'Oklahoma!" "The Age of Innocence" Lead In Connecticut Critics Nominations

 Hartford Stage production of "The Age of Innocence"

Hartford Stage production of "The Age of Innocence"

Hartford Stage’s world premiere of “The Age of Innocence” and Goodspeed’s “Oklahoma!” led the shows nominated for the 28th annual Connecticut Critics Circle Awards.

The awards event, which celebrates the best in professional theater in the state, will be held Monday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Westport Country Playhouse. Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas, stars of TheaterWorks holiday comedy perennial “Christmas on the Rocks,” will be masters of ceremony for the event which is free and open to the public. 

“The Age of Innocence” earned eight nominations, including outstanding play, director and lead actor and three featured actresses, costumes and lighting while “Oklahoma!” received a total of seven nods, including best musical, director, lead actress and actor and featured actress and actor and choreography.

 Matt Faucher (foreground) and Rhett Guter in Goodspeed Musicals' production of "Oklahoma!" 

Matt Faucher (foreground) and Rhett Guter in Goodspeed Musicals' production of "Oklahoma!" 

Other outstanding play nominees are: Yale Repertory Theater’s productions of “An Enemy of the People” and “Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 and 3.” Other nominees included Long Wharf Theatre’s “The Chosen” and the world premiere of “Fireflies” and West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Also earning outstanding musical nods are Goodspeed’s “Rags,” Connecticut Repertory Theater’s “1776,” Seven Angels Theatre’s “Million Dollar Quartet,” and “Fun Home,” Music Theater of Connecticut.

Receiving the annual Tom Killen Award for lifetime achievement in Connectiocut theater will be Michael O’Flaherty, longtime music director at Goodspeed Musicals.

Receiving special awards this year are New London’s Flock Theater for its production of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” at the Monte Cristo Cottage, the boyhood home of Eugene ONeill; the Broadway Method Academy of Fairfield; and Billy Bivona, who composed and performed original music for TheaterWork’s production of “Constellations.” Receiving an award for solo performance will be Elizabeth Stahlmann who starred in Westport Country Playhouse’s “Grounded.”

Receiving an award for outstanding solo performance is Elizabeth Stahlmann for Westport Country Playhouse's production of "Grounded."

Other nominees are:

Actor in a play: Reg Rogers, “An Enemy of the People,”     Yale Repertory Theatre; Jerod Haynes, “Native Son,”    Yale Repertory Theatre;  Jamison Stern, “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” TheaterWorks; Boyd Gaines, “The Age of Innocence,” Hartford Stage; Daniel Chung, “Office Hour,” Long Wharf Theatre.

Actress in a play: Jackie Chung, “Office Hour,” Long Wharf Theatre; Isabelle Barbier, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Playhouse on Park;  Mia Dillon, “Seder,”         Hartford Stage; Jane Alexander, “Fireflies,” Long Wharf Theatre;  Cecelia Riddett, “The Revisionist,” Playhouse on Park.

Actor in a musical: Jamie LaVerdiere, “1776,”     Connecticut Repertory Theatre; Rhett Guter,     “Oklahoma!,”    Goodspeed Musicals; Jim Schubin, “Newsies,”     Connecticut Repertory Theatre; David Pittsinger, “The Fantasticks,"     Ivoryton Playhouse; Michael Notardonato,        “Saturday Night Fever,” Ivoryton Playhouse.

Actress in a musical: Samantha Massell, “Rags,”         Goodspeed Musicals; Mia Pinero, “West Side Story,”      Ivoryton  Playhouse; Juliet Lambert Pratt, “The Bridges of Madison County,” Music Theatre of Connecticut; Samantha Bruce, “Oklahoma!,” Goodspeed Musicals; 
Annabelle Fox, “Singin’ in the Rain,” Summer Theatre of New Canaan.

Director of a play: James Bundy, “An Enemy of the People,”    Yale Repertory Theatre; Seret Scott, “Native Son,” Yale Repertory Theatre; Ezra Barnes, “The Diary of Anne Frank,”  Playhouse on Park;  Eric Ort, “The Wolves,” TheaterWorks; Doug Hughes, “The Age of Innocence,”     Hartford Stage. 

Director of a musical: Terrence Mann, “1776,”  Connecticut Repertory Theatre; Jenn Thompson, “Oklahoma!,” Goodspeed Musicals; Kevin Connors, “Fun Home,” Music Theatre of Connecticut; Rob Ruggiero, “Rags,” Goodspeed Musicals; Brian Feehan, “The Fantasticks,” Ivoryton Playhouse.

Choreography:  Katie Spelman, “Oklahoma! ,”    Goodspeed Musicals; Christopher d’Amboise, “Newsies,”      Connecticut Repertory Theatre; Kelli Barclay, “The Will Rogers Follies,” Goodspeed Musicals; Todd L. Underwood, “Saturday Night Fever,” Ivoryton Playhouse

Ensemble: Cast of "Avenue Q” (Weston Chandler Long, James Fairchild, Ashley Brooke, Peej Mele, E J Zimmerman, Abena Mensah-Bonsu and Colleen Welsh ), Playhouse on Park; Cast of "The Wolves" (Shannon Keegan, Claire Saunders, Dea Julien, Carolyn Cutillo, Emily Murphy, Caitlin Zoz, Rachel Caplan, Olivia Hoffman, Karla Gallegos, Megan Byrne), TheaterWorks; 
Cast of “The Chosen”     (Ben Edelman, George Guidall, Steven Skybell, Max Wolkowitz) Long Wharf Theatre; Cast of "The Game’s Afoot" (Erik Bloomquist, Victoria Bundonis, Molly Densmore, Katrina Ferguson, Michael Iannucci, Craig MacDonald, Maggie McGlone-Jennings, Beverly J. Taylor), Ivoryton Playhouse.
       
Featured actor in a play: James Cusati-Moyer, “Kiss,” Yale Repertory Theatre;
Peter Francis James, “Romeo and Juliet,” Westport Country Playhouse; Tom Pecinka, “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3,”     Yale Repertory Theatre; Dan Hiatt, “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3,”     Yale Repertory Theatre; Jason Bowen, “Native Son,” Yale Repertory Theatre

Featured actress in a play: Judith Ivy, “Fireflies,”         Long Wharf Theatre; Darrie Lawrence, “The Age of Innocence,” Hartford Stage;  Carly Polistina, “The Crucible,” Connecticut Repertory Theatre;  Sierra Boggess, “The Age of Innocence,” Hartford Stage;
Helen Cespedes,     “The Age of Innocence,” Hartford Stage

Featured actor in a musical: Matt Faucher, “Oklahoma!,” Goodspeed Musicals; Joe Callahan, “Million Dollar Quartet,” Ivoryton Playhouse; Sean MacLaughlin, “Rags,”    Goodspeed Musicals; David Garrison, “The Will Rogers Follies,”    Goodspeed Musicals; Cory Candelet, “The Fantasticks,”    Ivoryton Playhouse.

Features actress in a musical: Jodi Stevens, “Singin’ in the Rain,” Summer Theater of New Canaan;  Gizel Jimenez, “Oklahoma!”    Goodspeed Musicals; Nora Fox,         “Saturday Night Fever,” Ivoryton Playhouse; Megan O’Callaghan, “Fun Home,”  Music Theatre of Connecticut; 
Kimberly Immanuel, “The Fantasticks," Ivoryton Playhouse.

Projection design: Yana Birykova,  “Grounded,”Westport Country Playhouse; Luke Cantarella, “Rags,”     Goodspeed Musicals; Lucas Clopton & Darron Alley, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Hartford Stage; Wladimiro A. Woyno R., “Kiss,” Yale Repertory Theatre.

Set design: Emona Stoykova, “An Enemy of the People,”  Yale Repertory Theatre; Alexander Dodge, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Hartford Stage; Andrew Boyce, “Appropriate,” Westport Country Playhouse; David Lewis,  “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Playhouse on Park; Martin Scott Marchitto, “The Fantasticks,":     Ivoryton Playhouse  

Costume design: Linda Cho, “Rags,” Goodspeed Musicals’  Linda Cho, “The Age of Innocence,” Hartford Stage; Joshua Pearson, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”     Hartford Stage; Fabian Fidel Aguilar, “Romeo & Juliet,”     Westport Country Playhouse; Leon Dobkowski, “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” TheaterWorks.

Lighting design: Ben Stanton, “The Age of Innocence,”      Hartford Stage; Michael Chybowski, “1776,”          Connecticut Repertory Theatre; Stephen Strawbridge,         “Native Son,” Yale Repertory Theatre;  Matthew Richards, “Appropriate,” Westport Country Playhouse;  Yi Zhao, “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3,”Yale Repertory Theatre.

Sound design: Frederick Kennedy, “Native Son,” Yale Repertory Theatre; Kate Marvin, “Grounded,”         Westport Country Playhouse; Fitz Patton; “Appropriate,”        Westport Country Playhouse; Jane Shaw, "A Lesson from Aloes,” Hartford Stage; Robert Kaplowitz, “Office Hour,”         Long Wharf Theatre.

Debut: Shannon Keegan,     “The Wolves,”     TheaterWorks;  Megan O’Callaghan,  “The Bridges of Madison County” and "Fun Home,”     Music Theatre of Connecticut; Noah Kierserman, “Newsies,” Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

DIRECTIONS: Westport Country Playhouse is at 25 Powers Court in Westport, just off Route  (Exits 17 or 18 off I-91 brings you to Rt. 1.) www.westportplayhouse.org.