Drury Lane leads suburban theaters with 21 Jeff Award nominations
Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook on Thursday received 21 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for excellence in theater.
Emmy Award winner and Dolton native Jane Lynch ("Glee") announced the 2013-2014 equity nominations at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago.
Drury Lane received nine nominations for its production of "Les Miserables," the Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schoenberg musical inspired by Victor Hugo's 19th century novel. The remainder of its nominations were scattered among the theater's productions of "Young Frankenstein," "Next to Normal" and "Hello Dolly!"
Only the Goodman Theatre received more nominations, a total of 23, nine of them for "Brigadoon." The first major revival of the Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical in 34 years, with a revised book by Brian Hill, "Brigadoon" earned directing and choreography nominations for Rachel Rockwell (in her Goodman debut) and for music director Roberta Duchak. Rockwell and Duchak were also nominated for "Les Miserables" at Drury Lane. Rockwell picked up a choreography nod for that theater's "Hello Dolly!"
"Les Mis" also earned nominations for production; actors Quentin Earl Darrington, Mark David Kaplan, Travis Taylor and Sharon Sachs; lighting designer Greg Hofmann and projection designer Sage Marie Carter.
Response to the announcement was likely more subdued in Lincolnshire, where Marriott Theatre -- typically a force to be reckoned with come award season -- received four nominations. Choreographer Marc Robin and lighting designer Jesse Klug received nominations for Marriott's revival of "Cats." Summer Naomi Smart received a principal actress nomination for her turn as the titular nanny in "Mary Poppins." Veteran Chicago actress Annabel Armour -- in her Marriott debut -- received a nomination for her performance as Fraulein Schneider in "Cabaret."
First Folio Theatre artistic associate Angela Weber Miller received set design nominations for "Rough Crossing" and "Salvage," which also earned a nomination for properties designer Cassy Schillo. Alex Weisman received a supporting actor nomination for the Oak Brook theater's revival of "The Rainmaker."
Lincolnshire native Brenda Didier received a directing nomination for Porchlight Music Theatre's "Ain't Misbehavin." The show also picked up nominations for revue, ensemble, conductor/pianist Austin Cook and cast members Lorenzo Rush Jr. of West Chicago, Donterrio Johnson and Sharriese Hamilton. Didier, who resides in Libertyville, also received a choreography nod for Porchlight's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
The Jeff Committee recognized actresses Linsey Page Morton and Ann Whitney for their performances in Northlight Theatre's production "Lost in Yonkers," which also received a nomination for best play, but failed to earn one for director Devon de Mayo. Similarly, at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Gary Griffin's "Gypsy" received multiple nominations, but none for the director.
Northlight in Skokie earned a new work nomination for Christian O'Reilly's "Chapatti."
Glencoe's Writers Theatre received 11 nominations, including acting nods for Shannon Cochran and Larry Yando ("The Dance of Death" and Kate Fry ("Hedda Gabler"). Both productions also earned best play nominations.
The Jeff Awards will be announced Oct. 13 at Drury Lane. See jeffawards.org for ticket information.