A musical about the price of peeing was the toast of Washington last night, as Signature Theater’s Urinetown won eight Helen Hayes awards for 2006, including the award as best resident musical.
In addition to winning the overall award, Urinetown was credited for outstanding director (Joe Calarco), outstanding musical direction (Jay Crowder), outstanding choreographer (Karma Camp), outstanding supporting actor in a resident musical (Stephen F. Schmidt), and outstanding supporting actress in a resident musical (Jenna Sokolowski). Will Gartshore shared the award for outstanding lead actor in a resident musical with Michael McElroy, who appeared in Ford Theater’s production of Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Erin Driscoll shared the award for outstanding lead actress in a resident musical with Meg Gillentine, who played Lola in Arena’s production of Damn Yankees.
The awards in the resident play category were distributed a little more evenly. Studio Theater’s Take Me Out shared overall honors with Woolly Mammoth’s highly-praised The Clean House. Rick Foucheux and Patrick Page both received outstanding actor in a resident play awards; Foucheux for his work in Take Me Out and Page for his performance as Iago in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Othello. Eunice Wong was outstanding actress in a resident play for her work in the title role of Studio’s The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow. Franca Barachiesi was recognized as supporting actress for her performance in The Clean House, and Bruce Nelson was acknowledged as supporting actor for his work in Rep Stage’s The Violet Hour. Joy Zinoman was named outstanding director for the job she did on the Carol Churchill play, A Number, at Studio.
The judges acknowledged the lush set designed by Simon Higlett and the costumes designed by Robert Perdziola for the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lady Windemere’s Fan., lighting done by Charlie Morrison in the same company’s version of The Tempest, and Martin Desjardins’ sound design for Round House Theatre’s columbinus.
The Helen Hayes judges also acknowledged, with a Charles W. MacArthur Award, the original script of S.M. Shephard-Massat, whose Starving premiered at Woolly Mammoth.
Scenic designer Ming Cho Lee and costume designer Jane Greenwood won the Helen Hayes tribute, sponsored by Gilbert and Jaylee Mead, and American Airlines and Arlene Kogod were recognized for their extraordinary generosity to theater.
As expected, Jefferson Mays’ astonishing performance in I Am My Own Wife won the play recognition as outstanding non-resident production and himself as outstanding non-resident actor. Stephanie Block was named outstanding non-resident actress for her work in the Kennedy Center’s production of Wicked.
We will present a supplemental report with more details later in the day.
Outstanding Choreography — Resident Play or Musical: Karma Camp, “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre
Outstanding Musical Direction — Resident Play or Musical: Jay Crowder, “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre
Outstanding Director — Resident Musical: Joe Carlarco, “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre
Outstanding Director — Resident Play: Joy Zinoman, “A Number,” Studio Theatre
Outstanding Set Design — Resident Play or Musical: Simon Higlett, “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
Outstanding Lighting Design — Resident Play or Musical: Charlie Morrison, “The Tempest,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
Outstanding Costume Design — Resident Play or Musical: Robert Perdziola, “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
Outstanding Sound Design — Resident Play or Musical: Martin Desjardins, “Columbinus”, Round House Theatre
Outstanding Supporting Actor — Resident Musical: Stephen F. Schmidt, “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre
Outstanding Supporting Actress — Resident Musical: Jenna Sokolowski, “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre
Outstanding Supporting Actor — Resident Play: Bruce R. Nelson, “The Violet Hour,” Rep Stage
Outstanding Supporting Actress – Resident Play: Franca Barchiesi, “The Clean House,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Outstanding Lead Actor — Non-Resident Production: Jefferson Mays, “I Am My Own Wife,” National Theatre
Outstanding Lead Actress — Non-Resident Production: Stephanie J. Block, “Wicked,” the Kennedy Center
Outstanding Lead Actor — Resident Musical: (tie) Will Gartshore, “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre, and Michael McElroy, “Big River: The Adventures of Huckeberry Finn,” Ford’s Theatre
Outstanding Lead Actress — Resident Musical: (tie) Erin Driscoll, “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre, and Meg Gillentine, “Damn Yankees,” Arena Stage
Outstanding Lead Actor — Resident Play: (tie) Rick Foucheux, “Take Me Out,” Studio Theatre, and Patrick Page, “Othello,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
Outstanding Lead Actress — Resident Play: Eunice Wong, “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow,” Studio Theatre Secondstage
Outstanding Non-Resident Production: “I Am My Own Wife,” National Theatre
The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical: S.M. Shephard-Massat, “Starving,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Outstanding Resident Musical: “Urinetown,” Signature Theatre
Outstanding Resident Play: (tie) “The Clean House,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and “Take Me Out,” Studio Theatre
Meg Gillentine, Brad Oscar and Diego Prieto (Damn Yankees)
Watch this evening for our coverage of the party with full photo coverage by our own Lorraine Treanor.