The Jeff Awards today announced 185 nominations in 35 categories for Chicago Equity theatrical productions which opened between August 1, 2010, and July 31, 2011. The Jeff Awards sent judges to the opening nights of 130 Equity productions offered by 51 producing organizations. From these openings, 100 productions were "Jeff Recommended," which made them eligible for award nominations.
The 43rd Annual Jeff Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the immediate Chicago area will be held on Monday, November 7, at Drury Lane Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Pre-show Appetizers and Cash Bar will run from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and the Awards Ceremony, directed by Michael Weber, will begin at 7:30 p.m., with a Buffet and Reception immediately following. Musical numbers featuring cast members from nominated musicals and video segments from nominated plays will highlight the Jeff Awards ceremony. Advance purchase tickets, which include the ceremony and buffets, are $75 ($55 for members of Actors' Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Stage Managers' Association, and The Dramatists Guild of America). The evening is black tie optional and the public is cordially invited to attend. To purchase tickets, visit the Jeff Awards website at www.jeffawards.org <http://www.jeffawards.org> . For more information, contact Equity Chair Diane Hires at email@example.com.
Chicago's reputation as the home of new works escalated despite a weak economy as 28 new plays delighted audiences this season. Eight of these world premiere plays from both large and midsize houses were Jeff-nominated: About Face Theatre scored with both Patricia Kane's "Float," a story of five women who cope with problems in their Midwestern town as they build the annual holiday float, and, in an extended run, the life and times of a group of friends in "The Homosexuals" by Philip Dawkins. American Theater Company's production of Dan LeFranc's "The Big Meal" provided a glimpse into a family's dinners in ordinary and poignant times. Congo Square Theatre Company burst back on the scene with Darren Canady's "Brothers of the Dust," a saga of the Coultons returning to their rural Kansas family farm. Goodman Theatre produced David Henry Hwang's new play "Chinglish" - opening on Broadway this fall - which showcases an American businessman as he negotiates Chinese language and culture and is lost in translation. Northlight Theatre presented the extended run of Bruce Graham's "The Outgoing Tide," a moving tale of an intimate family facing their father's receding memory. Route 66 Theatre Company presented "A Twist of Water" by rising young playwright Caitlin Montanye Parrish with Erica Weiss, a portrayal of a troubled father and daughter set against a backdrop of historic Chicago, and TimeLine Theatre charmed audiences with William Brown's and Doug Frew's "To Master the Art," the story of Julia Child's love affairs with husband, cuisine, and France.
Goodman Theatre topped the list of all theatres with 17 nominations, including 8 honors, the most for any production, for the new Mary Zimmerman and Doug Peck adaptation of Bernstein's epic journey "Candide," co-produced with Shakespeare Theatre Company, and 5 nods for the stylish new "Chinglish." In the midsize theatre tier, TimeLine Theatre again led the field of plays with 17 nominations, 5 of which went to the historic drama of the "Frost/Nixon" interviews by Peter Morgan and 5 also to the delicious "To Master the Art." Marriott Theatre garnered 16 honors, the most nominations among musical producers, with two dance spectaculars, "42nd Street" and "A Chorus Line," both getting 5 nods. Drury Lane Productions in Oakbrook achieved 15 honors with 6 nominations each for Monty Python's hilarious romp "Spamalot" and the infamous David H. Bell adaptation "Hot Mikado." Among individual multiple nominees, Andrew Hansen topped the list with 6 nods for sound design and original incidental music, followed by choreographer/actress Tammy Mader, music director Doug Peck, and actor/fight choreographer Nick Sandys and projections/video designer Mike Tutaj with 3 each.