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January 13, 2016 Comments Off on Seattle Theater Writers Announce Noms For 2015 Gypsy Awards; “Lizard Boy”, “Come From Away” Lead The Pack Views: 2221 *Seattle Theaterland, Arts & Entertainment, Stage

Seattle Theater Writers Announce Noms For 2015 Gypsy Awards; “Lizard Boy”, “Come From Away” Lead The Pack

Seattle Rep's "Come From Away" grabs 10 Gypsy Award nominations.

Seattle Rep’s “Come From Away” grabs 10 Gypsy Award nominations.

Depending on who you ask, 2015 was either a great year for local theater, or a terrible year. A consensus among some fellow theater critics: Lots of bland theater enlivened by a handful of truly superb productions.

There was also lots of exciting news in the world of local theater as several theaters got new leaders (ACT and Seattle Rep) and other announced they were stepping down (Seattle Children’s Theatre Linda Hartzell announced she is retiring after 32 years as artistic director.)

Some theaters had to give up the ghost (farewell Stone Soup!), but others got a new home thanks to the opening of the fantastic new 12th Avenue Arts space on Capitol Hill, where Washington Theatre Ensemble, Strawberry Theatre Workshop and New Century Theatre Company all moved in as anchor tenants, while also renting out the two black box theaters to several other local theater companies.

On the musical theater front it was an odd mix of feast/famine as old established musical theater producers played it safe with ok shows, while some upstart musical producers scored the biggest hits. Seattle’s prestigious Tony Award winning Seattle Repertory Theatre is primarily known for staging classic works and the latest Pulitzer/Tony Award winning dramas but they had two big hits with two new musicals, the locally created “Lizard Boy” by wunderkind multi-hyphenate Justin Huertas, and the bound for Broadway musical drama, “Come From Away” the delightfully odd new work about airline passengers stranded in Canada after the horrors of 9/11 grounded all flights into the United States. “Come From Away”, which is being produced by local theater impresarios, Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff, broke box office records for Seattle Rep this past December.

And, now both “Lizard Boy” and “Come From Away” have cleaned up with Gypsy Award nominations as the Seattle Theater Writer’s group announces their 5th annual awards for excellence in Seattle area theater for the 2015 calendar year. Officially the “Gypsy Rose Lee Awards” in honor of the burlesque star, actor, writer and entertainment icon who was born in Seattle before hitting the road to become a superstar in vaudeville, burlesque, the legitimate state, film, television and publishing. For the 2015 season, the STW honors local theater in 32 categories that recognize both larger and smaller theater companies as well as separate award categories for musical theater. Nominees for all 32 categories have been released over the last week and the final press release went out Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

“Lizard Boy” leads the 2015 nomination announcements with a whopping 11 noms including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical for Brandon Ivie, Best Supporting Actor nods for both Kirsten deLohr Helland and William A. Williams, and three nominations for star/creator Justin Huertas: Best Actor in a Musical, Best Local Composing and Best Local Playwriting.

“Come From Away” also grabbed nominations for Best Musical, Best Director of a Musical (Christopher Ashley), Best Actor (Jenn Collela), 3 Supporting Actor nods and several design nominations for a total of 10 nominations.

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On the non-musical side, Theatre 22’s production of the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Water by the Spoonful” by Quiara Alegría Hudes picked up 10 nominations including Best Play, Director,  Ensemble and four individual acting nominations, all in the Smaller Theater categories.

On the larger theater side, New Century Theater Company’s “The Flick” (another Pulitzer Prize winning work, by Annie Baker) snagged nods for all three principal actors in the show plus Best Play and Best Director and 3 design noms for a total of 8. Book-It Repertory Theatre’s excellent adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel, “Slaughterhouse-Five” received 7 nominations including two for director/adapter Josh Aaseng as well as “triple play” recognition for the three actors who played the lead character at different ages in the play. Robert Bergin, Erik Gratton and Todd Jefferson Moore were jointly nommed as “young”, “middle aged” and “old” Billy Pilgrim.

New Century Theatre Company's "The Flick" earns 8 Gypsy Award nominations.

New Century Theatre Company’s “The Flick” earns 8 Gypsy Award nominations.

Other impressive vote getters: ArtsWest Playhouse’s excellent (and hugely popular) production of Green Day’s “American Idiot” snagged 7 nominations and the Intiman Festival grabbed 6 nods for “Bootycandy” and another 3 nominations for their collaboration with The Williams Project on their unique take on Tennessee Williams’ “Orpheus Descending”.

Seattle Repertory Theatre led the nomination tally with a whopping 24 nominations. Besides “Come From Away” and “Lizard Boy”, the theater was also recognized for the sets for “The Comparables” and grabbed Best Director and Best Actor nominations for their hit comedy, “Buyer & Cellar”, the very gay solo show about a man who works for superstar Barbra Streisand.

You’ll find the full list of nominations below. For more information on the Gypsy Awards and Seattle Theater Writers, visit their Facebook page. The Gypsy Awards are the only Seattle theater accolades chosen by a panel of local theater critics. Theatre Puget Sound’s “Gregory Awards” use nominators to pick their nominees and allow their members to vote for the final winners. Misha Berson, the soon to retire theater critic at The Seattle Times, personally chose the “Footlight Awards” every year. It is not known if those awards will continue in the future.

Winners for the 2015 Gypsy Rose Lee Awards will be announced Wednesday, January 20, 2016 via the Seattle Theater Writers’ social media and the outlets of the STW members.

And, congratulations to all the nominees!

The 2015 Gypsy Rose Lee Award Nominations are (in alpha order):

Excellence in Production of a Play
(Larger Theaters):
Best of Enemies – Taproot Theatre Company
Orpheus Descending – Intiman Theatre Festival/The Williams Project
Our Town – Strawberry Theatre Workshop
Slaughterhouse-Five – Book-It Repertory Theatre
The Flick – New Century Theatre Company
(Smaller Theaters):
Chinglish – ArtsWest
Dance Like A Man – Pratidhwani
The Secretaries – Theater Schmeater
The Tall Girls – Washington Ensemble Theatre
Water By The Spoonful – Theatre22
Excellence in Production of a Musical
American Idiot – ArtsWest
Come From Away – Seattle Repertory Theatre
Into the Woods – STAGEright Theatre
Lizard Boy – Seattle Repertory Theatre
The Great America Trailer Park Musical – STAGEright Theatre
Excellence in Direction of a Play
(Larger Theaters):
Josh Aaseng – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
David Bennett – Buyer & Cellar (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Malika Oyetimein – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
Ryan Purcell – Orpheus Descending (Intiman Theatre Festival/The Williams Project)
MJ Sieber – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
(Smaller Theaters):
Julie Beckman – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Desdemona Chiang and Howie Seago – Sound (Azeotrope)
John Kazanjian – Mud (New City Theater)
Kelly Kitchens – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
Annie Lareau – Chinglish (ArtsWest)
Excellence in Direction of a Musical
Eric Ankrim – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
Christopher Ashley – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Matt Giles – Into the Woods (STAGEright Theatre)
Brandon Ivie – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Steve Tomkins – No Way to Treat a Lady (Village Theatre)
Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Male)
(Larger Theaters):
John Aylward – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (ACT Theatre)
Robert Bergin/Erik Gratton/Todd Jefferson Moore – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
Jeff Berryman – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
Scott Drummond – Buyer & Cellar (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Tyler Trerise – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
(Smaller Theaters):
Jany Bacallao – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Ryan Higgins – 99 Ways To Fuck A Swan (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
Joseph Lavy – The Glas Nocturne (Akropolis Performance Lab)
Terry Edward Moore – A Delicate Balance (Theatre9/12)
Tyler Trerise – My Mañana Comes (ArtsWest)
Excellence in Performance in a Musical as a Lead Actor (Male)
Mark Anders – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)
Nick DeSantis – No Way to Treat a Lady (Village Theatre)
Brian Earp – Cabaret (Village Theatre)
Frederick Hagreen – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
Justin Huertas – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Female)
(Larger Theaters):
Hana Lass – The Explorers Club (Taproot Theatre Company)
Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako – Little Bee (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
Jeanne Paulsen – Mother Courage And Her Children (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
Faith Russell – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
Amy Thone – Our Town (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
(Smaller Theaters):
Mary Ewald – Mud (New City Theater)
Sophia Franzella – My Dear Miss Chancellor (Annex Theatre)
Kathy Hsieh – Chinglish (ArtsWest)
Yesenia Iglesias – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Anna Kasabyan – Bad Jews (Seattle Public Theater)
Excellence in Performance in a Musical as a Lead Actor (Female)
Kristin Burch – Legally Blonde (SecondStory Repertory)
Jenn Collela – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Beth DeVries – Snapshots (Village Theatre)
EmilyRose Frasca – Are You There, God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter (STAGEright Theatre)
Allison Standley – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)
Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Male) 
(Larger Theaters):
Quinn Franzen – Threesome (ACT Theatre)
Sam Hagen – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
Bill Johns – The Explorers Club (Taproot Theatre Company)
Isaiah Johnson – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
Adam Standley – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)
(Smaller Theaters):
Scott Ward Abernethy – Indian Ink (Sound Theatre Company/Pratidhwani)
Ben Phillips – Bad Jews (Seattle Public Theater)
Brandon Ryan – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
Ryan Schlect – Sound (Azeotrope)
G. Valmont Thomas – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Excellence in Performance of a Musical as a Supporting Actor (Male)
Rodney Hicks – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Dan Kremer – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)
David Pichette – The Sound of Music (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
Caesar Samayoa – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
William A. Williams – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Female)
(Larger Theaters):
Angel Brice – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
Emily Chisholm – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
Rebecca M. Davis – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
Jenny Vaughn Hall – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
Sarah Harlett – The Memorandum (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
(Smaller Theaters):
Rose Cano – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Cheyenna Clearbrook – Sound (Azeotrope)
Ashley Flannegan – The Secretaries (Theater Schmeater)
Peggy Gannon – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
Rhonda J. Soikowski – Wizzer Pizzer (Theatre22)
Excellence in Performance of a Musical as a Supporting Actor (Female)
Kirsten deLohr Helland – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Priscilla Hake Lauris – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)
Chelsea LeValley – Angry Housewives (ArtsWest)
Q. Smith – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Billie Wildrick – Carousel (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
Excellence in Performance as an Ensemble
(Larger Theaters):
Bootycandy – Intiman Theatre Festival
(Chris Ensweiler, Tyler Trerise, Rebecca M. Davis, Isaiah Johnson, Angel Brice)
Come From Away – Seattle Repertory Theatre
(Eric Ankrim, Petrina Bromley, Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kassebaum, Chad Kimball, Lee MacDougall, Caesar Samayoa, Q Smith, Astrid Van Wieren, Sharon Wheatley)
Festen – New Century Theatre Company
(Emily Chisholm, Bradford Farwell, Ray Gonzalez, Brenda Joyner, Conner Neddersen, Michael Patten, Jason Sanford, Betsy Schwartz, MJ Sieber, Amy Thone, Connor Toms, Evan Whitfield, Peter Dylan O’Connor, Helen Milam)
Orpheus Descending – Intiman Theatre Festival/The Williams Project
(Grant Chapman, Kemiyondo Coutinho, Rebecca Gibel, Tiffany Nichole Greene, Elise LeBreton, Richard Prioleau, Max Rosenak, Charlie Thurston)
No Way to Treat a Lady – Village Theatre
(Nick DeSantis, Dane Stokinger, Jessica Skerritt, Bobbi Kotula, Jayne Muirhead)
(Smaller Theaters):
Brechtfest – The Horse in Motion
(Katherine Bicknell, Nathan Brockett, Liza Curtiss, Amy Escobar, Chris Lee Hill, Harry Todd Jamieson, Sylvia Kowalski, Adria LaMorticella, Kevin Lin, Jocelyn Maher, Nic Morden, Andrew Pritzkau, Hannah Ruwe, Matt Sherrill, Dylan Smith, Shaudi Bianca Vahdat)
Dance Like a Man – Pratidhwani
(Jay Athalye, Tanvee Kale, Abhijeet Rane, Meenakshi Rishi)
The Art of Bad Men – MAP Theatre
(Grace Carmack, Peggy Gannon, Ben McFadden, Ben Burris, Brandon Ryan, Sean Schroeder)
The Tall Girls – Washington Ensemble Theatre
(Leah Salcido Pfenning, Hannah Ruwe, Chelsea Callahan, Adria LaMorticella, Bailie Breaux, Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir)
Water By The Spoonful – Theatre22
(Jany Bacallao, Yesenia Iglesias, Rose Cano, G. Valmont Thomas, Keiko Green, Jeff Allen Pierce, Jake Ynzunza)
Excellence in Set Design
(Larger Theaters):
Andrea Bryn Bush – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
L.B. Morse – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Matthew Smucker – Cabaret (Village Theatre)
Matthew Smucker – Our Town (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
Carey Wong – The Comparables (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
(Smaller Theaters):
Nina Moser – Mud (New City Theater)
Jared Roberts – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
Paul Thomas – Dump Site (Seattle Immersive Theatre)
Montana Tippett – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Craig Wollam – The Tumbleweed Zephyr (Pork Filled Productions)
Excellence in Costume Design
(Larger Theaters):
Erik Andor – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Sarah Nash Gates – Carousel (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
Kelly McDonald – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
Pete Rush – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
Deb Trout – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)
(Smaller Theaters):
Cherelle Ashby & Jonelle Cornwell – Are You There, God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter (STAGEright Theatre)
Candace Frank – Indian Ink (Sound Theatre Company/Pratidhwani)
Kelly McDonald – Chinglish (ArtsWest)
Nina Moser – Mud (New City Theater)
Ali Rose Panzarella – 99 Ways To Fuck A Swan (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
Excellence in Lighting Design
(Larger Theaters):
Howell Binkley – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Kent Cubbage – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
Geoff Korf – Festen (New Century Theatre Company)
Geoff Korf – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)
Andrew D. Smith – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
(Smaller Theaters):
Tess Malone – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
Tristan Roberson – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Gwyn Skone – My Dear Miss Chancellor (Annex Theatre)
Lindsay Smith – Mud (New City Theater)
Tim Wratten – Tilt Angel (theater simple)
Excellence in Sound Design
(Larger Theaters):
Dominic CodyKramers – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)
Mark Lund – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
Evan Mosher and Robertson Witmer – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
Matt Starritt – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Matt Starritt – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
(Smaller Theaters):
Dana Amromin – The Secretaries (Theater Schmeater)
Christen Audio Group (Andy Somora and Hannah Victoria Franklin) – Is She Dead Yet? (Annex Theatre)
Evan Mosher and Andre Nelson – Slowgirl (Seattle Public Theater)
Haley Parcher – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
Kyle Thompson – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
Excellence in Musical Direction
Ian Eisendrath – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Chris Ranney and R.J. Tancioco – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
RJ Tancioco – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Excellence in Choreography or Movement
Donald Byrd – Carousel (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
Kelly Devine – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Trina Mills, Shadou Mintrone and Gabe Corey – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
Excellence in Local Playwriting
Josh Aaseng – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
Caitlin Gilman – My Dear Miss Chancellor (Annex Theatre)
Keiko Green – Bunnies (Annex Theatre)
Justin Huertas – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Brandon Simmons – Is She Dead Yet? (Annex Theatre)
Excellence in Local Composing
Justin Huertas – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Zhenya Lavy – The Glas Nocturne (Akropolis Performance Lab)
Mark Siano, Opal Peachey, and Dayton Alleman – Bohemia (Marxiano Productions)

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