CANDIDE, PORGY & BESS et al. Lead 43rd Annual Jeff Awards

At the gala 43rd Annual Equity Jeff Awards held at Drury Lane Oakbrook on Monday, November 7, "The Madness of George III," from Chicago Shakespeare Theater, took top honors for a play in the Large Theatre tier with a total of 5 awards, including Production - Play, Director Penny Metropulos and Principal Actor Harry Groener. In musical categories for large theatres, the Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company production of "Candide" won top awards for a musical with 5 statues, including Production - Musical, New Adaptation for Mary Zimmerman, Principal Actor Geoff Packard and Supporting Actress and Actor, Hollis Resnik and Larry Yando. The revisionist team of Director Charles Newell and Music Director Doug Peck of Court Theatre claimed directing honors for large musicals with their new look at "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess."

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, sponsored by Actors' Equity Association. The Ensemble Award was presented by Dev Kennedy, AEA's Central Regional Vice President, and Kathryn V. Lamkey, Assistant Executive Director/Central Regional Director of AEA. Immediate Past Jeff Chair Susan Haimes surprised Kathryn, on behalf of The Jeff Awards, with a plaque presentation to honor her career accomplishments on the eve of her retirement in December.

The Jeff Committee judged 28 world premiere plays during the 2010-2011 season, eight of which were nominated for the New Work - Play award. In this highly prized category, which allows more than one recipient, and, in a remarkably strong season, Goodman Theatre's "Chinglish" by David Henry Hwang and Northlight Theatre's "The Outgoing Tide" by Bruce Graham received New Work - Play awards. "Chinglish" is currently running on Broadway, and a New York run is in the planning stage for "The Outgoing Tide".

"Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting)" by The Second City e.t.c. received the awards for Production - Revue and New Work - Revue, and Tim Baltz took the Actor or Actress in a Revue trophy. The New Work - Musical honor went to Joe Kinosian's and Kellen Blair's "Murder for Two - A Killer Musical," which has been delighting audiences at Chicago Shakespeare Theater since mid-May. In the Solo Performance category Barbara Robertson received the award for her tour-de-force in "The Detective's Wife" at Writers' Theatre.

Other acting awards went to Jessie Mueller as Actress in a Principal Role - Musical for "She Loves Me" at Writers' Theatre. The Actor in a Supporting Role - Play award was presented to veteran favorite Mike Nussbaum in "Broadway Bound" from Drury Lane Productions. Diana Simonzadeh took the honor for Actress in a Supporting Role - Play for "Scorched" at Silk Road Theatre Project.

On behalf of the Jeff Awards, Chair Glenn Hering welcomed the audience and presented the 2011 Special Award to Hedy Weiss, theater critic of the "Chicago Sun Times," with Chris Jones, theater critic of the "Chicago Tribune," providing the introduction of the honoree. Ms. Weiss, who has served at the "Sun Times" since 1984, was honored for her important contributions to Chicago area theatre. She has consistently encouraged and supported young emerging theatres and artists and has been a strong supporter of new works and new adaptations coming from the diverse Chicago theatre scene. Since 2002, Hedy also has served as theater and dance critic for "Chicago Tonight," the nightly news magazine on Chicago's PBS station WTTW-Channel 11, and has contributed frequently to radio programs on WGN and WBEZ radio.

The near-capacity audience enjoyed live performances from nominated musicals and video performances from nominated plays. The Equity Awards ceremony was directed by Michael Weber and produced by Jeff Equity Chair, Diane Hires, with music direction by Linda Slein and stage management by Colleen Tovar. Actors Bernie Yvon and David Girolmo emceed the proceedings. Nominees and guests also enjoyed pre-show appetizers, a grand post-show buffet, live interviews, and dancing.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. Each year the Jeff Awards evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre. The Non-Equity Awards
Ceremony will be held on June 4, 2012 at the Park West.


COMPLETE LIST OF JEFF EQUITY AWARD RECIPIENTS

PRODUCTION - PLAY - LARGE
"The Madness of George III" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PRODUCTION - PLAY - MIDSIZE
"Edward Albee's The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?" - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL - LARGE
"Candide" - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL - MIDSIZE
"The Original Grease" - American Theater Company

PRODUCTION - REVUE
"Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting)" - The Second City e.t.c.

DIRECTOR - PLAY
Penny Metropulos - "The Madness of George III" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

DIRECTOR - MUSICAL
Charles Newell - "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" - Court Theatre

ENSEMBLE
"The Big Meal" - American Theater Company

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Harry Groener - "The Madness of George III" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Geoff Packard - "Candide" - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Annabel Armour - "Edward Albee's The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?" - Remy
Bumppo Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Jessie Mueller - "She Loves Me" - Writers' Theatre

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Tim Baltz - "Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting)" - The Second City e.t.c.

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Barbara Robertson - "The Detective's Wife" - Writers' Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Mike Nussbaum - "Broadway Bound" - Drury Lane Productions

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Larry Yando - "Candide" - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Diana Simonzadeh - "Scorched" - Silk Road Theatre Project

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Hollis Resnik - "Candide" - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

NEW WORK - PLAY
Bruce Graham - "The Outgoing Tide" - Northlight Theatre
David Henry Hwang - "Chinglish" - Goodman Theatre

NEW WORK - MUSICAL OR REVUE
Tim Baltz, Aidy Bryant, Jesse Case, Matt Hovde, Brendan Jennings, Jessica Joy, Michael
Lehrer, and Mary Sohn - "Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting)" - The Second City
e.t.c.
Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair - "Murder for Two - A Killer Musical" - Chicago
Shakespeare Theater

NEW ADAPTATION - PLAY OR MUSICAL
Mary Zimmerman -"Candide" - Goodman Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company

CHOREOGRAPHY
Tammy Mader - "42nd Street" - Marriott Theatre

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Andrew Hansen - "To Master the Art" - TimeLine Theatre Company

MUSIC DIRECTION
Doug Peck - "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" - Court Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN - LARGE
David Korins - "Chinglish" - Goodman Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Collette Pollard - "The Front Page" - TimeLine Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN - LARGE
Jason Lyons - "White Noise" - Holly Way, Jay Strommen, Jimmy Mack, Deborah Taylor/Chris Bensinger, Tom Leonardis and Whoopi Goldberg

LIGHTING DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Sarah Hughey - "Scorched" - Silk Road Theatre Project

COSTUME DESIGN - LARGE
Susan E. Mickey - "The Madness of George III" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

COSTUME DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Bill Morey - "The King and I" - Porchlight Music Theatre

SOUND DESIGN - LARGE
Mikhail Fiksel - "Travels with My Aunt" - Writers' Theatre

SOUND DESIGN - MIDSIZE
Peter J. Storms - "Scorched" - Silk Road Theatre Project

FIGHT / MOVEMENT DIRECTION
Rick Sordelet - "Romeo and Juliet" - Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PROJECTIONS / VIDEO DESIGN
John Boesche - "A Twist of Water" - Route 66 Theatre Company
Mike Tutaj - "In Darfur" - TimeLine Theatre Company

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Tracy Otwell - Toy Theatre Design - "The Last Act of Lilka Kadison" - Lookingglass
Theatre Company
Melissa Veal - Wig and Make-up Design - "The Madness of George III" - Chicago
Shakespeare Theater

SPECIAL AWARD
Hedy Weiss

TRIBUTE AWARD
Kathryn V. Lamkey

2010-2011 EQUITY STATISTICS

In the Season ended July 31, 2011, the Jeff Awards Committee judged the opening nights of 130 Equity productions from 51 producing organizations. Of these, 100 productions were recommended by the opening night judges and became eligible for nominations.


MULTIPLE RECIPIENTS

THEATRES:
Chicago Shakespeare Theater 7
Goodman Theatre 7
(5 with Shakespeare Theatre Company)
The Second City e.t.c. 3
Silk Road Theatre Project 3
TimeLine Theatre Company 3
Writers' Theatre 3
American Theater Company 2
Court Theatre 2
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company 2

PRODUCTIONS:
"Candide" 5
"The Madness of George III" 5
"Scorched" 3
"Sky's The Limit (Weather Permitting)" 3
"Chinglish" 2
"Edward Albee's The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?" 2
"The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" 2

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