44th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards

“At the Table”, Michael Perlman’s drama of scintillating conversation between diverse friends during a weekend in the country, took home the most honors on Monday, June 5, during the 44th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony recognizing excellence in non-union Chicago theatre. The awards show was held at the Athenaeum Theatre for the first time, a fitting venue since it is home to several non-Equity theater companies.

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44th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards

The Jeff Awards announced, via a special video presentation, a total of 127 nominations in 26 categories for the 44th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards for productions that opened between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017. Hosting the video presentation were Alexis Roston and Lillian Castillo, who will be this year’s Mistresses of Ceremonies at the Awards event on June 5 at The Athenaeum.

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Dealers Choice

Should Theatres Bring ‘Dealers Choice’ Back Into Production?
Dealers Choice was the debut play by Patrick Marber, who is probably best known for his 1997 play Closer, which was later adapted into a film starring Julia Roberts and Jude Law in 2004. First performed in 1995, Dealers Choice tells the story of Carl, his father Stephen (a restaurant owner), Stephen’s employees Sweeny, Mugsy and Frankie, and Ash (Carl’s blackjack guide).

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48th Annual Equity Jeff Awards

The classic revenge tale “The Tempest”, reimagined at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as a traveling tent show of trickery and amazement, was recognized for Production-Play for a large theatre, Direction of a Play for Aaron Posner and Teller, Magic Design for “The Great Tomsoni” Johnny Thompson, and Lighting Design for Thom Weaver.

Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Dreamgirls”, the story of the aspirations and success of rhythm and blues artists in the 1960s and 70s, was honored with awards for Production-Musical for a midsize theatre, Principal Actress Donica Lynn, Supporting Actor Eric Lewis and Costume Designer Bill Morey.

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Equity Jeff Nominations for 2015-16

Paramount Theatre led all theatres with 14 nominations, all for musicals in the Large Theatre category. “West Side Story” received seven, “Oklahoma!” four, “Hairspray” two, and “A Christmas Story, the Musical” one. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Goodman Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre each had 12 nominations. Chicago Shakespeare’s nominated productions included five for “The Tempest”, four for “Ride the Cyclone”, two for “The Heir Apparent”, and one for “Othello”. Goodman’s nominations included five each for “2666” and “War Paint”, and one each for “The Matchmaker” and “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window”. Porchlight, a mid-sized theatre, garnered six for “Dreamgirls”, four for “Sideshow”, and two for “Far from Heaven”.

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After Over 535 Chicago Shows

After writing three-hundred and fifty-one reviews in two years (and seeing another 185 shows), I have decided to leave ChicagoCritic.com. I would like to thank Tom Williams for giving me this opportunity, the friends I’ve made among the other reviewers, Jeff committee members and Saints, and, most of all, the theatre practitioners for welcoming me so graciously and treating me so kindly

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Saints Hold Grants Award Ceremony

On June 13, The Saints, a volunteer group for the performing arts, held their third annual Grants Celebration and Presentation ceremony. In an hour long program emceed by Dueling Critics Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman at the Athenaeum Theatre, twenty-seven performing arts companies were awarded grants which totaled $125,000. The amount granted was a new record for The Saints, who have given over $800,000 to the performing arts.

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