Tuesday, February 03, 2009

2009 Laurence Olivier Award Nominations Announced

2009 Laurence Olivier Award Nominations Announced

Terry Johnson's well-reviewed and well-received West End revival of La Cage Aux Folles has received 7 nods as the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award nominations were announced. This marks the second year in a row that a show with a Harvey Fierstein association earned the most nominations (Hairspray broke records last year with 11 nominations in all).

Gone is last year's one-time-only category of "Best Newcomer in a Play." Taking its place is a category I only wish the Tony Administration Committee would seriously consider: "Best Company Performance" to recognize ensembles that are running on all cylinders. Returning after a hiatus is the category of "Best Entertainment."

Other noteworthy news is that only two new tuners were nominated in the "Best New Musical" category: Jersey Boys and Zorro. Each show earned five nominations.

American export August: Osage County earned three nods, including for "Best New Play," Deanna Dunagan and its Chicago-centric ensemble.

Two actors I'm particularly pleased to see receive very well-deserved recognition are Elena Roger for her breathtaking performance in Piaf and Adam Godley for his brilliant turn in Rain Man. Both made their otherwise mediocre shows worth seeing. Given all the accolades for La Cage Aux Folles, I only wish I had taken the West End Whingers' unequivocal advice and seen that production last November.

Nominees include:

Best Actress
Deanna Dunagan, August: Osage County
Lindsay Duncan, That Face
Margaret Tyzack, The Chalk Garden
Penelope Wilton, The Chalk Garden

Best Actor
David Bradley, No Man's Land
Michael Gambon, No Man's Land
Adam Godley, Rain Man
Derek Jacobi, Twelfth Night

Best Performance In A Supporting Role
Oliver Ford Davies, Hamlet
Kevin R McNally, Ivanov
Paul Ritter, The Norman Conquests
Patrick Stewart, Hamlet

Best Company Performance
August: Osage County, directed by Anna D. Shapiro
Black Watch, directed by John Tiffany
The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd
The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus
Sunset Boulevard, directed by Craig Revel Horwood

Best New Play
August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
Black Watch by Gregory Burke
The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall
That Face by Polly Stenham

Best New Comedy
Fat Pig by Neil LaBute
The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton

Best Revival
The Chalk Garden, directed by Michael Grandage
The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd
The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus

Best Entertainment
Noel Coward's Brief Encounter
La Clique
Maria Friedman: Re-Arranged

Best New Musical
Jersey Boys, book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe
Zorro, book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, music by The Gipsy Kings, original story by Stephen Clark & Helen Edmundson, music co-composed and adapted by John Cameron

Best Musical Revival
La Cage Aux Folles, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein
Piaf by Pam Gems
Sunset Boulevard, book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton
West Side Story, based on a conception by Jerome Robbins, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, entire original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins

Best Actress In A Musical
Sofia Escobar, West Side Story
Kathryn Evans, Sunset Boulevard
Ruthie Henshall, Marguerite
Elena Roger, Piaf
Emma Williams, Zorro

Best Actor In A Musical
Douglas Hodge, La Cage Aux Folles
Denis Lawson, La Cage Aux Folles
Ryan Molloy, Jersey Boys
Matt Rawle, Zorro

Best Performance In A Supporting Role In A Musical
Alexander Hanson, Marguerite
Katherine Kingsley, Piaf
Lesli Margherita, Zorro
Jason Pennycooke, La Cage Aux Folles
Dave Willetts, Sunset Boulevard

Best Director
Terry Johnson, La Cage Aux Folles
Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys
Emma Rice, Brief Encounter
John Tiffany, Black Watch

Best Theatre Choreographer
Rafael Amargo, Zorro
Steven Hoggett, Black Watch
Lynne Page, La Cage Aux Folles
Kate Prince, Into the Hoods
Sergio Trujillo, Jersey Boys

Best Lighting Design
Paule Constable, The Chalk Garden
Paule Constable, Ivanov
Neil Austin, No Man's Land
Neil Austin, Piaf

Best Set Design
Todd Rosenthal, August: Osage County
Neil Murray (projections by Gemma Carrington and Jon Driscoll), Brief Encounter
Tom Piper, The Histories
Soutra Gilmour, The Lover And The Collection
Paul Brown, Marguerite

Best Costume Design
Tom Piper and Emma Williams, The Histories
Matthew Wright, La Cage Aux Folles
Rob Howell, The Norman Conquests
Christopher Oram, Twelfth Night

Best Sound Design
Gareth Fry, Black Watch
Simon Baker, Brief Encounter
Steven Canyon Kennedy, Jersey Boys
Christopher Shutt, Max Ringham & Ben Ringham, Piaf

Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre
The ensemble cast of Oxford Street (Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court) T
he Royal Court Theatre's production of The Pride (Jerwood Theatre Upstairs)
Clive Rowe for his performance in Mother Goose (Hackney Empire)
Jo Newbery for the design of Scarborough (Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court)

Best New Opera Production
The Royal Opera's Don Carlo
The Royal Opera's The Minotaur
English National Opera's I Pagliacci
English National Opera's Partenope

Outstanding Achievement In Opera
Patricia Bardon for her performances in The Royal Opera's The Rake's Progress and in English National Opera's Partenope and Riders To The Sea
Feruccio Furlanetto for his performance in the Royal Opera's Don Carlo
Ed Gardner for conducting English National Opera's Boris Godunov, Cavalliera Rusticana, Der Rosenkavalier, I Pagliacci, Riders To The Sea and Punch And Judy
Christine Rice for her performances in the Royal Opera's The Minotaur and English National Opera's Partenope

Best New Dance Production
Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal's Café Muller/The Rite Of Spring
The Royal Ballet of Flanders' Impressing The Czar
The Royal Ballet's Infra
DV8's To Be Straight With You

Outstanding Achievement In Dance
The company of the Royal Ballet of Flanders for their performances in Impressing The Czar
The company of the The Royal Ballet for their performances in Infra
Savion Glover, Marshall Davis, Jr. and Maurice Chestnut for their performances in Bare Soundz

Established in 1976, the Laurence Olivier Awards are widely regarded as London theatre's most prestigious awards in London theatre. It was in 1984 that Lord Laurence Olivier agreed to have his name associated with the honor.

The bronzed Laurence Olivier Awards, designed by sculptor Harry Franchetti to represent Olivier in his role as Henry V, will be presented at a ceremony held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on Sunday, March 8, 2009.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 03 February, 2009, Blogger Vance said...

Wow! There's a nice showing for Black Watch too amongst the bigger shows! (I mean, I knew August would get the nods, that was kind of obvious!).

And I guess Margueritte was that bad huh? Glad I skipped it.

At 03 February, 2009, Blogger Esther said...

I thought the sound design and choreography were terrific in "Black Watch." (At least in the U.S. production. I'm assuming it was pretty much the same in London.)

I wish Elena Roger would come to New York. I remember you really liked her performance in "Evita" too. "Pitmen Painters" is another play I'd love to see here, because it's by Lee Hall, who wrote "Billy Elliot."

And wow, choosing between "Black Watch" and "August: Osage County" (the only two I'm familiar with) for best company performance would be tough. They both had such an incredible group of actors.

At 03 February, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Vance, Oh how I wish I had seen Black Watch, too. I'm surprised by the showing for Zorro, which I understood to be bloody awful. But I guess they could not give Jersey Boys the best musical nod by acclamation, now could they?!

At 05 February, 2009, Anonymous Julia said...

Zorro WAS bloody awful- I'm very sorry that Marguerite wasn't even nominated. It wasn't perfect, but the score was beautiful.

At 05 February, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Julia, I had heard that about Zorro, so it was very surprising to see it nominated so much.

As for Marguerite, given that it featured a Michele LeGrand score, your comments support everything positive I've heard elsewhere.

Thanks for weighing in!

At 07 February, 2009, Blogger Dale said...

It'd be a great idea to have a 'company' award.


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