Ogunquit Playhouse Nominated for 13 IRNE Awards
The Ogunquit Playhouse has announced that it has received a total of thirteen Independent Reviewers of New England Award (IRNE) nominations for its 2014 productions of Billy Elliot the Musical, Mary Poppins and The Witches of Eastwick.
Billy Elliot the Musical has received nine IRNE nominations including one for Best Ensemble and one for Best Musical in the "Large Theatre" category. The Ogunquit production featured a cast of Broadway veterans, including Anastasia Barzee, Armand Shultz and Tony Award nominee Joel Blum. Armand Schultz has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his raw and heartfelt portrayal of Billy's Dad and Dale Soules has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her gritty performance as Grandma. Michael Shiman and Noah Parets have both been nominated in the Promising Performance by Young Actor category. Broadway veteran BT McNicholl has been nominated for Best Director of a Musical for the Ogunquit production of Billy Elliot. Mr. McNicholl has directed many critically acclaimed productions for Ogunquit including West Side Story, Cabaret, La Cage aux Folles and Fiddler on the Roof. On Broadway he has directed for the Roundabout Theater Company and has worked with Mike Nichols, David Hare, Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot film director), Sam Mendes, Jerry Zaks, James Lapine and Rob Marshall on a dozen Tony Award winning shows including Cabaret, Passion, Spamalot and Billy Elliot. Other nominations for the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Billy Elliot the Musical in the Large Theatre category are for Ana Flavia Zuim for Best Music Director, and for Adam Pelty in the Best Choreography category. Mr. Pelty served as resident choreographer for the Broadway touring company of Billy Elliot the Musical.
Mary Poppins received three IRNE nominations. Gail Bennett has been nominated as Best Actress in Musical for her delightful performance as the practically perfect nanny. Jonathan Rayson is up for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal as Mr. Banks. Resident Lighting Designer Richard Latta has received a nomination for Best Lighting Design (Musical). Paul Miller also received a nomination for Best Lighting Design for his work in the Ogunquit production of The Witches of Eastwick.
Executive Artistic Director Bradford Kenney was thrilled to hear the good news, "We are honored to be nominated among some of New England's best theatres. Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins and The Witches of Eastwick were among some of the most elaborate and technically exquisite shows ever mounted on the Ogunquit Playhouse stage. We are extremely proud to know that so many of those who made these productions exceptional have been recognized by the IRNE nominating committee."
The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards were founded by Beverly Creasey of the Journal Newspapers and Larry Stark of Theater Mirror in 1997. The IRNE Award ceremony is New England's largest theater arts recognition program, recognizing the work of playwrights, designers, actors, choreographers and directors among small, mid-size, small and fringe theater companies throughout the previous year. The IRNE Awards recognize the extraordinary wealth of talent in the Boston and New England theatre community. The IRNE Award ceremony will take place on Monday, April 13, at 7:30 pm (doors at 7 p.m.), at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston. All are invited, the event is free and open to the public - no ticket required.