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'Horses' Rounds Up Critics Circle Honors

Stage* The Greenway Court Theatre adaptation earns seven awards, sharing best production with 'Big River' and 'Orson's Shadow.'


"They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" was the biggest winner at the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award ceremony Monday, taking home seven awards.

Rick Sparks' and Gary Carter's dramatization of the Horace McCoy Depression-era novel, presented last year at Greenway Court Theatre in L.A., was one of three winners of the best production award. (The critics' group customarily hands out multiple awards in all 14 categories.)

The other production winners were also presented in sub-100-seat theaters and were the runners-up in total awards: Deaf West Theatre's "Big River" took five honors and Black Dahlia Theatre's "Orson's Shadow" took four.

Productions in theaters with more than 99 seats fared poorly, winning only six of the 30 awards announced Monday, led by two for South Coast Repertory's "Much Ado About Nothing." South Coast Repertory also won the previously announced award for sustained excellence.

L.A.'s flagship theater company, Center Theatre Group, received two nominations this year and one award, for Gregg Barnes' costumes in "Flower Drum Song."

The circle is made up primarily of theater writers from small publications. No Los Angeles Times staff members belong to the group.

The awards were presented in a ceremony at Burbank Center Stage, home of the Colony Theatre Company.

The winners:

Production: "Big River," Deaf West Theatre; "Orson's Shadow," Black Dahlia Theatre; "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," Greenway Court Theatre.

Playwright: David Lindsay-Abaire, "Kimberly Akimbo"; Austin Pendleton, "Orson's Shadow."

Musical score: Richard Rodgers & Stephen Sondheim, "Do I Hear a Waltz?"

Director: Jeff Calhoun, "Big River"; Rick Sparks, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Adaptation: Mark Savage, "Pinafore!"; Rick Sparks & Gary Carter, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Musical direction: Steven Landau, "Big River."

Lead performance: Gretchen German, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"; Robert Machray, "Orson's Shadow"; Maria O'Brien, "Mrs. Feuerstein"; Douglas Sills, "Much Ado About Nothing"; Jeff Sugarman, "Orson's Shadow."

Featured performance: Clinton Derricks-Carroll, "Central Avenue"; Kevin Earley, "1776"; Leslie Hicks, "A Little Night Music"; Gregory Itzin, "The Birthday Party"; Eileen T'Kaye, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Scenic design: Ray Klausen, "Big River."

Lighting design: Kathi O'Donohue, "The Night of the Iguana"; Robert L. Smith, "A Mislaid Heaven."

Costume design: Gregg Barnes, "Flower Drum Song"; Shon LeBlanc, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Sound design: John Epperson, "Lypsinka! The Boxed Set."

Choreography: Jeff Calhoun, "Big River"; Art Manke, "Much Ado About Nothing."

Makeup/hair/wig design: Stephen Ratliff, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Margaret Harford Award (sustained excellence): South Coast Repertory.

Angstrom Award (lifetime achievement in lighting): Kim Killingsworth.

Ted Schmitt Award (best premiere script): Amy Freed, "The Beard of Avon."

Bob Z Award (lifetime achievement in set design): Dwight Richard Odle.

Natalie Schafer Award (emerging comic actress): Beth Kennedy.

Polly Warfield Award (an excellent season in a small or mid-size theater): Pacific Resident Theatre.

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