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January 2, 2015:

The 29th Annual Robby Award Nominations by Rob Stevens

The Robby Awards are back! The 29th edition of the once, and hopefully once again, annual theatre awards will be presented during a fun-filled show at the El Portal Theatre on Monday, February 9, 2015. The last awards show was held at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura in February 2004 and the last awards were announced on the ShowMag website in January 2005. The current nominations are for the 14 month period beginning in November 2013 when I returned to reviewing theatre until December 2014.

Co-hosting the event will be previous hosts and Robby Award winners Jo Anne Worley and Jason Graae. Set to appear as entertainers and/or presenters are Priscilla Barnes, Eileen Barnett, Teri Bibb, Jodi Carlisle, Kirsten Chandler, Will Collyer, Carole Cook, Linda Hart, Michael G. Hawkins, Kim Huber, Heather Lee, Tracy Lore, John Massey, Sharon McKnight, Linda Purl, Maggie Roswell, Sami Staitman, Joan Van Ark, Ann Walker, Robert Yacko and Stephanie Zimbalist. The awards were announced annually by longtime theatre critic Rob Stevens beginning with the 1974 calendar year. The first awards show was held in March 1981 and soon became the most fun party for theatre folk in Southern California. Tickets are $25.00 and seating is unreserved. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The show will start at 7 p.m. and be followed by a dessert and wine reception.
Tickets may be purchased at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/942388 or by calling 818-508-4200 or 866-811-4111.

VIRGINIA CAPERS AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL
Cats, McCoy Rigby Entertainment
Death Takes A Holiday, Musical Theatre Guild
Floyd Collins, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, La Jolla Playhouse
Les Miserables, McCoy Rigby Entertainment
The Light in the Piazza, South Coast Repertory
Li’l Abner, LACC Theatre Academy
Lysistrata Jones, Chance Theatre
Scary Musical The Musical, The NoHo Arts Center
Songs for a New World, A Cuppa Tea Theatre Company
Spring Awakening, Deaf West Theatre

The cast of South Coast Repertory's 2014 production of THE LIGHT
The Light in the Piazza (photo by Debora Robinson)

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
Kari Hayter, Lysistrata Jones
Richard Israel, Floyd Collins
Bruce Kimmel, Li’l Abner
Brian Kite, Les Miserables
Christopher Maikish, Songs for a New World
Michael Matthews, Psyche A Modern Rock Opera, Psyche Productions, LLC
James J. Mellon, Scary Musical The Musical
Kent Nicholson, The Light in the Piazza
Calvin Remsberg, Death Takes a Holiday
Scott Schwartz, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Spring Awakening

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Michael Arden, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
James Barbour, Les Miserables
David Burnham, The Light in the Piazza
Dan Callaway, Death Takes a Holiday
Patrick Cassidy, A Little Night Music, Ensemble Theatre Company
Randall Dodge, Les Miserables
Zachary Ford, Sweet Smell of Success, Musical Theatre Guild
Evan Harris, Li’l Abner
Keir Kirkegaard, Scary Musical The Musical
Austin McKenzie, Spring Awakening
Mark Whitten, Floyd Collins

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Randall Dodge and James Barbour in Les Miserables (photo by Michael Lamont)

MICHELLE NICASTRO AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Patti Cohenour, The Light in the Piazza
Erin Davie and Emily Padgett, Side Show, La Jolla Playhouse
Sandra Mae Frank/Katie Boeck, Spring Awakening
Devon Hadsell, Lysistrata Jones
Ashley Fox Linton, Death Takes a Holiday
Erin Mackey, The Light in the Piazza
Jane Papageorge, Scary Musical The Musical
Madison Claire Parks, Li’l Abner
Ciara Renee, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Treva Tegtmeier, 110 in the Shade, Actors Co-Op
Stephanie Zimbalist, A Little Night Music

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Madison Claire Parks and Evan Harris in Li’l Abner

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Will Collyer, Sweet Smell of Success
Joey D’Auria, The Fantasticks, Good People Theater Company
Daniel N. Durant/Rustin Cole Sailors, Spring Awakening
August Emerson, Scary Musical The Musical
Anthony Fedorov, Les Miserables
Joe Hart, Death Takes a Holiday
Andrew Huber, Big Fish, Musical Theatre West
John Massey, Li’l Abner
Perry Ojeda, The Light in the Piazza
Jonah Platt, Floyd Collins
David St Louis, Side Show

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Andrew Huber in Big Fish (Caught in the Moment Photography)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Teri Bibb, Death Takes a Holiday
Misty Cotton, A Little Night Music
Melissa Fahn, City of Angels, Musical Theatre Guild
Kimberly Hessler, Les Miserables
Kim Huber, Floyd Collins
Melina Kalomas, The Light in the Piazza
Ashley Fox Linton, Sweet Smell of Success
Tracy Lore, City of Angels
Ashley Arlene Nelson, Lysistrata Jones
Kelli Provart, Cats
Carla R. Stewart, Ghost-The Musical, Pantages Theatre

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Kim Huber and Mark Whitten in Floyd Collins

DOM SALINARO AWARD FOR BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Kay Cole, Li’l Abner
Julie Hall, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Actors Co-Op
Michelle LaVon, The Werewolves of Hollywood Blvd., Orgasmico Theatre Co.
Spencer Liff, Spring Awakening
Dana Solimando, Cats
John Todd, Sweet Smell of Success
Kelly Todd, Lysistrata Jones

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Lysistrata Jones

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION
Jim Blackett, Songs for a New World
Dennis Castellano, The Light in the Piazza
Brad Ellis, City of Angels
John Glaudini, Les Miserables
Corey Hirsch, The Fantasticks
Brent-Alan Huffman, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Wayne Moore, Li’l Abner
David O, Floyd Collins
Nate Patten, We Will Rock You, CTG-Ahmanson Theatre
David Potter, A Little Night Music
Jared Stein, Spring Awakening

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Emily Padgett and Erin Davie in Side Show (photo by Kevin Berne)

BILLY BARNES AWARD FOR BEST MUSIC & LYRICS
Craig Carnelia and Marvin Hamlisch, Sweet Smell of Success
Gene De Paul and Johnny Mercer, Li’l Abner
Michael Shaw Fisher and Michael Teoli, The Werewolves of Hollywood Blvd.
Adam Guettel, The Light in the Piazza
Andrew Lippa, Big Fish
Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening
Maury Yeston, Death Takes a Holiday

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Patrick Cassidy, Heather Ayers and Jordan Miller in A Little Night Music

NAN MARTIN AWARD FOR BEST DRAMA
Conviction, Rubicon Theatre Company
The Curse of Oedipus, The Antaeus Company
The Dance of Death, A Noise Within
Equivocation, Theatricum Botanicum
The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?, Los Angeles LGBT Center
The Last Confession, CTG-Ahmanson Theatre
The Lion in Winter, The Colony Theatre Company
Some Girl(s), Mahoobla Productions
Top Girls, The Antaeus Company
Trudy and Max in Love, South Coast Repertory
Trying, International City Theatre

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Ann Noble and Paul Witten in The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? (photo by Michael Lamont)

MARTIN BENSON AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR OF A DRAMA
Jonathan Church, The Last Confession
John Henry Davis, Trying
Geoff Elliott & Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, The Dance of Death
Lila Neugebauer, Trudy and Max in Love
Mike Peebler, Equivocation
Ken Sawyer, The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?
Scott Schwartz and Katie Lindsay, Conviction
Casey Stangl, The Curse of Oedipus
David Svengalis, Some Girl(s)
Stephanie Vlahos, The Lion in Winter
Cameron Watson, Top Girls

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The Curse of Oedipus

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Tony Abatemarco, Trying
Tony Amendola, The Curse of Oedipus
Jonathan Bray, Fat Pig, D&ME Productions
Ian Buchanan, The Lion in Winter
Clay Bunker, The Diviners, Actors Co-Op
Geoff Elliott, The Dance of Death
Gregory James, Some Girl(s)
Nate Jones, Holding the Man, Australian Theatre Company
David Suchet, The Last Confession
Michael Weston, Trudy and Max in Love
Paul Witten, The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?

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David Suchet in The Last Confession (photo by Craig Schwartz)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Susan Angelo, The Dance of Death
Aya Cash, Trudy and Max in Love
Mariette Hartley, The Lion in Winter
Sally Hughes, Top Girls
Sharon Lawrence, A Song at Twilight, Pasadena Playhouse
Elyse Mirto, Conviction
Ann Noble, The Goat or. Who Is Sylvia?
Linda Purl, The Year of Magical Thinking, The Laguna Playhouse
Paige Lindsey White, Trying

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Nigel Bennett, The Last Confession
Alan Blumenfeld, Equivocation
Tate Ellington, Trudy and Max in Love
Brendan Ford, The Lion in Winter
Eric Curtis Johnson, The Dance of Death
Richard O’Callaghan, The Last Confession
Dane Oliver, Equivocation
Nick Stabile, Fat Pig
Paul David Story, The Lion in Winter
Adam J. Yeend, Holding the Man

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Holding the Man

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Caroline Aaron, Be A Good Little Widow, The NoHo Arts Center
Rhonda Aldrich, Top Girls
Ivy Beech, The Diviners
Celeste Den, Trudy and Max in Love
Katherine Diaz, Some Girl(s)
Karianne Flaathen, Top Girls
Eve Gordon, The Curse of Oedipus
Julie Granata, Conviction
Roxanne Hart, A Song at Twilight
Linda Park, Top Girls

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Top Girls (photo by Daniel G. Lam)

MICHAEL DEVEREAUX AWARD FOR BEST PLAYWRITING
Edward Albee, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?
Bill Cain, Equivocation
Roger Crane, The Last Confession
Carey Crim, Conviction
Christopher Durang, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, CTG-Mark Taper Forum
Joanna McClelland Glass, Trying
Richard Hochberg, Scary Musical The Musical
David Ives, Venus in Fur
Lissa Levin, Sex & Education, The Colony Theatre Company
Jonathan Tolins, Buyer & Cellar, CTG-Mark Taper Forum

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Keir Kirkegaard and Jane Papageorge in Scary Musical The Musical (photo by Michael Lamont)

CAROLE COOK AWARD FOR BEST COMEDY
Buyer & Cellar
Fallen Angels, The Laguna Playhouse
Glorious!, International City Theatre
Meet & Greet, Theatre Asylum
Sex & Education, The Colony Theatre Company
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, The Laguna Playhouse
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Venus in Fur, San Diego Repertory Theatre
Venus in Fur, South Coast Repertory
What the Butler Saw, CTG-Mark Taper Forum

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Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (photo by Craig Schwartz)

RON LINK AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR OF A COMEDY
Michael Arabian, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
Andrew Barnicle, Sex & Education
Stephen Brackett, Buyer & Cellar
Richard Israel, Glorious!
Art Manke, Fallen Angels
David Hyde Pierce, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Kim Rubinstein & Sam Woodhouse, Venus in Fur, San Diego Repertory Theatre
Casey Stangl, Venus in Fur, South Coast Repertory
John Tillinger, What the Butler Saw
Stan Zimmerman, Meet & Greet

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Colette Kilroy and Katie Macnichol in Fallen Angels

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Mark Blum, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
David Engel, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
Brian Graves, The Foreigner, Crown City Theatre Company
Graham Hamilton, Venus in Fur, South Coast Repertory
Philip Orazio, The Importance of Being Earnest, Queer Classics
Boone Platt, The Importance of Being Earnest
William Reinbold, Sex & Education
Charles Shaughnessy, What the Butler Saw
Michael Urie, Buyer & Cellar
Paxton Whitehead, What the Butler Saw

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Paxton Whitehead, Sarah Manton and Charles Shaughnessy in What The Butler Saw (photo by Craig Schwarz)

LU LEONARD AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Eileen Barnett, Glorious!
Leslie Caron, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
Christine Ebersole, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Colette Kilroy, Fallen Angels
Caroline Kinsolving, Venus in Fur, San Diego Repertory Theatre
Katie Macnichol, Fallen Angels
Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Jaimi Paige, Venus in Fur, South Coast Repertory
Stephanie Zimbalist, Sex & Education

Graham Hamilton and Jaimi Paige in South Coast Repertory's 2014
Graham Hamilton and Jaimi Paige in SCR’s Venus in Fur (photo by Debora Robinson)

ALBERT LORD AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
J. Paul Boehmer, Fallen Angels
David Hull, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Grant Jordan, The Importance of Being Earnest
Mason McCulley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Angus McEwan, What the Butler Saw
Adam Simon Krist, The Foreigner

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Philip Orazio and Grant Jordan in The Importance of Being Earnest (photo by Teena Pugliese)

DEE CROXTON AWARD BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Mary-Pat Green, Fallen Angels
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit, CTG-Ahmanson Theatre
Allison Lindsey Williams, Sex & Education
Sarah Manton, What the Butler Saw
Susan Louise O’Connor, Blithe Spirit
Janellen Steininger, Glorious!
Suzanne Warmanen, Tartuffe, South Coast Repertory

"Blithe Spirit"
Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit (photo by Joan Marcus)

BEST SCENIC DESIGN
Tom Buderwitz, Fallen Angels
Alexander Dodge, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
William Dudley, The Last Confession
Harry Feiner, A Little Night Music
David Korins, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Joanne McGee, The Foreigner
Keith Mitchell, Venus in Fur, South Coast Repertory
Neil Patel, The Light in the Piazza
David Rockwell, Side Show,
Robert Selander, The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (photo by Kevin Berne)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Howell Binkley, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Francois-Pierre Couture, The Curse of Oedipus
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Side Show
Travis Hagenbuch, Spring Awakening
Lisa D. Katz, Floyd Collins
Peter Mumford, The Last Confession
Matt Schleicher, Lysistrata Jones
Tim Swiss, Psyche A Modern Rock Opera
Jean-Yves Tessier, Cats
Steven Young, Les Miserables

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Cats (photo by Michael Lamont)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Kate Bergh, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
Vicki Conrad, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Roxanne De Ment & Natalya Shahinyan, Li’l Abner
Kim DeShazo, Glorious!
William Ivey Long, Big Fish
David K Mickelsen, Fallen Angels
Leah Piehl, The Light in the Piazza
Alejo Vietti, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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BEST SOUND DESIGN
Bobby Aitken, We Will Rock You
Philip G. Allen, Spring Awakening
John Bessom, Cats
Jeff Gardner, The Curse of Oedipus
Kai Harada, Side Show
Gareth Owen, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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We Will Rock You (photo by Paul Kolnik)

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
Matthew Elkins, Gregory Itzin, Rebecca Mozo, Patrick Stafford, Cock, Rogue Machine Theatre
Lindsey Alley, Marc Ginsburg, Jennifer Shelton, Let’s Misbehave, International City Theatre
Daniele Gaither, Teresa Ganzel, Carolyn Hennesy, Paul Iacono, Vicki Lewis, Meet & Greet
Sherry Mandujano, Keith Montanez, Emily Morris, Scott Weston, Songs for a New World
Rebecca Johnson, Damon Kirsche, Ashley Fox Linton, Jeff Skowron, Rebecca Spencer, ‘S Wonderful, Musical Theatre West

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clockwise from the top Vicki Lewis, Teresa Ganzel, Carolyn Hennesy and Daniele Gaither in Meet & Greet

JOHN RAITT AWARD FOR BEST CABARET/CONCERT PERFORMANCE
Stephanie Andersen, John Griffin, Kelsey Hainlen, Casey Hayden, Christopher Higgins, Reesa Ishiyama, Alissa-Nicole Koblentz, Payson Lewis, Harrison Meloeny, Lindsay Pearce, Jonah Platt, Shelley Regner, Katie Stevens, Katherine Washington, Bare Anniversary Concert, Rockwell Table & Stage
Dan Callaway, A Farewell to L.A., Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal
Miss Coco Peru, Have You Heard?, Rockwell Table & Stage
Harry Groener and Sharon Lawrence, Love, Noel: The Letters and Songs of Noel Coward Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Linda Eder, Constantine Maroulis, The Company Men, Night After the Tonys, Chris Isaacson Presents
Tara Browne, Cynthia Ferrer, Zachary Ford, Kim Huber, Bruce Kimmel, Kerry O’Malley, Jenna Lea Rosen, Sami Staitman, Sarah Staitman, Robert Yacko, Nobody Does It Like Me, Kritzerland, Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal
Sandy Bainum, ‘S Wonderful: Sandy Sings Ira Gershwin, Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal
Sandy Bainun, Zachary Ford, Bruce Kimmel, Andrea Marcovicci, Madison Claire Parks, Jenna Lea Rosen, Richard M. Sherman, Sami Staitman, Shannon Warne, Robert Yacko, These April Foolish Things, Kritzerland, Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal
Dan Callaway, Kay Cole, Bruce Kimmel, Jennifer Kranz, Heather Lee, Lisa Livesay, Shannon Warne, They’re Playing Our Song, Kritzerland, Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal
David Burnham, Valerie Perri, Mark Vogel, Together Again for the First Time, Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal

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Sandy Bainum

SPECIAL AWARD
Sacra/Profana Choral Ensemble, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

ROBBY LIVING LEGEND AWARD
Jules Aaron

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