BE MORE CHILL, OKLAHOMA!, and More Nominated For Off Broadway Alliance Awards
The Off Broadway Alliance, an organization of Off-Broadway producers, theaters, general managers, press agents, and marketing professionals, has announced the nominees for the 9th Annual Off-Broadway Alliance Awards, honoring commercial and not-for-profit productions that opened Off Broadway during the 2018-2019 season.
Awards will be presented in seven competitive categories: Best New Musical, Best New Play, Best Musical Revival, Best Play Revival, Best Unique Theatrical Experience, Best Solo Performance, and Best Family Show. Winners in all categories will be announced on Tuesday, May 22, and the awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 18, at Sardi's at 4:00 pm.
In addition to the competitive awards, Legend of Off Broadway Awards will be presented to Rita Gardner, Albert Poland, and Avenue Q for their extraordinary contributions over many years, Alvin Epstein, Maria Irene Fornes, and Ntozake Shange will be posthumously honored with induction into the Off Broadway Hall of Fame, and the Friend of Off Broadway Award will be presented to Frank "Fraver" Verlizzo for his award-winning graphic designs and continued dedication to Off Broadway.
The full list of nominees includes:
Best New Musical
Be More Chill
Girl from the North Country
Midnight at the Never Get
Best New Play
Do You Feel Anger?
What the Constitution Means to Me
Best Musical Revival
Fiddler on the Roof
Merrily We Roll Along
The Other Josh Cohen
Best Play Revival
Days to Come
Our Lady of 121st Street
Summer and Smoke
Best Unique Theatrical Experience
Freestyle Love Supreme
Jomama Jones: Black Light
Permission to Speak
Best Solo Performance
Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State
My Life on a Diet
Best Family Show
Not My Monster! - The Flea Theater
Pip's Island - CEO Rami Ajami, Chief Creative Officer Rania Ajami, and Creative Director Walter Krudop
The Emperor's New Clothes - New York City Children's Theater
The Emperor's Nightingale - Pan Asian Repertory Theatre
This is Sadie - New York City Children's Theater
Past Off Broadway Alliance honorees include DESPERATE MEASURES, INDECENT, HAMILTON, FUN HOME, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, BUYER & CELLAR, SPAMILTON, André De Shields, Terence McNally, Anne Meara, Joe Morton, Estelle Parsons, Wallace Shawn, and Sigourney Weaver.
The Off-Broadway Alliance is a non-profit corporation organized by theater professionals dedicated to supporting, promoting and encouraging the production of Off Broadway theater and to making live theater increasingly accessible to new and diverse audiences. The Alliance holds monthly meetings and membership is open to everyone in the Off-Broadway theater community.
Among its initiatives, The Off-Broadway Alliance sponsors 20at20, the event that runs twice a year for 20 days and lets theatergoers purchase $20 tickets to dozens of Off Broadway shows 20 minutes before curtain. It also produces a free Seminar Series focusing on the culture, business, and history of Off Broadway featuring major players from the Off-Broadway scene. The Alliance operates the OBA Mentorship Program, which provides new producers with guidance and direction from Off Broadway veterans. And the Alliance created the Off Broadway Economic Impact Report, which outlines Off Broadway's over $500 million annual impact on the economy of the City of New York.
2019 Legends of Off Broadway Award
Albert Poland, the veteran general manager and producer of more than 90 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off Off Broadway productions including Little Shop of Horrors and Steel Magnolias, as well as Broadway's As Is, Starmites, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Boy from Oz.
Avenue Q, with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty, began Off Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre before it moved to Broadway, where it won Best Musical, Book, and Score at the 2004 Tony Awards, and then returned to Off Broadway for another ten-year run scheduled to end on May 26, 2019. The show was directed by Jason Moore with puppets designed and built by original cast member Rick Lyon.
Rita Gardner has had a long career on and off Broadway; she is best known for originating the role of The Girl in the longest-running musical of all time, The Fantasticks. She appeared Off Broadway in I Remember Mama (2014), The Foreigner (2004), Wings (1993), Steel Magnolias (1987), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (1968), and The Cradle Will Rock (1964), in addition to numerous Broadway productions.
Off Broadway Hall of Fame Inductees
Alvin Epstein was a multifaceted, award-winning actor whose six-decade career on and off Broadway included roles in the works of Samuel Beckett, William Shakespeare, and Kurt Weill. He made his Broadway debut as The Fool in a revival of King Lear opposite Orson Welles. Soon after, he originated the iconic role of Lucky in the Broadway premiere of Waiting for Godot. Epstein's other Off Broadway credits include Nikolai and Others (2013), VOLPONE or the Fox (2012), The Cherry Orchard (2011), Endgame (1984), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1967).
Maria Irene Fornes was a Cuban-American playwright and director, who was a leading figure of Off and Off-Off Broadway. She wrote Promenade, The Successful Life of 3, And What of the Night?, Fefu and Her Friends, Mud, Sarita, and Letters from Cuba. Fornés was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the recipient of nine Obie Awards.
Ntozake Shange was an American playwright, poet, and novelist, best known for her groundbreaking play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf and for her award-winning 1980 adaptation of Mother Courage and Her Children at The Public Theatre.
Friend of Off Broadway
Frank "Fraver" Verlizzo is an award-winning design artist who has created the brand images for hundreds of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including Off Broadway's Forbidden Broadway, Buyer & Cellar, and the critically-acclaimed 2009 revival of Our Town.
For more information and tickets to the award ceremony, visit www.OffBroadwayAlliance.com.