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SCR Not So Dominant in Critics Circle : Theater: The Costa Mesa troupe wins 10 nominations for two productions, plus an award for outstanding premiere play. But LATC and Centre Theatre lead the honors for a change.

February 27, 1991|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LOS ANGELES — South Coast Repertory, which dominated the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards in 1987 and '88 and which last year received more nominations than anyone else, slipped several notches yesterday when nominations for the 22nd annual awards were announced.

However, the Circle's newest prize--the Ted Schmitt Award for the writer of the outstanding play receiving its world premiere in Orange or Los Angeles counties during the year--went to Howard Korder for "Search and Destroy," an SCR production. The new award was established in honor of the late artistic director of the Cast Theatre, for his efforts in developing new plays.

The Los Angeles Theatre Center and the Center Theatre Group received the most nominations this year. LATC, with 13 nominations for four shows, received the most for one play: eight for "The Illusion."

The Center Theatre Group, with 12 nominations for seven shows, shares a 13th nomination for the Mark Taper Forum/L.A. Festival/UCLA co-production of Theatre Repere's "The Dragon's Trilogy." CTG is also the recipient of a special award given to producer Edward Parone and the Mark Taper Forum for conceiving "50/60 Vision."

SCR received just 10 nominations this year, for two plays: "Holy Days" and "Man and Superman."

The awards themselves, for outstanding work in 1990, will be announced in the middle of March.

The Colony Studio Theatre in Los Angeles won the Margaret Harford Award, presented each year for notable efforts in smaller theater. The Colony was cited for "worthy revivals of American classics" and presentations of "evocative new plays."

The Los Angeles Festival won a special award "for reaching out to L.A.'s many ethnic communities . . . and for taking theater outside the conventional four walls."

Because the Circle recognizes distinguished achievements, not "bests," categories may have multiple winners, or none.

The nominees:

Production: "The Beggar's Opera," produced by the Pacific Theatre Ensemble; "My Children! My Africa!" produced by the Henry Fonda Theatre; "The Illusion," produced by the Los Angeles Theatre Center; "Palladium Is Moving," produced by the Court Theatre; "The Piano Lesson," produced by the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre at the Doolittle; "Present Laughter," produced by the Melrose Theatre.

Direction: Martin Benson, "Holy Days" (SCR); Martin Benson, "Man and Superman" (SCR); Joseph Chaikin, "Waiting for Godot" (Taper Too), Athol Fugard, "My Children! My Africa!"; Lisa James, "Palladium is Moving"; Richard Kline, "Present Laughter"; Lloyd Richards, "The Piano Lesson"; Tim Robbins, "The Good Woman of Setzuan" (Actors Gang at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble); David Schweizer, "The Illusion"; Stephanie Shroyer, "The Beggar's Opera."

Writing: Athol Fugard, "My Children! My Africa!"; Tony Kushner, "The Illusion"; Terrence McNally, "The Lisbon Traviata" (Mark Taper Forum); August Wilson, "The Piano Lesson."

Lead performance: Ron Campbell, "Eh Joe" (Mark Taper Forum); Richard Doyle, "Holy Days"; Charles S. Dutton, "The Piano Lesson"; Richard Lineback, "The Baby Dance" (Pasadena Playhouse); Tony Maggio, "Gods of the Lightning" (Company of Angels); Alan Mandell, "Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice" (Los Angeles Theatre Center); Nancy Marchand, "The Cocktail Hour" (Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson at the Doolittle); S. Epatha Merkerson, "The Piano Lesson": Ian Ogilvy, "Present Laughter"; Jeanne Paulsen, "Holy Days"; Brock Peters, "My Children! My Africa!"; Linda Purl, "The Baby Dance"; Charlotte Rae, "Happy Days" (Mark Taper Forum); Gordana Rashovich, "A Shayna Maidel" (Tiffany Theatre).

Featured performance: Kandis Chappell, "Rumors" (Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson at the Doolittle); John Fleck, "The Illusion"; Gregg Henry, "Palladium is Moving"; Nathan Lane, "The Lisbon Traviata"; Devon Raymond, "Holy Days."

Ensemble performance: "The Beggar's Opera."

Creation performance: Sheri Glaser, "Family Secrets" (Heliotrope Theatre).

Scenic design: D Martyn Bookwalter, "The Crucible" (Los Angeles Theatre Center); Jean-Francois Couture and Gilles Dube, "The Dragon's Trilogy" (Theatre Repere at UCLA); John Iacovelli, "Holy Days"; Steve Markus, Kevin McKeon, Kurt Wahlner, "The Beggar's Opera"; Douglas D. Smith, "The Illusion."

Lighting design: D Martyn Bookwalter, "The Crucible"; Paulie Jenkins, "Man and Superman"; Tom Ruzika, "Holy Days"; Douglas D. Smith, "The Illusion."

Costume design: John Brandt, Lori Martin, Sarah Zinsser and Betsy Berenson, "The Beggar's Opera"; Ann Bruice, "Holy Days"; Marianna Elliott, "The Illusion"; Shigeru Yaji, "Man and Superman."

Mask design: Xander Berkeley, "The Good Woman of Setzuan."

Sound design: Jon Gottlieb, "The Illusion."

Musical direction: J. Michael Alexander, "The Beggar's Opera."

Music and lyrics: Joni Mitchell, "The Joni Mitchell Project" (Los Angeles Theatre Center); Brian Shucker, "Babes" (Cast Theatre).

Makeup design: Elena Maluchin Breckenridge, "The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice."

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