Theater nominees announced

Times Staff Writer

Two musicals at the Music Center, largely imported from previous New York productions, lead the nominations for the 2004 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, announced today, with "Caroline, or Change" winning seven nods and "A Little Night Music" netting six.

Nominees in the outstanding production category included those two shows plus "Cyrano de Bergerac" at South Coast Repertory, Musical Theatre West's "Hot Mikado," Fountain Theatre's "Exits and Entrances" and Black Dahlia Theatre's production of "Theater District."

Athol Fugard's "Exits and Entrances" received five nods. Theatre@Boston Court's premiere of Jean-Claude van Itallie's "Light" and "Hairspray" at the Pantages Theatre each garnered four.

This year, the LADCC introduced a new award for outstanding revival, named after the late critic T.H. McCulloh.

Dakin Matthews won two of the special awards announced along with the nominations: the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence and the Ted Schmitt Award for best world premiere for his "Prince of L.A."

The circle is composed of 17 local critics. The Los Angeles Times does not participate in the group. The awards will be presented in a March 21 ceremony at the Coronet Theatre.

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