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The 32nd annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards

Career Achievement Award recipient Lee Kissman, with O-Lan Jones

TIMOTHY NORRISCareer Achievement Award recipient Lee Kissman, with O-Lan Jones

An SRO crowd jammed El Rey Theatre on Monday night for a performance-art awards ceremony celebrating the best of L.A.'s small theaters. The show was co-conceived by the Steve Allen Theater's Amit Itelman and Craig Anton, and directed by Itelman, who transformed the venue and the event into a middle-school district drama-awards sleepover. An auxiliary environmental stage within the hall was a walk-through "haunted house," with a ghoulish tableaux from the theater group Zombie Joe's Underground.

The majority of attendees came attired in pajamas or other forms of sleepwear. Headliner band Ash Panda — consisting of middle school–age musicians — rocked the house with five pop/punk jams, which had people dancing in the aisles. Some audience members watched the band from the stage, parked on sleeping bags.

Co-hosts Rebekah and Matthew Miller, ages 11 and 14, respectively, appeared strikingly poised handing out awards to L.A.'s theater professionals. Another (adult) guitarist, John Reynolds, performed during the awards, providing an early-20th-century-style sweetness by serenading the recipients onto the stage. Reynolds also accompanied the dulcet tones of Janet Klein, who sang while playing the ukulele.

Live white geese Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas honked their way through a scene from David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, from within the confines of a goose-sized office set, complete with a flashing neon sign at goose-eye level — the concept of an unemployed concept-theater director played by Anton. Jim Turner led a posse of gyrating male middle-school faculty members, who, for an interpretive dance, stripped down to their skivvies and "freestyled" out into the audience, prompting the co-hosts to return to the stage covering their eyes with their scripts.

Thirty-five awards were presented in less than two hours, followed by a postshow reception catered by Shamshiri Grill.

And the winners are:

PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR

La Razón Blindada (Armored Reason), 24th Street Theatre

REVIVAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR (of a 20th- or 21st-century work)

Wit, Actors Co-op

MUSICAL OF THE YEAR

Hoboken to Hollywood, Reasoner Productions at the Edgemar Center for the Arts

DIRECTION (TIE)

Peter Haskell, Kataki, Prince Livingston Players at the McCadden Place Theatre

Simon Levy, Opus, Fountain Theatre

DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Jeremy Aldridge, Hoboken to Hollywood

COMEDY DIRECTION

Jaime Robledo, Watson, Sacred Fools Theater Company

MUSICAL DIRECTION

Paul Litteral, Hoboken to Hollywood

ENSEMBLE

Oedipus El Rey, Theatre@Boston Court

MUSICAL ENSEMBLE

The Women of Brewster Place, Celebration Theatre

COMEDY ENSEMBLE

Yellow, Coast Playhouse

LEADING FEMALE PERFORMANCE

Nan McNamara, Wit

LEADING MALE PERFORMANCE

Kevin Brief, A Prayer for My Daughter, Crown City Theatre

SUPPORTING FEMALE PERFORMANCE

Agatha Nowicki, Parasite Drag, Elephant Theatre Company

SUPPORTING MALE PERFORMANCE (TIE)

Tom Costello, Take Me Out, Celebration Theatre

Garrett Matheson, Take Me Out

Thomas James O'Leary, Take Me Out

TWO-PERSON PERFORMANCE

Robert Mammana and Will Bradley, The 20th-Century Way, Theatre@Boston Court

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Ann Randolph, Loveland, Santa Monica Playhouse

FEMALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE

Christine Estabrook, Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, Blank Theatre

MALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE

Henry Dittman, Watson

ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE

Candice Afia, Blood and Thunder, Moving Arts

PLAYWRITING

John Steppling, Phantom Luck, Gunfighter Nation at the Lost Studio

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT

Lee Kissman

QUEEN OF THE ANGELS

Jessica Kubzansky & Michael Michetti

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Brewsie and Willie, Poor Dog Group and the Center for New Performance at CalArts at the 7th Floor Penthouse

ADAPTATION

Luis Alfaro, Oedipus El Rey

LIGHTING DESIGN (TIE)

Efren Delgadillo Jr. and Adam Haas Hunter, Brewsie and Willie

Dan Weingarten, A Tale Told by an Idiot, Psittacus Productions at Son of Semele Theatre/Lounge Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN

Christina Wright, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Open Fist Theatre Company

SET DESIGN

Potsch Boyd, Kataki

SOUND DESIGN

Robert Oriol, Oedipus El Rey

CHOREOGRAPHY

Tina Kronis, Anton's Uncles, Theatre Movement Bazaar at 24th Street Theatre/Bootleg Theater

PUPPET DESIGN

Lynn Jeffries, Project: Wonderland, Bootleg Theater

ORIGINAL MUSIC

Andrew Conrad and Andrew Gilbert, Brewsie and Willie

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY

Louis Roth, Kataki

PROJECTION DESIGN

Steven Calcote, The Limitations of Genetic Technology, Off-Chance Productions at Theatre of NOTE

TRANSLATION

Frederique Michel and Charles Duncombe, The Marriage of Figaro, City Garage

SPECIAL CITATION

Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble's trilogy of original plays presented in repertory at the Powerhouse Theatre: Gospel According to the First Squad, Wounded and Survived, collectively titled The War Cycle. Each concerned the U.S. military presences in Iraq and Afghanistan. The citation was given for breadth of vision and clarity of purpose by an ensemble.