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The 29th Annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards

Troy Dunn, winner for One-Act Performance, with Mad Hatter Matt Walker

Timothy NorrisTroy Dunn, winner for One-Act Performance, with Mad Hatter Matt Walker

An hour before the doors of the Avalon in Hollywood opened to let in an overflow crowd for the 29th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards, Matt Walker — artistic director of the Troubadour Theater Company, which hosted the evening — remarked that with a day and half of rehearsal for an elaborate spectacle of dance numbers, acrobats, masks and more, “a few balls might be dropped, but we’ll try not to let them hit the ground.”

Timothy Norris

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Troy Dunn, winner for One-Act Performance, with Mad Hatter Matt Walker

Timothy Norris

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Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera

Timothy Norris

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Troubie presenters

Timothy Norris

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Eric Garcetti

Timothy Norris

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Ms. Vagina and Mr. Penis

Timothy Norris

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Sheldon Epps

Timothy Norris

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Gil Cates

Timothy Norris

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Michael Ritchie

No worries there. With open, cabaret seating, amid a sleek, entertaining evening employing motifs from the host’s production Alice in One-Hit Wonderland (among other “Troubie” productions),34 awards were given out in less than two hours. The production also included excerpts from Musical of the Year nominees Bush Is Bad, Hair and Evel Knievel, The Rock Opera. Among the reasons for the swift pace was the efficiency of having a surly stilt walker shuttle awards to the balcony, where award winners gave speeches from the rafters — speeches that were broadcast onto screens around the hall.

(Click here for the L.A. Weekly Theater Awards slide show.)

Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti presented Jeff Murray with a Career Achievement Award. Murray’s wife and partner of 40 years, Nicolette Chaffey, joined him. Also on hand as presenters were the artistic directors of three of our regional theaters, the Pasadena Playhouse’s Sheldon Epps, Center Theatre Group’s Michael Ritchie and the Geffen Playhouse’s Gil Cates.

The evening was dedicated to the memories of Darius Ever Truly, the 26-year-old actor who played Bobby Seale in Odyssey Theatre’s production of The Chicago Conspiracy Trial, and who was killed on the streets of West Los Angeles after a Halloween party; actor Lonny Chapman, who founded North Hollywood’s Group Repertory Theatre; and Gar Campbell, co-founder of the Company Theatre. Campell was also actor, director and teacher at Pacific Resident Theatre for decades. The awards recipients are as follows:

 PRODUCTION OF THE YEARSliding Into Hades, Koan Ensemble at the Odyssey Theatre

REVIVAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR (of a 20th- or 21st-century work)Why Marry?, Theater Neo at the Secret Rose Theater

MUSICAL OF THE YEARHair, MET Theatre

DIRECTIONRon Sossi, Sliding Into Hades, Koan Ensemble at the Odyssey Theatre

COMEDY DIRECTIONCharles Otte, Travesties, Open Fist Theatre Company

ONE-ACT DIRECTIONFrédérique Michel, Quartet, City Garage

MUSICAL DIRECTIONBilly Thompson, Invasion! The Musical, Flying Pig Productions at the Hudson Backstage Theatre

 ENSEMBLELoyal Women, Theatre Banshee

MUSICAL ENSEMBLEBush Is Bad, Open at the Top Productions at the NoHo Arts Center

COMEDY ENSEMBLELimonade Tous les Jours, I’m a Parade Productions at 2100 Square Feet

ONE-ACT ENSEMBLEEdgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group

LEADING FEMALE PERFORMANCEDeborah Puette, Tryst, Black Dahlia Theatre

LEADING MALE PERFORMANCEGabriel Olds, Tryst, Black Dahlia Theatre

SUPPORTING FEMALE PERFORMANCEValerie Dillman, Anatol, Pacific Resident Theatre

 SUPPORTING MALE PERFORMANCEAdam Haas Hunter, Dark Play or Stories for Boys, Theatre @ Boston Court

TWO-PERSON SHOWTryst, Black Dahlia Theater

SOLO PERFORMANCEAnna Kahja, Palace of the End, 49th Parallel and Open at the Top Productions at the NoHo Arts Center

Michael Catlin, Palace of the End, 49th Parallel and Open at the Top Productions at the NoHo Arts Center

Kate Mines, Palace of the End, 49th Parallel and Open at the Top Productions at the NoHo Arts Center

FEMALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE Megan Boone, Limonade Tous les Jours, I’m a Parade Productions at 2100 Square Feet

MALE COMEDY PERFORMANCEBenjamin Burdick, Travesties, Open Fist Theatre Company

 ONE-ACT PERFORMANCETroy Dunn, Quartet, City Garage

PLAYWRITINGAaron Henne, Sliding Into Hades, Koan Ensemble at the Odyssey Theatre

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTJeff Murray

QUEEN OF THE ANGELSTom Fitzpatrick

PRODUCTION DESIGNSliding Into Hades, Koan Ensemble at the Odyssey Theatre

ADAPTATIONChristopher Kelley, Wreck of the Unfathomable, Theatre of NOTE

LIGHTING DESIGNSteven Young, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, Theatre @ Boston Court

 COSTUME DESIGNAudrey Eisner, Anatol, Pacific Resident Theatre

SET DESIGNTravis Gale Lewis, Miss Julie, Fountain Theatre

SOUND DESIGNTim Labor, The Swine Show, Sacred Fools Theater Company

CHOREOGRAPHYBo Crowell, Hair, MET Theatre

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHYJosh Gordon, Gilgamesh, Theatre @ Boston Court

ORIGINAL MUSIC Billy Thompson, Invasion! The Musical, Flying Pig Productions at the Hudson Backstage Theatre

 

(Click here for the L.A. Weekly Theater Awards slide show.)