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'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for November 9th, 2011

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THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ

FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,

AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY

by Paul W. Thompson

Overheard last weekend under the showtune

video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:

The cream of Chicago's yearly crop of Equity Theater Productions sent their producers, actors, directors, designers and more to the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace Monday night for the Joseph Jefferson Awards ceremony. It was the 43rd such gathering, and a glittery one it was. The Goodman Theatre's production of "Candide," re-written and staged by Mary Zimmerman, won five awards in the Large Tier categories, including Production - Musical, New Adaptation for Zimmerman, Principal Actor Geoff Packard and Supporting Actress and Actor, Hollis Resnik and Larry Yando. On the play side (Large Tier), Chicago Shakespeare Theater's "The Madness Of George III" also took five statues, including Production - Play, Director Penny Metropulos and Principal Actor Harry Groener. Court Theatre's version of the Gershwins' "Porgy And Bess" was responsible for awards for its director and musical director (Charles Newell and Doug Peck, respectively), and Broadway-bound Jessie Mueller took home Principal Actress honors (Large Tier, musical) for "She Loves Me" at Writers' Theatre (she was also nominated in the same category for "Guys And Dolls" at the Marriott Theatre).

Goodman Theatre's "Chinglish" by David Henry Hwang (now on Broadway) and Northlight Theatre's "The Outgoing Tide" by Bruce Graham received New Work - Play awards. "Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting)" by The Second City e.t.c. received the awards for Production - Revue and New Work - Revue, and the show's Tim Baltz took the Actor or Actress in a Revue trophy. The New Work - Musical honor went to Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair's "Murder for Two," still running at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. In Midsize categories, Edward Albee's "The Goat Or, Who Is Sylvia?" from Remy Bumppo Theatre Company captured the awards for Production - Play and Principal Actress (Annabel Armour). The midsize Production - Musical honor went to "The Original Grease" from American Theater Company, and their "The Big Meal" cast took home the coveted Ensemble Award.  Tammy Mader took the choreography honors for the Marriott's "42nd Street," Jason Lyons took Lighting Design - Large for the new musical "White Noise" (Royal George Theatre) and Bill Morey was honored for his costumes for "The King And I" at Porchlight Music Theatre (Midsize Tier). For a complete list of nominees and winners, click the link below.


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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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