FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE VILLAGE VOICE ANNOUNCES 55th ANNUAL OBIE AWARDS CEREMONY
MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010 AT WEBSTER HALL, NYC
CO-HOSTED BY ANIKA NONI ROSE & MICHAEL CERVERIS
The Awards Will Be Presented By:
J. Smith Cameron
More to be announced
New York, NY – The Village Voice, the nation’s largest alternative weekly newspaper, announced today that the 55th Annual OBIE Awards will take place at Webster Hall in the East Village.
The OBIES will be co-hosted by& .
Anika Noni Rose won an OBIE in 2001 for her performance in Eli's Comin'. Most recently, you may have heard Anika as the voice of ‘The Princess & The Frog. She won acclaim in the film version of Dreamgirls, for which she received an NAACP nomination, and she received raves both Off- and on Broadway for her portrayal of Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline or Change. She subsequently starred on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Mma Makutsi in the HBO series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, shot entirely on location in Botswana.’ in Disney’s
Michael Cerveris says: “I may have snuck in the back door of uptown theater while they weren't looking, but my career, my heart, and my residence have been below 14th Street more often than not over the years.” Most recently, he starred on Broadway in Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play). His many previous starring roles include John Wilkes Booth in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, and the title role in the John Doyle revival of Sweeney Todd. Off-Broadway his leading roles include Hedwig in the OBIE-winning musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
For the past 55 years, The Village Voice OBIE Awards, founded by Jerry Tallmer in 1956, have honored the best of Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Structured with informal categories that can change annually, The Village Voice OBIE Awards recognize persons and productions of excellence. Unlike most theater awards, The Village Voice OBIE Awards list no nominations publicly. In the conviction that creativity is not competitive, the judges may give several OBIES in each category, and may even invent new categories to reward exceptional artistic merit.
The Voice’s chief theater critic, Michael Feingold, who chairs the OBIE Awards committee again this year, was recently honored as a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. The Pulitzer jury recognized Feingold “for his engaging, authoritative drama reviews that fuse passion and knowledge as he helps readers understand what makes a play or a performance successful.”
His fellow judges this year include Voice critic Alexis Soloski and four guest judges. Critic Andy Propst, of AmericanTheaterWeb.com and TheaterMania (also a Voice contributor), has served as a judge as well as secretary to the committee. Judge Kristin Marting, who directs hybrid work, is a co-founder and Artistic Director of HERE Arts Center; since its founding in 1993, HERE and its productions have received a total of 14 OBIE Awards. Judge Ralph B. Peña is a founding member and Artistic Director of ; he received a 2003 OBIE for his work on Ma-Yi’s production of . Judge Martha Plimpton is a three-time Tony Award nominee, and received an in 2001 for her performance in Hobson’s Choice (Atlantic Theater Company). She is currently filming a recurring role on HBO's forthcoming series How to Make It in America.
Many of the most celebrated names in theater, film and television say thier OBIER was the first recognition of their professional career. Past winners include such well-known stars such as Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Felicity Huffman, Viola Davis, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver, to name a few.
Because the OBIES always strive to recognize artists of exceptional ability early in their careers, the award serves to encourage, support, and in some sense nurture youthful talent. The OBIES can help to shine an important light on theater artists who are breaking new ground, or just breaking through in their careers. In addition, the OBIES honor those who have given years of service to the theater with awards for Sustained Excellence and Lifetime Achievement.
Once again, the 2010 OBIES will honor the Off-Broadway theater community by presenting its annual theater grants, announced live at the ceremony.
The evening will culminate with a celebratory after-party featuring live music and art, which will celebrate this year’s honorees. More information on the after-party will be made available soon at obies.villagevoice.com and on Facebook at
Tickets for The Village Voice’s 55th annual OBIE Awards are $25 and on sale now through Brown Paper Tickets at obies.villagevoice.com. For more information please visit obies.villagevoice.com
About The Village Voice:
Founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, and Norman Mailer in October 1955, The Village Voice introduced free-form, high-spirited, and passionate journalism into the public discourse. As the nation's first and largest alternative newsweekly, the Voice maintains the same tradition of no-holds-barred reporting and criticism it first embraced when it began publishing. The recipient of three Pulitzer prizes, the National Press Foundation Award, and the George Polk Award, among others, the Voice has earned a reputation for its groundbreaking investigations of New York City politics, and as the premier expert on New York's cultural scene. Writing and reporting on local and national politics, with opinionated arts, culture, music, dance, film, and theater reviews, daily web dispatches, comprehensive entertainment listings, and unrivaled classifieds, the Voice is the authoritative source on all that is New York.
The Village Voice has also created such celebrated events as the OBIE Awards, the Siren Music Festival, and Choice Eats, as well as producing the most anticipated issues and guides of the year, including the annual Pazz and Jop music poll, Best of NYC, and the paper’s Spring, Summer, and Fall Preview guides. The Voice is New York's most influential must-read alternative newspaper, both in print and online at www.villagevoice.com, where the site averages 2 million unique users each month.