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CULTURE MONSTER

L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards: Big wins for 'Hit the Wall' and 'Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles'

"Hit the Wall," a play about the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots, and "Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles," which sets a classic Greek tragedy in Boyle Heights, won the top award Monday night at the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.

"Hit the Wall," a re-creation of the Stonewall riots for gay rights produced by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Sixth Avenue, won outstanding production as well as awards for ensemble performance, lead performance (Matthew Hancock), featured performer (Charlotte Gulezian) and direction (Ken Sawyer).

The Getty Villa and the Theatre @ Boston Court's "Mojada" claimed a directing honor (Jessica Kubzansky) as well as awards for adaptation (Luis Alfaro) and lead performance (Sabina Zuniga Varela). The Odyssey Theatre’s "Anna Christie," an inventive reimagining of the 1920 Eugene O’Neill play, garnered the Tom McCulloh Award for revival, plus honors for directing (Kim Rubinstein) and lead performance (Zoe Perry).

The critics circle consists of 21 people, including Times contributors Margaret Gray and David C. Nichols. Winners were announced at the Moss Theatre of New Roads School in Santa Monica. The complete list of honorees:

Production

  • "Hit the Wall," the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • "Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles," J. Paul Getty Museum and Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.

 McCulloh Award for revival (plays written between 1920 and 1980)

  • "Anna Christie," Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre (previously announced)

 

Lead performance

  • Mary Beth Fisher in "Luna Gale," Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.
  • Matthew Hancock in "Hit the Wall," the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • Emily Lopez in "Carrie the Musical," Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, the Transfer Group, Michael T. Cohen/Robin Reinach, Kraige Block and Joe Everett Michaels, in association with La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Los Angeles Theatre.
  • Zoe Perry in "Anna Christie," Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.
  • Jimmi Simpson in "Trevor," Circle X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Sabina Zuniga Varela in "Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles," J. Paul Getty Museum and Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.                                                        

 Featured performance

  • Richard Fancy in "Awake and Sing!" Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.
  • Charlotte Gulezian in "Hit the Wall," the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • Charlie Hofheimer in "Bent," Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum.
  • Tracie Lockwood in "A Permanent Image" Rogue Machine Theatre at Theatre/Theater.

 Ensemble performance        

  • "André & Dorine," Kulunka Teatro at Los Angeles Theatre Center.
  • "Hit the Wall," the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Solo performance

  • Orson Bean in "Safe at Home: An Evening With Orson Bean," Pacific Resident Theatre.

 Direction

  • Jessica Kubzansky, "Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles," J. Paul Getty Museum and Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa.
  • Kim Rubinstein, "Anna Christie," Odyssey Theatre Ensemble at Odyssey Theatre.
  • Ken Sawyer, "Hit the Wall," the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Writing

  • Rebecca Gilman, "Luna Gale," Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.
  • Nick Jones, "Trevor," Circle X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre.

Writing (adaptation)

  • Luis Alfaro, "Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles," J. Paul Getty Museum and Theatre @ Boston Court at Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa (previously announced).

Musical score

  • Jake Broder, "Miravel," Sacred Fools Theater Company at Sacred Fools Theater.
  • Tim Minchin, "Matilda the Musical," Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.

Music direction

  • Abdul Hamid Royal, "The Gospel at Colonus," Ebony Repertory Theatre at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.
  • Julie Wolf, "Girlfriend," the Actors Theatre of Louisville Production, Center Theatre Group at Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Choreography

  • Josh Rhodes, "Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella," Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Koos, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Carola Productions, Roy Furman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, James Spry, Eric Schmidt, and Blanket Fort Productions, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.
  • Angela Todaro, "American Idiot," DOMA Theatre Company at the MET Theatre.

Set design

  • Tom Buderwitz, "The Whipping Man," South Coast Repertory and the Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Mimi Lien, "Appropriate," Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum.

 Lighting design

  • Tom Ontiveros, "My Barking Dog," Theatre @ Boston Court.
  • Matt Richter, "Hit the Wall," the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center and Sixth Avenue at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

 

Costume design

  • Jessica Ford, "These Paper Bullets!" Geffen Playhouse in association with Atlantic Theater Company presents the Yale Repertory Theatre Production at Geffen Playhouse.
  • William Ivey Long, "Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella," Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Koos, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Carola Productions, Roy Furman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, James Spry, Eric Schmidt, and Blanket Fort Productions, Center Theatre Group at Ahmanson Theatre.

Sound design

  • John Zalewski, "My Barking Dog," Theatre @ Boston Court.

CGI/video design

  • Anthony Backman and Jim Pierce, "Astro Boy and the God of Comics," Sacred Fools Theatre Company at Sacred Fools Theatre.
  • Nicholas Santiago, "A Permanent Image," Rogue Machine Theatre at Theatre/Theater.

 Specialty

  • Garbiñe Insausti, "André & Dorine," Kulunka Teatro at The Los Angeles Theatre Center (masks).
  • Aviva Pressman, "Astro Boy and the God of Comics," Sacred Fools Theater Company at Sacred Fools Theater (live art direction).

jessica.gelt@latimes.com

Twitter: @jessicagelt

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