American Blues Theatre, Goodman Theatre big winners at 2018 Equity Jeff Awards

SHARE American Blues Theatre, Goodman Theatre big winners at 2018 Equity Jeff Awards
mahler_stevenson_mccabe.jpg

Zachary Stevenson (center, as Buddy Holly), with Michael Mahler and Kieran McCabe as the Crickets in a scene from “Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story” at American Blues Theatre. | Michael Brosilow Photo

The productions are galaxies apart on every level, but at the 50th annual Equity Jeff Awards ceremony Monday night, the worlds of American Blues Theatre’s “Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story” and Goodman Theatre’s “A View From the Bridge” aligned perfectly.

American Blues Theatre led the pack at the gala event, taking home five Jeff Awards for the Buddy Holly bio-musical including: best production musical (midsize); best director, midsize theater (Lili-Anne Brown); best ensemble, musical; best performer in a principal role, musical (Zachary Stevenson); and best music direction Michael Mahler. The Goodman received four awards: two for “A View From the Bridge” (best director Ivo van Hove and best play, large) — and best new work (Ellen Fairey) for “Support Group for Men” and best ensemble (play) for “The Wolves.”

A Red Orchid’s production of “Traitor” received the award for best play (midsize). “Ragtime” at Marriott Theatre received the award for best musical (large). Best director of a play (midsize theater) honors went to David H. Bell for “Southern Gothic” at Windy City Playhouse and Michael Shannon for “Traitor.” Nick Bowling was named best director of a musical (large) for Marriott Theatre’s “Ragtime.”

Highlights of the acting award categories included:

—Tara Mallen for “The Cake” at Rivendell Theatre and Caroline Neff for “Lettie” at Victory Gardens (best performer in a principal role, play)

—Jason Grimm for “Murder for Two” at Marriott Theatre (tied with the aforementioned Stevenson for best performer in a principal role, musical)

— Kate Fry, “The Belle of Amherst” at Court Theatre (best solo performance)

—Lorenzo Rush Jr., “Five Guys Named Moe” at Court Theatre (best performer in a revue)

Also recognized Monday night with a special award were the Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane Productions, Court Theatre and Second City, four Chicago theater/artistic companies which have been presenting stage productions, concerts and revues for more than 50 years.

Here is the full list of the 2018 Equity Jeff Award winners:

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE

“A View From the Bridge” — Goodman Theatre

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE

“Traitor” — A Red Orchid Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE

“Ragtime” — Marriott Theatre

Catherine Combs (from left), Ian Bedford and Andrus Nichols in the Goodman Theatre production of “A View From the Bridge.” | Liz Lauren Photo

Catherine Combs (from left), Ian Bedford and Andrus Nichols in the Goodman Theatre production of “A View From the Bridge.” | Liz Lauren Photo

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE

“Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story” — American Blues Theater

DIRECTOR – PLAY – LARGE

Ivo van Hove: “A View From the Bridge” — Goodman Theatre

DIRECTOR – PLAY – MIDSIZE

David H. Bell: “Southern Gothic” — Windy City Playhouse

Michael Shannon: “Traitor” — A Red Orchid Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL — LARGE

Nick Bowling: “Ragtime” — Marriott Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE

Lili-Anne Brown: “Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story” — American Blues Theater

ENSEMBLE – PLAY

“The Wolves” — Goodman Theatre

ENSEMBLE – MUSICAL

“Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story” — American Blues Theater

Tara Mallen plays a North Carolina baker caught off guard by a family friend’s request in “The Cake” at Rivendell Theatre. | MICHAEL BROSILOW

Tara Mallen plays a North Carolina baker caught off guard by a family friend’s request in “The Cake” at Rivendell Theatre. | MICHAEL BROSILOW

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY

Tara Mallen: “The Cake” — Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Caroline Neff: “Lettie” — Victory Gardens Theater

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL

Jason Grimm: “Murder For Two” — Marriott Theatre

Zachary Stevenson: “Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story” — American Blues Theater

PERFORMER IN A REVUE

Lorenzo Rush Jr.: “Five Guys Named Moe” — Court Theatre

SOLO PERFORMANCE

Kate Fry: “The Belle of Amherst” — Court Theatre

Keith Kupferer plays Flynt and Ashley Neal plays his sister, Cal, in the Rivendell Theatre production of William Francis Hoffman’s play “Cal in Camo.” | Michael Brosilow Photo

Keith Kupferer plays Flynt and Ashley Neal plays his sister, Cal, in the Rivendell Theatre production of William Francis Hoffman’s play “Cal in Camo.” | Michael Brosilow Photo

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE — PLAY

Matt DeCaro: “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” — Drury Lane Productions

Keith Kupferer: “Cal in Camo” — Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE — MUSICAL

Matt Crowle: “South Pacific” — Drury Lane Productions

Gavin Rohrer: “Million Dollar Quartet” — Paramount Theatre

Kristen Fitzgerald (from left), Ryan Kitley, Caroline Neff, Krystal Ortiz and Matt Farabee in Boo Killebrew’s “Lettie” at Victory Gardens Theater. | Liz Lauren

Kristen Fitzgerald (from left), Ryan Kitley, Caroline Neff, Krystal Ortiz and Matt Farabee in Boo Killebrew’s “Lettie” at Victory Gardens Theater. | Liz Lauren

NEW WORK

Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis: “Trevor the Musical” — Writers Theatre

Ellen Fairey: “Support Group for Men” — Goodman Theatre

Boo Killebrew: “Lettie” — Victory Gardens Theater

NEW ADAPTATION

Jennifer Blackmer: “Alias Grace” — Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Brett Neveu: “Traitor”— A Red Orchid Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY

Jared Grimes: “42nd Street” — Drury Lane Productions

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY

Shawn Pfautsch and Matt Kahler: “Hatfield & McCoy” — The House Theatre of Chicago

MUSIC DIRECTION

Michael Mahler: “Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story” — American Blues Theater

Darrian Ford (from left), Lorenzo Rush Jr., James Earl Jones II, Kelvin Roston Jr. and Eric A. Lewis star in the Court Theatre production of the musical “Five Guys Named Moe.” | Michael Brosilow Photo

Darrian Ford (from left), Lorenzo Rush Jr., James Earl Jones II, Kelvin Roston Jr. and Eric A. Lewis star in the Court Theatre production of the musical “Five Guys Named Moe.” | Michael Brosilow Photo

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE

Todd Rosenthal: “20,000 Leagues Under the Seas” — Lookingglass Theatre Company

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE

Scott Davis: “Southern Gothic”— Windy City Playhouse

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE

Thom Weaver: “Macbeth” — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE

Nick Belley: “Hair” — Mercury Theater Chicago

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE

Susan E. Mickey: “The Taming of the Shrew” — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE

Paul Kim: “The Explorers Club” — Citadel Theatre

Scott Davis’ scenic design for “Southern Gothic” at WIndy City Playhouse includes this “house,” wherein the audience is free to roam about the set’s indoors and out. | Michael Brosilow Photo

Scott Davis’ scenic design for “Southern Gothic” at WIndy City Playhouse includes this “house,” wherein the audience is free to roam about the set’s indoors and out. | Michael Brosilow Photo

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE

André Pluess: “Macbeth” — Chicago Shakespeare Theater

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE

Christopher Kriz: “Mary’s Wedding” — First Folio Theatre

PROJECTION DESIGN

Joseph A. Burke: “Elf the Musical” — Paramount Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION

Eleanor Kahn, Properties Design: “Southern Gothic” — Windy City Playhouse

The Latest
The girl was walking home from school in the 6200 block of South Indiana Avenue when the man walked up, covered her mouth and pulled her into the alley, Chicago police said.
The annual salaries for the city clerk and city treasurer have been frozen at $133,545 since 2005. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed budget includes pay raises for both citywide elected officials while keeping the mayor’s salary at $216,210.
What we see at Chicago Shakespeare is a pre-Broadway production that is not just safe for the skeptical. It’s a significant leap in artistic quality over its sources, which it respects, while also providing a clear, resonant, and unique voice of its own.
Rick Hahn and Ken Williams — remember him? — get a free pass after disastrous White Sox season because Reinsdorf adores them.
The two sites, which opened Friday, are at 191 N. Clark St. and on the sixth floor at 69 W. Washington St.