MORE

Steamy, Steamy Night

Photos by Ted Soqui

A FULL HOUSE COMBINED WITH A BARELY FUNCTIONING AIR-conditioning system at Los Angeles Theater Center's Tom Bradley Theater made the 23rd annual Lawees a toasty occasion, and an inordinate endurance test for aerialist Montana Miller, who remained precariously suspended above the stage throughout the evening. Still, director Matt Almos and co-hosts/
line producers Burglars of Hamm put on a lean show, clocking in at just over two and a half hours. Testament to the Burglars' skill was the sight, at show's end, of the theater still filled with patrons -- an anomaly for such ceremonies. Part of the reason for this might have been the Burglars' piquant series of video presentations, gently ribbing the fastidiousness of the late archivist Robert B. Richardson, to whom the evening was dedicated. (For 14 years, the man clipped theater reviews for every local production from every major newspaper except -- curiously -- the L.A. Weekly.)



Mary Mara retrieves her award from the
balcony via a “bucket of glory.”

The Burglars' ironically sugary style was offset by their profanely outrageous co-host, Ronnie Larsen, who arrived as Cathy Rigby in a send-up of her Ovations Awards Lifetime Achievement Award (Peter Pan is Rigby's only recognized role). Director Frederique Michel presented a sardonic scene inspired by Kaufman and Hart's comedy Once in a Lifetime. Being a parody of literary veneer, it featured copious female nudity -- a trademark of Michel's Santa Monica­based company, City Garage. Later in the program, co-directors Tracy Young and Laural Meade struck a very different tone in a riff, based on the same play, that included an opera diva upstaged by her underpaid accompanist, a walnut-cracking crone, and a rambunctious stage technician. The new reigning Queen of the Angels, Luis Alfaro, rocked the house with an impassioned rendition of his own poem about the trials of, and need for, the storyteller. Shon LeBlanc and A. Jeffrey Schoenberg provided gorgeous costumes for a pre-event fashion show on the lobby's curving stairwell, and Edge of the World Theater Festival, in partnership with the Los Angeles Public Library, provided a lobby display on local theater history -- the first phase of a museum now in the planning stages.



A slice of gratuitous beefcake (left)
and a slice of satirical cheesecake


The big production awards going to Greenway Court Theater's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and Deaf West Theater's Big River echoed the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. Both awards committees share a number of critics, which may account for the replication. Following is the complete list of L.A. Weekly Theater Awards recipients:

PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?,
Empty Picture BoxGreenway Court Theater

 

REVIVAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
(OF A 20th-CENTURY WORK)

The Birthday Party, Matrix Theater

 

MUSICAL OF THE YEAR

Pinafore!, Celebration Theater

 

LEADING-FEMALE PERFORMANCE (tie)

Maria O'Brien, Mrs. Feuerstein,
Empty Picture BoxPadua Playwrights Productions at
Empty Picture Box2100 Square Feet

Jacqueline Wright, Clyt at Home,
Empty Picture BoxGhost Road Theater Company/
Empty Picture BoxTheater of NOTE

 

LEADING-MALE PERFORMANCE

Dakin Matthews, Mercadet, Antaeus
Empty Picture BoxCompany at the Ivy Substation

SUPPORTING-FEMALE PERFORMANCE

Lolly Ward, The Seagull, Actors' Gang

 

SUPPORTING-MALE PERFORMANCE

Brian McDonald, Edward II,
Empty Picture BoxCircle X Theater Company at
Empty Picture Boxthe Actors' Gang Theater

 

ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE, FEMALE

Mary Mara, Two-Headed, Inside the Ford

 

ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE, MALE (tie)

Bruno Oliver, Grimm! (Godfather Death),
Empty Picture BoxSacred Fools

John Rosenfeld, Grimm! (Godfather Death),
Empty Picture BoxSacred Fools

 

PLAY WRITING

Austin Pendleton, Orson's Shadow,
Empty Picture BoxBlack Dahlia Theater

 

ONE-ACT PLAY WRITING

Julie Jensen, Two-Headed, (Inside) the Ford

DIRECTION

Rick Sparks, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Empty Picture BoxGreenway Court Theater

 

DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Jeff Calhoun, Big River, Deaf West Theater

 

ONE-ACT DIRECTION

Veronica Brady, Two-Headed,
Empty Picture Box(Inside) the Ford

 

COMEDY DIRECTION

Antony Sandoval, Go True West, Future
Empty Picture BoxStars of Hollywood and Associates at
Empty Picture Boxthe Lillian Theater

 

ENSEMBLE

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?,
Empty Picture BoxGreenway Court Theater

 

MUSICAL ENSEMBLE

Pinafore!, Celebration Theater

COMEDY ENSEMBLE

Go True West (one act),
Empty Picture BoxFuture Stars of Hollywood and
Empty Picture BoxAssociates at the Lillian Theater

 

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Jon Epperson, Lypsinka! The Boxed Set,
Empty Picture BoxTiffany Theater

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN (tie)

Aquitania, Ziggurat Theater
Empty Picture BoxCompany at the Gascon
Empty Picture BoxCenter Theater

Grendel, Circle X
Empty Picture Boxat the Open Fist Theater

Night of the Iguana,
Empty Picture BoxFountain Theater

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Leon Wiebers, Three Sisters,
Empty Picture BoxInteract Theater Company

LIGHTING DESIGN (tie)

Robert Fromer, Edward II, Circle X Theater Empty Picture BoxCompany at the Actors' Gang Theater

Frederick Wenzlaff, Infinity, Court Theater

 

SET DESIGN

Gary Smoot, Grendel, Circle X Theater
Empty Picture BoxCompany at the Open Fist Theater

 

SOUND DESIGN

DE3, Infinity, Court Theater

 

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT

Murray Mednick

 

MUSICAL DIRECTION

Ron Snyder, Pinafore!, Celebration Theater

 

QUEEN OF THE ANGELS AWARD

Luis Alfaro

 

ADAPTATION

Paul Mullin, Grendel, Circle X Theater
Empty Picture BoxCompany at the Open Fist Theater

Mark Savage, Pinafore!,
Empty Picture BoxCelebration Theater

 

CHOREOGRAPHY

Ken Roht, Pinafore!,
Empty Picture BoxCelebration Theater

 

SPECIAL COMMENDATIONS:

For an ensemble creation:

The collective of Infinity, Court Theater

For a musical performance:

James Barbour, Back From Broadway,
Empty Picture BoxTiffany Theater

Christopher Sands and Debra Lane,
Empty Picture BoxPinafore!, Celebration Theater

For translation:

William Page, Diablogues, Tiffany Theater

For puppet design:

Leslie K Gray, Grendel, Circle X Theater


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >