Cast of Buddy-The Buddy Holly Story at the 2018 Equity Jeff Awards (Photo by Bill Richert Photography).

American Blues Theater Wins 5 Equity Jeff Awards

Goodman Theater also won big at Monday night’s ceremony.

CHICAGO: The 50th annual Equity Jeff Awards were held on Monday night at Drury Lane Oakbrook. The awards, which honor outstanding Chicago theatre artists, showered the biggest wins on American Blues Theater’s Buddy—The Buddy Holly Story, which received five awards, and Goodman Theatre, which won four awards for A View from the Bridge, The Wolves, and Support Group for Men.

Special awards were presented to four Chicago theatres that have collectively received more than 1,400 nominations and over 350 awards: Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane Productions, Court Theatre, and the Second City.

Hosting the evening were founder and artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater Barbara Gaines and founder and CEO of the Black Ensemble Theater Jackie Taylor. Porchlight Music Theatre’s artistic director Michael Weber directed and Merril Prager produced the event.

The Jeff Awards were established in 1968. Every year, awards evaluate 300 theatrical productions and hosts two awards ceremonies: the Equity and Non-Equity Jeff Awards.

The winners’ list is below.

PRODUCTION – PLAY – LARGE
A View from the Bridge; Goodman Theatre

PRODUCTION – PLAY – MIDSIZE
Traitor; A Red Orchid Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – LARGE
Ragtime; Marriott Theatre

PRODUCTION – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
Buddy—The Buddy Holly Story; American Blues Theater

DIRECTOR – PLAY – LARGE
Ivo van Hove; A View from the Bridge; Goodman Theatre

DIRECTOR – PLAY – MIDSIZE
David H. Bell; Southern Gothic; Windy City Playhouse
Michael Shannon; Traitor; A Red Orchid Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL – LARGE
Nick Bowling; Ragtime; Marriott Theatre

DIRECTOR – MUSICAL – MIDSIZE
Lili-Anne Brown; Buddy—The Buddy Holly Story; American Blues Theater

ENSEMBLE – PLAY
The Wolves; Goodman Theatre

ENSEMBLE – MUSICAL
Buddy—The Buddy Holly Story; American Blues Theater

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Tara Mallen; The Cake; Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Caroline Neff; Lettie; Victory Gardens Theater

PERFORMER IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Jason Grimm; Murder For Two; Marriott Theatre
Zachary Stevenson; Buddy—The Buddy Holly Story; American Blues Theater

PERFORMER IN A REVUE
Lorenzo Rush, Jr.; Five Guys Named Moe; Court Theatre

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Kate Fry; The Belle of Amherst; Court Theatre

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Matt DeCaro; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Drury Lane Productions
Keith Kupferer; Cal in Camo; Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Matt Crowle; South Pacific; Drury Lane Productions
Gavin Rohrer; Million Dollar Quartet; Paramount Theatre

NEW WORK
Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis; Trevor the Musical; Writers Theatre
Ellen Fairey; Support Group for Men; Goodman Theatre
Boo Killebrew; Lettie; Victory Gardens Theater

NEW ADAPTATION
Jennifer Blackmer; Alias Grace; Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Brett Neveu; Traitor; A Red Orchid Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY
Jared Grimes; 42nd Street; Drury Lane Productions

ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Shawn Pfautsch and Matt Kahler; Hatfield & McCoy; the House Theatre of Chicago

MUSIC DIRECTION
Michael Mahler; Buddy—The Buddy Holly Story; American Blues Theater

SCENIC DESIGN – LARGE
Todd Rosenthal; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Lookingglass Theatre Company

SCENIC DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Scott Davis; Southern Gothic; Windy City Playhouse

LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
Thom Weaver; Macbeth; Chicago Shakespeare Theater

LIGHTING DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Nick Belley; Hair; Mercury Theater Chicago

COSTUME DESIGN – LARGE
Susan E. Mickey; The Taming of the Shrew; Chicago Shakespeare Theater

COSTUME DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Paul Kim; The Explorers Club; Citadel Theatre

SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
André Pluess; Macbeth; Chicago Shakespeare Theater

SOUND DESIGN – MIDSIZE
Christopher Kriz; Mary’s Wedding; First Folio Theatre

PROJECTION DESIGN
Joseph A. Burke; Elf the Musical; Paramount Theatre

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZATION
Eleanor Kahn; Properties Design; Southern Gothic; Windy City Playhouse