Monday, May 11, 2009

Billy Elliot, God of Carnage Take Top Outer Critics Circle Musical, Play Awards; Toxic Avenger, Ruined Head Off-Broadway Winners


Billy Elliot won Best Musical and God of Carnage won Best Play on Broadway in the 2009 Outer Critics Circle Awards announced this morning. Billy Elliot received a total of seven awards, followed by Shrek with four.

The Toxic Avenger and Ruined took the top awards for Off-Broadway.

Sutton Foster and Lisa Scaglione tied for Outstanding Actress in a Musical honors. The awards celebration will be held at Sardi's on May 21. To see revews of the shows, scroll down at left and click on the show title under "Theater Reviews."

The complete list (winners are in bold):

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
* God of Carnage *
Irena’s Vow
Reasons To Be Pretty
33 Variations

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
* Billy Elliot the Musical *
Rock of Ages
Shrek the Musical
A Tale of Two Cities

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
Becky Shaw
Farragut North
* Ruined *
Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself)
Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Happiness
Rooms A Rock Romance
* The Toxic Avenger *
What’s That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
* Billy Elliot the Musical *
Happiness
Rooms A Rock Romance
Shrek the Musical

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Blithe Spirit
The Cripple of Inishmaan
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
* The Norman Conquests *
Waiting for Godot

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Enter Laughing
* Hair *
Pal Joey
West Side Story

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Garry Hynes The Cripple of Inishmaan
Anthony Page Waiting for Godot
Bartlett Sher Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
* Matthew Warchus The Norman Conquests *
Moisés Kaufman 33 Variations

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
* Stephen Daldry Billy Elliot the Musical *
Arthur Laurents West Side Story
Jason Moore Shrek the Musical
Diane Paulus Hair
Susan Stroman Happiness

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Karole Armitage Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler 9 to 5
* Peter Darling Billy Elliot the Musical *
Josh Prince Shrek the Musical
Susan Stroman Happiness

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
* Tim Hatley Shrek the Musical *
Santo Loquasto Waiting for Godot
Derek McLane 33 Variations
Ian MacNeil Billy Elliot the Musical
Walt Spangler Desire Under the Elms

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Nicky Gillibrand Billy Elliot the Musical
* Tim Hatley Shrek the Musical *
John Napier Equus
Martin Pakledinaz Blithe Spirit
Catherine Zuber Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical) Kevin Adams Hair
* Rick Fisher Billy Elliot the Musical *
David Hersey Equus
Peter Kaczorowski Ruined
David Lander 33 Variations

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Raúl Esparza Speed-the-Plow
Bill Irwin Waiting for Godot
Nathan Lane Waiting for Godot
* Geoffrey Rush Exit the King *
Thomas Sadoski Reasons To Be Pretty

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Saidah Arrika Ekulona Ruined
Carla Gugino Desire Under the Elms
* Marcia Gay Harden God of Carnage *
Janet McTeer Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter Mary Stuart

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
James Barbour A Tale of Two Cities
Matt Cavenaugh West Side Story
* Brian d’Arcy James Shrek the Musical *
Josh Grisetti Enter Laughing
David Pittu What’s That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
* Sutton Foster Shrek the Musical *
Megan Hilty 9 to 5
Leslie Kritzer Rooms A Rock Romance
Nancy Opel The Toxic Avenger
* Josefina Scaglione West Side Story *

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Zach Grenier 33 Variations
John Benjamin Hickey Mary Stuart
Russell G. Jones Ruined
Patrick Page A Man For All Seasons
* David Pearse The Cripple of Inishmaan *

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
* Angela Lansbury Blithe Spirit *
Andrea Martin Exit the King
Kristine Nielsen Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
Susan Louise O’Connor Blithe Spirit
Condola Rashad Ruined

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Daniel Breaker Shrek the Musical
Aaron Simon Gross 13
* Gregory Jbara Billy Elliot the Musical *
Christopher Sieber Shrek the Musical
Wesley Taylor Rock of Ages

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kathy Fitzgerald 9 to 5
* Haydn Gwynne Billy Elliot the Musical *
Karen Olivo West Side Story
Martha Plimpton Pal Joey
Carole Shelley Billy Elliot the Musical

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Mike Birbiglia Sleepwalk With Me
Mike Burstyn Lansky
Mike Daisey If You See Something Say Something
* Lorenzo Pisoni Humor Abuse *
Matt Sax Clay

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
* Amelia Bullmore Jessica Hynes Stephen Mangan
Ben Miles Paul Ritter Amanda Root
Cast of The Norman Conquests *


JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Annie Baker Body Awareness
* Gina Gionfriddo Becky Shaw *
Beau Willimon Farragut North

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
* David Alvarez Trent Kowalik Kiril Kulish
for their performances in Billy Elliot the Musical *


2008-2009 Outer Critics Circle Executive / Nominating Committee
Simon Saltzman (President), Marjorie Gunner (President Emerita), Mario Fratti (Vice-President), Patrick Hoffman (Corresponding Secretary), Louis A. Rachow (Treasurer), Glenn Loney (Historian & Member-at-Large), Rosalind Friedman (Recording Secretary) and Aubrey Reuben & Thomas Gentile (Members-at-Large)

NOTE:
The play Dividing the Estate was considered last season and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. The musical Next to Normal was also considered last year (nominated in three categories including Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, Outstanding Score & Outstanding Actress) and won the OCC Award for Outstanding Score.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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