The 2009 Big Easy Theater Awards

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Big Easy Theater

Last night, the Big Easy Entertainment Awards committee for theatre announced awards for best theatre productions in the Greater New Orleans area in 2008 at Monday’s gala at Harrah’s Theatre. The complete list of winners will appear in the April 7 edition of The Gambit and will be online at www.bestofneworleans.com. Gambit, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino and Hotel, John Jay, and Coleman E. Adler & Sons return as sponsors of the Theatre Awards Gala.

This year’s host was New Orleans favorite Gary Rucker. Francine Segal, The Honorary Theatre Chairperson, opened the evening in the persona of The Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz.

This was the first year for Best Evening of Cabaret. The winner was He Loves and She Loves: The Gershwin Music We Love starring Amy Alvarez & Jefferson Turner, directed by Ricky Graham at Cabaret Le Chat Noir.

The New Orleans Fringe Festival received a Special Recognition Award for its inaugural year in 2008. Festival organizers Kristen Evans, Dennis Monn and Ben Moren were recognized for their efforts in presenting the multi-day, multi-venue theatre event to present new and emerging theater. More than 40 theatre groups from around the country presented over 120 shows at 14 local venues throughout the city to over 440 attendees from around the state and region.

The Entertainer of the Year award went to our city’s own “Mad Man” Bryan Batt. And the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award went to community icon Al Shea.

There were performances from the nominated musicals: Rent, Assassins, Where The Girls Were, a medley by the four ladies nominated for Best Actress in a Musical, a comedy bit from Speech & Debate, and a couple of showstoppers, Dorian Rush doing a number from Die! Mommie Die! and an unforgettable musical number by the irrepressible Varla Jean Merman.

Proceeds from the Theatre Awards Gala benefit the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, a 501 c-3 non-profit organization that gives grants and gifts to projects that nurture performing artists and future talent in our area.

Hit the jump for the complete list of winners...

Entertainer of the Year - Bryan Batt

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award - Al Shea

Special Recognition Award - The New Orleans Fringe Festival

Best Musical of 2008

Cabaret

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Drama of 2008

Coyote on a Fence

InSideOut Productions

Best Comedy of 2008

A Place in the Sun

Running With Scissors

Best Director of a Comedy 2008

Aimée Hayes

Speech & Debate

Southern Rep

Best Director of a Drama 2008

René J.F. Piazza

Rabbit Hole

Actor’s Theatre of New Orleans

Best Director of a Musical 2008

A.J. Allegra

Assassins

The NOLA Project

Best Choreography 2008

Leo Jones, Wanda Rouzan, Beverly Trask

Where the Girls Were

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Musical Director 2008

Jim Walpole

Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story

To Do Productions

Best Set Design 2008

Jeff Becker

Flight

ArtSpot Productions & Mondo Bizarro

Best Lighting Design 2008

Scott Sauber & Nancy Macko

Rent

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Costume Design 2008

Roy Haylock

Cabaret

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy 2008

Dorian Rush

Die! Mommy! Die!

Running With Scissors

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy 2008

Sean Knapp

Speech & Debate

Southern Rep

Best Actress in a Comedy 2008

Natalie Boyd

Speech & Debate

Southern Rep

Best Actor in a Comedy 2008

Mark McLaughlin

The Seafarer

Southern Rep

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama 2008

Angie Joachim

Coyote on a Fence

InSideOut Productions

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama 2008

Jason Kirkpatrick

Coyote on a Fence

InSideOut Productions

Best Actress in a Drama 2008

Ashley Ricord

Side Man

The NOLA Project & InSideOut Productions

Best Actor in a Drama 2008

Michael Aaron Santos

Coyote on a Fence

InSideOut Productions

Best Actress in a Musical 2008

Meredith Long

Ruthless! The Musical

Jefferson Performing Arts Society

Best Actor in a Musical 2008

Christopher Woods

Rent

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical 2008

Jimmy Murphy

Assassins

The NOLA Project

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical 2008

Lisa Picone

Assassins

The NOLA Project

Best Original Work Created For Theatre 2008

What, Has This Thing Appeared Again Tonight?

Jim Fitzmorris

The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane & The NOLA Project

Best University Production 2008

Metamorphoses

David Hoover, Director

University of New Orleans

Best Performance by a Child 2008

Alex Lemonier

The History Boys

FourFront Theatre

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