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MARCH 19, 2013 – The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle has announced the winners and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theatre for the year 2012. The 44th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony took place Monday, March 18 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Home-grown productions handily held their own against touring fare at the 44th annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, presented at the Los Angeles Theatre Center on Monday night.
Two local world premieres were among the year’s top productions: romantic musical Justin Love from the Celebration Theatre, and the contemporary spin on a French classic Cyrano, co-produced by Deaf West Theatre and The Fountain Theatre. Both shows picked up an additional four plaques for acting, writing or both.
It was a great night for Center Theatre Group, with a total of ten competitive plaques for its various venues. Artistic director Michael Ritchie accepted a special award for an excellent season that included the Ahmanson’s War Horse, honored for production, lighting design and puppetry. Kirk Douglas Theatre’s The Convert earned a writing nod for Danai Gurira, and John Hurt in Krapp’s Last Tape was cited for solo performance.
CTG’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot at the Mark Taper Forum walked off with the McCulloh Award for Revival, triumphing in every category in which it was entered. Director Michael Arabian, set designer John Iacovelli, and lead actor Alan Mandell were all singled out.
The cast of Godot was also one of four cited ensembles, along with Rogue Machine’s The New Electric Ballroom and the Colony’s The Savannah Disputation. The fourth, the Fountain’s In the Red and Brown Water, picked up an additional plaque for Shirley Jo Finney’s direction.
Wealth was spread among numerous local playhouses in an evening themed to celebrate Theatre Everywhere. Jitney, from South Coast Rep and Pasadena Playhouse, earned acting honors for Larry Bates and Ellis E. Williams. Celebration Theatre, now in its 30th anniversary season, was given the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence, and nabbed an additional plaque for Gregory Nabours’ musical direction of The Color Purple.
The evening’s hosts, the LATC, had produced the winner of Ted Schmitt Award for an original LA world premiere, Evelina Fernandez’s A Mexican Trilogy.
Pasadena Playhouse’s costumes for Intimate Apparel (Leah Piehl) were honored along with those from the Theatre @ Boston
Court’s The Treatment (Ellen McCartney). The Bungler from A Noise Within picked up an acting plaque for Michael A. Newcomer.
Previously announced were plaques for the career achievements of musical director David O, director Elina de Santos and set designer Stephen Gifford. The Fountain won the Polly Warfield Award for an outstanding season by a small to mid-sized theatre.
Splashy imports were not ignored at the ceremonies hosted by theater and TV star French Stewart. The Book of Mormon added to its already lengthy book of kudos with plaques for production, Stephen Oremus’s musical direction and score by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez.
Fela! and Silence! The Musical won for their choreography, the latter show picking up plaques for score and lead actress Christine Lakin. Gatz, which toured to REDCAT, was cited for its sound design.
Entertainment was provided by musical excerpts from nominated productions. The entire nineteen-member troupe of Anaheim’s Chance Theater’s “West Side Story” recreated that show’s “The Rumble,” and the cast of “Justin Love” closed out the evening with understandable glee.