Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday At The Grosvenor House With Laurence

Sunday At The Grosvenor House With Laurence

Sunday evening, the Laurence Olivier Awards were bestowed on the year's best in London theatre, as well as for dance and opera. The award ceremony was held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Surely, the evening's most inescapable story was the dazzling success of the Sunday In The Park With George revival mounted by the Menier Chocolate Factory. All totaled, the Stephen Sondheim tuner that concluded its limited engagement last summer earned five awards, including for Outstanding Musical Production, Daniel Evans (Best Actor in a Musical) and Jenna Russell (Best Actress in a Musical).

The Dominic Cooke-helmed revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible took home two trophies: for Best Revival and for Best Director. The current revival of Cabaret was the only other theatrical presentation to win more than one Olivier Award: for Sheila Hancock (Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical) and for Javier de Frutos (Choreography).

The full list of nominees are below with winners highlighted in red:

Best Actress
Eve Best, A Moon For The Misbegotten
Sinead Cusack, Rock 'N' Roll
Tamsin Greig, Much Ado About Nothing
Kathleen Turner, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

Best Actor
Iain Glen, The Crucible
David Haig, Donkey's Years
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Rufus Sewell, Rock 'N' Roll
Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon

Best Performance In A Supporting Role
Samantha Bond, Donkey's Years
Deborah Findlay, The Cut
Mark Hadfield, Thérèse Raquin
Colm Meaney, A Moon For The Misbegotten
Jim Norton, The Seafarer

Best New Play
David Harrower, Blackbird
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
Tom Stoppard, Rock 'N' Roll
Conor McPherson, The Seafarer

Best New Comedy
Patrick Barlow (Adaptation from original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, John Buchan's The 39 Steps
Patrick Marber after Molière, Don Juan In Soho
John Kolvenbach, Love Song

Best Revival
Arthur Miller, The Crucible
Michael Frayn, Donkey's Years
Eugene O'Neill, A Moon For The Misbegotten
Edward Albee, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

Best New Musical
Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (Music and Lyrics) and Jeff Whitty (Book), Avenue Q
Tony Kushner (Book and Lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (Music), Caroline, Or Change
Eric Idle (Book, Lyrics and Music) and John Du Prez (Music), Monty Python's Spamalot
George Gershwin, Dubose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin, The Gershwins' Porgy And Bess

Outstanding Musical Production
Joe Masteroff (Book), John Kander (Music) and Fred Ebb (Lyrics), Cabaret
Tim Rice (Lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Music), Evita
Richard Rodgers (Music), Oscar Hammerstein II (Lyrics) and Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse (Book), The Sound Of Music
Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics) and James Lapine (Book), Sunday In The Park With George

Best Actress In A Musical
Nicola Hughes, The Gershwins' Porgy And Bess
Tonya Pinkins, Caroline, Or Change
Elena Roger, Evita
Jenna Russell, Sunday In The Park With George
Hannah Waddingham, Monty Python's Spamalot

Best Actor In A Musical
Tim Curry, Monty Python's Spamalot
Daniel Evans, Sunday In The Park With George
Clarke Peters, The Gershwins' Porgy And Bess
Philip Quast, Evita

Best Performance In A Supporting Role In A Musical
Anna Francolini, Caroline, Or Change
Tom Goodman-Hill, Monty Python's Spamalot
Sheila Hancock, Cabaret
Summer Strallen, The Boy Friend

Best Director
Sam Buntrock, Sunday In The Park With George
Dominic Cooke, The Crucible
Joe Mantello, Wicked

Best Theatre Choreographer
Rob Ashford, Evita
Javier De Frutos, Cabaret
Bill Deamer, The Boy Friend
Stephen Mear, Sinatra

Best Lighting Design
Jean Kalman, The Crucible
Hugh Vanstone, Monty Python's Spamalot
Natasha Chivers and Mike Robertson, Sunday In The Park With George
Neil Austin, Thérèse Raquin
Kenneth Posner, Wicked

Best Set Design
Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
David Farley and Timothy Bird, Sunday In The Park With George
Eugene Lee, Wicked

Best Costume Design
Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
Alison Chitty, The Voysey Inheritance
Susan Hilferty, Wicked

Best Sound Design
Mic Pool, John Buchan's The 39 Steps
Ian Dickinson, Rock 'N' Roll
Gareth Fry, Waves

Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre
Pied Piper at Theatre Royal, Stratford East Theatre Royal, Stratford East for a powerful season of provocative work, reaching new audiences
Love And Money at the Maria, Young Vic
Roy Dotrice for his performance in The Best Of Friends at the Hampstead

Best New Opera Production
English National Opera's Jenůfa at the London Coliseum
English National Opera's The Makropulos Case at the London Coliseum
English National Opera's Orfeo at the London Coliseum

Opera North's Peter Grimes at Sadler's Wells
Outstanding Achievement In Opera
John Mark Ainsley, Orfeo
Joyce DiDonato, Hercules
Amanda Roocroft, Jenůfa
John Tomlinson, Götterdämmerung

Best New Dance Production
The Royal Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty
Kabuki Fuji Musume & Kasane
The Royal Ballet's DGV
The Royal Ballet's Chroma
Outstanding Achievement In Dance
Steven McRae, Homage To The Queen and Chroma
Carlos Acosta for his programme of work and his performances at Sadler's Wells
Marianela Nunez, Chroma and The Sleeping Beauty and in Carlos Acosta's programme at Sadler's Wells
Wayne McGregor for his choreography, Chroma

Personally, I was very delighted to see both Jenna Russell and Sheila Hancock honored.

The latter memorably portayed Miss Hannigan in the original London mounting of Annie, which was the first West End/Broadway production I had ever seen. It forever hooked me on theatre all the way back in 1979 thanks in no small part to Hancock herself.

As for the former, I last saw Russell when she was breathing an exciting new vitality into the role of Guys And Dolls' Sarah Brown.

While all signs currently point toward a berth at Studio 54 for the Broadway transfer of Sunday In The Park With George during the 2007-08 Theatrical Season, less certain are the casting choices. One can only hope that the Roundabout Theatre Company will give serious consideration to enlisting Olivier Award winners Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell for encore performances.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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