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Stage Raw: L.A. Weekly Theater Awards Nominees

Stage Raw: L.A. Weekly Theater Awards Nominees

Light up the Sky is this week's Pick of the Week.

Stage Raw: L.A. Weekly Theater Awards Nominees

Light up the Sky Photo by Maia Rosenfeld

THEATER PICK Moss Hart's sharp, hard-boiled 1946 farce, Light up the Sky, is the quintessential backstage tale of the mid-20th century. His characters are often based on real people: fast-talking producer Sidney Black (Benjamin Burdick) and his sassy ice-skater wife, Frances (Andrea Syglowski), are almost certainly meant to suggest Mr. and Mrs. Billy Rose. The characters are types, but Hart transmutes them into archtypes, readily recognizable to those too young to remember the era they represent. We meet them in a hotel in Boston, where they're preparing for the out-of-town opening of a show they hope will go off "like a roman candle in the tired face of show business." There's the self-dramatizing star Irene (Laura Flanagan), her dim-bulb husband (Richard Michael Knolla), and her earthy, disenchanted mother (Barbara Schofield). The pretentious, over-emotional director (Colin Campbell) is said to cry at card-tricks, and the callow young playwright (Dominic Spillane) must undergo his theatrical baptism by fire. Hart's script crackles with wit and wise-cracks, and, under the clever direction of Bjorn Johnson, the laughter is near-constant on Victoria Profitt's art-deco set. Burdick is a dynamo of verbal pyrotechnics, and he's evenly matched by most of the cast, who make the most of Hart's cynical/sentimental Valentine to show business. Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m., through March 7. (323) 882-6912. (Neal Weaver)

At your fingertips: Comprehensive Theater Listings

For other New Reviews, and the 30TH ANNUAL L.A. WEEKLY THEATER AWARDS NOMINEES, press the "Read On" tab directly below

L.A. WEEKLY 30TH ANNUAL THEATER AWARDS NOMINEESHoly Moly Lounge Lizards! A Depression? Layoffs? The crisis of the century? Let's party! The 30th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards (The Arts Crisis Edition) is coming to the El Rey, in L.A.'s beautiful Miracle Mile on Monday night, March 30, 2009. That's 5515 Wilshire Boulevard, two and half blocks west of La Brea.

Okay James Dean wannabes, Marlon Brando worshipers, or if you can't get enough I Love Lucy re-runs without needing medication, this is your night! Get out those black leather jackets, shine those saddle shoes, drag out that poodle skirt you found on Ebay, and get ready to jive with all the cool cats. 'Cause the El Rey is going to be as sizzling as the Sahara in Las Vegas, circa 1958, as the King and Queen of the Lounge, Louis & Keely (a.k.a. Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith) host the Weekly's  30th annual celebration of L.A.'s best intimate theater, produced between January 1 and December 31, 2008.  

It'll be cabaret seating as co-hosts Broder and Smith reprise the repartee and show numbers from their hit, prize-winning musical, Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara.

Nominees get in free. $20 for their guests and the public. All tickets include table service, a pay as you go bar, and a post-show reception.  

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Remember, it's 1958. If you dress like you're in the 21st century or something, you'll just look like an alien, and people will stare! Don't be embarrassed, be cool, and be there. 'Cause what will people say if you're not?

NOMINEES (see list below): To RSVP, call (310) 574-7208

ALL OTHERS: there will be an online booking link coming this week, Stay posted. For more info, call (310) 574-7208.  

You're a nominee if your name appears on the list below, of if you were listed in a program as an producer, artistic director, actor, director, composer, choreographer, stage manager, or designer for shows listed in the following categories: Production of the Year, Revival Production, Musical of the Year.

Also, you're a nominee if you were listed in the program as an actor in any of the shows listed in the ensemble categories or Two-Person Performance category.

Finally, you're a nominee if you were listed in the program as a producer, artistic director, or designer for shows listed in the Production Design cagteogry.  

The 30th annual nominees are:

PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
My Antonia, Pacific Resident Theatre
1001, Theatre @ Boston Court
Song of Extinction, Moving Arts at [Inside] the Ford

REVIVAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR (of a 20th- or 21st-century work)
Betrayal, Andak Stage Company at the New Place Studio Theatre
James Joyce's The Dead, Open Fist Theatre Company
Klüb, Actors Gang

MUSICAL OF THE YEAR
Assassins, West Coast Ensemble at the El Centro Theatre
Great Expectations, Hudson Backstage Theatre
Gulls, Theatre @ Boston Court
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, MET Theatre
Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company
Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theatre/Matrix Theatre
Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre
Pest Control: The Musical, Open at the Top Productions at the NoHo Arts Center  
1776, Actors Co-op

DIRECTION
L. Flint Esquerra, The Bones of Lesser Men, MET Theatre
John Langs, The Sequence, Theatre @ Boston Court
Derek Charles Livingston, M. Butterfly, Chandler Studio Theatre Center
Jon Lawrence Rivera, Sea Change, Gay and Lesbian Center
Stephen Sachs, Victory, Fountain Theatre
Scott Schwartz, My Antonia, Pacific Resident Theatre
Scott Alan Smith, Lady, Road Theatre Company

DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Kevin Cochran, R.R.R..E.D. -- The Redhead Musical Manifesto, Grove Theater Center
Richard Israel, Assassins, West Coast Ensemble at the El Centro Theatre
Richard Israel, 1776, Actors Co-op
Jessica Kubzansky, Gulls, Theatre @ Boston Court
Scott Leggett, Beaverquest! The Musical, Sacred Fools Theatre Company
Charles Otte, James Joyce's The Dead, Open Fist Theatre Company
Pat Towne, Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company
Ken Sawyer, Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre

COMEDY DIRECTION
Darin Anthony, U.S. Drag, Furious Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse
Chris Covics, Fables du Theatre, Unknown Theatre
Ian Forester, Fatboy, NeedTheater at the Imagined Life Theatre
Robert McCaskill The Common Air, Asylum Theatre

ONE-ACT DIRECTION
Gary Blumsack, Sexy Laundry, The Hayworth Theatre

MUSICAL DIRECTION
Kevin Cochran, R.R.R..E.D. -- The Redhead Musical Manifesto, Grove Theater Center
Steven Ladd Jones and Billy Thompson, American Tales, Anteaus Theatre Company at Deaf West Theatre
Dennis Kaye, Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theatre/Matrix Theatre
Johanna Kent, 1776, Actors Co-op
Dean Mora, James Joyce's The Dead, Open Fist Theatre Company

ENSEMBLE
The Bones of Lesser Men, MET Theatre
Bouncers, The Lost Studio
Coffee Will Make You Black, Celebration Theatre
The Friendly Hour, Road Theatre Company
He Asked for It, Theatre of NOTE
James Joyce's The Dead, Open Fist Theatre Company
The Mission (Accomplished), City Garage
Sea Change, Gay and Lesbian Center
The Sequence, Theatre @ Boston Court
Victory, Fountain Theatre

MUSICAL ENSEMBLE
Assassins, West Coast Ensemble at the El Centro Theatre
Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company
Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theatre/Matrix Theatre
Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre
1776, Actors Co-op

COMEDY ENSEMBLE
Beverly Winwood Presents the Actors Showcase, Groundlings Theatre
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Havok Theatre Company at the Hudson Backstage Theatre
Fatboy, NeedTheater at the Imagined Life Theatre
Stupid Kids, Celebration Theatre
U.S. Drag, Furious Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse

ONE-ACT ENSEMBLE
The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams, Gay and Lesbian Center/Coast Playhouse
The Loves of Alonzo Fitz, (from American Tales), Antaeus Theatre Company at Deaf West Theatre

LEADING FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Colleen Crabtree, Regretosexual: The Love Story, Hudson Guild Theatre
Katie Davies, U.S. Drag, Furious Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse
Gillian Doyle, Mrs. Warren's Profession, The Production Company at the Chandler Studio         Theatre Center
Megan Goodchild, U.S. Drag, Furious Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse
Tinashe Kajese, Victory, Fountain Theatre
Kate Mines, The Friendly Hour, Road Theatre Company
Ann Noble, The Friendly Hour, Road Theatre Company

LEADING MALE PERFORMANCE
Joe Egender, He Asked for It, Theatre of NOTE
Morlan Higgins, Victory, Fountain Theatre
Ben Hunter, Crime and Punishment, Actors Co-op
Darrell Kunitomi, Song of Extinction, Moving Arts at [Inside] the Ford
J. Manabat, M. Butterfly, Chandler Studio Theatre Center
Shawn Michael Patrick, Lady, Road Theatre Company
Sam R. Ross, M. Butterfly, Chandler Studio Theatre Center

SUPPORTING FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Hannah Chodos,  Klüb, Actors' Gang
Johanna McKay, U.S. Drag, Furious Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse
Grace Wall, Gulls, Theatre @ Boston Court
Bettina Zacar, The Friendly Hour, Road Theatre Company
Beth Tapper, Klüb, Actors' Gang

SUPPORTING MALE PERFORMANCE
Stewart W. Calhoun, How Cissy Grew, El Portal Forum Theatre
Mark Doerr, Lady, Road Theatre Company
Matt Kirkwood, Lady, Road Theatre Company
Matt Lutz, 1776, Actors Co-op
David Nadeau, Assassins, West Coast Ensemble at the El Centro Theatre
Christopher Neiman, He Asked for It, Theatre of NOTE
Skip Pipo, Mrs. Warren's Profession, The Production Company at the Chandler Studio Theatre Center
Paul Witten, Crime and Punishment, Actors' Co-op

TWO-PERSON PERFORMANCE
In On It, Blake Anthony and Josh Gordon, Chandler Studio Theatre Center
Regretosexual (Colleen Crabtree and Dan Rothenberg), Hudson Guild Theatre
Sexy Laundry (Paul Ben-Victor and Frances Fisher), Hayworth Theatre
True Love (Larry Tomlinson and Walter Williamson), The Complex

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Alex Lyras, The Common Air, Asylum Theatre
Jay Sefton, The Most Mediocre Story Never Told, Meta Theatre

FEMALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE
Christine Lakin, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Havok Thetre Company at the Hudson Backstage Theatre
Rebecca Jordan, Fatboy, NeedTheater at the Imagined Life Theatre

MALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE
Jeff Atik, Les Bourgeois Gentilhomme, City Garage
Richard Kind, Adam Baum and the Jew Movie, Hayworth Theatre
Jaden Leigh-Dinsmore, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Havok Theatre Company at the Hudson Backstage Theatre
Alexander Wells, Fatboy, NeedTheater at the Imagined Life Theatre

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE
Jake Broder, Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theatre/Matrix Theatre
Chuck DiMaria, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, MET Theatre
Katrina Lenk, Lovelace: A Rock Opera, Hayworth Theatre
Patrick Livingston, R.R.R..E.D. -- The Redhead Musical Manifesto, Grove Theater Center
Vanessa Claire Smith, Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara, Sacred Fools Theatre/Matrix Theatre
Katie Thompson, R.R.R..E.D. -- The Redhead Musical Manifesto, Grove Theater Center

ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE
Bryan Foyster, The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams (And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens),     L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center/Coast Playhouse
Morlan Higgins, Finally, Black Dahlia Theatre
Jack Heller, The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams (Mr. Paradise), L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center/Coast     Playhouse
Melissa Lechner, The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams (Mr. Paradise), L.A. Gay and Lesbian     Center/Coast Playhouse
Timothy V. Murphy, The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams (The Palooka), L.A. Gay and Lesbian     Center/Coast Playhouse
Chris Rydell, The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams (And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens), L.A.     Gay and Lesbian Center/Coast Playhouse

PLAY WRITING
Susan Johnston, How Cissy Grew, El Portal Forum Theatre
Richard Martin Hirsh, The Concept of Remainders, The Production Company at the Chandler Studio     Theatre Center
Robert Riechel, Jr. A.K.A. Eat the Runt, Hudson Guild Theatre
Dan Rothenberg, Regretosexual: The Love Story, Hudson Guild Theatre
Nick Salamone, Sea Change, Gay and Lesbian Center

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT
Dakin Matthews

QUEEN OF THE ANGELS
Frederique Michel and Charles Duncombe

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Crime and Punishment, Actors Co-op
Fatboy, NeedTheater at the Imagined Life Theatre
Il Bidone, Rushforth Productions at Bootleg
Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company
Sexy Laundry, Hayworth Theatre
The Sequence, Theatre @ Boston Court
U.S. Drag, Furious Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse

ADAPTATION
Charles Duncombe, The Mission (Accomplished), City Garage
Margaret Hoornerman, Great Expectations, Hudson Backstage Theatre
Patrick Mapel,  Il Bidone, Rushforth Productions at Bootleg
Nick Salamone, Gulls, Theatre @ Boston Court

LIGHTING DESIGN
Teresa Enroth, James Joyce's The Dead, Open Fist Theatre Company
Cricket Sloat, Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company
Jeremy Pivnick, Gulls, Theatre @ Boston Court
John Sylvain, 43 Plays for 43 Presidents, Sacred Fools Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN
Alex Jaeger, Gulls, Theatre @ Boston Court  
Jason Truco and Kishu Chand, Il Bidone, Rushforth Productions at Bootleg
Josephine Poinsot, Les Bourgeois Gentilhomme, City Garage
Christina Wright, James Joyce's The Dead, Open Fist Theatre Company

SET DESIGN
Stephen Gifford, Lady, Road Theatre Company
Dan Jenkins, U.S. Drag, Furious Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse
Mark Mendelson, Fatboy, NeedTheater at the Imagined Life Theatre
Keith Mitchell, The Concept of Remainders, The Production Company at the Chandler Studio Theatre     Center
Jeff G. Rack, Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN
Fionnagan Murphy, Il Bidone, Rushforth Productions at Bootleg Theatre
Ken Rich, The Common Air, Asylum Theatre
Paul Rubenstein, The Mission (Accomplished), City Garage

CHOREOGRAPHY
Allison Bibicoff, 1776, Actors Co-op
Jennifer Lettelleir, Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company
Jennifer Li and Kathryn Burns, Freak Dance: The Forbidden Dirty Boogaloo, Upright Citizen's Brigade  

MASK DESIGN
Charles Duncombe, Les Bourgeois Gentilhomme, City Garage

PUPPET DESIGN
Michael Franco, Jeff G. Rack and Shawn MacAulay, Joe's Garage, Open Fist Theatre Company

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Okulus Anomali, Il Bidone, Rushforth Productions at Bootleg Theatre
Maurice McIntyre, Gulls, Theater @ Boston Court
Ken Rich, The Common Air, Asylum Theatre


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