The 33rd Elliot Norton Awards: Monday May 11  at SHUBERT THEATRE will honor “Orange is the New Black” Actress and Comedian LEA DELARIA! 

DELARIA, LEA - Tagg Edited HEadshot Denis Largeron smaller

Photo credit: Denis Largeron

Acclaimed actress and comedian Lea DeLaria will be the Guest of Honor at the 33rd annual Elliot Norton Awards on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 7 PM, at Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre.  The ceremony will feature nominated musical performances, the award of The Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, a post-ceremony party, and surprise appearances and performances. Tickets for the much anticipated evening will go on sale on Monday, March 9 at the Citi Center Box Office, at or by calling (866) 348-9738.

The awards are presented annually by The Boston Theater Critics Association (BTCA) of which I am proud to be President and which includes: Don Aucoin, Jared Bowen, Terry Byrne, Carolyn Clay, Nick Dussault, Iris Fanger, Joyce Kulhawik, Kilian Melloy, Bob Nesti, and Ed Siegel. Each year we honor the outstanding productions, directors, designers, and performers that audiences have seen on Greater Boston area stages throughout the year.

Lea DeLaria’s cutting-edge talent in so many formats, as a comedian, singer, writer, director, actress–on TV, film, and stage, from Broadway’s ON THE TOWN and the American Rep Theater’s PROMETHEUS BOUND in Cambridge, to her summer performances in Provincetown—are a testament to her versatility and outspokenness. Her critically acclaimed role as “Big Boo” in Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, her recent impromptu performance speaking truth to ignorance on a NYC subway, while hot off a jazz gig that raised the roof at Lincoln Center, have left us dazzled. It is an honor to honor her!

Past recipients comprise a who’s who of distinguished artists who have graced Boston’s stages, including: Olympia Dukakis, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, Al Pacino, Edward Albee, Brian Dennehy, August Wilson, Julie Harris, Sir Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave, and Jason Robards.

Lea DeLaria seems to have achieved overnight stardom with her stand-out role as Big Boo in the Netflix hit series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. And while she went from being able to walk around a city with the occasional “hey it’s you” to not being able to walk into a Dollar Store in a suburb without getting asked for a picture, the fact is, Lea has been a professional lesbian for 30 years. Before that, she freelanced. Lea was the first queer comic to perform on television in America which launched her into world recognition.

Prior to her success on ORANGE she worked extensively in both film and television: Awkward, Californication, The Oblongs, One Live to Live, Law and Order SVU, Will and Grace, Friends, The First Wives Club, Dear Dumb Diary, Fat Rose and Squeaky, and Edge of Seventeen. Her on and off Broadway credits are numerous, but stand outs include her appearance on Broadway in “On the Town,” for which she won Obie and Theatre World awards, as well as a Drama Desk nomination; an Ovation nomination for her performance in “The Boys from Syracuse;” and playing both Eddie AND Doctor Scott in the Broadway revival of “The Rocky Horror Show.”  If that’s not enough, Lea has five records out on the Warner Jazz and Classics label and her book “Lea’s Book of Rules for the World” is in its third printing at Bantam Doubleday and Dell.

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. The Boston theater community carries on his legacy and can be proud of its remarkable growth at a time in our nation’s history when the arts are struggling to survive.

The 33rd annual Elliot Norton Awards will be held at the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston, on Monday, May 11 at 7 PM. Tickets are priced at $30.00; savvy shoppers will take advantage of $10 off the regular ticket price (available through May 1), using the code Norties10. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, March 9 at the Citi Center Box Office, at or by calling (866) 348-9738.