goodman before heading to Broadway, is receiving 3 nominations, including Best New Work/New Adaptation, and the Goodman's "Red" is one of the Best Revival of a Play nominees.

In addition to Zimmerman, Hwang and the "Murder For Two" writers (Joe Kinosian and Kellan Blair), the coveted Best New Work/New Adaptation award nominees include Laura Eason for "Ethan Frome," mounted by the Lookingglass Theatre Company, along with the writers of "Starship," the three and a half hour musical mounted by StarKid Productions, with a score by "Glee" star/StarKid member Darren Criss, working alongside Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Brian Holden and Joseph Walker.

The play "Pussy On the House," an adaptation of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof" by Hell In a Handbag Productions, garnered four nominations in the Non-Equity play categories, the most for any such production. Last fall's Brown Paper Box Company production of the musical "Reefer Madness!" leads all other Non-Equity musical productions with 4 nominations, even though the musicals "Cats" from Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, "Brigadoon" from Light Opera Works, "Violet" from Bailiwick Chicago and "Pippin" from Bohemian Theatre Ensemble are each receiving 3 nominations. Also receiving 3 nominations are the touring shows "Next To Normal" and "Wicked," representing half of the 6 nominations that shows appearing at the Bank of America Theatre and the Cadillac Palace Theatre, respectively, are receiving. Theo Ubique's 6 mentions, counting "Cats," also come from "Some Enchanted Evening" with 2 and "Starting Here, Starting Now" with 1. Hell in a Handbag, Light Opera Works, Bailiwick Chicago and BoHo each received 5 nominations in total.

Other local theaters with 4 total nominations include the Oriental Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre and Redtwist Theatre. Those with 3 include the Marriott Theatre and Porchlight Music Theatre. And it should be pointed out that four individual theater artists have received double nominations: Mara Blumenfeld for costumes ("As You Like It" and "Candide"), Bill Morey for costumes ("The King and I" and "Pippin"), Brenda Didier for choreography ("Cats" and "Pippin") and Maggie Portman, both as an actress ("Brigadoon") and as a choreographer ("Starting Here, Starting Now").

Here's the complete list of nominees. Congratulations to these individuals, shows and theater companies, and all the artists involved in making them the choice of Chicago theatre fans!

Best Touring Production

  • HAIR, Oriental Theatre
  • LES MISERABLES, Cadillac Palace Theatre
  • NEXT TO NORMAL, Bank of America Theatre
  • ROCK OF AGES, Bank Of America Theatre
  • WICKED, Cadillac Palace Theatre

Best Actress in a Touring Production

Best Actor in a Touring Production

Best Special Theatrical Event

Best New Work/New Adaptation (Resident)

Best Revival of a Musical (Resident Equity)

  • FOLLIES, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier
  • THE ORIGINAL GREASE, American Theatre Company
  • PORGY AND BESS, Court Theatre
  • THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Drury Lane Theatre
  • SWEENEY TODD, Drury Lane Theatre

Best Revival of a Musical (Resident Non-Equity)

  • BIG RIVER, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
  • BRIGADOON, Light Opera Works
  • CATS, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
  • PASSING STRANGE, Bailiwick Chicago
  • REEFER MADNESS!, Brown Paper Box Company

Best Revival of a Play (Resident Equity)

Best Revival of a Play (Resident Non-Equity)

  • A BRIEF HISTORY OF HELEN OF TROY, Steep Theatre Company
  • FRAT, Hatmaker Theatrical Productions i/a/w The New Colony
  • LOBBY HERO, Redtwist Theatre
  • MAN FROM NEBRASKA, Redtwist Theatre
  • OLD TIMES, Strawdog Theatre Company

Best Revue (Resident)

  • PUTTING IT TOGETHER, Porchlight Music Theatre
  • SKY'S THE LIMIT (WEATHER PERMITTING), The Second City e.t.c.
  • SOME ENCHANTED EVENING, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
  • SOUTH SIDE OF HEAVEN, The Second City

Best Actress in a Musical or Revue (Resident Equity)

Best Actor a Musical or Revue (Resident Equity)

Best Actress in a Musical or Revue (Resident Non-Equity)

Best Actor in a Musical or Revue (Resident Non-Equity)

  • Jayson Brooks, PASSING STRANGE, Bailiwick Chicago
  • Hunter T. Davis, REEFER MADNESS!, Brown Paper Box Company
  • Jim DeSelm, VIOLET, Bailiwick Chicago
  • Michael Hampton, RUDOLPH, THE RED-HOSED REINDEER, Hell In A Handbag Productions
  • Andrew Mueller, BIG RIVER, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

Best Actress in a Play (Resident Equity)

Best Actor in a Play (Resident Equity)

Best Actress in a Play (Resident Non-Equity)

  • Tien Doman, LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING, New Leaf Theatre
  • Samantha Gleisten, BRUTAL IMAGINATION, Caffeine Theatre
  • Caroline Neff, A BRIEF HISTORY OF HELEN OF TROY, Steep Theatre Company
  • Honey West, PUSSY ON THE HOUSE, Hell In A Handbag Productions
  • Nicole Wiesner, THE FIRST LADIES, Trap Door Theatre

Best Actor in a Play (Resident Non-Equity)

  • Andrew Jessop, LOBBY HERO, Redtwist Theatre
  • Eric Lindahl, PUSSY ON THE HOUSE, Hell In A Handbag Productions
  • Evan Linder, FRAT, Hatmaker Theatrical Productions i/a/w The New Colony
  • Jeremy Myers, PUSSY ON THE HOUSE, Hell In A Handbag Productions
  • Chuck Spencer, MAN FROM NEBRASKA, Redtwist Theatre

Best Ensemble (Resident)

Best Choreography (Resident Equity)

Best Choreography (Resident Non-Equity)

Best Scenic Design (Resident Equity)

Best Scenic Design (Resident Non-Equity)

  • Steph Charaska, REEFER MADNESS!, Brown Paper Box Company
  • Alan Donahue, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, Lifeline Theatre
  • Ray Toler, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, Raven Theatre
  • Adam Veness, SOME ENCHANTED EVENING, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
  • John Zuiker, VIOLET, Bailiwick Chicago

Best Costume Design (Resident Equity)

Best Costume Design (Resident Non-Equity)

  • Matt Guthier, CATS, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
  • Branimira Ivanova, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, Lifeline Theatre
  • Ricky Lurie, BRIGADOON, Light Opera Works
  • Bill Morey, PIPPIN, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
  • John Nasca, PUSSY ON THE HOUSE, Hell In A Handbag Productions




About the Author

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Paul W. Thompson Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to 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!”