Jeff Awards: the nominations for the 2013 Joseph Jefferson Awards
The nominations have been announced for the 45th annual Jeff Awards for Equity theater productions. Chicago Shakespeare Theater led the numbers both for total nominations per company, with 19, and by individual production, with eight for Gary Griffin's revival of Sunday in the Park with George.
The list, as always, comes with its share of quirks. There are eight nominees for actor in a play, including four from three separate productions at A Red Orchid Theatre, and one for Larry Yando in the Goodman Theatre's perennial A Christmas Carol—the first time since 1979, if the Jeff Awards' own database is correct, that the annual production has received nominations. There's also a rare and unchallenged nomination in the category of cameo performance, for Callie Johnson's comic turn in Porchlight Music Theatre's Pal Joey.
Two plays that had their debuts in Victory Gardens productions, Luis Alfaro's Mojada and Philip Dawkins's Failure: A Love Story, were nominated for new work, along with Lisa Dillman's American Wee-Pie at Rivendell, Andrew Hinderaker's Dirty at the Gift Theatre and Rajiv Joseph's The Lake Effect at Silk Road Rising.
There are surprising omissions large and small. Robert Falls's divisive but unarguably inventive Measure for Measure at the Goodman received just one nomination, for Walt Spangler's deserving scenic design, while David Cromer's Sweet Bird of Youth was shut out entirely—nothing even for Diane Lane's admirable star turn as a faded star. Writers Theatre's Sweet Charity, on the other hand, netted a single nomination for Michael Halberstam's direction, but no acknowledgements for the production he directed or any of its individual elements, including Tiffany Topol's invaluable embodiment of the title role.
Writers Theatre's The Liar racked up a number of merited nods, as did TimeLine Theatre Company's Wasteland, and yet somehow the Jeff committee neglected actor Nate Burger, who gave the two very different but equally compelling lead performances in both productions. And Next Theatre's stunning production of Everything Is Illuminated earned just a single nom (for Nick Keenan's sound design), ignoring the work of director Devon de Mayo and a revelatory performance by actor Alex Goodrich.
But hey, at least Goodrich was nominated for Marriott's trotting out of that tired collection of relationship sketches I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change in the always bizarre Actor or Actress in a Revue category, pitting him against three of Second City's current best (Katie Rich, Ross Bryant and Mike Kosinski) and a Woody Guthrie impersonator, so that's…something.
All told, with the continued division of most production and design categories into the budget-based "large" and "midsize" tiers, there are a whopping 166 nominations in 36 categories. The Equity Jeff Awards will be presented November 4 in a ceremony at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace. See the full list after the jump, and let us know in the comments what you think the nominators missed.
Production — Play — Large
Good People — Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Jitney — Court Theatre
The Liar — Writers Theatre
Metamorphoses — Lookingglass Theatre Company
The School for Lies — Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Production — Play — Midsize
33 Variations — TimeLine Theatre Company
Blood and Gifts — TimeLine Theatre Company
Collected Stories — American Blues Theater
columbinus — American Theater Company
Simpatico — A Red Orchid Theatre
Production — Musical — Large
James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ — Court Theatre
The Jungle Book — Goodman Theatre in association with Huntington Theatre Company
Oliver! — Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace
South Pacific — Marriott Theatre
Sunday in the Park with George — Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Production — Musical — Midsize
Barnum — Mercury Theater Chicago
A Class Act — Porchlight Music Theatre
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill — Porchlight Music Theatre
Pal Joey — Porchlight Music Theatre
Production — Revue
A Clown Car Named Desire — The Second City e.t.c.
A Grand Night for Singing — Mercury Theater Chicago
The Second City Guide to the Opera — Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Second City
Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie — Northlight Theatre