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:
It's awards season! And last week, Chicago's very own Joseph Jefferson Awards announced the nominees for its Non-Equity Wing, to be given out in 23 categories on Monday night, June 6, 2011, at the Park West. The eligibility period for productions is April 1 of last year through March 31 of this year, and aren't you glad you aren't on the nominating committee? The same five musicals are up for the Production--Musical and Director--Musical categories, so we assume they are perceived as a cut above the rest. They are Bohemian Theatre Ensemble's "Big River" (directed by P. Marston Sullivan), the three-theater co-production of "Boojum! Nonsense, Truth And Lewis Carroll" (directed by Jimmy McDermott), Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James' "Cats" (directed by Brenda Didier), and two productions by The Hypocrites: "Cabaret" (directed by Matt Hawkins) and "The Pirates Of Penzance" (directed by Sean Graney).
Other productions with multiple nominees include Theo Ubique and Michael James' "Sweet And Hot: The Songs Of Harold Arlen" and "Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs Of Rodgers And Hammerstein," Circle Theatre's "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas," City Lit Theatre Company's "Oh, Boy!," Griffin Theatre Company's "Company" and the hard-to-categorize "The Love Of The Nightingale" from Red Tape Theatre. What an impressive non-Eq season, you guys! Congratulations to all the nominees and the folks involved with these honored productions!
Oh, yeah, a town on the east coast announced its theater award nominees this week, though I think they're all pretty big-budget, union affairs. "The Book Of Mormon" and "The Scottsboro Boys" got way more noms than any other productions, with the "Anything Goes" and "How To Succeed..." revivals next in line. "Sister Act," "Catch Me If You Can," "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown," "Priscilla Queen Of The Desert" and "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" were cited multiple times, as well. It was a really great season in New York, we think! Who needed that comic book musical to make it exciting, hm?
And to put the cherry on top for Chicago theater fans, the Lookingglass Theatre Company on Michigan Avenue was named the recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, giving Chicago its fifth such award! We have a lot to be proud of here. And, even though three of the nine productions listed above have already closed, we do get to see an exciting crop of musicals when we go to New York! And/or, we hope that they tour here soon. The Mosh Pit gets lonely without our fair share of national tours....
The 64th Annual Tony Awards
Speaking of last week, the Mosh Pit at Sidetrack was treated to a live performance by cast members of "White Noise," now running at the Royal George Theatre through June 5. The cautionary tale about white supremacists and the power of the media is directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, and numbers Whoopi Goldberg among its producers. Will we be seeing it up against "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" at next year's Tony Awards?