Big night for Griffin, Bailiwick at Non-Equity Jeff Awards

SHARE Big night for Griffin, Bailiwick at Non-Equity Jeff Awards

The 42nd annual Jeff Awards honoring non-Equity theatre in Chicago turned out to be a big night Monday for both Bailiwick Theatre’s “The Wild Party” and Griffin Theatre’s “Men Should Weep.”

Michael LaChiusa’s “The Wild Party” led the pack in the musical categories with eight awards, including production-musical; ensemble;Brenda Didier, who won both for directing and choreography;Danni Smith, for principal actress-musical or revue;Matthew Keffer, for principal actor-musical or revue;Aaron Benham,for musical direction, and Brian Hoehne, for lighting design.

Griffin’s “Men Should Weep” walked away with three trophies — for production-play, for director Robin Wittand forLori Myers for principal actress in a play.

Among the other winners at the ceremony, paying homage to the Chicago area’s non-union theaters, were Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, which won the best musical revue for its production of “Always … Patsy Cline.”

Veteran Chicago actors Karl Hamilton and Sarah Hayes served as the emcees for the award show at the Park West, which recognized 118 nominees in 24 categories from 66 Jeff-recommended productions — ultimately honoring 24 recipients from nine theaters with awards of excellence.

Diane Hires, the chair of the 55-member Jeff Awards Committee, presented a special Jeff Award to the memory of the career and legacy of Russ Tutterow, longtime artistic director and patron of new works at Chicago Dramatists, who recently passed away.

The next Jeff Awards ceremony — honoring Equity theaters producing work under union contracts — will be held Oct. 5 at the Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.

Here are the winners from Monday’s ceremony:

• PRODUCTION – PLAY:“Men Should Weep” – Griffin Theatre Company

• PRODUCTION – MUSICAL:“The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• PRODUCTION – REVUE:“Always … Patsy Cline” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

• ENSEMBLE:“The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• DIRECTOR – PLAY:Robin Witt – “Men Should Weep” – Griffin Theatre Company

• DIRECTOR – MUSICAL OR REVUE:Brenda Didier – “The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY:Kevin Cox – “La Bête” – Trap Door Theatre

• ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL:Matthew Keffer – “The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY:Lori Myers – “Men Should Weep” – Griffin Theatre Company

• ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE:Danni Smith – “The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY:Shane Kenyon – “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet” – Steep Theatre Company

• ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL:Donterrio Johnson – “Jesus Christ Superstar” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

• ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY:Ginneh Thomas – “The Submission” – Pride Films and Plays

• ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE:Danni Smith – “Always … Patsy Cline” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

• NEW WORK:Ike Holter – “Exit Strategy” – Jackalope Theatre Company

• NEW ADAPTATION:Matt Foss – “The Jungle” – Oracle Productions

• CHOREOGRAPHY:Brenda Didier – “The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY:Nicholas Tonozzi and Sam Allyn – “The Jungle” – Oracle Productions

• MUSIC DIRECTION:Aaron Benham – “The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• SCENIC DESIGN:Ray Toler – “Vieux Carré” – Raven Theatre

• LIGHTING DESIGN:Brian Hoehne – “The Wild Party” – Bailiwick Chicago

• COSTUME DESIGN:Rachel Sypniewski – “La Bête” – Trap Door Theatre

• SOUND DESIGN:Sarah Espinoza – “The Arsonists” – Strawdog Theatre Company

• ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION:Aaron Benham – “A Musical Tribute to the Andrews Sisters” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

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