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Glittering Prizes 

The 26th annual L.A. Weekly Theater awards

Thursday, Apr 28 2005
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Photos by Ted SoquiThough the 26th annual L.A. Weekly Theater awards — with cabaret seating at a new venue, the Henry Fonda — got off to a late start Monday night, director Patrick Bristow staged a smooth show that clocked in at just over two hours. The ever-spirited Hollywood High School Marching Band kicked off the evening with their rendition of “I Got Rhythm” before a boatload of Groundlings alumni (including Paul Reubens, Cassandra Peterson, Julia Sweeney, Jennifer Coolidge, Laraine Newman, Cheryl Hines, Mike Hitchcock and Mindy Sterling) served as presenters, along with CTG’s Michael Ritchie. Betty Garrett’s sons, Andrew and Garrett Parks, introduced their mom, who, after receiving the Queen of the Angels Award, tap-danced off the stage with Marlo Tetwiler — the tap-dancing enforcer from Workshop 360 who tried, with mixed results and some abuse, to keep acceptance speeches to their designated time limit. A sketch by the Burglars of Hamm offered the theater community helpful hints of how to fulfill its unfulfilled potential: Charge $120 a ticket and work in theaters of not less than 1,000 seats. Open Fist Theater Company showcased two bitter excerpts from The Threepenny Opera, currently in previews, which darkened up an otherwise lighthearted evening hosted by Powerhouse Theater Company. Attendance was about 550, of whom over 300 stuck around for a post-show party on the roof with plenty to drink and too little food.

(top): Paul Reubens and Cassandra Peterson, (center):Tetwiler bounces in taps (bottom): Betty Garrett  

What follows are the awards recipients. The show was dedicated to the memories of Quentin Drew, co-founder of the Watts Village Theater Company, and Aldrich Allen, co-founder of Sacred Fools Theater Company, both of whom died in April.

PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR

Ouroboros, Road Theater Company

REVIVAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR (of a 20th-century work)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, RKA Productions at the Lillian Theater

DIRECTION

Claude Purdy, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, RKA Productions at the Lillian Theater

COMEDY DIRECTION

Christopher Kenney, Mommie Queerest, Cabaret Ultra Suede

ONE-ACT DIRECTION

Frederique Michel, The Lesson, City Garage

ENSEMBLE

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, RKA Productions at the Lillian Theater

COMEDY ENSEMBLE

Stage Directions, Ensemble Studio Theater (The L.A. Project) at [Inside] the Ford

LEADING FEMALE PERFORMANCE

Cynthia Ettinger, Self Defense, Actors’ Gang

LEADING MALE PERFORMANCE

Morlan Higgins, Exits and Entrances, Fountain Theater

SUPPORTING MALE PERFORMANCE

Richard Fancy, Rocket to the Moon, Pacific Resident Theater

SUPPORTING FEMALE PERFORMANCE

Blaire Chandler, Self Defense, Actors’ Gang

SOLO PERFORMANCE

April Fitzsimmons, The Need To Know, Sidewalk Studio Theater

COMEDY PERFORMANCE

Leslie Jordan, Like a Dog on Linoleum, Elephant Asylum Theater

ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE

Ayre Gross, Chekhov x 4 (“The Proposal”), Antaeus Company at the NewPlace Theater Center

PLAYWRITING

Tom Jacobson, Ouroboros, Road Theater Company

(top): Morlan Higgins, (center): Burglarhamming, (bottom): Ma Rainey’s Loretta Devine and Alan Naggar  

COMEDY PLAYWRITING

L. Trey Wilson, Stage Directions, Ensemble Studio Theater (The L.A. Project) at [Inside] the Ford

ONE-ACT PLAYWRITING

Aaron Samson, Not Dead Yet, The Elephant Lab

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT

Groundlings Theater Company

QUEEN OF THE ANGELS

Betty Garrett

PRODUCTION DESIGN

[Home] or the Quest for the Lost Tablet of Ur, Zoo District at the Lillian Theater

ADAPTATION

Michael Franco, Heart of a Dog, Elephant Stage Works at the Lillian Theater

LIGHTING DESIGN

Dan Reed, Abingdon Square, Open Fist Theater Company

(top): Michael Ritchie, (bottom):Open Fist's Threepenny Opera  

COSTUME DESIGN

Ronda Dynice Brooks, [Home] or the Quest for the Lost Tablet of Ur, Zoo District at the Lillian Theater

SET DESIGN (tie)

Richard Augustine, Sperm, Circle X Theater Company at the 24th Street Theater

Joel Daavid, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, RKA Productions at the Lillian Theater

SOUND DESIGN

John Zalewski, Self Defense, Actors’ Gang

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY

David Holmes and David Paul Wichert, Sperm, Circle X Theater Company at the 24th Street Theater

MAKEUP AND SPECIAL EFFECTS

Joe Seeley, Heart of a Dog, Elephant Stage Works at the Lillian Theater

Reach the writer at smorris@laweekly.com

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