Monsters Galore

If the 19th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards are any indication, 1997 was the year the newpaper’s theater critics couldn’t make up their minds, awarding a record-setting three ties (for Play Writing, Com edy Ensemble and Set Design). In a ceremony held at the Los Angeles Theater Center last Monday, co-host Robert A. Prior and the Fabulous Monsters set a surreal, ritualistic and whimsical tone with an opening parade through the theater featuring tribally painted actors and incense. Performance artist Rachel Rosenthal was carried onto the stage by a quintet of bald-headed tribesmen to receive her Career Achievement Award, introduced by Disney veep Thomas Schumacher. Rosenthal noted the Weekly’s good taste in selecting her as the Award recipient. The other co-host, Linda Purl, a model of good sportsmanship, played along with the Monsters while helping to introduce a docket of presenters that included Swoosie Kurtz, Laurie Metcalf, playwright José Rivera and the Taper’s Robert Egan. John Fleck and Tony Abate marco performed an excerpt from the quick-change extravaganza The Mystery of Irma Vep, exposing the backstage dres sers, and Margot’s Bush put on a bawdy sketch parodying Glamour Shots.

—Steven Leigh Morris

1997 Awards Recipients


Production of the Year:

The Arabian Nights

, Lookingglass Theater Company at Actors’ Gang Theater Revival Production of the Year (of a 20th-Century Work):

The House of Blue Leaves

, West Coast Ensemble Musical of the Year:

Bat Boy: The Musical

, Actors’ Gang Leading Female Performance: Robin Johnson,

An Unhappy Woman

, Moving Arts Leading Male Performance: Armando Durán,


, Theater of NOTE Supporting Female Performance: Lisa Forté,

The Lesson

, Stages Theater Center Supporting Male Performance: Chris Wells,

The Importance of Being Earnest

, Fabulous Monsters at Glaxa Studios Play Writing: Pamela Forrest,


, Celebration Theater Murray Mednick,


, Theater of NOTE Direction: Leo Geter/Dan Bonnell,

Morphic Resonance

, Eclectic Company Theater/ Matrix Theater Comedy Direction: Florinel Fatulescu,

The Lesson

, Stages Theater Center Ensemble:

Morphic Resonance

, Eclectic Company Theater/Matrix Theater: James DuMont, Lea Floden, Christopher Grove, John C. McLaughlin and Francesca Rollins Comedy Ensemble:


, Theatre/Theater: Keana Hall, Debra D. Holt, Rif Hutton, Greg Poland, David Roberson, Stuart K. Robinson and Angela Teek

Fighting Over Beverley

, Fountain Theater: Priscilla Pointer, Jacqueline Schultz, Robert Symonds and Malachi Throne Solo Performance: Alec Mapa,

I Remember Mapa

, Taper Too/East West Players Sketch Comedy/Improvisation: Margot’s Bush, Pedro’s Grill: Eliza Coyle, Loretta Fox, Melanie Hutsell, Joe Liss, Brett Paesel, Sam Pancake, Patrick Towne and Benjamin Zook Production Design:

The Vakhos

, Open Fist Theater Company at Los Angeles Playhouse


Costume Design: Sherri L. Grider,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

, Stella Adler Theater Lighting Design: Kathi O’Donohue,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

, Stella Adler Theater


Set Design: Lisa Hashimoto,

The Taste of Kona Coffee

, East West Players Robert A. Prior,

The Importance of Being Earnest

, Fabulous Monsters at Glaxa Studios Original Music: The company of

The Arabian Nights

, Lookingglass Theater Company at Actors’ Gang Theater


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