The producing team of "Sweeney Todd" from Paramount Theatre at the 2017 Jeff Awards. (Photo by Bill Richert Photography)

Paramount Theatre’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ Wins Big at 2017 Equity Jeff Awards

The annual awards ceremony for Chicago Equity theatre was held on Nov. 6.

CHICAGO: The 49th annual Equity Jeff Awards was held on Monday, Nov. 6  to celebrate theatres all over Chicago.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Paramount Theatre received five awards over the course of the night; the most of any production.  The production’s director, Jim Corti, received the award for best direction of a musical and Paul-Jordan Jansen, who played Sweeney Todd, received the award for best principal actor. The production also received the award for best music direction (Tom Vendafreddo), lighting design for a large musical (Nick Belley and Jesse Klug), and overall production of a large-scale musical.

East Texas Hot Links at Writers Theatre received the prestigious Ensemble Award, which is sponsored annually by Actors Equity Association. Additionally, theatre educator and artistic collaborator Steve Scott received a Special Achievement Award for his work in the arts for the past 37 years.

Established in 1968, The Jeff Awards continues to recognize theatre artists annually for their work in the Chicago area. Each year, over 250 theatrical productions are evaluated. There are two award ceremonies held annually, one for Equity productions and one for non-union theatre.

For the Equity Jeff Awards, 159 productions from 62 theatres were evaluated; the productions ran from Aug. 1, 2016 through July 31, 2017.

The winners’ list is below:

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
Blues for an Alabama Sky;  Court Theatre

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
Born Yesterday;  Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street;  Paramount Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
The Scottsboro Boys;  Porchlight Music Theatre

PRODUCTION – REVUE
Smokey Joe’s Café; Drury Lane Productions

DIRECTOR – PLAY
Ron OJ Parson; Blues for an Alabama Sky; Court Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL
Jim Corti; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Paramount Theatre

ENSEMBLE
East Texas Hot Links; Writers Theatre

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Alex Weisman; Hand to God; Victory Gardens Theater

ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Paul-Jordan Jansen; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber
    of Fleet Street; Paramount Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Angela Ingersoll; End of the Rainbow; Porchlight Music Theatre

ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Kathy Voytko; The Bridges of Madison County; The Marriott Theatre

ACTOR IN A REVUE
Austin Cook; Marry Me a Little; Porchlight Music Theatre

ACTRESS IN A REVUE
Michelle Lauto; Spamilton; The Royal George Theatre Cabaret

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Linda Reiter; Rose; The Greenhouse Theater Center
in association with Forum Productions

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Marton Csokas; Uncle Vanya; Goodman Theatre

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Jonathan Butler-Duplessis; Parade; Writers Theatre

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Kymberly Mellen; The Columnist; American Blues Theater

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
E. Faye Butler; Chicago The Musical; Drury Lane Productions

NEW PLAY
Michael Cristofer; Man in the Ring ; Court Theatre
Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon; Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; Northlight Theatre
Antoinette Nwandu; Pass Over; Steppenwolf Theatre Company

CHOREOGRAPHY
Matthew Crowle; Crazy for You; Drury Lane Productions

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Orbert Davis; Paradise Blue; TimeLine Theatre Company

MUSIC DIRECTION
Tom Vendafreddo; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Paramount Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
Jeffrey D. Kmiec; Disney’s The Little Mermaid; Paramount Theatre

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Joe Schermoly; Naperville; Theater Wit

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
Nick Belley and Jesse Klug; Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber
    of Fleet Street; Paramount Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Cat Davis; The River Bride; Halcyon Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Theresa Ham; Disney’s The Little Mermaid; Paramount Theatre

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Kristy Leigh Hall; Pygmalion; Remy Bumppo Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
André Pluess; Man in the Ring; Court Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Grover Hollway; The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz; The House Theatre of Chicago

PROJECTION DESIGN
Mike Tutaj; Objects in the Mirror; Goodman Theatre

PUPPET DESIGN
Jesse Mooney-Bullock; Disney’s The Little Mermaid; Paramount Theatre

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