The LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards, celebrating theatrical excellence and achievement during the 2010-2011 season, were presented on Monday, November 14, 2011 at the historic and glamorous Orpheum Theatre, in Downtown Los Angeles.
Thirty-five awards were bestowed upon twenty distinctly different Southern California theatre companies.
Biggest winners of the evening were the members of the Troubadour Theater Company, leading the pack with five awards. The Troubadour production A Wither’s Tale, a mash-up of Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale with the soulful music of Bill Withers, took home four of those awards – the most for any single production mentioned last night. Two Troubies, Artistic Director Matt Walker and leading comedienne Beth Kennedy, garnered more Ovations than any other individuals, with Walker winning or sharing in four Ovations and Kennedy in three. Troubadour won the most coveted Ovation — best season – for its lineup of A Wither’s Tale, The First Jo-el and Fleetwood Macbeth.
The boisterous Troubies were followed by Center Theatre Group with four Ovations, including three for Venice, the Othello-derived musical at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and one for Leap of Faith at the Ahmanson Theatre.
The marvelous Rogue Machine gained three awards, all for its stunning production of John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair, which was named best play in an intimate theater.
Other winners include:
Ebony Repertory Theatre A Raisin in the Sun (best play, large theater), Reprise’s Kiss Me, Kate (best musical, large theater) and Chance Theater’s Jerry Springer, the Opera (best musical, intimate theater).
Stefan Marks won the original play award for Crooked Arrow Productions Hello, and the musical writing honors went to William Norris, Stuart Gordon and Dennis Paoli for their book of Re-Animator: The Musical and Gregory Nabours for the lyrics and music of The Trouble With Words.
Taking home two statuettes each were Crooked Arrow Productions (Hello), Ebony Repertory Theatre (A Raisin in the Sun), Pasadena Playhouse (Twist), Reprise Theatre Company (Kiss Me, Kate) and Sacred Fools Theatre Company (Voice Lessons, Watson – The Last Great Tale of the Legendary Sherlock Holmes).
Four 2011 Ovation Honors were acknowledged: Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (music composition for a play, Much Ado About Nothing), Theatre Banshee (fight choreography, The Walworth Farce) Rogue Artists Ensemble (puppet design, D is for Dog), and Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre (video design, Venice).
For a complete list of the winners, go here.
Magnificently hosted by Carolyn Hennesy (pictured) – who made a whopping four costume changes, each gown more stunning than the last – the show’s presenters included Sally Struthers, Debbie Allen, Millicent Martin, Patrick Adams, Greg Watanabe, Francois Chau, Jason Alexander, Michele Lee, French Stewart, Malissa Feruzzi Shriver (Chair, California Arts Council), Craig Watson (Director, California Arts Council), Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced), Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), Edi Gathegi (Superior Donuts), Vanessa Stewart (Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara), Alaman Diadhiou (Twist), Erika Sellin (Casting Director, Center Theatre Group), Larry Dean Harris (Dramatists Guild), Ann E. Wareham (Artistic Director, Laguna Playhouse), Dale Franzen (Director, Broad Stage), Steve Julian (KPCC Radio), Julio Martinez (KPFK Radio), Gail Eichenthal (KUSC Radio), Michael Donovan (independent casting director), Charles Berliner (United Scenic Artists), Laura Zucker (Executive Director, LA County Arts Commission), Allan Miller (Director/Founder, Back Alley Theatre), Tom Moore (representing SDC and director of the original Broadway production of Grease), Lindsay Allbaugh (Producing Associate, Center Theatre Group), and Anthony Byrnes (KCRW Radio).
LA STAGE Alliance (LASA), a non-profit organization empowering artists and engaging audiences since 1975, is dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles by strengthening the sector through community building, collaborative marketing, audience engagement, professional development, and advocacy. LASA serves over 900 arts organizations annually, including over 450 dues-paying member professional, educational, and community based producing and presenting performing arts organizations in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. LASA’s constituents operate in intimate sized venues (99 seats or less), mid-sized venues (100-499 seats), and in large venues (500+ seats), and include independent producers, educational groups, and social service organizations that have a performing arts component. Additionally, LASA directly serves over 50,000 diverse local, regional, national, and international performing arts patrons and, indirectly, three million unique patron households by conducting research on their behavior and buying habits. Providing access to the performing arts for patrons and access to resources for organizations has been our focus for 35 years.
LA STAGE Alliance programs are sponsored, in part, by Actors Equity Association, The Angell Foundation, Arts Council for Long Beach, California Arts Council, California Community Foundation, City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA), City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Goldstar, the James Irvine Foundation, Los Angeles County Supervisors through the LA County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Times, MusiCares/Grammy Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, SDC, The Shubert Foundation, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
This year’s Ovation Awards were sponsored by Actors Equity Association, Wells Fargo, Goldstar Events, Green Hasson Janks, Go 2 Talent Agency, International Creative Management (ICM), La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, and Pacific Coast Entertainment.
The Ovation Awards are tabulated by Green Hasson Janks.