The cast of Goodman Theatre's "Brigadoon" at the 2014 Jeff Equity Awards. (Credit: Johnny Knight Photography)

'Hank Williams' and 'Brigadoon' Among Big Winners at Equity Jeff Awards

At Chicago’s Equity Jeff Awards, productions at American Blues Theater, Goodman Theatre and Writers Theatre were the biggest winners of the night.

CHICAGO: The 46th annual Equity Jeff Awards, honoring Windy City theatre during the 2013–14 season, were held last night at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oatbrook Terrace, Ill. The biggest winners were American Blues Theater, Goodman Theatre and Writers Theatre, who each won five awards.

American Blues Theater was recognized for Hank Williams: Lost Highway, winning (among many awards) the midsize musical production award. The Goodman won prizes for its production of Brigadoon and Smokefall (the latter was a co-production with the Southern California–based South Coast Repertory). Writers Theatre won prizes for The Dance of Death and The Old Man and the Old Moon (a production from PigPen Theatre Company).

The evening contained live performances from all of the nominated musicals, and revues and video performances from the nominated plays. The ceremony also featured an In Memoriam segment honoring the 24 theatre artists who passed away during the season, underscored by a performance from the cast of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown at Theatre at the Center.

The evening was overseen by masters of ceremony director Henry Godinez and actor Gene Weygandt. The 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 Awards Committee, served as producer for the evening. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a lavish Drury Lane buffet and dancing.

The Jeff Awards, named after actor Joseph Jefferson, was established in 1968. It presents two awards ceremonies annually for Chicago-area theatre: one honoring Equity productions and the other honoring non-Equity.

2014 EQUITY JEFF AWARDS RECIPIENTS

PRODUCTION—PLAY—LARGE
The Dance of Death—Writers Theatre

PRODUCTION—PLAY—MIDSIZE
The Normal Heart—TimeLine Theatre Company

PRODUCTION—MUSICAL—LARGE
Brigadoon—Goodman Theatre

PRODUCTION—MUSICAL—MIDSIZE
Hank Williams: Lost Highway—American Blues Theater

PRODUCTION—REVUE
Ain’t Misbehavin’—Porchlight Music Theatre

DIRECTOR—PLAY
Nick Bowling—The Normal Heart—TimeLine Theatre Company

DIRECTOR—MUSICAL
William Osetek—The Normal Heart—Drury Lane Productions

DIRECTOR—REVUE
Brenda Didier—Ain’t Misbehavin’—Porchlight Music Theatre

ENSEMBLE
The Seafarer—Seanachaí Theatre Company

ACTOR IN A PRINICPAL ROLE—PLAY
Larry Yando—The Dance of Death—Writers Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE—MUSICAL
Matthew Brumlow—Hank Williams: Lost Highway—American Blues Theater

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE—PLAY
Shannon Cochran—The Dance of Death—Writers Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE—MUSICAL
Susie McMonagle—Next to Normal—Drury Lane Productions

ACTOR IN A REVUE
John Hartman—Depraved New World—The Second City

ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Renee Matthews—Old Jews Telling Jokes—Daniel Okrent & Peter Gethers,
Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, and Marc Routh

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Gwendolyn Whiteside—Grounded—American Blues Theater

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—PLAY
Mike Nussbaum—Smokefall—Goodman Theatre and South Coast Repertory

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—MUSICAL
Mark David Kaplan—Les Misérables—Drury Lane Productions

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—PLAY
Sandra Marquez—A View From the Bridge—Teatro Vista

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE—MUSICAL
Jessica Rush—Gypsy—Chicago Shakespeare Theater

NEW WORK
Rebecca Gilman—Luna Gale—Goodman Theatre

NEW ADAPTATION
John Mossman—The Goddess—The Artistic Home

CHOREOGRAPHY
Rachel Rockwell—Brigadoon—Goodman Theatre

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
PigPen Theatre Co.—The Old Man and the Old Moon—Writers Theatre

MUSIC DIRECTION
Malcolm Ruhl—Hank Williams: Lost Highway—American Blues Theater

SCENIC DESIGN—LARGE
Collette Pollard—In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story—Lookingglass Theatre Company

SCENIC DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Katie-Bell Springmann—Cock—Profiles Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN—LARGE
William Kirkham—The Little Prince—Lookingglass Theatre Company
in association with The Actors Gymnasium

LIGHTING DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Rebecca A. Barrett and Lee Keenan—Dorian—The House Theatre of Chicago

COSTUME DESIGN—LARGE
Mara Blumenfeld—Brigadoon—Goodman Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Bill Morey—How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Porchlight Music Theatre

SOUND DESIGN—LARGE
Mikhail Fiksel—The Old Man and the Old Moon—Writers Theatre

SOUND DESIGN—MIDSIZE
Lindsay Jones—Grounded—American Blues Theater

PROJECTIONS / MEDIA DESIGN
Sage Marie Carter—Les Misérables—Drury Lane Productions

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Austin Cook—Piano/Conductor—Ain’t Misbehavin’—Porchlight Music Theatre
Jeff Klapperich—Portrait Artist—Dorian—The House Theatre of Chicago

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