Wednesday January 18th 2017

45th Annual Jeff Awards

red logo 2jeff

Last night, at Drury Lane Oakbrook, we saw a marvelous show. Not a theatrical production, but the award ceremony for the theater year of 2013-Equity. The Chicago theater community turns out for this annual event which has all the feeling of the “Oscars” or any of the other major award shows; This is in fact, “our Tony” and Chicago actors relish taking one of these home just as much as those New Yorkers do theirs.

The hosts for this years production the lovely Roberta Duchak and her co-host B.J. Jones were charming and quite funny. Directed ( and soma material written) by Michael Weber, the show moved along with no problem and for the most part, all the recepients were on hand to claim their awards. We were treated to musical numbers from the nominated plays, both large and small with an opening number from “The Jungle Book” that truly got the audience into the mood to “party hearty”.

2013 Equity Jeff Award Recipients

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
“Good People” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
“33 Variations” – TimeLine Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
“Sunday in the Park with George” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
“A Class Act” – Porchlight Music Theatre

PRODUCTION – REVUE
“The Second City Guide to the Opera” – Lyric Opera of Chicago and
The Second City

DIRECTOR – PLAY
William Brown – “The Liar” – Writers Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Gary Griffin – “Sunday in the Park with George” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

DIRECTOR – REVUE
Billy Bungeroth – “The Second City Guide to the Opera” – Lyric Opera of Chicago
and The Second City

ENSEMBLE
“Othello: The Remix” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater and
Richard Jordan Productions Ltd

ACTOR IN A PRINICPAL ROLE – PLAY
Michael Shannon – “Simpatico” – A Red Orchid Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Bill Larkin – “A Class Act” – Porchlight Music Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Mariann Mayberry – “Good People” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Christine Sherrill – “Sunset Boulevard” – Drury Lane Productions

ACTOR OR ACTRESS IN A REVUE
David M. Lutken – “Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie” –
Northlight Theatre

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Alexis J. Rogers – “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” – Porchlight Music Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Raymond Fox – “Blood and Gifts” – TimeLine Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
André De Shields – “The Jungle Book” – Goodman Theatre in association with
Huntington Theatre Company

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Elizabeth Ledo – “Tartuffe” – Court Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Bethany Thomas – “South Pacific” – Marriott Theatre

CAMEO PERFORMANCE
Callie Johnson – “Pal Joey” – Porchlight Music Theatre

NEW WORK
Luis Alfaro – “Mojada” – Victory Gardens Theater
Rajiv Joseph – “The Lake Effect” – Silk Road Rising

NEW ADAPTATION
David Rice – “Cymbeline” – First Folio Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Linda Fortunato – “42nd Street” – Theatre at the Center

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Michael Keefe and David Rice – “Cymbeline” – First Folio Theatre

MUSIC DIRECTION
Doug Peck – “The Jungle Book” – Goodman Theatre in association with
Huntington Theatre Company

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
David Gallo – “Head of Passes” – Steppenwolf Theatre Company

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Angela Weber Miller – “Edward Albee’s Seascape” – Remy Bumppo
Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
T.J. Gerckens – “Metamorphoses” – Lookingglass Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Brian Sidney Bembridge – “Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West” –
TimeLine Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Susan E. Mickey – “The School for Lies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Emily Waecker – “You Never Can Tell” – Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
James Savage – “Othello: The Remix” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater and
Richard Jordan Productions Ltd

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSI  Jim Jensen and Lisselan ProductionsZE
Martin Desjardins, Andre Pluess and Christian Gero – “columbinus” –
American Theater Company

PROJECTIONS / MEDIA DESIGN
Mike Tutaj – “Sunday in the Park with George” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

FIGHT DIRECTION
John Tovar – “The Opponent” – A Red Orchid Theatre

WIG AND MAKE-UP DESIGN
Melissa Veal – “The School for Lies” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater

SPECIAL AWARD
daleDale Benson was awarded a special award for his over 50 years of work in the theaters of Chicago ( and other areas). In many cases, Dale is known for his comic touch and has been at many theaters that are no longer around. On a personal note, I met Dale back in 1961, summer of when I was hired to be the stage electrician at Shady Lane Farm Playhouse in Marengo, Illinois. I was able to observe the magic of this man every night ( from backstage) and durng the process as we did shows like “Getting Gertie’s Garter”, “Up In Mabel’s Room” and “Critic’s Choice”. Names not familiar to most of you, but funny comedies that allowed Dale to hone his craft for over half a century. The award presentation to Dale was longer than expected, but full of love and compassion and every member of the full house rose to their feet ( more than once) to thank him for the laughter he has brought to our stages. Congratulations Dale! Chicago loves you!

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