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Regional Reviews by Sarah Chantal Parro

32nd Annual Elliot Norton Awards
Boston Theater Critics Association

There are many words that can describe Boston—historical, innovative, creative, political—but one word seems to capture our city best: spirit. As evidenced by the 32nd Annual Elliot Norton Awards on May 19th, presented at the Wheelock Family Theatre by the Boston Theater Critics Association, Boston's theatre community is just as vibrant and spirit filled as any other aspect of the city. Founded in honor of Elliot Norton, whose notable career included forty-eight years as a Boston theatre critic, the awards honor outstanding productions, performers, directors and designers.

The ceremony was punctuated by musical numbers from nominated productions, and the performers displayed outstanding choreography, sharp humor, and just wonderfully fun energy. The numbers included "Not For the Life of Me" from Stoneham Theatre's Thoroughly Modern Millie and "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Wheelock Family Theatre's Hairspray. Mayor Martin Walsh remarked on his desire for the Boston arts community to continue thriving, saying he hopes that one day Boston will be listed among cities like New York and Los Angeles as a great arts capital of the nation. Former Governor Michael Dukakis also spoke about the childhood and family life he shared with his cousin, Academy Award-winner and theatre veteran Olympia Dukakis, also reflecting on her incredible performance career. Ms. Dukakis was awarded the Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award. SpeakEasy Stage Company's Paul Daigneault accepted the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence.

It became clear over the course of the evening that this was not just a room full of artists and professionals. It was a room full of colleagues, friends, and family members who love, cheer for, and support each other. They say show business can be cutthroat, but it seems like there are certainly far worse places to be a working artist than Boston.

Award recipients are listed below. For more information, including a complete list of nominees, visit nortonawardsboston.com.

Elliot Norton Lifetime Achievement Award: Olympia Dukakis

Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence: Paul Daigneault

Outstanding Visiting Production: Mies Julie, Baxter Theatre Centre; presented by ArtsEmerson

Outstanding Production by a Large Resident Theater: All the Way, American Repertory Theater

Outstanding Production by a Midsize Theater: Tribes, SpeakEasy Stage Company

Outstanding Production by a Small Theater: The Flick, Company One; co-presented by Suffolk University

Outstanding Production by a Fringe Theater: Punk Rock, Zeitgeist Stage Company

Outstanding Design, Large Theater: The Heart of Robin Hood, American Repertory Theater. Set design by Börkur Jónsson, Costumes by Emma Ryott, Lighting by Björn Helgason, Sound by Jonathan Deans.

Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small, or Fringe Theater: The Flick, Company One; co-presented by Suffolk University. Scenic design by Cristina Todesco, Lighting by Jen Rock, Costumes by Amanda Maciel Antunes, Sound by Edward Young, Props Master Anita Shriver.

Outstanding Musical Production by a Large Theater: The Jungle Book, Huntington Theatre Company

Outstanding Musical Production by a Midsize, Small, or Fringe Company: Hairspray, Wheelock Family Theatre

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor: Francis Jue, Miss Saigon, North Shore Music Theatre

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress: Aimee Doherty, On the Town (Lyric Stage Company of Boston) and Hairspray (Wheelock Family Theatre)

Outstanding New Script: Windowmen by Steven Barkhimer, Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Outstanding Director, Large Theater: Gisli Írn Gardarsson, The Heart of Robin Hood, American Repertory Theater

Outstanding Director, Midsize Theater: Ilyse Robbins, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Stoneham Theatre

Outstanding Director, Small or Fringe Theater: David J. Miller, Punk Rock and The Normal Heart, Zeitgeist Stage Company

Outstanding Actor, Large Theater, awarded in honor of Jeremy Geidt: Bryan Cranston, All the Way, American Repertory Theater

Outstanding Actress, Large Theater, awarded in honor of Julie Harris: Andrea Syglowski, Venus in Fur, Huntington Theatre Company

Outstanding Actor, Midsize Theater: Jeremiah Kissel, Imagining Madoff, New Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater: Erica Spyres, Tribes, SpeakEasy Stage Company

Outstanding Actor, Small or Fringe Theater: Alex Pollock, This Is Our Youth (Gloucester Stage Company), Windowmen (Boston Playwrights' Theatre), and The Flick (Company One; co-presented by Suffolk University)

Outstanding Actress, Small or Fringe Theater: Maureen Adduci, The Normal Heart, Zeitgeist Stage Company

Outstanding Ensemble, Large Theater, awarded in honor of Nicholas Martin: The Seagull, Huntington Theatre Company

Outstanding Ensemble, Midsize, Small, or Fringe Theater: Hairspray, Wheelock Family Theatre



- Sarah Chantal Parro



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