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2013 BroadwayWorld Chicago Award Winners Announced! Celebration Honors MENAGERIE, SWEENEY, DeShields, Menzel And More

BroadwayWorld.com and BroadwayWorld Chicago are proud to announce the winners of the fourth annual BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards, the only comprehensive, fan-voted theater awards system in the Chicago area. And the big winner at the 2013 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Celebration, held on Wednesday evening, January 8, 2014 at The Call Bar, was the Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company production of "The Glass Menagerie," which carried off five of the coveted award Certificates. "Menagerie" won the highly competitive Best Ensemble award, as well as four more in the Resident Non-Equity Play categories: Best Revival, Best Actress (Joanne Dubach) and two awards for Hans Fleischmann, Best Actor and Best Direction. Fleischmann was the evening's only double award winner.

Hosted by BroadwayWorld Chicago Regional Editor Paul W. Thompson, the casual, nearly four-hour event was co-hosted by The Call's resident drag entertainer, Ashley Morgan, with showtune videos by VJ Michael Hogan. And both Chicago-based Mary-Arrchie Theatre and the theater with the second highest number of awards, Crystal Lake's Williams Street Repertory, were amply represented in the enthusiastic crowd. Williams Street won four of the Resident Non-Equity awards in the Musical or Revue categories for its production of "Sweeney Todd": Best Direction (Mark R. Mahallak), Best Musical Direction (Mike Potts), Best Scenic Design (Stephen H. Carmody) and Best Lighting Design (Steven Spera).

Two of Chicago's biggest Resident Equity theaters also won four awards apiece, but for multiple productions. The Goodman Theatre won Best Revival of a Play for "Measure for Measure," and three awards for its world premiere adaptation of "The Jungle Book." These, in the Musical or Revue categories, were for Best Actor (Andre De Shields), Best Direction (Mary Zimmerman) and Best Costume Design (Mara Blumenfeld). The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre won two awards for "Othello: The Remix" (Jesse Klug's Best Lighting Design and James Savage's Best Sound Design). Also, its production of "Cyrano de Bergerac" won Best Scenic Design honors for Kevin Depinet, and its production of "Shrek" won an award as Best Theater Production for Young Audiences.

Four different musicals won a pair of awards apiece. The Drury Lane Theatre's "Next to Normal" was awarded Best Revival of a Musical (Resident Equity), and its director, William Osetek, tied with Zimmerman for Best Direction of a Resident Equity Musical or Revue. Mercury Theater Chicago and its "The Color Purple" won Best Actress in a Musical or Revue (Resident Equity) for Trisha Jeffrey and Best Choreography (Resident Equity) for Brenda Didier, Didier's amazing fourth straight year to win a BroadwayWorld Chicago Award.

The Highland Park Players' production of "Cats" provided Jennifer Cupani with the award for Best Choreography (Resident Non-Equity) and Denise Tamburrino with the award for Best Actress in a Musical or Revue (Resident Non-Equity). And the production of "The Book of Mormon" that played the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago's Loop for most of the year won both Best Touring Production and Best Actor in a Touring Production (Ben Platt).

In addition to De Sheilds, Zimmerman and Platt, theater artists with a national profile who proved victorious at the BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards included Michael Shannon (Best Actor in a Resident Equity Play for A Red Orchid Theatre's "Simpatico"), Rachel York (Best Actress in a Touring Production for the Cadillac Palace Theatre's "Anything Goes") and Idina Menzel, whose summer concert at Aurora's RiverEdge Park won for Best Special Theatrical Event.

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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!”

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