Carbonell Nominations Announced; Palm Beach County Theaters Score Big

By Bill Hirschman

For those who like to read fortunes in tea leaves, the annual Carbonell Award nominations announced Sunday night provide plenty of seeming portents to extrapolate before the April 2 awards ceremony.

The most obvious is the numerical ascendancy of theaters in Palm Beach County to the detriment of those in Miami-Dade – for those who reduce these things to horse race handicapping.

An overwhelming 43 nominations were racked up by Palm Beach County theaters. That eclipses the 30 for theaters in Miami-Dade County, which has usually been the strongest concentration of competitors in a program most theater people hate to consider a competition. Even Broward County posted a strong showing with 26 nominations.

The inescapable irony to longtime Carbonell insiders is that Palm Beach theaters have long criticized the awards for giving short shrift to the work done in the northern county.

The Palm Beach supremacy is due in part to the 25 nominations racked up by the extremely well-financed and lushly executed musicals at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat had 9 nominations, Crazy for You had 8 and The Sound of Music had 7, plus one for its non-musical farce The 39 Steps.

On the straight play side, Palm Beach Dramaworks reaped 10 noms including 8 for its first show in its new theater on Clematis Street, All My Sons.

The surprising facet of Broward’s strong turnout was the 11 nominations for Broward Stage Door, a traditionally mainstream house that has recently spiced up its fare with acclaimed productions, like the intellectually-sophisticated The Light in the Piazza that won 9 nominations.

Some other interesting odds and ends:

* Fledgling Zoetic Stage in Miami garnered 3 nods for its world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s Captiva.

* The scrappy Promethean Theatre in Davie took 5 nominations, not for its dramas, but for the campy summer musical Song of the Living Dead.

* Alliance Theatre Lab based in Miami Lakes, which has been gathering critical interest in the past season, took 3 nominations connected to David Michael Sirois’ original play about Gen Y, Brothers Beckett.

* Infinite Abyss, a shoestring company renting a living room-sized auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, earned 3 nominations for its shattering production of the totalitarian nightmare, The Pillowman.

* Florida Stage, the powerhouse often recognized for its work nurturing new plays, closed its doors during a season that many observers felt was not as uniformly strong as usual. But it still garnered two nominations for its very last production, The Cha Cha of the Camel Spider.

* There were a few multiple nominations for the same person, but far fewer than usual. Mark Martino got directing nods for the Maltz’s Joseph and Crazy For You, plus a choreography nomination for Joseph. Ellis Tillman, costumer for Hairspray, will compete against Ellis Tillman, costumer for In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play and Ellis Tillman, costumer for Song of the Living Dead. Choreographer Chrissi Ardito is recognized for her work in both The Music Man and Song of the Living Dead.

There were only a handful of “they were robbed” omissions, but one surprise was that only one nomination, the acting ensemble nomination, went to The Brothers Size, the expressionistic play at GableStage written and directed by Miami native Tarrell Alvin McCraney, an internationally-recognized talent.

The annual ceremony awards scholarships to South Florida arts students through an essay and interview contest.  The deadline for essays is February 3, 2012.

The ceremony, which will feature entertainment from the top shows of the year, will be held Monday, April 2, at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. Amy London, Carbonell executive director, and Michael McKeever will co-produce and co-direct the event. Ticketing information will be announced soon.

Full disclosure: I am one of the ten judges who debated and joked and looked askance at each other from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 or so Sunday. The quality of the past year’s work was evident in the many impassioned discussions by well-meaning colleagues over categories that started out with as many 21 names on the table.  One category took five ballots to settle on five nominees as required by the rules, rather than six.

 New Work
Brothers Beckett by David Michael Sirois (Alliance Theatre Lab)
Captiva by Christopher Demos-Brown  (Zoetic Stage)
The Cha Cha of a Camel Spider by Carter W. Lewis (Florida Stage)
Stuff by Michael McKeever (Caldwell Theatre Company)

Production of a Play
All My Sons (Palm Beach Dramaworks)
August: Osage County (Actors’ Playhouse on the Miracle Mile)
Clybourne Park (Caldwell)
The Pillowman (Infinite Abyss)
Stuff  (Caldwell)

 Director of a Play
–Joseph Adler, Red (GableStage)
–Jeffrey D. Holmes, The Pillowman, (Infinite Abyss)
–J. Barry Lewis, All My Sons (Dramaworks)
–Stuart Meltzer, Captiva (Zoetic)
–Richard Jay Simon, Side Effects (Mosaic Theatre Company)

 Actor in a Play
–Ken Clement as Marley, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Avi Hoffman as Arthur Prsybyszewski, Superior Donuts (GableStage)
–Kenneth Tigar as Joe Keller, All My Sons (Dramaworks)
–Gregg Weiner as Mark Rothko, Red, (GableStage)
–Scott Douglas Wilson as Katurian, The Pillowman (Infinite Abyss)

 Actress in a Play
–Kati Brazda as Maureen, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Dramaworks)
–Elizabeth Dimon as Kate Keller, All My Sons (Dramaworks)
–Annette Miller as Violet, August: Osage County (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Deborah Sherman as Lindy, Side Effects (Mosaic)
–Laura Turnbull as Barbara, August: Osage County (Actors’ Playhouse)

 Supporting Actor in a Play
–Antonio Amadeo as Ahmad Ahmadazai, The Cha Cha of a Camel Spider (Florida Stage)
–Marckenson Charles as Franco Wicks, Superior Donuts (GableStage)
–Mark Della Ventura as Doug, Brothers Beckett (Alliance)
–Ryan Didato as Ken, Red (GableStage)
–Todd Allen Durkin as Matthew, Captiva (Zoetic)

Supporting Actress in a Play
–Barbara Bradshaw as Mags, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Dramaworks)
–Renata Eastlick as Number Two, Eclipsed (Women’s Theatre Project)
–Elvire Emmanuelle as Number Four, Eclipsed (Women’s Theatre Project)
–Angie Radosh as Susie Gage Frost Collyer, Stuff (Zoetic)
–Laura Turnbull as Marie, Lombardi (Mosaic)

Production of a Musical
Crazy For You (Maltz Jupiter Theatre)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
The Light in the Piazza (Broward Stage Door Theatre)
Song of the Living Dead  (Promethean Theatre Company)
The Sound of Music (Maltz)

 Director of a Musical
–Margaret M. Ledford, Song of the Living Dead  (Promethean)
–Michael Leeds, The Light in the Piazza (Broward Stage Door)
–Mark Martino, Crazy For You (Maltz)
–Mark Martino, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
–Marc Robin, The Sound of Music (Maltz)

 Actor in a Musical
–Matt Loehr as Bobby, Crazy For You (Maltz)
–John Pinto Jr. as Joseph, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
–Michael Sharon as Captain von Trapp, The Sound of Music (Maltz)
–Dylan Thompson as Fabrizio, The Light in the Piazza (Stage Door)

 Actress in a Musical
–Colleen Amaya as Marian Paroo, The Music Man (Stage Door)
–Joline Mujica as Tracy Turnblad, Hairspray  (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Vanessa Sonon as Polly, Crazy For You (Maltz)
–Gabrielle Visser as Margaret Johnson, The Light in the Piazza (Stage Door)
–Catherine Walker as Maria, The Sound of Music (Maltz)

 Supporting Actor in a Musical
–Clay Cartland as Larry Hardman, Song of the Living Dead
–Michael Brian Dunn as Zangler, Crazy For You (Maltz)
–Avi Hoffman as Wilbur Turnblad, Hairspray  (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Bruce Rebold as Signor Naccarelli, The Light in the Piazza (Stage Door)
–Ryan Williams as the Pharaoh, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)

Supporting Actress in a Musical
–Lara Hayhurst, as Clara, The Light in the Piazza (Stage Door)
–Julie Kleiner as Penny Pingleton, Hairspray (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Natalie Ramirez as Franca, The Light in the Piazza (Stage Door)
–Avery Sommers as Motormouth Maybelle, Hairspray  (Actors’ playhouse)
–April Woodall as the Mother Superior, The Sound of Music (Maltz)

Musical Direction
–Helen Gregory, Crazy For You (Maltz Jupiter Theatre)
–David Nagy, Hairspray  (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Kim Douglas Steiner, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
–Garret Taylor, The Light in the Piazza (Stage Door)
–Aaron McAllister, The Sound of Music (Maltz)

Choreography
–Chrissi Ardito, The Music Man (Stage Door)
–Chrissi Ardito, Song of the Living Dead  (Promethean)
–Barbara Flaten, Hairspray  (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Mark Martino, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
–Shea Sullivan, Crazy For You (Maltz Jupiter Theatre)

Scenic Design
–Michael Amico, All My Sons (Dramaworks)
–Tim Bennett, Stuff (Caldwell)
–Douglas Grinn, Lombardi (Mosaic)
–Sean McClelland, August: Osage County (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Michael Schweikardt, The Sound of Music (Maltz)

Lighting Design
–Paul Black, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
–John D. Hall, All My Sons (Dramaworks)
–Andrew Meyers, The Light in the Piazza (Stage Door)
–Jeff Quinn, Red (GableStage)
–Patrick Tennent, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol (Actors’ Playhouse)

Costume Design
–Brian O’Keefe, All My Sons (Dramaworks)
–Jose M. Rivera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
–Ellis Tillman, Hairspray  (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Ellis Tillman, In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play (GableStage)
–Ellis Tillman, Song of the Living Dead  (Promethean)

Sound Design
–Victoria Deiorio, The 39 Steps (Maltz)
–Alexander Herrin, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, (Actors’ Playhouse)
–Keith Kohrs, Crazy For You (Maltz)
–Marty Mets, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Maltz)
–Rich Szczublewski, All My Sons (Dramaworks)

Ensemble
Brothers Beckett (Alliance)
The Brothers Size (GableStage)
Clybourne Park (Caldwell)
The Irish Curse (Mosaic)
Masked (GableStage)

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