Center Theatre Group Wins 12 Critics Awards


The Center Theatre Group is the big winner of the 21st annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards being announced today.

Center Theatre Group, which captured 12 of the 30 awards given for outstanding achievement in theater in 1989, staged a remarkable comeback from last year, when the Music Center’s resident companies received only one award.

It won five awards for the Mark Taper Forum’s “Stand-Up Tragedy"--the most for any single production--including an outstanding production honor. Center Theatre Group also won seven awards for three other shows: four for “The Phantom of the Opera” and two for “Into the Woods,” both at the Ahmanson Theatre, and one for John Lithgow’s performance in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” which was part of the Ahmanson’s season at the Doolittle Theatre.

The only other award for outstanding production this year went to “Cloud Nine,” which was presented at the 99-seat West Coast Ensemble. It received a total of three awards.


Altogether, shows in major theaters received 22 out of the 30 awards given, while shows in smaller theaters netted seven. The 30th went to Raymond J. Barry for his lead performance in “Once in Doubt,” which played both at the small Cast-at-the-Circle Theatre and the larger Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Including “Once in Doubt,” three LATC shows earned a single award apiece, and two South Coast Repertory productions garnered a total of four awards--three of them for “You Never Can Tell.” Besides “Into the Woods,” other productions with two award winners were “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Wenceslas Square” and “Gypsy.”

All the awards, including previously announced special awards to the Back Alley Theatre and “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding,” will be presented at a luncheon ceremony April 8 at Studio City’s Sportsmen’s Lodge.

The winners:


Production: “Cloud Nine,” produced by West Coast Ensemble in association with Singular Productions, at West Coast Ensemble; “Stand-Up Tragedy,” produced by Gordon Davidson, Stephen J. Albert, Robert Egan for the Mark Taper Forum.

Direction: Allison Liddi, “Cloud Nine”; Ron Link, “Stand-Up Tragedy.”

Writing: Bill Cain, “Stand-Up Tragedy”; Larry Shue, “Wenceslas Square,” Matrix Theatre; Alfred Uhry, “Driving Miss Daisy,” Henry Fonda Theatre.

Lead Performance: Raymond J. Barry, “Once in Doubt,” Cast Theatre/Los Angeles Theatre Center; Roscoe Lee Browne, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” Los Angeles Theatre Center; Michael Crawford, “The Phantom of the Opera,” Ahmanson Theatre; Tyne Daly, “Gypsy,” Dorothy Chandler Pavilion/Orange County Performing Arts Center; Michael DeLorenzo, “Stand-Up Tragedy”; Julie Harris, “Driving Miss Daisy”; John Lithgow, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” James A. Doolittle Theatre; Joe Spano, “American Buffalo,” Gnu Theatre.

Featured Performance: Raymond Cruz, “Buck,” Heliotrope Theatre; I. M. Hobson, “You Never Can Tell,” South Coast Repertory; Nancy Lenehan, “Wenceslas Square.”

Ensemble Performance: “Cloud Nine.”

Scenic Design: Maria Bjornson, “The Phantom of the Opera”; Michael Devine, “The Road to Mecca,” South Coast Repertory; Cliff Faulkner, “You Never Can Tell.”

Lighting Design: Andrew Bridge, “The Phantom of the Opera”; Peter Maradudin, “You Never Can Tell.”


Costume Design: Maria Bjornson, “The Phantom of the Opera”; Ann Hould-Ward, “Into the Woods,” Ahmanson Theatre/Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Sound Design: Jon Gottlieb, “Minamata,” Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Choreography: Shabba-Doo, “Stand-Up Tragedy.”

Musical Direction: Eric Stern, “Gypsy.”

Original Musical Score: Stephen Sondheim, “Into the Woods.”