San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Announces 2013 Craig Noel Awards - GENTLEMEN'S GUIDE, IN THE HEIGHTS & More!

San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Announces 2013 Craig Noel Awards - GENTLEMEN'S GUIDE, IN THE HEIGHTS & More!

A musical now playing on Broadway, a coproduction between two San Diego theaters, a musical staged with a local high school and two homegrown festivals were honored by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Monday at its 2013 Craig Noel Awards.

The 12th annual awards program drew more than 500 San Diego theater industry members and supporters to the Museum of Contemporary Arts, San Diego, in La Jolla. The awards honor top achievements in professional theater and are named for the late Craig Noel, a National Medal of Arts recipient who was the first artistic director of San Diego's largest and oldest theater, The Old Globe, and is widely regarded as the founding father of San Diego's theater community.

Fourteen productions were honored with awards Monday evening.

Current Broadway hit "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" walked away with five awards for its world premiere production at The Old Globe, including Outstanding New Musical, Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male (Jefferson Mays), Outstanding Direction of a Musical (Darko Tresnjak),

A theatrical adaptation of Toni Morrison's novel "The Bluest Eye" received awards for Outstanding Dramatic Production, Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Direction of a Play (Delicia Turner Sonnenberg). "The Bluest Eye" was a co-production of Moxie Theatre and Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company.

San Diego Repertory Theatre won the Outstanding Resident Musical award for "In the Heights," produced with staff and students from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. The musical's choreographer Javier Velasco was also a winner.

Two theater festivals that debuted in 2013 were honored in the Outstanding Special Event category: the San Diego Fringe Festival and La Jolla Playhouse's Without Walls Festival.

Two other shows won multiple awards. La Jolla Playhouse's "Side Show" was honored for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Female (shared by Erin Davie & Emily Padgett) and costume design (Paul Tazewell). San Diego Musical Theatre's "The Sound of Music" received awards for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female (Victoria Strong) and musical direction (by Don LeMaster).

The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented a cash award to Ion Theatre (Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Work by a Small Theater Company) for its 2013 season. The Outstanding Young Artist Award/Sandra Ellis Troy Scholarship was given to 10-year-old Abby DeSpain, for her performance in "Wait Until Dark," at New Village Arts Theatre.

For the first time the Actor of the Year award went to two artists. Linda Libby and Randall Dodge were each honored for an outstanding body of work in 2013.

Libby appeared in the musical, "Grey Gardens," for Ion Theatre and was nominated for her performances in Cygnet Theatre's production of the musical "Company," and its production of the play "The Importance of Being Earnest."

In 2013, Dodge appeared in two productions of "South Pacific" (for the Welk Theatre San Diego and for Moonlight Stage Productions) as well as in "The Wizard of Oz" (Moonlight Stage Productions), "Chicago" (Welk Theatre San Diego), "The Sound of Music" (San Diego Musical Theatre) and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (The Old Globe).

Full list of 2013 Craig Noel Awards:

Outstanding Resident Musical

"In the Heights," San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding New Musical

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," The Old Globe

Outstanding Musical Direction

Don LeMaster, "The Sound of Music," San Diego Musical Theatre

Outstanding Choreography

Javier Velasco, "In the Heights," San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Orchestrations

Jonathan Tunick, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," The Old Globe

Outstanding Ensemble

"The Bluest Eye," Moxie Theatre & Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company

Outstanding Solo Performance

Sean Sullivan, "Baby Redboots' Revenge," San Diego Fringe Festival

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Female

Erin Davie & Emily Padgett, "Side Show," La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male

Jefferson Mays, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," The Old Globe

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Male

Phil Johnson, "A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Musical," Intrepid Shakespeare Company

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female

Victoria Strong, "The Sound of Music," San Diego Musical Theatre

(continued on next page)

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Male

Miles Anderson, "The Merchant of Venice," The Old Globe

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Female

Deborah Gilmour Smyth, "Wit," Lamb's Players Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female

Yolanda Franklin, "The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler," Diversionary Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Male

Don Sparks, "Pygmalion," The Old Globe

Outstanding Sound Design

Christopher Luessmann, "The Wizard of Oz," Moonlight Stage Productions

Outstanding Costume Design

Paul Tazewell, "Side Show," La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Lighting Design

York Kennedy, "Other Desert Cities," The Old Globe

Outstanding Scenic Design

Alexander Dodge, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," The Old Globe

Outstanding Projection Design

Victoria Petrovich, "A Weekend with Pablo Picasso," San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Direction of a Play

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, "The Bluest Eye," Moxie Theatre & Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

Darko Tresnjak, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," The Old Globe

Outstanding Dramatic Production

"The Bluest Eye," Moxie Theatre & Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company

Outstanding Special Event

The San Diego Fringe Festival

Without Walls Festival, La Jolla Playhouse

Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Work by a Small Theater Company

Ion Theatre, for its 2013 body of work

Actor of the Year

Linda Libby

Randall Dodge

Outstanding Young Artist/Sandra Ellis Troy Scholarship

Abby DeSpain, "Wait Until Dark," New Village Arts Theatre

Outstanding Musical Performance in a Play

Gilbert Castellanos, "The Federal Jazz Project," San Diego Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1983 and re-established in 2002, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle is an independent, nonprofit organization of print and online theater critics dedicated to open and honest dialogue about theater in San Diego County and to honoring artistic excellence. The members of our organization are professional critics writing for daily newspapers, magazines, alternative weeklies, entertainment trade publications and websites in San Diego County. To learn more, visit sdcriticscircle.org or visit the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle group page on Facebook.

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