note: click on the photos to link to the theaters' websites
Photos from the Jeff Awards Ceremony are on Johnny Knight photo on Facebook and click here for the complete gallery of Johnny Knight photos from the pre-show/ceremony and post show.
45th ANNUAL JEFF EQUITY AWARDS PRESENTED NOV. 4
See the complete roster of recipients
and the press release for all the details
At the gala 45th Annual Jeff Equity Awards held Monday, November 4 at Drury Lane Oakbrook, top honors went to Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, TimeLine and Porchlight theatres.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Good People received the award for Production-Play in a large tier theatre. Principal Actress Mariann Mayberry was also honored for her role in this David Lindsey-Abaire play. William Brown received Best Director of a play for Writers Theatre's production of the French farce,The Liar, adapted by David Ives. Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Sunday in the Park with George won top awards with three statues: Production-Musical in the large theatre category, Director - Musical Gary Griffin and Projections Designer Mike Tutaj.
In the midsize theatre tier, TimeLine Theatre Company won the award for Production-Play with 33 Variations, a play by Moises Kaufman inspired by Ludwig van Beethoven's eponymous work. The midsize Production-Musical award went to Porchlight Music Theatre's A Class Act, a musical retrospective of composer-lyricist Edward Kleban, best know as lyricist for A Chorus Line. Principal Actor in a musical was awarded to Bill Larkin for his moving portrayal of Kleban.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago ventured onto the comedy scene with The Second City in The Second City Guide to the Opera, which earned awards in the Production-Revue category and for Director Bill Bungeroth. David M. Lutken received the Actor in a Revue statue for Northlight Theatre's Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie.
The prestigious Ensemble Award went to the Q Brothers' hip-hop Othello: The Remix from Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Richard Jordan Productions, Ltd.
Chicago continues to be the hub for premiering new works. Top awards for New Work - Play went to both Luis Alfaro's Mojada, a re-imagination of Euripides Medea in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, produced by Victory Gardens Theater; and to Rajiv Joseph's The Lake Effect, a drama of an Indian American family in crisis, producted by Silk Road Rising. David Rice won New Adaptation - Play honors for his musical version of Cymbeline in Civil War Appalachia, produced by First Folio Theatre. Rice's collaboration with composer Michael Keefe also received the statue for Original Music in a Play.
Television and screen actor Michael Shannon returned to his theatrical home to wn Actor in a Principal Role - Play award in Simpatico at A Red Orchid Theater. Christine Sherrill received Actress in a Principal Role - Musical as faded silent screen star Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at Drury Lane Oakbrook; Alexi J. Rogers took the top honor for Solo Performance as jazz legend Billie Holiday in Porchlight Music Theatre's Lady Day at the Emerson's Bar & Grill. Honors for supporting roles in a play were awarded to Raymond Fox in TimeLine Theatre Company's Blood and Gifts and Elizabeth Ledo in Tartuffe at Court Theatre. Awards for supporting roles in a musical went to Andre De Shields in The Jungle Book produced by Goodman Theatre and Hungtington Theatre Company, and Bethany Thomas in South Pacific at Marriott Theatre. Newecomer Callie Johnson received an award for Cameo Performance in Porchlight Music Theatre's Pal Joey.
A Special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Actor Dale Benson, in recognition of his career spanning over half a century of continuous work in Chicagoland theatre. The award presentation by Jeff Awards Chair Diane Hires, included a musical montage featuring Make 'Em Laugh performed by a chorale of actors for Dale, their beloved colleague.
The Equity Awards ceremony was directed by Michael Weber, with music direction by Linda Madonia and stage management by Colleen Tovar. Merril Prager, Equity Wing Chair of the Jeff Committee, served as producrr for the evening. Music Director Roberta Duchak and Artistic Director BJ Jones emceed the event.
During the 2012-13 season, Jeff Awards judges attended opening nights of 143 Equity productions offered by 52 producing organizations. From these openings, 109 productions were “Jeff Recommended” and eligible for award nominations, resulting in 166 nominations in 36 categories
Non-Equity Jeff Awards to be Presented June 2:
The Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre. Save the date for the next Non-Equity awards ceremony to be held on Monday, June 2, 2014, at Park West.