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L.A. Drama Critics Circle spreads the wealth at 2009 awards ceremony [Updated]

March 22, 2010 | 10:31 pm

Stickfly-couple
The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle handed out its 2009 awards Monday night and it looks like the group was in a spread-the-wealth mood. The circle--made up of print and online reviewers, including two free-lance journalists who write for the L.A. Times--continued its custom of honoring multiple winners in multiple categories.

"The Gogol Project," which was presented by Rogue Artists Ensemble in association with Bootleg Theater, took four prizes at the 41st annual awards ceremony, which was held at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. Four productions--"The Browning Version," "Life Could Be a Dream," "Minsky's" and "Stick Fly"--received three prizes each.

The critics also presented eight special awards, including one to actor Kirk Douglas for his lifetime contributions to Los Angeles theater.

Three shows were recognized as the year's best productions:

--"Life Could Be a Dream," David Elzer, Peter Schneider and Roger Bean, at the Hudson Mainstage

--"Parade," Center Theatre Group and the Donmar Warehouse, at the Mark Taper Forum
 
--"Stick Fly," the Matrix Theatre Company, at the Matrix Theatre

Here are the rest of the winners:

McCulloh Award for Revival
(For shows between 1920 and 1980)

--"Equus," the Production Company at the Chandler Studio Theatre

Direction
--Shirley Jo Finney, "Stick Fly," the Matrix Theatre
--Marilyn Fox, "The Browning Version," Pacific Resident Theatre

Writing
--Brian Christopher Williams, "Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins," West Coast Ensemble at the El Centro Theatre 

Writing (adaptation)
--Kitty Felde, "Gogol Project," Rogue Artists Ensemble in association with Bootleg Theater at Bootleg Theater
 
Music direction
--David O, "The Wasps," The Lost Studio
--Michael Paternostro, "Life Could Be a Dream," Hudson Mainstage
--Phil Reno, "Minsky's," Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre

Choreography
--Matthew Bourne, Stephen Mear and Geoffrey Garratt, "Mary Poppins," Disney and Cameron Mackintosh at the Ahmanson Theatre 
 
Musical score
--Susan Birkenhead and Charles Strouse, "Minsky’s," Center Theatre Group at the  Ahmanson Theatre 

Lead performance
--Sam Anderson, "The Bird and Mr. Banks," the Road Theatre Company at the Lankershim Arts Center
--Bruce French, "The Browning Version," Pacific Resident Theatre 
--Jim Hanna," Equus," the Production Company at the Chandler Studio Theatre
--Deidrie Henry, "Coming Home," the Fountain Theatre 
--Laurie Metcalf, "Voice Lessons," Zephyr Theater 
--Samantha Sloyan, "Munched," Buzzworks Theater Company at the El Centro Theatre

Featured performance
--Hugo Armstrong, "Land of the Tigers," the Sacred Fools Theater Company &  Burglars of Hamm in association with Frantic Redhead Productions at Sacred Fools Theater 
--P.J. Griffith, "Setup & Punch," the Blank Theatre Company at the 2nd Stage Theatre
--Andrea Hutchman, "Munched," Buzzworks Theater Company at the El Centro Theatre 
--Sally Smythe, "The Browning Version," Pacific Resident Theatre

Ensemble performance
--"Hunter Gatherers," Furious Theatre Company at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre
--"Life Could Be a Dream," Hudson Mainstage
--"Stick Fly," the Matrix Theatre

Set design
--Jeff McLaughlin, "A Skull in Connemara," Theatre Tribe 

Lighting design
--Haylee Freeman, "Gogol Project," Rogue Artists Ensemble in association with Bootleg Theater at Bootleg Theater 
--David Lander, "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre 

Costume design
--Gregg Barnes, "Minsky’s," Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre

Sound design
-Ron Klier, "Blackbird," VS. Theatre Company at the Elephant Studio Space 

Solo performance
--Danny Hoch, "Taking Over," Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

CGI/Video
--Brian White, "Gogol Project," Rogue Artists Ensemble in association with Bootleg Theater at Bootleg Theater [Update: An earlier version of this story mistakenly listed White in the "solo performance" category, and attached the category "CGI/Video" to the line above it about Danny Hoch's "Taking Over" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. White was the winner of the CGI/Video category.] 

Puppet and mask design
--Wes Crain, Lena Garcia, Lynn Jeffries, Elizabeth Luce and Brian White, "Gogol Project," Rogue Artists Ensemble in association with Bootleg Theater at Bootleg Theater

Makeup design
--Ann Closs-Farley, "Land of the Tigers," the Sacred Fools Theater Company & Burglars of Hamm in association with Frantic Redhead Productions at Sacred Fools Theater

Fight choreography
--Victor Warren, "Stranger," Bootleg Theater 

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play: Julie Marie Myatt for "The Happy Ones." (The award is accompanied by an offer to publish and a $1,000 check funded by Samuel French Inc.)

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theater: Celebration Theatre.  (The award is accompanied by a $500 check, funded by the Nederlander Organization.)

The Bob Z Award for career achievement in set design: Sibyl Wickersheimer. (The award is accompanied by a $500 check, funded by contributions from the theatrical community.)

The Angstrom Award for career achievement in lighting design: Luke Moyer. (The award is accompanied by a $1,000 check, funded by Angstrom Lighting.)

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater: Rubicon Theatre Company.  (The award is accompanied by a $500 check, funded by Disney Theatricals.)

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theater: Jason Robert Brown.  (The award is accompanied by a $500 check, funded by David Elzer/Demand PR.)

The Milton Katselas Award for career or special achievement in direction: Richard Israel. (The award is accompanied by a $1,000 check, funded by Katselas Theatre Company.) 

--Karen Wada

Above: Michole Briana White and Terrell Tilford in "Stick Fly," presented by the Matrix Theatre Company, one of three L.A. Drama Critics Circle winners for best production of 2009. Credit: I.C. Rapoport

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