A modern interpretation of a classic text swept its nominated categories to receive five Craig Noel Awards tonight. Moxie Theatre parlayed three strong 2012 productions to take home the Braunagel Award for outstanding contribution to the San Diego arts scene by a small-budget theatre.
A total of 22 productions from nine theater companies were honored at the awards ceremony and reception, held Feb. 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, in La Jolla. Leading the way was the La Jolla Playhouse/Berkeley Repertory Theatre production of "An Iliad," with five awards. Other multiple-awaRD Productions were Cygnet Theatre's production of the musical, "Parade," The Old Globe's musical, "Allegiance," and that company's co-production, with The American Conservatory Theatre, of "The Scottsboro Boys" with three awards each; and two of Moxie Theatre's productions - "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Hickorydickory" - and Ion Theatre's "The Little Flower of East Orange" with two awards each.
"An Iliad" swept the three categories in which it was nominated: Outstanding Dramatic Production (an award also given to "A Raisin in the Sun"), Outstanding Lighting Design (Scott Zielinski), and Outstanding Sound Design (Mark Bennett, an award also presented to Shahrokh Yadegari's design for "Blood and Gifts," another La Jolla Playhouse production). Also, the two performers in "An Iliad," Henry Woronicz and Brian Ellingsen, received special awards for Outstanding Solo Performance and Outstanding Featured Musical Performance in a Play, respectively.
Moxie Theatre was honored for outstanding work on three of its 2012 productions: "A Raisin in the Sun," which received eight nominations for Craig Noel Awards and received awards for Outstanding Dramatic Production and for Outstanding Ensemble; "The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek;" and "Hickorydickory," which received Craig Noel Awards for Samantha Ginn's featured performance and Jennifer Brawn Gittings' scenic design. The cash award honors the memory of longtime San Diego theatre critic, Don Braunagel.
"Parade" and "The Scottsboro Boys" both received the Outstanding Resident Musical honor, while "Allegiance" received the award for Outstanding New Musical. "Parade" was also honored for Sandy Campbell's outstanding lead performance; "Allegiance" received awards for Lynne Shankel's outstanding orchestrations and for Michael K. Lee's featured performance; and Susan Stroman, "The Scottsboro Boys" director and choreographer, received awards for her work in both categories. Gaby Altar and Itmar Moses received the Outstanding New Score award for their musical, "Nobody Loves You," which was produced by The Old Globe.
Mark Christopher Lawrence was named Actor of the Year for outstanding performances in two productions: Moxie Theatre's "A Raisin in the Sun," and Ion Theatre's "Topdog/Underdog." The La Jolla Playhouse's site-specific production of Moving Arts' "The Car Plays" was honored as the outstanding special event. Dylan Hoffinger, 17, was named Outstanding Young Artist for a body of 2012 work that included roles in "Parade," Diversionary Theatre's musical, "Harmony, Kansas," and the San Diego Repertory Theatre's revival of "Zoot Suit." Hoffinger also received the Sandra Ellis-Troy scholarship to assist his further development as a theater artist.
In other musical acting categories, the outstanding male leading performance in a musical was presented to Sean Murray for his portrayal of Don Quixote in Cygnet Theatre's production of "Man of La Mancha." The outstanding female featured performance in a musical was presented to Eileen Bowman for her portrayal of Miss Adelaide in Lamb's Players Theatre's revival of "Guys and Dolls."