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Helen and Morris Zoren Awards for World Theater, 2013-2014

imagesF03P5PU5Since September 4, 1967, the first day I saw a professional theatrical performance, I have kept diaries that list every show seen, a catalog of every actor and actress ever seen, and an ongoing ranking for each theater season.

This season, the diary began with “Mothers and Sons,” seen at the Bucks County Playhouse in June 2013 and ended with “Evita,” seen at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music in June 2014. Within the span covered by the diary, I saw 191 productions that ranged from classics to world premieres and from the complex and thought-provoking to the inanely ludicrous. The diary comprises Broadway shows and regional productions from small or nascent theaters. It shows what an interesting theater year 2013-2014 was. As usual, the theater provided much entertainment, many great experiences, ideas that challenged, and performances to admire and cherish as 2013-2014 becomes a fond memory.

Last year, I named my annual award the Helen and Morris Zoren Award for World Theater in honor of my parents who passed away between 2011 and 2013. The award is given to the production, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, and director I judge to have done the finest job during the last theater season. In addition to the recipient of the award, I will list the Top 25 in each category. These are not the only people who provided joy and enlightenment during the past season. They are the ones whose placement on the ranking lists dictate they deserve special recognition.

These are the recipients of the Helen and Morris Zoren Award for World Theater in 2013-2014.

BEST PRODUCTION

RICHARD III, by William Shakespeare, Globe Theatre production, Belasco Theatre, New York

BEST ACTOR

MARK RYLANCE, Richard III, Belasco Theatre, New York

BEST ACTRESS

CHERRY JONES, The Glass Menagerie, Booth Theatre, New York

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

JOSEPH TIMMS, Richard III and Twelfe Night, Belasco Theatre, New York

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

CELIA KEENAN-BOLGER, The Glass Menagerie, Booth Theatre, New York

BEST DIRECTOR

TIM CARROLL, Richard III and Twelfe Night, Belasco Theatre, New York

These are the Top 25 in the ranked categories.

BEST PRODUCTION

1. RICHARD III, Globe Theatre Production, Belasco Theatre, New  York
2. The Glass Menagerie, Broadway, Booth Theatre, New York
3. King Lear, Chichester Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn
4. Present Laughter, Two River Theatre, Red Bank, New Jersey
5. Julius Caesar, Donmar Warehouse, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn
6. Twelfe Night, Globe, Belasco Theatre, New York
7. The Phantom of the Opera, National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
8. The Marriage of Figaro, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey
9. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York
10. Everyman, Villanova Theatre, Villanova, Pa.
11. Wicked, National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
12. The Pillowman, Luna Theatre, Philadelphia
13. Little Me, Encores, City Center, New York
14. The Barber of Seville, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey
15. Dancing at Lughnasa, Curio Theatre, Philadelphia
16. Dear Elizabeth, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
17. Parade, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia
18. The Convert, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia
19. Jersey Boys, National Tour, Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia
20. Act One, Lincoln Center, New York
21. Tuesdays with Morrie, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol, Pa.
22. All the Way, Neil Simon Theatre, New York
23. Proof, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey
24. I Am My Own Wife, Theatre Horizon, Norristown, Pa.
25. Bullets Over Broadway, St. James Theatre, New York

BEST ACTOR

 1. MARK RYLANCE, Richard III and Twelfe Night, Belasco Theatre, New York
 2. Frank Langella, King Lear, BAM, Brooklyn
 3. Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York
 4. Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Belasco Theatre, New York
 5. Michael Cumpsty, Present Laughter, Two River Theatre, Red Bank, N.J.
 6. Adam Green, The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville, McCarter Theatre, Princeton,  N.J.
 7. Bryan Cranston, All the Way, Neil Simon Theatre, New York
 8. Andy Karl, Rocky, Winter Garden Theatre, New York
 9. Charlie DelMarcelle, I Am My Own Wife and Macbeth, Theatre Horizon, Norristown, Temple Theater, Philadelphia
10. Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York
11. Tony Shalhoub, Act One, Lincoln Center, New York
12. Adrian Lester, Red Velvet, Tricycle Theatre, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn
13. Michael C. Hall, The Realistic Joneses, Lyceum Theatre, New York
14. Christian Borle, Little Me, Encores, City Center, New York
15. John Zak, The Pillowman, Luna Theatre, Philadelphia
16. Peter DeLaurier, The Train Driver, Lantern Theatre, Philadelphia
17. Keith Conallen, Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia
18. Christopher Peterson, La Cage Aux Folles, Clear Space Productions, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
19. Stanley Bahorek, Nerds, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Philadelphia
20. Christopher Sutton, Elf and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
21. Stuart Ward, Once, National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
22. Rinde Eckert, Dear Elizabeth, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
23. Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Kazino, New York
24. Samuel Barnett, Twelfe Night, Belasco Theatre, New York
25. Roger Rees, The Winslow Boy, Roundabout, American Airlines Theatre, New York

BEST ACTRESS

 1. CHERRY JONES, The Glass Menagerie, Booth Theatre, New York
 2. Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Circle in the Square, New York
 3. Ann Crumb, Sunset Boulevard, Media Theatre, Media, Pa.
 4. Frederica von Stade, A Coffin in Egypt, Opera Philadelphia, Perelman Theater, Philadelphia
 5. Harriet Walter, Julius Caesar, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn
 6. Anne-Marie Duff, Macbeth, Lincoln Center, New York
 7. Nancy Moricette, The Convert, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia
 8. Cush Jumbo, Julius Caesar, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn
 9. Marsha Mason, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, Pa.
10. Susan Wilder, Other Desert Cities, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
11. Ellen McLaughlin, Dear Elizabeth, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
12. Rachel York, Little Me, Encores, City Center, New York
13. Jessie Mueller, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Stephen Sondheim Theatre, New York
14. Kelli O’Hara, The Bridges of Madison County, Schoenfeld Theatre, New York
15. Kristen Bush, Proof, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
16. Ellie Mooney, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
17. Phillipa Soo, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Kazino, New York
18. Denise Whelan, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
19. Laura Benanti, The Most Happy Fella, Encores, City Center, New York
20. Toni Collette, The Realistic Joneses, Lyceum Theater, New York
21. Marisa Tomei, The Realistic Joneses, Lyceum Theater, New York
22. Leah Walton, Bunny Bunny and Macbeth, 1812 Productions and Temple University, Philadelphia.
23. Sutton Foster, Violet,  Roundabout, American Airlines Theatre, New York
24. Rachel Camp, Side Show, 11th Hour, Philadelphia
25. Margo Seibert, Rocky, Winter Garden Theatre, New York

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

 1. JOSEPH TIMMS, Richard III and Twelfe Night, Belasco Theatre, New York
 2. Samuel Barnett, Richard III,, Belasco Theatre, New York
 3. Stephen Fry, Twelfe Night, Belasco Theatre, New York
 4. Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway, St. James Theatre, New York
 5. Derek Smith, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
 6. Tom McGowan, Casa Valentina, MTC, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, New York
 7. Pat Shortt, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Cort Theatre, New York
 8. Joshua Henry, Violet, Roundabout, American Airlines Theatre, New York
 9. Max Bennett, King Lear, Chichester Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn
10. Cole Escola, Present Laughter, Two River Theatre, Red Bank, N.J.
11. Christopher Patrick Mullen, Cinderella: A Musical Panto, People’s Light & Theatre Co., Malvern, Pa.
12. Alvin Crawford, Porgy and Bess, National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
13. Jered McLenigan, Julius Caesar and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Lantern, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
14. Jeffrey Coon, Parade, Cinderella: A Musical Panto, and Side Show, Arden, People’s Light, and 11th Hour, Philadelphia
15. Derrick Cobey, Parade, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia
16. Denis Conway, King Lear, Chichester Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn
17. U.R., Stick Fly, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia
18. Mark Jacoby, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
19. Jake Epstein, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Stephen Sondheim Theatre, New York
20. Brandon Pierce, Dutch Masters, Azuka Theatre, Philadelphia
21. Peter DeLaurier, Emma and Ghosts, Lantern and People’s Light, Philadelphia and Malvern, Pa.
22. Zachary Quinto, The Glass Menagerie, Booth Theatre, New York
23. Robert Jason Jackson, Mourning Becomes Electra and Macbeth, Quintessence and Temple Theaters, Philadelphia
24. Harry Melling, King Lear, Chichester Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn
25. Matteo Scammell, Other Desert Cities, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 1. CELIA KEENAN-BOLGER, The Glass Menagerie, Booth Theatre, New York
 2. Zainab Jah, The Convert, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia
 3. Mare Winningham, Casa Valentina, MTC, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, New York
 4. Jennifer Summerfield, Dancing at Lughnasa, Curio Theatre, Philadelphia
 5. Trice Baldwin, Dancing at Lughnasa, Curio Theatre, Philadelphia
 6. Marcia Saunders, Pride and Prejudice, Cherokee, and Incorruptible, People’s Light, Wilma, and Arden Theatres, Philadelphia
 7. Karina Arroyave, Water by the Spoonful, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia
 8. Marilu Henner, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, Pa.
 9. Emily Jon Mitchell, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, Pa.
10. Frances Barber, Julius Caesar, Donmar Warehouse, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn
11. Anika Larsen, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Stephen Sondheim Theatre, New York
12. Jeanne Paulsen, The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
13. Erin Partin, The Importance of Being Earnest, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Center Valley, Pa.
14. Kim Zimmer, Wicked, National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
15. Lauren Worsham. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York
16. Lauren O’Neil, King Lear, Chichester Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn
17. Carolyn Johnson, A Coffin in Egypt, Opera Philadelphia, Perelman Theater, Philadelphia
18. Ann Crumb, Other Desert Cities, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
19. Sarah Shafer, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Opera Philadelphia, Curtis Opera, Philadelphia
20. Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Belasco Theatre, New York
21. Kecia Lewis, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Delaware Theatre Company, Wilmington, Delaware
22. Lisa O’Hare, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York
23. Michelle Alves, West Side Story, National Tour, DuPont Theatre, Wilmington, Delaware
24. Judy Kaye, Little Me, Encores, City Center, New York
25. Ingrid Craigie, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Cort Theatre, New York

BEST DIRECTOR

 1. TIM CARROLL, Richard III and Twelfe Night, Globe Theatre, Belasco Theatre, New York
 2. Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York
 3. Stephen Wadsworth, The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville, Princeton, N.J.
 4. David Lee, Present Laughter, Two River Theatre, Red Bank, N.J.
 5. Angus Jackson, King Lear, Chichester Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, N.Y.
 6. Phyllida Lloyd, Julius Caesar, Donmar Warehouse, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn
 7. John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie and Once, Booth Theatre, New York and National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
 8. Laurence Connor, The Phantom of the Opera, National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
 9. Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Belasco Theatre, New York
10. John Rando, Little Me, Encores, City Center, New York
11. Joe Mantello, Casa Valentina and Wicked, MTC, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, New York and National Tour, Academy of Music, Philadelphia
12. Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway, St. James Theatre, New York
13. Rev. David Cregan, Everyman, Villanova Theatre, Villanova, Pa.
14. Michael John Garces, The Convert, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia
15. Bill Rauch, All the Way, Neil Simon Theatre, New York
16. Warren Carlyle, After Midnight, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York
17. Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys, National Tour, Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia
18. Gregory Scott Campbell, The Pillowman and A Clockwork Orange, Luna Theatre, Philadelphia
19. Susan D. Atkinson, Tuesdays with Morrie, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol, Pa.
20. James Lapine, Act One, Lincoln Center, New York
21. Gay Carducci, Dancing at Lughnasa, Curio Theatre, Philadelphia
22. Lisa Rothe, Dear Elizabeth, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
23. Samantha Bellomo, Pride and Prejudice, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
24. Leonard Foglia, A Coffin in Egypt, Opera Philadelphia, Perelman Theater, Philadelphia
25. Christopher Sutton, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia

SPECIAL MENTION

To Aaron Cromie for his outstanding creativity in directing “Ondine” for Idiopathic Ridiculosity, “Man of La Mancha” for Act II Playhouse, and “Frost/Nixon” for New City Stage; to Shirley Jones, Leslie Uggams, Patti LuPone, Justin Guarini, and Steve Ross for exhilarating cabaret  or concert performances;  to Susan D. Atkinson and Keith Baker for the America Rising series  at Bristol Riverside Theatre; to Derek Hough, Peta Murgatroyd, Cheryl Burke, and Tony Dovolani for their featured turns in “Ballroom with a Twist 2.”

The Helen and Morris Zoren Awards for World Theater are conferred in July. In January, the Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Awards, for work in the Philadelphia area alone, will be given.

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