Theater & art

SpeakEasy, ArtsEmerson top Norton nominees

Phil Tayler, Harry McEnerny V, and Davron S. Monroe in “Avenue Q.”
Mark S. Howard
Phil Tayler, Harry McEnerny V, and Davron S. Monroe in “Avenue Q.”

In the race for the 2013 Elliot Norton Awards, Lyric Stage Company’s “Avenue Q” and SpeakEasy Stage Company’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” are the front-runners with five nominations apiece. Close behind, with four nominations each, are the American Repertory Theater’s “The Glass Menagerie” and SpeakEasy’s “The [Expletive] With the Hat.”

Among theater companies, SpeakEasy leads the field with 11 nominations, ahead of Arts-Emerson with 10, the ART with nine, the Huntington Theatre Company and Lyric Stage with seven each, and Company One with six. The Boston Theater Critics Association will give the awards in a ceremony May 13 on the Paramount Center Mainstage.

Competing for outstanding production by a large resident theater are the ART’s “The Glass Menagerie” and two Huntington shows: “Good People” and “Our Town.” Nominees for outstanding musical are “Billy Elliot the Musical,” presented by Broadway in Boston; “Fela!,” presented by ArtsEmerson; and the ART’s “Pippin.” John Tiffany (“Glass Menagerie”) is up for the directing prize, as are Maria Aitken for “Private Lives” and “Betrayal,” both at the Huntington, and Rebecca Taichman for “Marie Antoinette” at the ART. Cherry Jones (“Glass Menagerie”), Bianca Amato (“Private Lives”), and Brooke Bloom (“Marie Antoinette”) are vying for outstanding actress, while LeRoy McClain (the Huntington’s “A Raisin in the Sun”) competes for the actor award with the stars of shows seen at ArtsEmerson: Steven Epp in “The Servant of Two Masters” and Gísli Örn Gardarsson in “Metamorphosis.” Outstanding ensemble nominees are “The Glass Menagerie,” “Our Town,” and “The Servant of Two Masters,” while design nods go to “Marie Antoinette,” “Metamorphosis,” and “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Michael J. Lutch
Celia Keenan-Bolger in the “Glass Menagerie.”

Nominees for outstanding production at a midsize theater are “The [Expletive] With the Hat,” Lyric Stage’s “Chinglish,” and SpeakEasy’s “Clybourne Park.” Directing nominees are David R. Gammons (“The [Expletive] With the Hat”), Spiro Veloudos (“Avenue Q”), and Paul Melone (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”). Competing for the actress prize are Evelyn Howe (“The [Expletive] With the Hat”), Marvelyn McFarlane (“Clybourne Park”), and Celeste Oliva (“Chinglish”). For actor, the contenders are Will Lyman, for both “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” at New Repertory Theatre and “Operation Epsilon,” from Nora Theatre Company and Catalyst Collaborative@MIT; Maurice Emmanuel Parent for “The [Expletive] With the Hat”; and Steven Barkhimer for both Gloucester Stage Company’s “Round and Round the Garden” and Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s “Middletown.”

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Nominees for outstanding small theater production are Company One’s “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” Moonbox Productions’ “Of Mice and Men,” and “Ted Hughes’ Tales From Ovid” by Whistler in the Dark, seen at ArtsEmerson. In the fringe theater category, nominees for outstanding production are “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” at Happy Medium Theatre, “A Behanding in Spokane” at Theatre on Fire, and “Tigers Be Still” at Zeitgeist Stage Company. Director nominees for small or fringe theater are Shawn LaCount (“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”), James P. Byrne (the Gold Dust Orphans’ “Mary Poppers” and “Mildred Fierce”), and Alice Olivia Choate (“Of Mice and Men”).

Raymond Hagans
A scene from “Fela!”

“Avenue Q,” “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” and “Mildred Fierce” are up for outstanding musical at a midsize, small, or fringe company. Nominated for outstanding actor in a musical are Sahr Ngaujah (“Fela!”), Gus Curry (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), and John Ambrosino (“Avenue Q”). Vying for the actress prize are Erica Spyres (“Avenue Q”), Amy Jo Jackson (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”), and Andrea Martin (“Pippin”).

For outstanding visiting production, “War Horse,” presented by Broadway in Boston, is up against “Metamorphosis” and “The Servant of Two Masters.” New-script nominees are Robert Brustein’s “The Last Will,” from Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Suffolk University; Alan Brody’s “Operation Epsilon”; and Ryan Landry’s “Mildred Fierce.” Solo performance nominees are Georgia Lyman (“Chesapeake” at New Rep), Seana McKenna (“Shakespeare’s Will” at Merrimack Repertory Theatre), and Hershey Felder (“Maestro: Leonard Bernstein” at ArtsEmerson).

The Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence will go to Will Lyman. Actors’ Equity Association, founded 100 years ago, will receive a special citation, and the Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award will go to 80-year-old Broadway legend Chita Rivera.

Jeffrey Gantz can be reached at