4th Annual Festival of New American Musicals – 2011
April 4, 2011
New review for LA Weekly — the powerful play “Small Engine Repair”
April 6, 2011

Winners of the LA Weekly Theatre Awards, 2011

ArtsBeatLA creator Pauline Adamek and Connie Slocum

***

Raucous, unpretentious and downright silly – the 32nd Annual LA Weekly Theater Awards rocked the El Rey Theatre last night, April 4, 2011.

Review by Pauline Adamek

The theme of the night was a “˜middle-school district sponsored sleepover,”™ so almost everyone could be seen clad in various degrees of pajama and sleepwear. The evening featured a gory, haunted house infested with blood-splattered teens in underwear plus a sizzling rock (covers) performance by energetic youth band Ash Panda.

Hilariously low tech, the nominees list for each award was projected onto two screens that flanked the amateurishly decorated “˜Middle School”™ stage. They may as well have used overhead projectors.

Chief theatre critic at large, Steven Leigh Morris, presented the night”™s festivities in elegant black satin PJ top (with cream piping) and patterned PJ pants, channeling Hugh Hefner. He was accompanied by a dusky maiden in shorty PJs with a sculpted afro topped by a silly miniature black hat.

The three big winners were Musical of the Year, Hoboken to Hollywood; Revival of the Year, Wit; and Production of the Year, 24th Street Theatre”™s La Razon Blindada. Produced by Peach Reasoner, the hit musical Hoboken To Hollywood also gained the award for Best Musical Direction for Paul Litteral and Best Director of a musical for Jeremy Aldridge.

Sacred Fools Theatre was a big winner with the marvelous production Watson landing a couple of key awards, namely Comedy Direction for playwright Jaime Robledo and the much deserved Male Comedy Performance award went to Henry Dittman.

The consistently excellent and gay-centric Celebration Theatre gained nods for several actors from two productions; The Women of Brewster Place and Take Me Out.

I”™m still not sure what the live geese were all about”¦ Some sort of Dada performance by “˜Gertrude”™ and “˜Alice,”™ who gave a beak-synched yet fowl portrayal of a scene from Mamet”™s Glengarry Glen Ross.  Mmmmmkay.

Then there was the comic lunacy of The Steve Allen Theater who collectively launched into some sort of all-male interpretive strip performance that, according to fellow LA Weekly theatre critic William Raden, proved “a masterful piece of inspired perversity.”

Naturally, ArtsBeatLA was in the house. Critic Tracy Lynn Schafer unfortunately was MIA but critic Lucy Griffin was hanging with her peeps from the production of Brewsie and Willie, which won three couple of awards, for Production Design, Lighting Design (tied with Dan Weingarten, A Tale Told By an Idiot) and Original Music.

I wore Vargas girl-style shorty PJs (with green frogs designs) and was accompanied by stunning drag queen Connie Slocum — of Love, Connie fame — as my date. Connie told me she was wearing red lace and fur… little did I know that her fur was, uh, homegrown…

After-party catering was a buffet of Middle Eastern cuisine courtesy of Shamshiri Grill.

A helluva good time was had by all.

El Rey Theatre -- photo by Timothy Norris


2011 L.A. WEEKLY THEATER AWARD WINNERS

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 (TIED)

Peter Haskell, Kataki, Prince Livingston Players at the Lex Theatre

Simon Levy, Opus, Fountain Theatre

DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

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

COMEDY DIRECTION

Jaime Robledo, Watson, Sacred Fools Theater Company

MUSICAL DIRECTION

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

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, Actors Co-op

LEADING MALE PERFORMANCE

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

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, Celebration Theatre

Thomas James O”™Leary, Take Me Out, Celebration Theatre

TWO-PERSON PERFORMANCE

Robert Mammana and Will Bradley, The Twentieth-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, Sacred Fools Theater Company

ONE-ACT PERFORMANCE

Candice Afia, Blood and Thunder, Moving Arts

PLAY WRITING

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, [email protected] Boston Court

LIGHTING DESIGN (TIE)

Efren Delgadillo Jr. and Adam Haas Hunter, Brewsie and Willie, Poor Dog Group and Center for New Performance at CalArts at the 7th Floor Penthouse

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, Prince Livingston Players at the Lex Theatre

SOUND DESIGN

Robert Oriol, Oedipus El Rey, Theatre @ Boston Court

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

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY

Louis Roth, Kataki, Prince Livingston Players at the Lex Theatre

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

Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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