Paramount's 'The Producers' leads 2019 equity Jeff nominations

  • Blake Hammond, left, and Jake Morrissy earned 2019 equity Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for their performances as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom respectively in Paramount Theatre's revival of "The Producers," which earned a leading nine nominations.

    Blake Hammond, left, and Jake Morrissy earned 2019 equity Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for their performances as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom respectively in Paramount Theatre's revival of "The Producers," which earned a leading nine nominations. Courtesy of Liz Lauren

  • Marriott Theatre's production of Daniel Zaitchik's "Darling Grenadine" -- featuring Heath Saunders, left, and his canine pal Paul, created and controlled by Phillip Huber -- earned equity Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for new musical and for Huber's puppet design.

    Marriott Theatre's production of Daniel Zaitchik's "Darling Grenadine" -- featuring Heath Saunders, left, and his canine pal Paul, created and controlled by Phillip Huber -- earned equity Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for new musical and for Huber's puppet design. Courtesy of Liz Lauren

  • Drury Lane Theatre's production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" earned 2019 equity Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for large musical, direction, costume design and lighting design.

    Drury Lane Theatre's production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" earned 2019 equity Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for large musical, direction, costume design and lighting design. Courtesy of Brett Beiner

  • First Folio Theatre's production of Joseph Zettelmaier's "Star Wars"-inspired heist comedy "All Childish Things" earned 2019 equity nominations for set and property design.

    First Folio Theatre's production of Joseph Zettelmaier's "Star Wars"-inspired heist comedy "All Childish Things" earned 2019 equity nominations for set and property design. Courtesy of First Folio Theatre

 
 
Updated 9/3/2019 6:13 AM

The Paramount Theatre in Aurora on Tuesday received 16 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, more than any other suburban theater. That includes nine, more than any other single production, for its delicious revival of "The Producers."

Overall, Paramount was second only to Porchlight Music Theatre, which received a total of 17 nominations: six each for its Chicago-area premiere of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" and its acclaimed revival of "Gypsy."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Chicago theater dominated the mid-size musical category, with three of the four nominated productions Porchlight shows.

Among them is "A Chorus Line" which earned Libertyville native Brenda Didier a directing nod. The director/choreographer also received choreography nominations for Mercury Theater Chicago's "Pippin" and for Paramount's "The Producers."

The Mel Brooks tuner also received nominations for large musical, artistic director Jim Corti; music director Tom Vendafreddo; actors Blake Hammond and Jake Morrissy (Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, respectively); set designer William Boles; costume designer Jordan Ross and lighting designer Jesse Klug.

Marriott Theatre's premiere of "Darling Grenadine," Daniel Zaitchik's urbane musical about addiction and attraction and Writers Theatre's premiere of Jen Silverman's dark comedy "Witch" about power, persecution and gender are among 11 works competing for best new musical and best new play respectively.

Writers also earned a large musical nod for "Next to Normal" and for Tony Award-winning director David Cromer. The Jeff Committee recognized Writers' supporting performers Sean Fortunato and Scott Parkinson ("Twelfth Night"), Kelvin Roston Jr. ("Ma Rainey's Black Bottom") and Kyrie Courter ("Next to Normal").

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Besides nods for Zaitchik's book and score, Marriott's "Darling Grenadine" earned a design nomination for puppet creator/operator Phillip Huber. The Lincolnshire theater's "Million Dollar Quartet" received nominations for ensemble and for supporting performer Nat Zegree. Marriott regulars Alex Goodrich ("Sweet Charity") and Marya Grandy ("Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn") and choreographers Alex Sanchez ("Sweet Charity") and Denis Jones ("Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn") also picked up nominations.

"Disney's Beauty and the Beast" at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, received nominations for large musical, director Alan Souza, costume designer Ryan Park and lighting designer Ryan O'Gara.

Oak Brook's First Folio Theatre earned nods for Angela Weber Miller's set and Cassy Schillo and Wendy A. Hubers's props for Joseph Zettelmaier's "Star Wars"-inspired comedy "All Childish Things."

Among this season's multiple "Frankenstein" adaptations, Remy Bumppo Theatre's dominated with nominations for mid-size play; direction; sound, lighting, original music and makeup design.

Actor/director/writer Ross Lehman received a solo performance nod for Citadel Theatre's Company's production of his play-with-music "Sentimental Journey: A Story of Love and War," chronicling his parents' romance during World War II.

The 51st annual Jeff Awards ceremony takes place Oct. 21, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. See jeffawards.org for tickets.

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