'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for August 22nd, 2012
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ
FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,
AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
Monday night at midnight, the 2012 Equity Jeff Award nominations were announced! And it's a very long list. There are 197 nominations in 34 categories for the 44th annual Joseph Jefferson Awards, for Chicago area Equity productions which opened between August 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012. 118 productions were eligible, and 96 were declared "Jeff Recommended." From that list of productions, this week's nominations were decided. In addition to a whole host of plays, 24 musical productions received nominations, led by the Broadway World Chicago Award-winning production of "Follies" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, which appears on Jeff's list 7 times. Besides being up for Production – Musical – Large, the production's Caroline O'Connor and Alex Sanchez are Jeff nominees now as well, paralleling their wins at the BWW Awards last December (she for principal actress and he for choreography).
Some other leading contenders in the Large categories include the Drury Lane Theatre's "Hairspray," the Marriott Theatre's "The Pirates Of Penzance" and Writers' Theatre's "A Little Night Music," each of which received 6 nominations. The Drury Lane's "Sweeney Todd" and "The Sound Of Music," both of which were directed by Rachel Rockwell and musical directed by Roberta Duchak, received 5 nods apiece, including 2 each for Rockwell and Duchak.
Musical productions with 4 nominations include Porchlight Music Theatre's "Putting It Together" (it was the BroadwayWorld Award winner for Best Revue, and it's up for Production – Revue here), the Marriott's "White Christmas" and Lookingglass Theatre Company's "Eastland," the latter a rare instance of a new musical work that was also nominated for best production in its class. The Marriott's new "Hero" and the commercial "The Doyle And Debbie Show" (Royal George Cabaret Theatre) received 3 nominations apiece. The awards ceremony takes place at the Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace on Monday night, October 15, 2012. Break a leg, everyone!
The aforementioned Drury Lane Theatre is the one large musical house whose upcoming casting was missing from last week's Showtune Mosh Pit! So, here is the rundown on Rachel Rockwell's production of "Xanadu," which begins previews on September 6, and runs September 13-October 28. Gina Milo (memorable as the Lady of the Lake in DLO's "Spamalot" 18 months ago) will star as Kira, and New York-based Chris Critelli will be Sonny. Others in the cast include Gene Weygandt, Nancy Voigts, Tammy Mader, Christine Sherrill, Stephanie Binetti, Sean Blake, Gary Carlson, Robin Childress and Jake Klinkhammer. And who doesn't love a Kevin Depinet set lit by Jesse Klug, with projections by Mike Tutaj? That sounds awesome!