Consistency Celebrated In Carbonell Nominations For 2018

Kathleen Wise and Dani Marcus as the actresses playing the actresses playing the lovers in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Indecent which earned the most Carbonell nominations of any work / Photo by Samantha Mighdoll

By Bill Hirschman

The reliable consistency of quality of some South Florida companies’ work was underscored Thursday with the release of the nominations for the 43rd Carbonell Awards honoring excellence during 2018.

Virtually every production during the year from Slow Burn Theatre Company in Fort Lauderdale, Zoetic Stage in Miami and Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach resulted in at least one nomination.

Dramaworks topped the scorecard with 18 nominations, led by its critically-acclaimed and highly-theatrical productions of Indecent with nine nominations (the most any for any production play or musical) and Equus with four, plus others for Edgar & Emily and Woody Guthrie’s American Song.

Complete list of 2015 Carbonell Award nominations and breakdown by show, theater and county is at the bottom of this story.

The nods for the new kid on the block, Miami New Drama based at the Colony Theatre, also showed a promise of consistency with eight nominations for three of its productions, all sharing a daring multi-cultural diversity: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Queen of Basel and One Night in Miami.

The egg-shaped sculptures in 20 categories will be presented at the Carbonell Awards ceremony (nicknamed “theater prom” because attendees dress up as if for the Tony Awards on Monday, April 8, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. For ticketing information, visit CarbonellAwards.org.

Other awards to be announced later will honor career contributions to South Florida theater and scholarship winners.

The Carbonell Awards begun in 1976 by area theater critics will also celebrate its emergence as a nationally-recognized program, which also bestows scholarships and special awards recognizing career-long contributions. While many local theater professionals privately disdain the inherently unfair nature of any genre-crossing artistic competition, they also display the golden statutes in their lobbies, cite them on grant applications and list them on their Playbill bios.

Another surprise to some will be that two musicals cheered for stylistic accomplishments, Actors’ Playhouse’s world premiere of Havana Music Hall with seven nominations and the Wick Theatre’s The Pirates of Penzance with five, did not get nominated in the Best Production Of A Musical category.

And once again, while the companies with large budgets reaped many nominations, smaller risk-taking companies with fewer resources and some new names also were honored: specifically Theatre Lab, Island City Stage, Primal Forces, the venerable M Ensemble, West Boca Theatre Company, and a co-op of Measure for Measure Theatre and Infinite Abyss for its Next to Normal.

The aforementioned consistency was a hallmark of some companies. Slow Burn’s 16 nominations represented The Bridges of Madison County, Memphis, Hedwig and Angry Inch, Legally Blonde, Freaky Friday, Rock of Ages and Disaster!

Laura Turnbull in Wrongful Death

Zoetic racked up 13 nominations for the world premiere of Dracula, Dancing Lessons, five for the moving musical Fun Home and seven for world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s wicked satire of the legal system Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts.

Indecent, originally meant to be a double production with GableStage which now opens its own this month, is listed in the Carbonell categories as a play. But the imagistic time-bending tale of a Jewish troupe taking a controversial play around the world was so infused with music and movement that its nominations included musical direction for Glen Rovinelli and choreography for Lynette Barkley for Dramaworks.

These companies’ track records recalled the days of the now shuttered Florida Stage when a majority of audience members subscribed to entire seasons of unknown works because they knew the quality would be of a certain level no matter what. Since then, with the proliferation of entertainment sources, subscriptions across the industry have plummeted at all but a few venues like the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

The roster of nominated artists include familiar names like Laura Turnbull, Tom Wahl, Angie Radosh, Nicholas Richberg, Jeni Hacker, Laura Hodos, Mia Matthews, Gregg Weiner and Clay Cartland competing as best actor in a musical as Fredric in Pirates, supporting actor as Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages, and best supporting actor in a play for GableStage’s Gloria. But relative newcomers also were spotlighted such as choreographer Jeffrey Cason Jr., for his electrifying work in M Ensemble’s God’s Trombones. The noms also recognize work for performers who have been working in ensembles and secondary roles, but finally are getting recognition such as Kimmi Johnson, Cameron Jordan, Aaron Bower and Jeanine Gangloff.

Besides Cartland, some familiar names are facing off against themselves or have named in different categories: director J. Barry Lewis for Indecent and Equus; lighting designer Kirk Bookman for Indecent and An Inspector Calls at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Patrick Fitzwater for his direction and choreography of Memphis; Jeni Hacker as Best Supporting Actress, Musical, as the mother in Fun Home and as choreographer for Once at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre; scenic designer Michael McClain for his work on Be Here Now at Theatre Lab and Wrongful Death; playwright Michael McKeever for his two world premieres, Dracula at Zoetic Stage and Mr. Parker at Island City Stage; Stuart Meltzer, for his direction of the Wrongful Death and Fun Home, and Margot Moreland as Best Supporting Actress for as a singing nun in the spoofy Disaster! and for the contentious sister in Mr. Parker.

In addition to recognizing the stars of today, the Carbonell Awards’ core mission is to award scholarships to the talent of tomorrow. Applications for the Jack Zink Memorial Carbonell Awards Scholarships are currently being accepted. Get full information at http://carbonellawards.org/scholarships.  The deadline to apply is February 4.

The Carbonell Awards is a not-for-profit organization funded by tax-deductible donations and award sponsorships. Opportunities to sponsor an award category and to appear on stage to announce the winner are still available.  Email carbonellhotline@gmail.com for more information.

The complete list of nomination provided by the Carbonell Awards:

Best New Work (play or musical)
Dan Clancy, At Home, West Boca Theatre Company
Christopher Demos-Brown, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage
Michael McKeever, Dracula, Zoetic Stage
Michael McKeever, Mr. Parker, Island City Stage
Joseph McDonough, Edgar & Emily, Palm Beach Dramaworks


Best Production of a Play

Equus, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Queen of Basel, Miami New Drama
White Guy on the Bus, GableStage
Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage


Best Director, Play

Michael Leeds, White Guy on the Bus, GableStage
J. Barry Lewis, Equus, Palm Beach Dramaworks
J. Barry Lewis, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Stuart Meltzer, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage
Matt Stabile, The Revolutionists, Theatre Lab
 
Best Actor, Play
Desmond Gallant, Be Here Now, Theatre Lab
Pierre-Jean Gonzalez, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Miami New Drama
Caleb Scott, Dancing Lessons, Zoetic Stage
Tom Wahl, White Guy on the Bus, GableStage
Gregg Weiner, If I Forget, GableStage
 
Best Actress, Play
Betsy Graver, Queen of Basel, Miami New Drama
Rita Joe, White Guy on the Bus, GableStage
Elizabeth Price, An Accident, Primal Forces
Angie Radosh, Breadcrumbs, Primal Forces
Laura Turnbull, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage

Best Supporting Actor, Play
Clay Cartland, Gloria, GableStage
Ryan Didato, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage
Jay Russell, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Dominic Servidio, Equus, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Leon Thomas III, One Night in Miami, Miami New Drama
 
Best Supporting Actress, Play
Vanessa Elise, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage
Niki Fridh, Tar Beach, Theatre Lab
Margery Lowe, If I Forget, GableStage
Mia Matthews, The Revolutionists, Theatre Lab
Margot Moreland, Mr. Parker, Island City Stage

Best Production of a Musical

The Bridges of Madison County, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Fun Home, Zoetic Stage
Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Once, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Palm Beach Dramaworks

 

Best Director, Musical
David Arisco, Once, Actor’s Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Patrick Fitzwater, Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Norb Joerder, The Pirates of Penzance, The Wick Theatre
Bruce Linser, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Stuart Meltzer, Fun Home, Zoetic Stage
 
*Best Actor, Musical
Clay Cartland, The Pirates of Penzance, The Wick Theatre
Michael Focas, Legally Blonde, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Brian Golub, Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Zach Nadolski, Beauty and the Beast, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Nicholas Richberg, Fun Home, Zoetic Stage
Dominique Scott, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Slow Burn Theatre Company
*Voting resulted in a tie, honoring six nominees.
 
Best Actress, Musical
Becca Andrews, Legally Blonde, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Sabrina Lynn Gore, Next to Normal, Measure for Measure and Infinite Abyss
Laura Hodos, Freaky Friday, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Anna Lise Jensen, The Bridges of Madison County, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Khadijah Rolle, Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company

Best Supporting Actor, Musical
Clay Cartland, Rock of Ages, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Bruno Faria, Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Cameron Jordan, Rock of Ages, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Brendan Malafronte, Beauty and the Beast, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Michael L. Walters, The Pirates of Penzance, The Wick Theatre
 
Best Supporting Actress, Musical
Aaron Bower, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Broward Stage Door Theatre
Jeanine Gangloff, Legally Blonde, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Jeni Hacker, Fun Home, Zoetic Stage
Kimmi Johnson, Fun Home, Zoetic Stage
Margot Moreland, Disaster!, Slow Burn Theatre Company

Best Musical Direction
Eric Alsford, The Pirates of Penzance, The Wick Theatre
Sean Powell, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Glen Rovinelli, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Tony Seeperstad, Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Michael Ursua, Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company

Best Choreography
Lynette Barkley, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Jeffrey Cason Jr., God’s Trombones, The M Ensemble
Patrick Fitzwater, Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company
Jeni Hacker, Once, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Maria Torres, Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
 
Best Scenic Design, play or musical
Victor Becker, An Inspector Calls, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Paul Tate DePoo III, Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Michael McClain, Be Here Now, Theatre Lab
Michael McClain, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage
Christopher and Justin Swader, One Night in Miami, Miami New Drama
 
Best Lighting Design, play or musical
Paul Black, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Kirk Bookman, An Inspector Calls, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Kirk Bookman, Equus, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Alan C. Edwards, One Night in Miami, Miami New Drama
Cory Pattak, Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
 
Best Costume Design, play or musical
Jim Buff, The Pirates of Penzance, The Wick Theatre
Ann Closs-Farley, Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Tracy Dorman, An Inspector Calls, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Brian O’Keefe, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
Dawn C. Shamburger, The Revolutionists, Theatre Lab
 
Best Sound Design, play or musical
Lucas “Rico” Corrubia, Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Marty Mets, An Inspector Calls, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Sean Mitchell, Once, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Abigail Nover, One Night in Miami, Miami New Drama
Brad Pawlak, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Best Ensemble
(play or musical)
Gloria, GableStage
Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
One Night in Miami, Miami New Drama
Seven Guitars, M Ensemble
Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Nominations by County
43           Miami-Dade
*37         Palm Beach
*21         Broward
*Primal Forces received two nominations for shows in two different counties.  An Accident was produced at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, and Breadcrumbs was produced at Sol Theatre in Boca Raton in Palm Beach County.

Nominations by Theatre
18         Palm Beach Dramaworks
16         Slow Burn Theatre Company
14         Zoetic Stage
11         Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
8         GableStage
8         Miami New Drama
6         Theatre Lab
6         Maltz Jupiter Theatre
5         The Wick Theatre
2         Island City Stage
2         Primal Forces
2         The M Ensemble
1         Broward Stage Door Theatre
1         Measure for Measure Theatre and Infinite Abyss
1         West Boca Theatre Company

Nominations by Show
9         Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
7         Havana Music Hall, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
7         Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage
6         Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company
5         One Night in Miami, Miami New Drama
5         The Pirates of Penzance, The Wick Theatre
5         Fun Home, Zoetic Stage
4         An Inspector Calls, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
4         Equus, Palm Beach Dramaworks
4         Once, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
4         White Guy on the Bus, GableStage
4         Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Palm Beach Dramaworks
3         Legally Blonde, Slow Burn Theatre Company
3         The Revolutionists, Theatre Lab
2         Be Here Now, Theatre Lab
2         Gloria, GableStage
2         If I Forget, GableStage
2         Mr. Parker, Island City Stage
2         Queen of Basel, Miami New Drama
2         Rock of Ages, Slow Burn Theatre Company
2         The Bridges of Madison County, Slow Burn Theatre Company
1         An Accident, Primal Forces
1         At Home, West Boca Theatre Company
2         Beauty and the Beast, Maltz Jupiter Theatre
1         Breadcrumbs, Primal Forces
1         Dancing Lessons, Zoetic Stage
1         Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Broward Stage Door Theatre
1         Disaster!, Slow Burn Theatre Company
1         Dracula, Zoetic Stage
1         Edgar & Emily, Palm Beach Dramaworks
1         Freaky Friday, Slow Burn Theatre Company
1         God’s Trombones, The M Ensemble
1         Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Slow Burn Theatre Company
1         Next To Normal, Measure for Measure Theatre and Infinite Abyss
1         Seven Guitars, The M Ensemble
1         Tar Beach, Theatre Lab
1         The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Miami New Drama

Triple Nominee
3         Clay Cartland

Double Nominees
2         Kirk Bookman
2         Patrick Fitzwater
2         Jeni Hacker
2         J. Barry Lewis
2         Michael McClain
2         Michael McKeever
2         Stuart Meltzer
2         Margot Moreland

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