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

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


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