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:
Congratulations for the newest winners of the Joseph Jefferson Awards were ringing out on Monday night, as well-dressed attendees of the Park West ceremony streamed into the Mosh Pit at Sidetrack for some after-show partying. The 39th annual non-Eq Jeffs are history now, and the big winner, as expected, was Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre and its production of “The Light In The Piazza,” winning six awards in all, the most of any production this year. In addition to Production – Musical, the show won Director – Musical honors for co-directors Fred Anzevino and Brenda Didier (multiple Jeff winners in the last few years), plus awards for musical director Jeremy Ramey (his first, I think), for Actress In A Principal Role – Musical recipient Kelli Harrington (as Margaret) and for Actor In A Supporting Role – Musical winner Justin Adair (as Fabrizio). The production also triumphed in a new Jeff category, as Eve Breneman took home Dialect Coaching honors.
In other musical categories, Dana Tretta won for her turn as Catherine in Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s “Pippin,” Chuck Sisson was honored as Actor In A Principal Role – Musical for Circle Theatre’s “The Baker’s Wife,” and Circle’s “Urinetown” was responsible for two awards--Kevin Bellie for Choreography and Jesus Perez for Costume Design. As previously announced, the Chicago Park District’s Theater On The Lake won a Special Award, celebrating its 60th anniversary this month as a key outlet for small theaters in particular and for the entire Chicagoland theater community in general.
It’s too bad that Theo’s production of “Pump Boys And Dinettes” was shut out by “Piazza” after nabbing six nominations, but Bailiwick Chicago was shut out completely, after two of its shows (“Passing Strange” and “Violet”) had received five nominations each. Griffin Theatre’s “Spring Awakening” also had five nominations, and these were the five productions honored to perform for the crowd on Monday, to great acclaim. BroadwayWorld Chicago salutes all the winners, nominees and performers for a great theatrical season!
Jeff Award Nominees and Recipients
Last week in the Mosh Pit (the column, not the room), I presented our first ever Chicago Summer Musical Theater Guide, listing 35 theatrical events occurring between now and Labor Day here in the immediate vicinity. And now, as promised, I turn our collective attention to some of the theaters within a day’s drive of the Chicago Loop, places where Chicago theater artists (and many Chicago theater audience members) will find themselves during the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer (and, oh, those summer nights). The 2012 Regional Summer Musical Theater Scene is shaping up this way:
In Mt. Carroll, Illinois, near Galena in northwestern Illinois, is one of the region’s traditional summer stock theaters, the Timber Lake Playhouse, which celebrates more than 50 years of operation with its 2012 season. The theater opens this week, on June 7, with “Guys And Dolls,” running through June 17. The others shows in the lineup this year, running two weeks each, are “Working,” “Footloose,” the comedy “Boeing Boeing,” “Cabaret” directed by Bailiwick Chicago artistic director Lili-Anne Brown, and, closing on August 26, “Some Enchanted Evening.” And why not?