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Here Are Chicago Theatre’s Equity Jeff Award Winners in 2013

Plus, an honorable mention for some fake Jeff awards the Committee should consider handing out, too.

Photo: Chicago Shakespeare Theater

A tad shorter and a lot less depressing than The Iceman Cometh, the 45th Annual Equity Jeff Awards brought out the glitz among Chicago’s theateratti Monday night.

It was a boisterous, Lucite-filled recap of the Year that Was among the temples of Midwestern make-believe aka, Chicagoland’s Equity houses. In addition to the official winners (the full list is at the bottom) the show itself invariably presents more than a few award-worthy and/or cringe-worthy moments.

Here, we give you our picks for the night’s unannounced standouts.
 

Jeff Awards That Should Have Been Given Out

Most Impressive Display of Chest Hair:
Actor Stef Tovar, unbuttoned to the naval in a South Pacific sailor suit for a performance of “Nothing Like a Dame.”

Most Irreverent Acceptance Speech:
“We’d like to thank the Jeff Committee. We’re glad we don’t know who any of them are because then we might feel like we had to kiss their asses.” GQ of the Q Brothers (Best Ensemble, Chicago Shakespeare’s Othello, The Remix), who took the stage in jeans and baseball caps and drank beer while accepting.

Best One-Liner:
“If you cut me off, you are so fired.” Porchlight Artistic Director Michael Weber (Outstanding Musical, Midsize Theatre) threatening the pianist charged with playing over winners who talk too much in their acceptance speeches.

Best Dressed:
Music director Doug Peck (The Jungle Book) in an impeccably tailored golden Nehru jacket with sparkly filigree collar embellishments and matching trousers.

Humblest/Classiest Acceptance Speech by a Bona-Fide Movie Star or Anybody Else for That Matter:
“I wish I could share this with Guy Van Swearingen. I’m only here because he opened up a space for me 20 years ago."—Michael Shannon (Outstanding Actor in a Play, A Red Orchid’s Simpatico)

Most Bittersweet Reality Check:
“We work so hard at what we do and it all disappears so quickly."—Mariann Mayberry, (Outstanding Actress in a Play, Steppenwolf’s Good People)

Jeff Awards by the Numbers:

  • 250 plus - Shows that the Committee judged last season
  • 42 - Trophies handed out
  • 8 - References to the awesomeness of the Chicago theater “community”
  • 7 - Most trophies to one theater (Chicago Shakespeare)
  • 3 - Most trophies to one show (Sunday in the Park With George)
  • 1 - References to Tracy Letts 


And the (Real) 2013 Equity Jeff winners are:

Production, Play, Large

Good People, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
 


Production, Play, Midsize

33 Variations, TimeLine Theatre Company
 


Production, Musical, Large

Sunday in the Park with George– Chicago Shakespeare Theater
 


Production, Musical, Midsize

A Class Act– Porchlight Music Theatre
 


Production, Revue

The Second City Guide to the Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and 
The Second City


Director, Play
William Brown, The Liar, Writers Theatre
 


Director, Musical

Gary Griffin, Sunday in the Park with George, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
 


Director, Revue

Billy Bungeroth, The Second City Guide to the Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago
 and The Second City
 


Ensemble
Othello: The Remix, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and 
Richard Jordan Productions Ltd
 


Actor In A Principal Role, Play

Michael Shannon, Simpatico, A Red Orchid Theatre
 


Actor In A Principal Role, Musical 

Bill Larkin, A Class Act, Porchlight Music Theatre
 


Actress In A Principal Role, Play

Mariann Mayberry, Good People, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
 


Actress In A Principal Role, Musical

Christine Sherrill, Sunset Boulevard, Drury Lane Productions



Actor Or Actress In A Revue
David M. Lutken, Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie, Northlight Theatre
 


Solo Performance
Alexis J. Rogers, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Porchlight Music Theatre
 


Actor In A Supporting Role, Play 

Raymond Fox, Blood and Gifts, TimeLine Theatre Company
 


Actor In A Supporting Role, Musical
André De Shields, The Jungle Book, Goodman Theatre in association with 
Huntington Theatre Company
 


Actress In A Supporting Role, Play
Elizabeth Ledo, Tartuffe, Court Theatre
 


Actress In A Supporting Role, Musical

Bethany Thomas, South Pacific, Marriott Theatre
 


Cameo Performance
Callie Johnson, Pal Joey, Porchlight Music Theatre
 


New Work 
Luis Alfaro, Mojada, Victory Gardens Theater

Rajiv Joseph, The Lake Effect, Silk Road Rising
 


New Adaptation
David Rice, Cymbeline, First Folio Theatre
 


Choreogrpahy

Linda Fortunato, 42nd Street, Theatre at the Center
 


Original Music In A Play

Michael Keefe and David Rice, Cymbeline, First Folio Theatre
 


Music Direction 

Doug Peck, The Jungle Book, Goodman Theatre in association with Huntington Theatre Company
 


Scenic design, Large Theater

David Gallo, Head of Passes, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
 


Scenic Design, Midsize Theater

Angela Weber Miller, Edward Albee’s Seascape, Remy Bumppo
 Theatre Company



Lighting Design, Large Theater

T.J. Gerckens, Metamorphoses, Lookingglass Theatre Company
 


Lighting Design, Midsize Theater

Brian Sidney Bembridge, Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West,
 TimeLine Theatre Company
 


Costume Design, Large Theater

Susan E. Mickey, The School for Lies, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
 


Costume design, Midsize Theater

Emily Waecker, You Never Can Tell, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
 


Sound Design, Large Theater

James Savage, Othello: The Remix, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and
 Richard Jordan Productions Ltd



Sound Design, Midsize Theater
Martin Desjardins, Andre Pluess and Christian Gero, Columbinus, American Theater Company
 


Projections/Video Design
Mike Tutaj, Sunday in the Park with George, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
 


Fight Direction 

John Tovar, The Opponent, A Red Orchid Theatre
 


Wig and make-up design

Melissa Veal, The School for Lies, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
 


Special Lifetime Achievement Award

Dale Benson


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