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Michael Aronov, Anthony Azizi (foreground), and Jefferson Mays (background) in "Oslo" at the Lincoln Center Theater.

‘Oslo,’ ‘The Band’s Visit’ Lead 2017 Lortel Award Recipients

The annual awards celebrate the best of Off-Broadway plays and musicals.

NEW YORK CITY: The Off-Broadway League presented the 2017 Lucille Lortel Awards on Sunday night, in a ceremony hosted by Taran Killam at the New York University Skirball Center. The annual awards are given to Off-Broadway productions, though a number of this year’s winners, as in previous years, have since transferred to Broadway.

That’s the case with the top play winner, Lincoln Center Theater’s production of J.T. Rogers‘s  Oslo, which opened in 2016 at LCT’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater and is now running in LCT’s Broadway space, the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Oslo took home the most awards, with prizes for outstanding play, outstanding director Bartlett Sher, leading actress Jennifer Ehle, and featured actor Michael Aronov. But the musical Dear Evan Hansen, a nominee for its run at Second Stage and currently a Tony contender on Broadway, lost out in the musical category to Atlantic Theater Company’s The Band’s Visit, written by David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’s from Eran Kolirin’s screenplay, which also took home a leading actress award for Katrina Lenk.

The evening included three special awards with Broadway/Off-Broadway crossover elements. Condola Rashad, current star of A Doll’s House Part 2 on Broadway, presented Lynn Nottage as the Playwrights’ Sidewalk inductee; Nottage’s name will be added to the series of stars on the street outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre in the West Village. Nottage’s Sweat was eligible for its run last year at the Public Theater and is now on Broadway. Terrence McNally presented Harold Wolpert, longtime managing director of Roundabout Theater Company, with the Edith Oliver Service to Off Broadway Award. And Laura Osnes and Aaron Tveit presented costume designer William Ivey Long with the lifetime achievement award.

The Lucille Lortel Awards are presented by the Off-Broadway League by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation, with additional support from the Theatre Development Fund. Following is a complete list of honorees.

Outstanding Play:
Produced by Lincoln Center Theater
Written by J.T. Rogers

(Nominees included Indecent, produced by Vineyard Theatre in association with La Jolla Playhouse and Yale Repertory Theatre; written by Paula Vogel, created by Paula Vogel & Rebecca Taichman; Underground Railroad Game, produced by Ars Nova, written by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard; Vietgone, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with South Coast Repertory, written by Qui Nguyen; The Wolves, produced by the Playwrights Realm in association with New York Stage and Film and Vassar’s Powerhouse Theatre Season, written by Sarah DeLappe

Outstanding Musical
The Band’s Visit
Produced by Atlantic Theater Company
Music and lyrics by David Yazbek, Book by Itamar Moses, based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin

(Nominees included Dear Evan Hansen, produced by Second Stage Theatre in association with Stacey Mindich Productions, book by Steven Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; Hadestown, produced by New York Theatre Workshop, written by Anaïs Mitchell; Ride the Cyclone, produced by MCC Theater, book, music, and lyrics by Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond; The Total Bent, produced by the Public Theater, text by Stew, music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald)

Outstanding Revival
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Produced by Rachel Edwards, Jenny Gersten, Seaview Productions, Nate Koch, Fiona Rudin, Barrow Street Theatre, Jean Doumanian, Rebecca Gold, and Tooting Arts Club
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, adaptation by Christopher Bond

(Nominees includes The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead, produced by Signature Theatre, written by Suzan-Lori Parks; Othello, produced by New York Theatre Workshop; Signature Plays: Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés’ Drowning, Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro, produced by Signature Theatre; Sweet Charity, produced by the New Group in association with Kevin McCollum, book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields)

Outstanding Solo Show
Notes From the Field
Produced by Second Stage Theatre and American Repertory Theater
Created, written, and performed by Anna Deavere Smith

(Nominees included Chris Gethard: Career Suicide, produced by Judd Apatow, Mike Berkowitz, Brian Stern, Mike Lavoie, and Carlee Briglia, written and performed by Chris Gethard; Latin History for Morons, produced by the Public Theater in a coproduction with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, written and performed by John Leguizamo; The Outer Space, produced by the Public Theater, book and lyrics by Ethan Lipton, music by Ethan Lipton, Vito Dieterle, Eben Levy, and Ian M. Riggs; Sell/Buy/Date, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, written and performed by Sarah Jones)

Outstanding Director
Bartlett Sher, Oslo
(Nominees: Will Davis, Men On Boats; Anne Kauffman, A Life; Lila Neugebauer, The Wolves; Rebecca Taichman, Indecent)

Outstanding Choreographer
David Dorfman, Indecent
(Nominees: Joshua Bergasse, Sweet Charity; Georgina Lamb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; David Neumann, Hadestown; David Neumann, The Total Bent)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Joe Morton, Turn Me Loose
(Nominees: Reed Birney, Man From Nebraska; Michael Emerson, Wakey, Wakey; Lucas Hedges, YEN; David Hyde Pierce, A Life)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
(Nominees: Johanna Day, Sweat; Jennifer Kidwell, Underground Railroad Game; Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta; Maryann Plunkett, Women of a Certain Age)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
(Nominees: Ato Blankson-Wood, The Total Bent; Shuler Hensley, Sweet Charity; Patrick Page, Hadestown; Jeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit
(Nominees: Sutton Foster, Sweet Charity; Amber Gray, Hadestown; Jo Lampert, Joan of Arc: Into the Fire; Siobhan McCarthy, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Michael Aronov, Oslo
(Nominees: Charlie Cox, Incognito, Matthew Maher, Othello, Justice Smith, YEN, Paco Tolson, Vietgone)

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Randy Graff, The Babylon Line
(Nominees: Jocelyn Bioh, Everybody; Hannah Cabell, The Moors; Ari Graynor, YEN; Nana Mensah, Man From Nebraska)

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Joel Perez, Sweet Charity
(Nominees: Nathan Lee Graham, The View UpStairs; Gus Halper, Ride the Cyclone;  Ari’el Stachel, The Band’s Visit; Chris Sullivan, Hadestown

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
(Nominees: Asmeret Ghebremichael, Sweet Charity; Betsy Morgan, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Emily Rohm, Ride the Cyclone; Karen Ziemba, Kid Victory)

Outstanding Scenic Design
Laura Jellinek, A Life
(Nominees: Scott Davis, Ride the Cyclone; Rachel Hauck, Hadestown; Mimi Lien, Signature Plays: Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés’ Drowning, Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro; Jason Sherwood, The View UpStairs)

Outstanding Costume Design
Susan Hilferty, Love, Love, Love
(Nominees: Montana Blanco, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead; Tilly Grimes, Underground Railroad Game; Sarah Laux, The Band’s Visit; Emily Rebholz, Indecent)

Outstanding Lighting Design
Mark Barton, Signature Plays: Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés’ Drowning, Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro
(Nominees: Jane Cox, Othello; Greg Hofmann, Ride the Cyclone; Amy Mae, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; Ben Stanton, YEN)

Outstanding Sound Design
Mikhail Fiksel, A Life
(Nominees: Robert Kaplowitz, Hadestown; Stowe Nelson, Small Mouth Sounds; Nevin Steinberg, Wakey, Wakey; Matt Stine, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Outstanding Projection Design
Jared Mezzocchi, Vietgone
(Nominees: Elaine McCarthy, Notes From The Field; Duncan McLean, Privacy; Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen; Peter Nigrini, Wakey, Wakey)

Lifetime Achievement Award
William Ivey Long

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee
Lynn Nottage

Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award
Harold Wolpert

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