OH WHAT A NIGHT! Faye Dunaway as our Guest of Honor. Pinch me. Melinda Lopez our big Elliot Norton Prize winner. Nick Christopher from HAMILTON kicking off the show. A preview of the A.R.T.s world premiere musical WE LIVE IN CAIRO. AND–the whole glorious cast of SpeakEasy’s ONCE performing that beautiful song on our stage.
It was once again my honor to host on behalf of the BOSTON THEATER CRITICS ASSOCIATION The 37th Annual Elliot Norton Awards ceremony at the Huntington Avenue Theatre. Awards were presented to more than two dozen outstanding actors, directors, designers, and ensembles!
Here’s our OFFICIAL RELEASE and all the winners listed below:
This year’s recipient of the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence was Melinda Lopez, who has consistently enriched the Boston theater community as a playwright, actress and educator. A Special Citation was awarded to Zeitgeist Stage Company, which will be concluding its 18-year residency in Boston at the end of this season. “The Elliot Norton Arts Education Award” was given to the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild with matching support from Broadway in Boston and Ernie and Kelsey Boch to enable resource-limited high schools to participate in its annual High School Drama Festival and to provide awards to the winners of the high school Scene Partners Contest.
Legendary actress Faye Dunaway, winner of an Academy Award, three Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and an Emmy, was the Guest of Honor at the much anticipated annual event. She is set to portray Katharine Hepburn in Matthew Lombardo’s one woman play “Tea at Five,” which chronicles Hepburn’s turbulent childhood, her unlikely rise to stardom, and her heart-breaking romance with Spencer Tracy. The play’s only pre-Broadway engagement will be at the Huntington Avenue Theatre June 21-July 7.
Joyce Kulhawik, President of the BTCA, stated, “This night is more and more exciting every year! It was thrilling to have the legendary FAYE DUNAWAY who started out onstage in Boston, back here on the very stage where she will make her only pre-Broadway outing just ahead of her Broadway engagement in “Tea at Five.” We have also honored the most diverse work ever, as our theater community continues to outdo itself. The BTCA has its hands and notebooks full keeping up with our thriving Boston Theater scene, and in a rare turn of events, there was a tie in one of the major categories! We continue to be honored to celebrate the artists who make our city a cutting edge cultural destination! ”
The 37th Annual Elliot Norton Awards continues to turn a spotlight on the importance of the arts in our country. In addition to the presentation of the awards, the evening featured performances by the casts of the nominated musical productions. These included Nicholas Christopher in a performance of “Wait for It” from Hamilton, a preview of the American Repertory Theater’s world premiere musical “We Live in Cairo,” and a performance by SpeakEasy Stage Company from their production of “Once.”
The 2019 awards were presented with the support of the Huntington Theatre Company and the New England Conservatory, where the after party was held in the new Student Life and Performance Center, Burnes Hall. The reception was sponsored by Rebecca’s Café/East Meets West.
The Elliot Norton Awards are presented annually by The Boston Theater Critics Association (Don Aucoin, Jared Bowen, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Christopher Ehlers, Iris Fanger, Joyce Kulhawik, Kilian Melloy, Bob Nesti and Ed Siegel) to honor the outstanding productions, directors, designers and performers that audiences have seen on greater Boston stages throughout the season.
The Elliot Norton Awards are named for the eminent Boston theater critic Elliot Norton, who remained an active supporter of drama, both locally and nationally, until his death in 2003 at the age of 100.
Special and honored guests at the awards in past years comprise a Who’s Who of distinguished artists whose work has appeared on Boston’s stages, including: Edward Albee, Lea DeLaria, Brian Dennehy, Olympia Dukakis, Julie Harris, Cherry Jones, Sir Ian McKellen, Al Pacino, Randy Rainbow, Lynn Redgrave, Chita Rivera, Jason Robards Jr., Tommy Tune, August Wilson, and Mary Louise Wilson.
Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence
Guest of Honor
Outstanding Visiting Production
“Measure for Measure,” Cheek by Jowl and Pushkin Theatre Moscow, presented by ArtsEmerson
Outstanding Visiting Musical Production
“Hamilton,” presented by Broadway In Boston
Outstanding Visiting Performance
Vaishnavi Sharma, “Bedlam’s Pygmalion,” presented by Underground Railway Theater
Outstanding Visiting Musical Performance, Actor
Nicholas Christopher, “Hamilton,” presented by Broadway In Boston
Outstanding Visiting Musical Performance, Actress
Ani Djirdjirian, “Spamilton,” presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Outstanding Production, Large Theater
”Man in the Ring,” Huntington Theatre Company
Outstanding Production, Midsize Theater“The Wolves,” Lyric Stage Company of Boston “Between Riverside and Crazy,” SpeakEasy Stage Company
Outstanding Production, Small or Fringe Theater
“The Audacity: Women Speak,” Sleeping Weazel
Outstanding Musical Production
“The Black Clown,” American Repertory Theater
Outstanding Actor, Large Theater
John Douglas Thompson, “Man in the Ring,” Huntington Theatre Company
Outstanding Actress, Large Theater
Jordan Boatman, “The Niceties,” Huntington Theatre Company
Outstanding Actor, Midsize Theater
Tyrees Allen, “Between Riverside and Crazy,” SpeakEasy Stage Company
Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater
Amanda Collins, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Outstanding Actor, Small or Fringe Theater
Ken Baltin, “My Station in Life,” Gloucester Stage Company
Outstanding Actress, Small or Fringe Theater
Jennifer Rohn, “Dark Room,” Bridge Repertory Theater
Outstanding Musical Performance, Actor
Davron S. Monroe, “Breath & Imagination,” The Front Porch Arts Collective and Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Outstanding Musical Performance, Actress
Mackenzie Lesser-Roy, “Once,” SpeakEasy Stage Company
Outstanding Director, Large Theater
Bryn Boice, “Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle and Here We Go,” Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Outstanding Director, Midsize Theater
Nora Long, “The Wolves,” Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Outstanding Director, Small or Fringe Theater
Olivia D’Ambrosio, “Dark Room,” Bridge Repertory Theater
Outstanding Design, Large or Visiting Theater
“The End of TV,” by Manual Cinema, presented by ArtsEmerson: Sound design by Kyle Vegter, puppets by Lizi Breit with associate puppet designer and storyboard artist Drew Dir, costumes by Mieka Van Der Ploeg, lighting by Claire Chrzan with associate Shelbi Arndt, masks by Julia VanArsdale Miller
Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
“Brokelahomo!” and “Nightmare on Elf Street,” Gold Dust Orphans: sets by Windsor Newton, costumes by Scott Martino, lighting by Michael Clark Wonson
“Small Mouth Sounds,” SpeakEasy Stage Company
Outstanding Solo Performance
Sara Porkalob, “Dragon Cycle: Dragon Lady and Dragon Mama,” American Repertory Theater
Outstanding New Script
“Dragon Mama,” by Sara Porkalob, presented by American Repertory Theater
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, “Jagged Little Pill,” American Repertory Theater
Outstanding Musical Supervision/Direction
Steven Ladd Jones, “Once,” SpeakEasy Stage Company