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Ovation Awards 2018: Wins for Actors Co-op's '33 Variations,' East West Players' 'Next to Normal'

Ovation Awards 2018: Wins for Actors Co-op's '33 Variations,' East West Players' 'Next to Normal'
Deedee Magno Hall as Diana in East West Players' production of "Next to Normal." (Michael Lamont)

The 2018 Ovation Awards gave top honors to Actors Co-op's production of "33 Variations," and East West Players' "Next to Normal," the former taking the award for best production of a play in an intimate theater, and the latter winning awards for best production and direction of a musical.

The ceremony, held Monday night by the nonprofit L.A. Stage Alliance, took place at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles with host Kirsten Vangsness and presenters including Malcolm Barrett, Sam Harris and Rose Portillo. Thirty-five awards were given to 19 Southern California theater companies. Winners were determined by local producers, directors, actors and other theater professionals chosen through an application process.

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Rogue Machine was singled out for best season for a roster of plays including "Dutch Masters," "Les Blancs," "Still Life" and "The Super Variety Match Bonus Round!"

The night's most honored institutions also included Geffen Playhouse, the Echo Theater Company, Center Theatre Group and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

This year, the 197 nominations came from 70 productions presented by 43 organizations.

Winners are listed in bold among other nominees:

BEST SEASON

Center Theatre Group

Geffen Playhouse

Rogue Machine

The Echo Theater Company

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY, INTIMATE THEATER

"33 Variations," Actors Co-op

August Wilson's "King Hedley II," Sophina Brown

"Dutch Masters," Rogue Machine

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"Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

"The Cake," The Echo Theater Company

"The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage," The Theatre @ Boston Court

"Wet: A DACAmented Journey," Ensemble Studio Theatre / LA

BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY, LARGE THEATER

"Actually," Geffen Playhouse

"Dry Land," Center Theatre Group / The Echo Theater Company

"Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Center Theatre Group

"The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL, INTIMATE THEATER

"Dogfight," After Hours Theatre Company

"Parade, The Musical," Chance Theater

"When Jazz Had The Blues," CEK Productions

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL, LARGE THEATER

"Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

"For the Record: Scorsese — American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

"Next to Normal," East West Players

BEST PRESENTED PRODUCTION

"Fun Home," Center Theatre Group

"Into The Woods," Center Theatre Group

"The Encounter," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE, PLAY

"33 Variations," Actors Co-op

"Dry Land," Center Theatre Group / The Echo Theater Company

"Failure: A Love Story," Center Theatre Group / Coeurage Theatre Company

"Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Center Theatre Group

"The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

"The Pride," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE FOR A MUSICAL

"Dogfight," After Hours Theatre Company

"Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

"For the Record: Scorsese — American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

"Haunted House Party," The Getty Villa / The Troubadour Theater Company

"Next to Normal," East West Players

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Joyce Guy, "Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

Camille Loftin, "Martha," Whitefire Theatre

Paul McGill, "The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

Maria Torres, "Zoot Suit," Center Theatre Group

Keith Young, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION

Rahn Coleman, "When Jazz Had the Blues," CEK Productions

Abdul Hamid Royal, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

Marc Macalintal, "Next To Normal," East West Players

Jesse Vargas, "For the Record: Scorsese — American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

Elmo Zapp, "Dogfight," After Hours Theatre Company

BOOK FOR AN ORIGINAL MUSICAL

Michael Shaw Fisher, "Skullduggery: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet," Sacred Fools Theater Company

David Carey Foster & Larry Poindexter, "The Devil You Know, a Rhythm and Blues Story," Devilish Theatrical

Carole Eglash-Kosoff, "When Jazz Had the Blues," CEK Productions

LYRICS/COMPOSITION FOR AN ORIGINAL MUSICAL

Michael Shaw Fisher, "Skullduggery: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet," Sacred Fools Theater Company

Drew Fornarola & Marshall Pailet, "Claudio Quest, a Video Game Musical," Chance Theater

John Papageorge, "Siamese Sex Show," Theatre Planners

PLAYWRITING FOR AN ORIGINAL PLAY

Giovanni Adams, "Love Is a Dirty Word," Tilted Field Productions / VS. Theatre Company

Alex Alpharaoh, "Wet: A DACAmented Journey," Ensemble Studio Theatre / LA

Bekah Brunstetter, "The Cake," The Echo Theater Company

Idris Goodwin, "Bars and Measures," The Theatre @ Boston Court

Louisa Hill, "Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers," Skylight Theatre Company

Rajiv Joseph, "Archduke," Center Theatre Group

Anna Ziegler, "Actually," Geffen Playhouse

DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Michael Arden, "Merrily We Roll Along," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Anderson Davis, "For the Record: Scorsese — American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

Kari Hayter, "Parade, The Musical," Chance Theater

Kari Hayter, "Urinetown," Coeurage Theatre Company

Nancy Keystone, "Next to Normal," East West Players

Matt Walker, "Haunted House Party," The Getty Villa / The Troubadour Theater Company

Keith Young, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

DIRECTION OF A PLAY

Gregg T. Daniel, "Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

Alana Dietze, "Dry Land," Center Theatre Group / The Echo Theater Company

Mike Donahue, "The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

Katharine Farmer, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

Thomas James O'Leary, "33 Variations," Actors Co-op

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Tyne Rafaeli, "Actually," Geffen Playhouse

Phylicia Rashad, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Center Theatre Group

LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Obba Babatunde as Nomax, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

Allen Everman as Leo Frank, "Parade, the Musical," Chance Theater

Marc Ginsburg as Che, "Evita," Cabrillo Music Theatre

Frank Lawson as Billy Strayhorn, "When Jazz Had the Blues," CEK Productions

B. Slade as Stacks, "For the Record: Scorsese — American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Nicci Claspell as Rose Fenney, "Dogfight," After Hours Theatre Company

Carmen Cusack as Ginger, "For the Record: Scorsese — American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

Deedee Magno Hall as Diana, "Next to Normal," East West Players

Bets Malone as Lana Mae, "Honky Tonk Laundry," Honky Tonk Productions

Donna Vivino as Mary Flynn, "Merrily We Roll Along," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

LEAD ACTOR IN A PLAY

Jason Dirden as Levee, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Center Theatre Group

Harry Groener as Big Daddy, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Antaeus Theatre Company

Jerry MacKinnon as Tom, "Actually," Geffen Playhouse

Matt McGrath as Miss Tracy Mills, "The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

Mike McShane as Big Daddy, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Antaeus Theatre Company

Erik Odom as Raleigh, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

Glynn Turman as Toledo, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Center Theatre Group

LEAD ACTRESS IN A PLAY

K Callan as Mama, "Pie in the Sky," The Victory Theatre Center

Connor Kelly-Eiding as Ester, "Dry Land," Center Theatre Group / The Echo Theater Company

Lily Nicksay as May, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

Samantha Ressler as Amber, "Actually," Geffen Playhouse

Teagan Rose as Amy, "Dry Land," Center Theatre Group / The Echo Theater Company

Debra Jo Rupp as Della, "The Cake," The Echo Theater Company

Jacqueline Wright as Barb, "Blueberry Toast," The Echo Theater Company

FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Eric B. Anthony as Eat Moe, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

Rogelio Douglas, Jr. as Four Eyed Moe, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

Brendan Hunt as Yorick, "Skullduggery: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet," Sacred Fools Theater Company

Jason Paige as Frankie, "For the Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

Jacques C. Smith as No Moe, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

Matt Walker as Tranio, "Haunted House Party," The Getty Villa / The Troubadour Theater Company

Octavius Womack as Big Moe, "Five Guys Named Moe," Ebony Repertory Theatre

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Whitney Bashor as Beth Spencer, "Merrily We Roll Along," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Isa Briones as Mistress/Ensemble, "Evita," Cabrillo Music Theatre

Isa Briones as Natalie, "Next to Normal," East West Players

Isa Briones as Natalie, "Next to Normal," Triage Productions and Standing Room Only Productions

Yvette Cason as Katie Bell/Mahalia Jackson, "Shout Sister Shout!" Pasadena Playhouse

Dionne Gipson as Diane, "For the Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

Lindsey Gort as Iris, "For the Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

Tony Amendola as Jacques, "As You Like It," Antaeus Theatre Company

Larry Cedar as Tom/Phyllis/Leslie, "Sylvia," Rubicon Theatre Company

Lucas Near-Verbrugghe as Nicky, "Icebergs," Geffen Playhouse

Larry Powell as Miss Rexy/Jason, "The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

Montae Russell as Elmore, August Wilson's, "King Hedley II," Sophina Brown

Adolphus Ward as Stool Pigeon, August Wilson's "King Hedley II," Sophina Brown

Matthew Wilkas as The Man/Peter/The Doctor, "The Pride," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Peggy Ann Blow as Antonio/Chauncey, "The Gary Plays — Part 2," Open Fist Theatre Company

Ann Gee Byrd as Madame Neilsen, "Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

Toni Christopher as Izzy, "Rabbit Hole," JTK Productions

Dale Dickey as Adlean, "Barbecue," Geffen Playhouse

Faline England as Treva, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

Ella Joyce as Ruby, August Wilson's "King Hedley II," Sophina Brown

Sharon Sharth as Mrs. Gill, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

LIGHTING DESIGN, INTIMATE THEATER

Martha Carter, "Burners," Moving Arts

Elizabeth Harper, "The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage," The Theatre @ Boston Court

Derrick McDaniel, "Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

Dan Reed, "The Gary Plays – Part 2," Open Fist Theatre Company

Matt Richter, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited," Los Angeles LGBT Center

Andrew Schmedake, "33 Variations," Actors Co-op

Jean-Yves Tessier, "The Turn of the Screw," Actors Co-op

LIGHTING DESIGN, LARGE THEATER

Michael Berger & Dan Efros, "For the Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts / For the Record

Mike Billings, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

Lap Chi Chu, "Actually," Geffen Playhouse

Lap Chi Chu, "Archduke," Center Theatre Group

Josh Epstein, "The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

Elizabeth Harper, "Long Day's Journey Into Night," Geffen Playhouse

Pablo Santiago, "Zoot Suit," Center Theatre Group

SCENIC DESIGN, INTIMATE THEATER

Nicholas Acciani, "33 Variations," Actors Co-op

Glenn Michael Baker, "Burners," Moving Arts

Evan Bartoletti, "Pie in the Sky," The Victory Center Theatre

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John Iacovelli, August Wilson's, "King Hedley II," Sophina Brown

Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, "Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, "The Super Variety Match Bonus Round," Rogue Machine

David Mauer, "Dutch Masters," Rogue Machine

SCENIC DESIGN, LARGE THEATER

JR Bruce, "Failure: A Love Story," Center Theatre Group / Coeurage Theatre Company

Tom Buderwitz, "Lend Me a Tenor," La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Tom Buderwitz, "Long Day's Journey Into Night," Geffen Playhouse

Kevin Depinet, "Vicuña," Center Theatre Group

John Iacovelli, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Center Theatre Group

Amanda Knehans, "Dry Land," Center Theatre Group / The Echo Theater Company

Tim Mackabee, "Archduke," Center Theatre Group

SOUND DESIGN, INTIMATE THEATER

Cameron Combe, "Our Town," Actor Co-op

Jeff Gardner, "Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

Howard Ho, "Bloodletting," Playwright's Arena

David B. Marling, "33 Variations," Actors Co-op

Ken Rich, "Plasticity," SoulArt

Joseph Slawinski, "Burners," Moving Arts

John Zalewski, "The Gary Plays — Part 3," Open Fist Theatre Company

SOUND DESIGN, LARGE THEATER

Drew Dalzell & Noelle Hoffman, "Wicked Lit 2016," Unbound Productions

Jeff Gardner, "Dry Land," Center Theatre Group / The Echo Theater Company

Daniel Kluger, "Archduke," Center Theatre Group

Austin Quan, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

Joshua Reid, "The Pride," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

John Zalewski, "A Mexican Trilogy: An American Story," The Latino Theatre Company

John Zalewski, "The Conduct of Life," Hero Theatre Inc.

COSTUME DESIGN, INTIMATE THEATER

Wendell Carmichael, "Les Blancs," Rogue Machine

Vicki Conrad, "33 Variations," Actors Co-op

Michael Mullen, "Burners," Moving Arts

Michael Mullen, "Siamese Sex Show," Theatre Planners

Michael Mullen, "When Jazz Had the Blues," CEK Productions

Mylette Nora, August Wilson's "King Hedley II," Sophina Brown

John Sinner, "John Sinner's an Invasion of Decency!" fancyplayground

COSTUME DESIGN, LARGE THEATER

Denitsa Bliznakova, "Archduke," Center Theatre Group

E.B. Brooks, "The Legend of Georgia McBride," Geffen Playhouse

Ann Closs-Farley, "Zoot Suit," Center Theatre Group

Marcy Froehlich, "Gulf View Drive," Rubicon Theatre Company

Danae Iris McQueen, "The Pride," Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

David Kay Mickelsen, "Lend Me a Tenor," La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Emilio Sosa, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Center Theatre Group

VIDEO/PROJECTION DESIGN

Nicholas Acciani, "33 Variations," Actors Co-op

Hillary Bauman, Corwin Evans & Chris Hutchings, "Rose and the Rime," Sacred Fools Theater Company

Corwin Evans, "Plasticity," SoulArt

Matthew Hill, "Hansel & Gretel," Bluegrass Center

Hana Kim, "The Gary Plays — Part 2," Open Fist Theatre Company

Peter Nigrini, "Amélie, a New Musical," Center Theatre Group

Mike Tutaj, "King of the Yees," Center Theatre Group

OVATION HONORS

Noah Arguss, "Bars and Measures," The Theatre @ Boston Court, music composition for a play

Ahmed Best, "Blueberry Toast," The Echo Theater Company, fight choreography

Joe Seely, "Wicked Lit 2016," Unbound Productions, puppet design

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