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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?,


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Greenway 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,


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Padua Playwrights Productions at


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2100 Square Feet


Jacqueline Wright, Clyt at Home,


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Ghost Road Theater Company/


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Theater of NOTE


 


LEADING-MALE PERFORMANCE


Dakin Matthews, Mercadet, Antaeus


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Company at the Ivy Substation


SUPPORTING-FEMALE PERFORMANCE


Lolly Ward, The Seagull, Actors' Gang


 


SUPPORTING-MALE PERFORMANCE


Brian McDonald, Edward II,


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Circle X Theater Company at


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the Actors' Gang Theater


 


ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE, FEMALE


Mary Mara, Two-Headed, Inside the Ford


 


ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE, MALE (tie)


Bruno Oliver, Grimm! (Godfather Death),


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Sacred Fools


John Rosenfeld, Grimm! (Godfather Death),


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Sacred Fools


 


PLAY WRITING


Austin Pendleton, Orson's Shadow,


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Black Dahlia Theater


 


ONE-ACT PLAY WRITING


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


DIRECTION


Rick Sparks, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?,
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Greenway Court Theater


 


DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL


Jeff Calhoun, Big River, Deaf West Theater


 


ONE-ACT DIRECTION


Veronica Brady, Two-Headed,


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(Inside) the Ford


 


COMEDY DIRECTION


Antony Sandoval, Go True West, Future


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Stars of Hollywood and Associates at


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the Lillian Theater


 


ENSEMBLE


They Shoot Horses, Don't They?,


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Greenway Court Theater


 


MUSICAL ENSEMBLE


Pinafore!, Celebration Theater


COMEDY ENSEMBLE


Go True West (one act),


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Future Stars of Hollywood and


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Associates at the Lillian Theater


 


SOLO PERFORMANCE


Jon Epperson, Lypsinka! The Boxed Set,


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Tiffany Theater


 


PRODUCTION DESIGN (tie)


Aquitania, Ziggurat Theater


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Company at the Gascon


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Center Theater


Grendel, Circle X


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at the Open Fist Theater


Night of the Iguana,


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Fountain Theater


 


COSTUME DESIGN


Leon Wiebers, Three Sisters,


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Interact Theater Company


LIGHTING DESIGN (tie)


Robert Fromer, Edward II, Circle X Theater
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Company at the Actors' Gang Theater


Frederick Wenzlaff, Infinity, Court Theater


 


SET DESIGN


Gary Smoot, Grendel, Circle X Theater


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Company 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


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Company at the Open Fist Theater


Mark Savage, Pinafore!,


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Celebration Theater


 


CHOREOGRAPHY


Ken Roht, Pinafore!,


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Celebration Theater


 


SPECIAL COMMENDATIONS:


For an ensemble creation:


The collective of Infinity, Court Theater


For a musical performance:


James Barbour, Back From Broadway,


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Tiffany Theater


Christopher Sands and Debra Lane,


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Pinafore!, Celebration Theater


For translation:


William Page, Diablogues, Tiffany Theater


For puppet design:


Leslie K Gray, Grendel, Circle X Theater

LA Weekly