Jeff Awards 2012 Equity winners
Above: Selected productions honored at the 2012 Equity Jeff Awards
Two of the past theater season's biggest gorillas, the Goodman Theatre's high-profile revival of The Iceman Cometh and Chicago Shakespeare Theater's lush Follies, dominated the Joseph Jefferson Awards at tonight's presentation of the 2012 Equity wing honors. The two productions garnered six statues each, including best large production (play and musical, respectively) and best director for Robert Falls and Gary Griffin (also respectively).
The midsize production award for play went to TimeLine Theatre Company's The Pitmen Painters; the midsize musical pick was The Doyle & Debbie Show, the country-music satire from Nashville that played a long commercial run at the Royal George Theatre.
The Jeff Awards committee honored two plays and a musical for new work: Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced (premiered at American Theater Company), Sarah Gubbins's The Kid Thing (a co-production between About Face Theatre and Chicago Dramatists) and Hero the Musical (Marriott Theatre). Oren Jacoby picked up best new adaptation for his stunning stage transfer of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man at Court Theatre.
Less surprising than who made the winners' list (Dennehy? Shocker.) was who didn't. Steppenwolf Theatre Company, which today was celebrating stellar reviews in New York for the Broadway transfer of its Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, goes home empty-handed from the Jeffs despite 12 nominations split among four productions.
Lookingglass Theatre Company also got shut out after earning seven nominations for Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting and Eastland: A New Musical. The House Theatre of Chicago's Death and Harry Houdini, the company's first eligible production as an Equity producer, had tied Follies and Invisible Man for the most nominations with seven, but it took home just one well-deserved award, for Dennis Watkins's magic design.
Speaking of Equity, the actors' and stage managers' union was presented with a special award from the Jeff committee marking Actors' Equity Association's 100 years of service.
The complete list of nominees follows, with winners' names in bold (the new work categories are non-competitive, allowing for multiple recipients).
PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
Angels in America, Parts One and Two - Court Theatre
Clybourne Park - Steppenwolf Theatre Company
The Convert - Goodman Theatre in association with Center Theatre Group and McCarter Theatre Center
Elizabeth Rex - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
The Iceman Cometh - Goodman Theatre
In the Next Room or the vibrator play – Victory Gardens Theater
Invisible Man - Court Theatre in association with Christopher McElroen Productions
Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Oedipus el Rey - Victory Gardens Theater
PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
Blizzard ’67 - Chicago Dramatists
Chesapeake - Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
Death and Harry Houdini - The House Theatre of Chicago
Disgraced - American Theater Company in special arrangement with The Araca Group
Enron - TimeLine Theatre Company
Fish Men - Goodman Theatre presents the Teatro Vista production
Freud’s Last Session - Carolyn Rossi Copeland, Robert Stillman, and Jack Thomas present the Barrington Stage Production
Immediate Family - Paul Boskind, Ruth Hendel and Stephen Hendel by special arrangement with Goodman Theatre, and in association with About Face Theatre Company
The Pitmen Painters - TimeLine Theatre Company
PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
Eastland: A New Musical - Lookingglass Theatre Company
Follies - Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Hairspray - Drury Lane Productions
A Little Night Music - Writers’ Theatre
The Pirates of Penzance - Marriott Theatre
The Sound of Music - Drury Lane Productions
Sweeney Todd - Drury Lane Productions
PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
A Catered Affair - Porchlight Music Theatre
The Christmas Schooner A Musical - The Mercury Theater
The Doyle & Debbie Show - lonesome road productions in association with Jim Jensen and Lisselan Productions
Rent - American Theater Company and About Face Theatre
PRODUCTION – REVUE
Stephen Sondheim’s Putting it Together - Porchlight Music Theatre
We’re All in This Room Together - The Second City e.t.c.