All Things Entertaining and Cultural
From the first show logged for the 2013-2014 theater year, “Mothers and Sons” at the Bucks County Playhouse, to the last, the national tour of “Evita” at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, 191 productions were entered into the diary. These include every theatrical production I saw between June 2013 and June 2014, no matter where I saw it or its level of professionalism. Broadway is lumped with community theater, and musicals with plays, in the annual theater journals I have kept since 1967, when I saw my first play, “Funny Girl” starring Carol Lawrence and James Mitchell at the Valley Forge Music Fair, which, at the time, was a gigantic tent.
Operas also count as theater in my listings. Dance is logged separately, as are cabaret performances.
All of my record-keeping leads to an annual award for World Theater. The Helen and Morris Zoren Award for World Theater may be based on the theater attendance and judgment of one person, but I, that one person have seen at least 100 productions a year since 1974 and have attended theater throughout the world, including seeing “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” at the Berliner Ensemble (2011). Productions are listed in a diary and ranked weekly, along with lead actors, lead actresses, supporting actors, supporting actresses, and directors. Rankings are cumulative, which means no name is eliminated. Once on a list, a play, performer, or director stays on the list forever.
This season, the awards for Best Production and Best Director is based on 191 productions seen from New York City to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The list for Best Actor reached 172, the list for Best Actress, 144, the list for Best Supporting Actor 318, and the list for Best Supporting Actress 274. The Top 50 names and titles from the lists will be published here. These are the plays and people that qualify for nomination to receive the Helen and Morris World Theater Award for 2013-2014. Five nominees will be chosen from these 50 and announced next week. The following, the recipients of the Helen and Morris Zoren World Theater Awards will be announced and published along with a Top 25 in each category for the theater season just past.
Obsessive? Yes. Fatuous? Yes. But also passionate, and painstakingly (and unsentimentally) judged.
The Top 50 will be listed in alphabetical order by category. Congratulations to all those being considered for nomination for the Helen and Morris Zoren Award. You stood out among hundreds of your peers. My regret is I can’t recognize everyone who brought such rich enjoyment and entertainment to my life in 2013-2014. (It still kills me that Brandon Pierce from Azuka’s “Dutch Masters” just missed the Top 50. That’s what I mean by “unsentimental.”)
Act One (Broadway), After Midnight (Broadway), All the Way (Broadway), The Barber of Seville (McCarter), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Broadway), Beautiful Boy (Walnut on 3), Bullets Over Broadway (Broadway), Casa Valentina (Broadway), Cinderella: A Musical Panto (People’s Light), A Coffin in Egypt (Opera Philadelphia), The Convert (Wilma), Dancing at Lughnasa (Curio), Dear Elizabeth (People’s Light), Elf (Walnut), Everyman (Villanova), Frost/Nixon (New City Stage), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Broadway), The Glass Menagerie (Broadway), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Broadway), I Am My Own Wife (Theatre Horizon), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Walnut on 3), The Importance of Being Earnest (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Incorruptible (Arden), Jersey Boys (Academy of Music), Julius Caesar (St. Ann’s Warehouse), King Lear (BAM), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Broadway), Little Me (Encores NYC), Man of La Mancha (Act II), The Marriage of Figaro (McCarter), The Most Happy Fella (Encores NYC), Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Company), Other Desert Cities (Walnut), Parade (Arden), The Phantom of the Opera (Academy of Music), The Pillowman (Luna), Present Laughter (Two River), Pride and Prejudice (People’s Light), Proof (McCarter), Red Velvet (St. Ann’s Warehouse), Richard III (Broadway), The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Walnut on 3), Rocky (Broadway), Sunset Boulevard (Media), The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife (Bucks County Playhouse), Tuesdays with Morrie (Bristol Riverside), Twelfe Night (Broadway), Violet (Broadway), Wicked (Academy of Music), The Winslow Boy (Broadway).
Stanley Bahorek, Nerds; Samuel Barnett, Twelfe Night; Neal Bledsoe, The Barber of Seville; Christian Borle, Little Me; Tony Braithwaite, Hotel Suite and Lend Me a Tenor; Pearce Bunting, Annapurna; Kevin Collins, The Real Thing; Keith Conallen, Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq; Nick Cosgrove, Jersey Boys; Bryan Cranston, All the Way; Michael Cumpsty, Present Laughter; Jim Dale, Just Jim Dale; Peter DeLaurier, The Train Driver; Charlie DelMarcelle, I Am My Own Wife and Macbeth; Ben Dibble, Parade and The Story of My Life; Richert Easley, Tuesdays with Morrie; Rinde Eckert, Dear Elizabeth; Santino Fontana, Act One; Adam Green, The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville; Michael C. Hall, The Realistic Joneses; Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Shuler Hensley, The Most Happy Fella; Alan Holmes, A Clockwork Orange; Ben Jacoby, The Phantom of the Opera; Andy Karl, Rocky; Scott Langdon, Monty Python’s Spamalot; Frank Langella, King Lear; Adrian Lester, Red Velvet; Tracy Letts, The Realistic Joneses; Mark LeVasseur, Pride and Prejudice; Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; Rob McClure, The Story of My Life; Ian McKellen, Waiting for Godot; Iringu Mutu, The Convert; Dan Olmstead, Frost/Nixon; Patrick Page, Casa Valentina; Ian Merrill Peakes, Incorruptible; Christopher Peterson, La Cage Aux Folles; Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; Daniel Radcliffe, The Cripple of Inishmaan; Roger Rees, The Winslow Boy; Mark Rylance, Richard III and Twelfe Night; Tony Shalhoub, Act One; Sam Sherburne, Hinckley; Carl N. Smith, Corpse and The Mystery of Irma Vep; Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812; Patrick Stewart, Waiting for Godot; Christopher Sutton, Elf and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Stuart Ward, Once; John Zak, The Pillowman.
Laura Benanti, The Most Happy Fella; Ama Bollinger, Ondine; Caroline Bowman, Evita; Miche Braden, The Devil’s Music; Kristen Bush, Proof; Rachel Camp, Side Show; Jennifer Childs, The Big Time, This is the Week That Is, A Tribute to Phyllis Diller; Toni Collette, The Realistic Joneses; Ann Crumb, Sunset Boulevard; Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons; Janis Dardaris, Mourning Becomes Electra; Beth Dixon, 4000 Hours; Anne-Marie Duff, Macbeth; Jessica Frances Duke, Stick Fly; Jennie Eisenhower, Parade; Sutton Foster, Violet; Laura Giknis, Little Shop of Horrors; Suzy Jane Hunt, The Real Thing; Birgit Huppuch, Twelfth Night; Sirena Irwin, I Love Lucy: Live on Stage; Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie and When We Were Young and Unafraid; Cush Jumbo, Julius Caesar; Alex Keiper, Side Show; Nonhlanhla Kheswa, The Suit; Ruby Lewis, We Will Rock You; Marsha Mason, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Ellen McLaughlin, Dear Elizabeth; Maria Hinojosa Montenegro, Ainadamar: Ellie Mooney, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice; Nancy Moricette, The Convert; Jessie Mueller, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Charlotte Northeast, Mary Stuart; Kelli O’Hara, The Bridges of Madison County; Marina Pardo, Ainadamar; Margo Seibert, Rocky; Catharine K. Slusar, Annapurna; Phillipa Soo, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812; Rachel Starrenberg, Dialogues of the Carmelites; Carla Stickler, Wicked; Marisa Tomei, The Realistic Joneses; Julia Udine, The Phantom of the Opera; Frederica von Stade, A Coffin in Egypt; Harriet Walter, Julius Caesar; Leah Walton, Bunny Bunny and Macbeth; Amy Kim Waschke, The White Snake; Denise Whelan, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice; Susan Wilder, Other Desert Cities; Rachel York, Little Me; Juliana Zinkel, Pride and Prejudice.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barry Anderson, Jersey Boys; Jordan Barbour, The Suit; Samuel Barnett, Richard III; Shelton Becton, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Max Bennett, King Lear; Reed Birney, Casa Valentina; Jeb Brown, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Paul Chahidi, Twelfe Night; Derrick Cobey, Parade; Denis Conway, King Lear; Jeffrey Coon, Parade, Cinderella: A Musical Panto, and Side Show; Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway; Frank Corrado, The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville; Alvin Crawford, Porgy and Bess; John Davidson, Wicked; Padraic Delaney, The Cripple of Inishmaan; Peter DeLaurier, Emma and Ghosts; Brandon J. Dirden, All the Way; Michael Doherty, Incorruptible and The Musical of Musicals; Jake Epstein, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Cole Escola, Present Laughter; Stephen Fry, Twelfe Night; Robert Hager, Altar Boyz; Joshua Henry, Violet; Robert Jason Jackson, Mourning Becomes Electra and Macbeth; Mark Jacoby, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; James Kern, Macbeth; Ian Lithgow, The Pillowman; Phil McGlaston, Fences; Tom McGowan, Casa Valentina; Jered McLenigan, Julius Caesar and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice; Jared McNeill, Fences; Harry Melling, King Lear; Tom Mothersdale, King Lear; Christopher Patrick Mullen, Cinderella: A Musical Panto; Joshua E. Nelson, The Convert; Alessandro Nivola, The Winslow Boy; Fran Prisco, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Zachary Quinto, The Glass Menagerie; G. Alverez Reid, Fences; Richard Ruiz, Twelfth Night; Matteo Scammell, Other Desert Cities; Pat Shortt, The Cripple of Inishmaan; Derek Smith, The Barber of Seville; Jarrod Spector, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Daniel Sunjata, Macbeth; Alfredo Tejada, Ainadamar; Joseph Timms, Richard III; U.R., Stick Fly; Nick Westrate, Casa Valentina; Lance Coadie Williams, The Convert; Josh Young, Evita.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Stick Fly; Michelle Alves, West Side Story; Karina Arroyave, Water by the Spoonful; Trice Baldwin, Dancing at Lughnasa, Frances Barber, Julius Caesar; Fantasia Barrino, After Midnight; Starla Benford, The Convert; Heidi Blickenstaff, The Most Happy Fella; Jennifer Childs, This Is the Week That Is; Victoria Clark, The Snow Geese; Ingrid Craigie, The Cripple of Inishmaan; Ann Crumb, Other Desert Cities; Lisa Emery, Casa Valentina; Jacquelynne Fontaine, The Phantom of the Opera; Donna Garner, Once; Rayanne Gonzalez, In the Heights; Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Gillian Hanna, The Cripple Of Inishmaan; Marilu Henner, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Kaitlin Hopkins, Present Laughter; Zainab Jah, The Convert; Carolyn Johnson, A Coffin in Egypt; Judy Kaye, Little Me; Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie, Laurie Klatscher, Tribes; Maggie Lacey, The Marriage of Figaro; Anika Larsen, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Adriane Lenox, After Midnight; Kecia Lewis, Ain’t Misbehavin’; Deirdre Madigan, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Andrea Martin, Act One; Elisa Matthews, Sunset Boulevard; Emily Jon Mitchell, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Ellie Mooney, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Cass Morgan, The Bridges of Madison County; Naomi O’Connell, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro; Lisa O’Hare, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; Lauren O’Neill, King Lear; Charlotte Parry, The Winslow Boy; Erin Partin, The Importance of Being Earnest; Jeanne Paulsen, The Marriage of Figaro; Lyn Philistine, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Marcia Saunders, Pride and Prejudice, Incorruptible, and Cherokee; Sarah Shafer, Dialogues of the Carmelites; Jennifer Summerfield, Dancing at Lughnasa and Sense and Sensibility; Debra Walton, Ain’t Misbehavin’; Rema Webb, Violet; Meghan Winch, The School for Lies; Mare Winningham, Casa Valentina; Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; Kim Zimmer, Wicked.
Susan D. Atkinson, Tuesdays with Morrie; Keith Baker, Laughter on the 23rd Floor; Samantha Bellomo, Pride and Prejudice; Marc Bruni, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Gregory Scott Campbell, The Pillowman and A Clockwork Orange; Gay Carducci, Dancing at Lughnasa; Warren Carlyle, After Midnight; Tim Carroll, Richard III and Twelfe Night; Jesse Cline, Sunset Boulevard and The Diary of Anne Frank; Laurence Connor, The Phantom of the Opera; Nick Corley, Woody Sez; Aaron Cromie, Ondine, Man of La Mancha, and Frost/Nixon; Walter Dallas, Stick Fly; Matthew Decker, Incorruptible and Circle Mirror Transformation; Amy Feinberg, Hinckley; Leonard Foglia, A Coffin in Egypt; Boyd Gaines, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Kate Galvin, Other Desert Cities; Michael John Garces, The Convert, Michael Grandage, The Cripple of Inishmaan and Evita; Casey Hushion, Nerds and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Angus Jackson, King Lear; James Lapine, Act One; David Lee, Present Laughter; Phyllida Lloyd, Julius Caesar; Kathryn MacMillan, I Am My Own Wife and The School for Lies; Richard Maltby, Jr., Ain’t Misbehavin’; Emily Mann, Proof; Joe Mantello, Casa Valentina and Wicked; Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys; Casey Nicholaw, The Most Happy Fella; Terrence J. Nolen, Parade and Three Sisters; Michael Philip O’Brien, Side Show; Dan Olmstead, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice; Diane Paulus, Porgy and Bess; Lonny Price, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Pete Pryor, Cinderella: A Musical Panto; John Rando, Little Me; Bill Rauch, All the Way; Marc Robin, Elf; Lisa Rothe, Dear Elizabeth; Indhu Rushingham, Red Velvet; Leigh Silverman, Violet; Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway; Christopher Sutton, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie and Once; Alex Timbers, Rocky; Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; Stephen Wadsworth, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro.
Nominations, indicating the Top Five in each category, will appear on Wednesday, June 25. Helen and Morris Zoren World Theater Awards recipients will be posted on Wednesday, July 2 along with a list of the Top 25 in each category.
Congratulations to all cited here. Believe me, there are 50 more people in each category who it would have been a honor to recognize. From Manhattan to Rehoboth, this was an excellent season.