Monsters Galore 

The 19th Annual LA Weekly Theater Awards

Wednesday, Apr 15 1998
If the 19th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards are any indication, 1997 was the year the newpaper’s theater critics couldn’t make up their minds, awarding a record-setting three ties (for Play Writing, Com edy Ensemble and Set Design). In a ceremony held at the Los Angeles Theater Center last Monday, co-host Robert A. Prior and the Fabulous Monsters set a surreal, ritualistic and whimsical tone with an opening parade through the theater featuring tribally painted actors and incense. Performance artist Rachel Rosenthal was carried onto the stage by a quintet of bald-headed tribesmen to receive her Career Achievement Award, introduced by Disney veep Thomas Schumacher. Rosenthal noted the Weekly’s good taste in selecting her as the Award recipient. The other co-host, Linda Purl, a model of good sportsmanship, played along with the Monsters while helping to introduce a docket of presenters that included Swoosie Kurtz, Laurie Metcalf, playwright José Rivera and the Taper’s Robert Egan. John Fleck and Tony Abate marco performed an excerpt from the quick-change extravaganza The Mystery of Irma Vep, exposing the backstage dres sers, and Margot’s Bush put on a bawdy sketch parodying Glamour Shots.

—Steven Leigh Morris

1997 Awards Recipients


Production of the Year:

The Arabian Nights, Lookingglass Theater Company at Actors’ Gang Theater

Revival Production of the Year (of a 20th-Century Work):

The House of Blue Leaves, West Coast Ensemble

Musical of the Year:

Bat Boy: The Musical, Actors’ Gang

Leading Female Performance:

Robin Johnson, An Unhappy Woman, Moving Arts

Leading Male Performance:

Armando Durán, Dictator, Theater of NOTE

Supporting Female Performance:

Lisa Forté, The Lesson, Stages Theater Center

Supporting Male Performance:

Chris Wells, The Importance of Being Earnest, Fabulous Monsters at Glaxa Studios

Play Writing:

Pamela Forrest, Valsetz, Celebration Theater

Murray Mednick, Dictator, Theater of NOTE


Leo Geter/Dan Bonnell, Morphic Resonance, Eclectic Company Theater/ Matrix Theater

Comedy Direction:

Florinel Fatulescu, The Lesson, Stages Theater Center


Morphic Resonance, Eclectic Company Theater/Matrix Theater: James DuMont, Lea Floden, Christopher Grove, John C. McLaughlin and Francesca Rollins

Comedy Ensemble:

Cheatin’, Theatre/Theater: Keana Hall, Debra D. Holt, Rif Hutton, Greg Poland, David Roberson, Stuart K. Robinson and Angela Teek

Fighting Over Beverley, Fountain Theater: Priscilla Pointer, Jacqueline Schultz, Robert Symonds and Malachi Throne

Solo Performance:

Alec Mapa, I Remember Mapa, Taper Too/East West Players

Sketch Comedy/Improvisation:

Margot’s Bush, Pedro’s Grill: Eliza Coyle, Loretta Fox, Melanie Hutsell, Joe Liss, Brett Paesel, Sam Pancake, Patrick Towne and Benjamin Zook

Production Design:

The Vakhos, Open Fist Theater Company at Los Angeles Playhouse


Costume Design:

Sherri L. Grider, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stella Adler Theater

Lighting Design:

Kathi O’Donohue, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stella Adler Theater


Set Design:

Lisa Hashimoto, The Taste of Kona Coffee, East West Players

Robert A. Prior, The Importance of Being Earnest, Fabulous Monsters at Glaxa Studios

Original Music:

The company of The Arabian Nights, Lookingglass Theater Company at Actors’ Gang Theater

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