Passion, a musical of love and obsession, took home top honors for Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre at the 41st Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony recognizing excellence in non-union Chicago theatre, June 2.
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s “Passion”, Stephen Sondheim’s moody musical which portrays a 19th century love triangle of a soldier, his lover, and an obsessive stranger, garnered four awards, for Best Production – Musical, Principal Actress Danni Smith, Supporting Actress Colette Todd, and Music Director Kory Danielson.
Sean Blake, a long-time Chicago actor and past multiple nominee, and Dana Tretta, musical actress Jeff award recipient and six time nominee, served as emcees for the award show, which recognized 127 nominees in 24 categories from 66 Jeff Recommended productions, and ultimately honored 25 recipients from 14 theatres with awards celebrating excellence in all aspects of Chicago Non-Equity theatre. Director and choreographer Brenda Didier directed the ceremony, and Jeff non-Equity chair John D. Glover produced the event.
Diane Hires, the chair of the 55-member Jeff Committee, welcomed the audience and presented this year’s Special Jeff Award to Griffin Theatre Company for its dedication to provocative and transformational theatre for Chicago audiences as well as its touring theater that engages and enlightens youth throughout the United States. Griffin Artistic Director Bill Massolia accepted the award on behalf of an entourage of Griffin company members, board members and friends.
Lili-Anne Brown, Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, received the honor for Director of a Musical with her insightful production of Lynn Ahrens’ and Steven Flaherty’s Dessa Rose. The Choreography honor went to Linda Fortunato for her work in Kiss of the Spider Woman at BoHo Theatre.
The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since established in 1968. With up to 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors.
The Jeff Awards evaluates more than 250 theatrical productions and host two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre. The next Equity Awards Ceremony, honoring productions presented under union contracts, will be held on Monday, October 13, 2014, at the Drury Lane Oakbrook in Oakbrook Terrace.
2014 Non-Equity Jeff Award Recipients
PRODUCTION – PLAY
The Mother – Oracle Productions
PRODUCTION – MUSICAL
Passion – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
The Mother – Oracle Productions
DIRECTOR – PLAY
Jason Gerace, Great Expectations – Strawdog Theatre CompanyDIRECTOR – MUSICAL OR REVUE
Lili-Anne Brown, Dessa Rose – Bailiwick Chicago
ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Patrick Gannon, The Tennessee Williams Project – The Hypocrites
ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Katherine Keberlein, The Mother – Oracle Productions
ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
David Schlumpf, Sweet Smell of Success – Kokandy Productions
ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – MUSICAL
Danni Smith, Passion – Theo Ubique Cabaret TheatreACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Norm Woodel, Golden Boy – Griffin Theatre Company
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – PLAY
Nora Lise Ulrey, The Children’s Hour – Pride Films and Plays
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Tommy Bullington, Return of Neverland – Quest Theatre Ensemble
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – MUSICAL
Colette Todd, Passion – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Phillip Dawkins, Miss Marx: or the involuntary side effect of living
– Strawdog Theatre Company
Manny Tamayo, Incident on Run #1217 – Factory Theater
Steve Gooch, The Mother – Oracle Productions
ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY
Jonathan Guillen and Nicholas Tonozzi, The Mother – Oracle Productions
Kory Danielson, Passion – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Linda Fortunato, Kiss of the Spider Woman – BoHo Theatre
Andrei Onegin, The Playboy of the Western World – Raven Theatre
Diane D. Fairchild, A Tale of Two Cities – Lifeline Theatre
Izumi Inaba, The Life and Death of Madam Barker – Red Tape Theatre
Stephen Ptacek, The Killer Angels – Lifeline Theatre
John Fournier, The Life and Death of Madam Barker (Music & Lyrics) – Red Tape Theatre
David Woolley, The Playboy of the Western World – Raven Theatre
Griffin Theatre Company