The 2009 Ovation Awards, celebrating excellence in theatre for 20 years
The Los Angeles theatre awards season kicks off on Monday, Jan. 11th when the 2009 Ovation Awards are presented at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, home of the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities. Founded in 1989, the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles. The curtain goes up on the ceremony at 7:30pm.
The Ovation Awards is a star-studded event that’s also open to the public. Individual tickets are $40-$160; click here for ticket information. Parking is free.
For the 2008-2009 voting season, there are a grand total of 186 nominations for 66 productions presented by 48 companies. Voters are L.A. theatre professionals chosen each season by the Ovation Awards Review Committee via an application process. The list of nominees is determined by a tabulation of scores conducted by the entertainment accounting firm Green, Hasson & Janks, LLP. For a complete list of nominees, please click here.
Center Theatre Group garnered the most nominations, followed by the Geffen Playhouse, the Troubadour Theatre Company and the El Portal Theatre. The CTG productions honored with nominations are 9 to 5: The Musical (7), The Little Dog Laughed (6), Minsky’s (5), Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (4), Lydia (2), and The School of Night (1). The Geffen productions are Louis & Keely, Live at the Sahara (5), Farragut North (3), Beethoven As I Knew Him (2), Time Stands Still (2), and By the Waters of Babylon (1).
The nominated Troubadour Theatre Company productions are Alice in One Hit Wonderland 2: Through the Looking Glass (6) and As U2 Like It (5). The El Portal Theatre’s production of Smokey Joe’s Café received 10 nominations.
Individual nominees garnering more than two nominations include Matt Walker (4 total; two for Director of a Musical, and two for performing in Acting Ensembles), Cricket S. Myers (4, all for Sound Design), and Ann Closs-Farley (3, all for Costume Design).
A new category has been added for the 2009 voting year: Best Season. The award recognizes theatre companies who have produced shows of consistently high quality throughout the voting season (Sept. 1 2008 – Aug. 31 2009). Any company who registered at least three productions for Ovation Awards consideration during the season is eligible.
As with most other Ovation categories, there will be five nominations and one recipient. For this first Best Season Award, the nominees are: the Chance Theater, the Fountain Theatre, the Geffen Playhouse, the Rubicon Theatre Company, and the Troubadour Theatre Company.
Presenters for the 2009 Ovation Awards include creative artists Sam Anderson, Davis Gaines, Beth Grant, Deidrie Henry, Megan Hilty, Gregory Itzin, Ameenah Kaplan, Vicki Lewis, Alan Mandell, Erika Miller, James Roday, Del Shores, Joe Spano, French Stewart and Kelly Todd.
Other presenters include Chance Theatre Artistic Director Oanh Nguyen, Fountain Theatre Co-Artistic Directors Stephen Sachs and Deborah Lawlor, Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney, Rubicon Theatre Artistic Directors Jim O’Neill and Karyl Lee Burns, and Troubadour Theatre Company Artistic Director Matt Walker.