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Musicals, morality play get Ovations

Multiple honorees of LA Stage Alliance awards include 'Miss Saigon' and 'The Quality of Life.'

November 18, 2008|Sherry Stern | Stern is a staff writer.

Three local productions of contemporary Broadway musicals and a new play about morality won the most 2008 Ovation Awards, the LA Stage Alliance's honors for the best in Southern California theater. The awards were to be presented Monday night at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State L.A.

"Miss Saigon," a production of Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities, won four awards, including best musical at a large theater and best actress in a musical for Jennifer Paz.

"The Quality of Life," a Geffen Playhouse world premiere of a Jane Anderson play about morality, religion and self-righteousness, won three awards, for best play in an intimate theater, for lead actress Laurie Metcalf and for playwright Anderson.

"Singin' in the Rain" and "Jekyll & Hyde," both productions of Cabrillo Music Theatre, each won three awards. Because the Ovations allow two awards in some categories, both won for best direction of a musical -- to Nick DeGruccio of "Jekyll & Hyde" and Larry Raben of "Singin' in the Rain." Robert J. Townsend ("Jekyll & Hyde") was named lead actor in a musical.

The Rubicon Theatre Company won four awards, including D.W. Jacobs' "R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe" for best play in a large theater and for lead actor Joe Spano.

Black Dahlia Theatre's "Secrets of the Trade" won for lead actor in a play (John Glover) and for direction (Matt Shakman). The award for touring production went to "Avenue Q," the puppet play that was at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Other winners:

Featured actor in a play: Barry Lynch, "Of Mice and Men," Theatre Banshee

Featured actress in a play: J. Nicole Brooks, "As Much As You Can," Hendel Productions West

Featured actor in a musical: Randy Rogel, "Singin' in the Rain"

Featured actress in a musical: Gwen Stewart, "All Shook Up," Musical Theatre West

Book/lyrics/music for an original musical: John Bucchino and Daisy Prince, "It's Only Life," Rubicon Theatre

Ray Stricklyn Memorial Award for Solo Performance: Nilaja Sun, "No Child . . . ," Kirk Douglas Theatre

Ensemble performance: Stan Chandler, David Engel, Larry Raben, Darcie Roberts, "The Andrews Brothers," Musical Theatre West

Choreography: Bradley Rapier, "City Kid -- The Musical," City Kid Productions

Musical direction: Alby Potts, "Singin' in the Rain"

Franklin R. Levy Memorial Award for Musical Intimate Theater: "Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara," Sacred Fools Theatre Company

Set design, intimate theater: Desma Murphy, "And Neither Have I Wings to Fly," Road Theatre Company

Set design, large theater: Thomas S. Giamario, "Bus Stop," Rubicon Theatre

Lighting design, intimate theater: Jeremy Pivnick, "Crime and Punishment," Actors Co-op/Crossley Theatre

Lighting design, large theater: Darrell Clark, "Miss Saigon"

Lighting design, large theater: Steven Young, "Jekyll & Hyde"

Sound design, intimate theater: Ken Rich, "The Common Air," Elephant Stageworks

Sound design, large theater: John Feinstein, "Miss Saigon"

Costume design, intimate theater: Scott A. Lane, "Pest Control -- The Musical," Open at the Top Productions

Costume design, large theater: Paul Tazewell, "Ray Charles Live! A New Musical," Pasadena Playhouse

sherry.stern@latimes.com

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