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Theatre honors in Boston, Chicago, and San Diego.

Best of Boston

American Repertory Theatre reaffirmed its influence in the Boston theatre arena, sweeping 10 out of 11 resident theatre awards presented by the Boston Theatre Critics Circle in November. Robert Brustein’s adaptation of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author dominated the drama awards as best production, winning honors as well for director Brustein, set designer Michael H. Yeargan and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton. Jerome Kilty and Kate Nelligan copped acting awards for their stylish performances in the celebrated A.R.T. production of A Moon for the Misbegotten.

The American Rep’s mounting of Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which had earlier opened to acclaim and awards at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse, repeated its success in Beantown, winning recognition as best musical production, along with prizes for director Des McAnuff, actor Ben Halley, Jr. and set designer Heidi Landesman. The 11th resident theatre honor went to Mariann Verheyen’s costumes for On the Razzle from the Huntington Theater Company.

Elizabeth Swados’ Nightclub Cantata, and Guys and Dolls directed by Roger Curtis, led the nonprofit, non-Equity categories. Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, Arvin Brown’s production of American Buffalo and Athol Fugard’s Master Harold…and the boys were among the commercial productions honored.

Choice of Chicago

The Goodman Theatre’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross captured top honors at this year’s Joseph Jefferson Awards for excellence in Chicago theatre. The hard-hitting play, currently running on Broadway, captured awards for best production and best director (Gregory Mosher), as well as best supporting actor (Joe Mantegna).

Sharing the greatest number of awards were the Wisdom Bridge Theatre and Marriott’s Lincolnshire, which each walked off with six of the coveted trophies. Wisdom Bridge’s Kabuki Medea was honored for best actress (Barbara E. Robertson) and best costume design (Shozo Sato), while its In the Belly of the Beast garnered prizes for best lighting design (Michael S. Philippi) and best actor in a play (William L. Peterson). Best supporting actress honors went to Natalie West for Wisdom Bridge’s Life and Limb.

The Marriott Lincolnshire cleaned up the musical theatre awards, predominantly for its production of Gypsy, which received best director of a musical (Dominic Missimi) and best actress in a musical (Arlene Robertson). The Goodman production of The Time of Your Life walked off with a Jeff for scenic design (Thomas Lynch).

The Steppenwolf Theatre company was called to the podium twice, for best ensemble and best sound effects (Christian Petersen), both for Tracers.

First Prizes in San Diego

The richness of theatre offerings in the San Diego area was celebrated with the recent presentation of the first annual San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards. The outcome was decided by a board of 10 local theatre critics, who considered 64 nominations in 13 categories for plays which opened between Sept. 1, 1983 and Sept. 1, 1984.

Dominating the winners were the La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre, which took five and three awards, respectively. Of the La Jolla Playhouse honors, four out of five went to As You Like It: best production, best director (Des McAnuff), best supporting actor (Saul Rubinek) and best music/sound design (Michael S. Roth and John Kilgore). The other La Jolla award went to William Hauptman for best play (Big River).

The Old Globe honors were shared by Brian Kerwin, best actor for Strange Snow, Douglas Schmidt, best set design for Scapino and Kent Dorsey, best lighting design for Othello.

Five other companies were represented among the remaining winners, including the Aleph Company, the Gaslamp Quarter Theatre, the Starlight Theatre, the San Diego Gilbert & Sullivan Company and the San Diego Players.

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