Hypocrites, Redtwist take top honors at 2011 non-Equity Jeff Awards

MAKEUP TEST Caroline Neff, right, navigates the lipstick jungle in A Brief History of Helen of Troy.

MAKEUP TEST Caroline Neff, right, navigates the lipstick jungle in A Brief History of Helen of Troy. Photograph: Lee Miller


Redtwist Theatre's revival of Tracy Letts's Man from Nebraska and the Hypocrites' rethinking of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret were named best production of a play and production of a musical, respectively, at tonight's 38th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards, in a ceremony at the sweltering Park West that mostly moved quickly but was marked by significant flubs in the presentation. Perhaps the heat and humidity were affecting people's brains the way they seemed momentarily to be affecting the circuitry of BillyBot and Aunt JulieBot of Sideshow Theatre Company's Heddatron, who presented the supporting actress awards (and earned their creators an artistic specialization award for robot design).

In one case, a tie for best actress in a play, the presenter read only one name, Caroline Neff (for Steep's A Brief History of Helen of Troy). Only several minutes later, after other awards had been given, did host Kevin Bellie surprise the second winner, Nicole Wiesner (for Trap Door's First Ladies), who gave a belated speech. In another awkward occurrence, a presenter read the wrong name entirely as the winner of best direction of a musical; the nominee who heard her name, Brenda Didier of Theo Ubique's Cats, took the stage and gave an acceptance speech even as the video screens flanking her showed the name of the actual winner, Matt Hawkins of Cabaret. Even the Jeff committee's official Twitter feed was moved to tweet, "Wow. 'awkward'". (Didier did, at least, get to take the plaque for best choreography.) Update: The Jeff Awards committee now says [node:14798571 link=Didier and Hawkins were supposed to be a tie;]; the list below has been edited to reflect that mistake.

The Hypocrites took home the most awards at the Park West, with five for Cabaret and one more for their production of No Exit; they were followed by Theo Ubique with four, and three each for Lifeline, Redtwist and Strange Tree Group. Strange Tree snagged best ensemble for Shakespeare's King Phycus, while the company's The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen earned best new work for playwright Emily Schwartz and best direction of a play for Jimmy McDermott, in a tie with James Palmer for Red Tape Theatre's The Love of the Nightingale. The wins by Strange Tree and the New Colony, which won for original musical composition for the members of That Sordid Little Story's band, were firsts for those companies. Lifeline's three awards, including best new adaptation for Robert Kauzlaric, all went to last summer's Neverwhere. A total of 27 awards were handed out tonight by the Joseph Jefferson committee, in 23 categories; the complete list is after the jump.

PRODUCTION - PLAY
Man from Nebraska - Redtwist Theatre

PRODUCTION - MUSICAL
Cabaret - The Hypocrites

DIRECTOR - PLAY (Tie)
Jimmy McDermott - The Three Faces of Dr. Cripppen - The Strange Tree Group
James Palmer – The Love of the Nightingale – Red Tape Theatre

DIRECTOR - MUSICAL (Tie)

Matt Hawkins - Cabaret - The Hypocrites
Brenda Didier - Cats - Theo Ubique

ENSEMBLE
Shakespeare’s King Phycus - The Strange Tree Group i/a/w The Lord Chamberlain’s Men

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - PLAY
Chuck Spencer - Man from Nebraska - Redtwist Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Andrew Mueller – Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY (Tie)
Caroline Neff - A Brief History of Helen of Troy - Steep Theatre Company
Nicole Wiesner – First Ladies – Trap Door Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE - MUSICAL
Jessie Fisher - Cabaret - The Hypocrites

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Brian Parry - Shining City - Redtwist Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - MUSICAL
Courtney Crouse – Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - PLAY
Sara Pavlak - Agnes of God - Hubris Productions

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL OR REVUE
Kate Harris - Cabaret - The Hypocrites

NEW WORK
Emily Schwartz - The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen - The Strange Tree Group

NEW ADAPTATION
Robert Kauzlaric - Neverwhere - Lifeline Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Brenda Didier - Cats - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James

ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Chris Gingrich, Henry Riggs, Thea Lux, and Tara Sissom - That Sordid Little Story - The New Colony

MUSIC DIRECTION
Austin Cook – Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James

SCENIC DESIGN
Alan Donahue - Neverwhere - Lifeline Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN
Jared Moore - No Exit - The Hypocrites

COSTUME DESIGN (Tie)
Matt Guthier - Cats - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James
Alison Siple - Cabaret - The Hypocrites

SOUND DESIGN
Mikhail Fiksel - Neverwhere - Lifeline Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Glen Aduikas, Rick Buesing, Mike Fletcher, Salvador Garcia, Stuart Hecht, David Hyman, Terry Jackson, Don Kerste, Bruce Phillips, Al Schilling, Lisi Stoessel, and Eddy Wright - Robot Design and Engineering - Heddatron - Sideshow Theatre Company
Izumi Inaba - Makeup Design - Cats - Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre i/a/w Michael James


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