Connecticut Critics Give ‘A Flea in Her Ear,’ ‘Music Man’ Top Honors

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All photos by Mara Lavitt

The classic French farce “A Flea in Her Ear” at the Westport Country Playhouse and a nostalgic revival of “The Music Man” at Goodspeed Musicals took top honors at the Monday, June 3rd Connecticut Critics Circle Awards.

The event, which celebrates the work from the state’s professional theaters during the ’18-’19 season, was held at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam.

This year the awards were spread out to many productions throughout the state, though Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party” earned the most taking four for outstanding director, actor, set and lighting.

Awards for outstanding actor and actress in a musical went to Philip Hernandez of Westport’s “Man of La Mancha” and Emily Ferranti for Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

Awards for outstanding actor and actress in a play went to Zach Appelman for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party” and — in a tie — Peggy Cosgrave and Marina Refor in Seven Angels Theatre’s “Ripcord.”

Top directing awards went to Mark Lamos for Westport’s “Man of La Mancha” and Darko Tresnjak for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party.” Tresnjak is exiting after eight years as artistic director at the theater where Lamos presided in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Outstanding ensemble award went to the cast of West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park’s “The Revolutionists:” Rebecca Hart, Olivia Jampol, Jennifer Holcombe, Erin Roche.

Outstanding solo honors was awarded to Rachel Christopher in Long Wharf Theatre’s “An Iliad.” (The production featured a second musician-performer, but Christopher as the storyteller was so outstanding it was placed in this category.)

Patricia Wilcox won for her choreography for Goodspeed Musicals’ “The Music Man.”

Michael Yeargan, Tony Award winning set designer and co-chair of the Yale School of Drama design program, received the Tom Killen Award for lifetime service to the theater from Lamos, a frequent collaborator.

The outstanding featured actress award in a musical award went to Anne Kanengeiser in Music Theatre of Connecticut’s production of “Cabaret.” Outstanding featured actor in a musical honors went to Brandon Andrus for Goodspeed’s “Oliver!”

The award for outstanding featured actors in a play went to Leon Addison Brown for Long Wharf Theatre’s “Paradise Blue” and to Adriana Sevahn Nichols for Yale Rep’s “el Huracan.”

Design awards went to Joshua D. Reid for sound for TheaterWorks’ “Girlfriend;” Mika H. Eubanks for costumes for Yale Rep’s “Twelfth Night;” Matthew Richards for lighting for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party;” Yaara Bar for projections for Yale Rep’s “el Huracan” and Alexander Dodge for set design for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party.”

Kenneth Galm received the debut award for Connecticut Repertory Theater’s Nutmeg Summer Series production of “Sweeney Todd.”

Complete list of nominees and winners

Outstanding Costume Design

*Mika H. Eubanks – “Twelfth Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Gregg Barnes – “The Drowsy Chaperone” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Brittny Mahan – “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

David Toser – “The Music Man” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Herin Kaputkin – “el Huracán” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

 Outstanding Lighting

*Matthew Richards – “The Engagement Party” (Hartford Stage)

John Lasiter – “Oliver!” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Samuel Kwan Chi Chan – “Twelfth Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Alan C. Edwards – “Man of La Mancha” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Paul Miller – “The Music Man” (Goodspeed Musicals)

 Outstanding Set Design

*Alexander Dodge – “The Engagement Party” (Hartford Stage)

Wilson Chin – “Man of La Mancha” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Adam Koch – “In the Heights” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Paul Tate dePoo III – “The Music Man” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Kristen Robinson – “A Flea in Her Ear” (Westport Country Playhouse)

 Outstanding Sound

*Joshua D. Reid — “Girlfriend” (TheaterWorks)

Frederick Kennedy –“Twelfth Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Lee Kinney – “An Iliad” (Long Wharf Theatre)

Michael Vincent Skinner – “Sweeney Todd” (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

Megumi Katayama – “el Huracán” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

 Outstanding Projections

Brittany Bland – “Twelfth Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

*Yaara Bar – “el Huracán” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Caite Hevner – “Working” (A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut)

Rasean Davonte Johnson – “Cadillac Crew” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Outstanding Featured Actor – Play

*Leon Addison Brown – Corn, “Paradise Blue” (Long Wharf Theatre)

Brian Patrick Murphy – Johnny, “The Engagement Party” (Hartford Stage)

Dan Shor – The Men, “My Name is Asher Lev” (Playhouse on Park)

Mic Matarrese – Camille Chandebise, “A Flea in Her Ear” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Allen Gilmore – Malvolio, “Twelfth Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

 Outstanding Featured Actress – Play

Jennifer Paredes – Alicia, Dr. Kempler, Val, “el Huracán” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Tiffany Denise Hobbs – Olivia, “Twelfth Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Ilia Isorelys Paulino – Maria,“Twelfth Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

*Adriana Sevahn Nichols – Valeria, “el Huracán” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Brenda Pressley, Miss Leah, “Flyin’ West” (Westport Country Playhouse)

 Outstanding Featured Actress – Musical

Rachel MacIsaac – Lois/Bianca, “Kiss Me, Kate” (Summer Theatre of New Caanan)

Amy Jo Phillips – Abuela Claudia, “In the Heights” (Playhouse on Park)

Stephanie Pope – Camila Rosario, “In the Heights” (Playhouse on Park)

Alexa Racioppi – Val, “A Chorus Line” (Ivoryton Playhouse)

*Anne Kanengeiser— Fraulein Schneider, “Cabaret” (Music Theatre of Connecticut)

 Outstanding Featured Actor – Musical

*Brandon Andrus – Bill Sykes, “Oliver!” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Slaybaugh (Blakely and Parker) – Gangsters, “The Drowsy Chaperone” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Ed Dixon – Judge Turpin, “Sweeney Todd” (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

Jim Schilling – Herr Schultz – “Cabaret” (Music Theatre of Connecticut))

James Donohue – Waiter, “First Date” (Seven Angels Theatre)

 Outstanding Debut

Kenneth Galm – Tobias Ragg, “Sweeney Todd” (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

 Outstanding Actor – Play

*Zach Appelman – Josh, “The Engagement Party” (Hartford Stage)

Brad Heberlee – Adult Carl, “Make Believe” (Hartford Stage)

Jordan Sobel – Asher Lev, “My Name is Asher Lev” (Playhouse on Park)

Michael Raver—Brick, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (Music Theatre of Connecticut))

Marc D. Lyons – Dr. John Prentice, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (Ivoryton Playhouse)

Outstanding Actress – Play

Megan Byrne – Adult Kate, “Make Believe” (Hartford Stage)

*Peggy Cosgrave – Marilyn, “Ripcord” (Seven Angels Theatre)

Linda Powell – Sharon, “The Roommate” (Long Wharf Theatre)

*Marina Re—Abby, “Ripcord” (Seven Angels Theatre)

Andrea Lynn Green – Maggie “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (Music Theatre of Connecticut))

 Outstanding Actor – Musical

*Philip Hernandez – Don Quixote, “Man of La Mancha” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Terrence Mann – Sweeney Todd, “Sweeney Todd” (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

Niko Touros – Usnavi De La Vega, “In the Heights” (Playhouse on Park)

Rodolfo Soto – Usnavi De La Vega, “In the Heights” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Donald Corren – Fagin, “Oliver!” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Edward Watts – Harold Hill, “The Music Man” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Outstanding Actress – Musical

Gisela Adisa – Aldonza, “Man of La Mancha” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Liz Larsen – Nellie Lovett, “Sweeney Todd” (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

*Emily Ferranti – Miss Alice Nutting (Edwin Drood), “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Connecticut Repertory Theatre)

Ellie Fishman – Marian Paroo, “The Music Man” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Christina Carlucci – Casey, “First Date” (Seven Angels Theatre)

 Tom Killen Award – Michael Yeargan

Outstanding Solo Performance

Rachel Christopher – The Poet, “An Iliad” (Long Wharf Theatre)

Outstanding Ensemble

Cast of “Jeeves & Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense’” (Hartford Stage): Arnie Burton, Eddie Korbich, Chandler Williams

*Cast of “The Revolutionists” (Playhouse on Park): Rebecca Hart, Olivia Jampol, Jennifer Holcombe, Erin Roche

Cast of “Altar Boyz” (Seven Angels Theatre): Maclain Dassatti, Louis Griffin, Jeff Jordan, Spiro Marcos, Andrew Poston, and Justin Henry

Cast of Thousand Pines (Westport Country Playhouse): Katie Ailion, Anne Bates, Joby Earle, Kelly McAndrew, William Ragsdale, Andrew Veenstra

Cast of “Cadillac Crew” (Yale Repertory Theatre): Dria Brown, Ashley Bryant, Bronte England-Nelson, Chalia La Tour

Outstanding Choreography

*Patricia Wilcox — “The Music Man” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Darlene Zoller – “In the Heights” (Playhouse on Park)

Chris Bailey – “The Drowsy Chaperone” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Charlie Sutton – “Evita” (A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut)

Marcos Santana – “In the Heights” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Outstanding Director – Musical

Sean Harris – “In the Heights” (Playhouse on Park)

Ben Hope – “Once” (Ivoryton Playhouse)

*Mark Lamos – “Man of La Mancha” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Marcos Santana – “In the Heights” (Westport Country Playhouse)

Jenn Thompson – “The Music Man” (Goodspeed Musicals)

Outstanding Director – Play

Carl Cofield – “12th Night” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Mark Lamos – “A Flea in Her Ear” (Westport Country Playhouse)

**Darko Tresnjak – “The Engagement Party” (Hartford Stage)

Laurie Woolery – “el Huracán” (Yale Repertory Theatre)

Jackson Gay – “Make Believe” (Hartford Stage)

 Outstanding Production – Play

*“A Flea in Her Ear” – Westport Country Playhouse

“el Huracán” – Yale Repertory Theatre

“The Engagement Party” – Hartford Stage

“Make Believe” – Hartford Stage

“Twelfth Night” – Yale Repertory Theatre

 Outstanding Production – Musical

“In the Heights” – Playhouse on Park

“Man of La Mancha” – Westport Country Playhouse

“Once” – Ivoryton Playhouse

“In the Heights” – Westport Country Playhouse

*“The Music Man”— Goodspeed Musicals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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