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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

58th OBIE Awards


The Lifetime Achievement Obie Award was presented to Lois Smith (l) by   Meryl Streep and Frances Sternhagen (R)  
Photo Emily Tan /The Village Voice

So last night I went to the OBIES. I ran into a few old friends, including the great Lee Breuer and his ever charming partner Maude Mitchell. Victor Maaog, the director of Sex! Drugs! & Ukuleles! was there. There was a bit of a pall over the ceremonies, as Michael Feingold, chief theater critic for the Voice for 42 years, announced his contract was being officially terminated beginning today. Sad.

But it was still a party. (Feingold claimed it was his retirement party, to lighten the mood.) People, especially the winners, had a great time. Thanks to my dear friend Gail Parenteau for the great job she does each year making the OBIES a celebration of the lives and struggles of theater artists.

And the winners are (as per the official announcement)::

2013 VILLAGE VOICE OBIE AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

New York, NY – The 58th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards, celebrating achievement in the Off-Broadway and off-off Broadway theater, were given out at a ceremony last night at Webster Hall in Greenwich Village. The awards ceremony was co-hosted by Jessica Hecht and Jeremy Shamos. The awards were presented by Bobby Cannavale, Tracee Chimo, Cyndi Lauper, Judith Light, Krysta Rodriguez, Duncan Sheik, Meryl Streep and Courtney B. Vance.
 
A medley from the highly acclaimed new Off-Broadway musical, Here Lies Love, was performed by the cast. The Brazilian jazz-pop group Banda Magda also performed.
 
The Obies were judged by a committee that included the Voice’s Chief Theater Critc Michael Feingold as Chairman, Voice critic Alexis Soloski as secretary, and the following guest judges: Obie Award-winning playwright Erin Courtney; director-performer Mia Katigbak, Co-Founder of NAATCO; critic and Theater magazine editor Tom Sellar; and Obie Award-winning director Leigh Silverman.
 
Meryl Streep presented 2013 Obie Awards for Lifetime Achievement to Lois Smith and Frances Sternhagen.
 
In a tie vote, the judges accorded the award for Best New American Play to Lisa d’Amour’s Detroit (Playwrights Horizons) and Julia Jarcho’s Grimly Handsome (Incubator Arts Project), with each playwright receiving a $500. cash prize.
 
A complete list of the award winners follows:

Performance
Eisa Davis 
Sustained Excellence         
 
Brandon J. Dirden 
The Piano Lesson (Signature Theatre)           
 
Shuler Hensley
The Whale (Playwrights Horizons)  
 
Matthew Maher 
Sustained Excellence
 
Paul Thureen 
Blood Play (The Debate Society/Bushwick Starr)
 
Playwriting
Ayad Akhtar 
Disgraced  (LCT3)             
Annie Baker 
The Flick  (Playwrights Horizons)   
 
Direction
Lear deBessonet
The Good Person Of  Szechuan (Foundry Theatre/La MaMa)
 
John Rando 
All In The Timing (Primary Stages) 
 
Ruben Santiago-Hudson 
The Piano Lesson (Signature Theatre)
 
Eric Ting 
We Are Proud To Present A Presentation... (Soho Rep) 
 
Design
Laura Jellinek
Sustained excellence of Set Design
 
Clint Ramos
Sustained excellence of Costume Design      
 
Special Citations
David Levine and Marsha Ginsberg
HABIT (Crossing the Line Festival/FIAF & PS122) 
 
Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin
NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 (Ars Nova)           
 
Nature Theater of Oklahoma        
LIFE AND TIMES: EPISODES 1-4  (Public Theater/SoRep)
 
Music/Lyrics
David Byrne & Fatboy Slim
HERE LIES LOVE (Public Theater) 

The Ross Wetzsteon Award (with check for $1000.)
Clubbed Thumb
 
Grants
Fulcrum Theater ($1,000)
Half Straddle ($1,000) 
 
Best New American Play (tie w/$500. to each playwright) 
Lisa D’Amour, Detroit
Julia Jarcho, Grimly Handsome
 
Lifetime Achievement
Lois Smith 
Frances Sternhagen 
 
The Village Voice Obie Awards are presented by STELLA ARTOIS and benefiting A.R.T./ New York (Alliance of Residence Theaters). Additional sponsors include Smirnoff Sorbet Light, Academy of Dramatic Arts, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Fragoli.  Congratulations to all of this years winners!
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