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Stepping Out 

Jon Cleary, Chicago are the big winners at the 16th annual Big Easy Entertainment Awards.

Jon Cleary repeated the same hat trick performed by one of his keyboard inspirations and Le Petit Theatre's production of the Broadway (and Hollywood) smash Chicago was a runaway hit at the 2003 Big Easy Entertainment Awards held April 21 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel.

Cleary, like Dr. John last year, swept all three of the categories in which he was nominated: Best Rhythm & Blues Artist, Best Male Performer and Album of the Year (for his eponymous album). The British-born Cleary then joined a slew of piano players ­ Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, John Gros, Henry Butler, Eddie Bo and Ivan Neville -- for a salute to another influence, Lifetime Achievement in Music Award winner Art Neville. Neville accepted the award by joining in on the fun.

Le Petit's Chicago, building on the momentum of last year's film version that won six Oscars, matched that total with six Big Easy Awards including Best Musical -- leading emcee Harry Shearer to quip, "First the Oscars, now this. The only thing Chicago won't win is the National League pennant."

The evening featured performances from nominated artists and productions as the Big Easy Entertainment Awards celebrated achievement in New Orleans music and theater, while Entertainer of the Year Patricia Clarkson -- who is in Vancouver working on a film -- accepted her award with a videotaped speech. Her mother, City Council member Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, and father Buzz Clarkson accepted the award in her place. Other performers included Cleary, Best Zydeco Artist Geno Delafose with his band French Rockin' Boogie, Best Emerging Artist Kelly Love Jones, and, award winner Dane Rhodes from Chicago. Bianca Del Rio livened the proceedings by joining presenters as various celebrities including Cher, Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe.

Also in theatre, Lara Grice won for both of her nominated performances: Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Victor/Victoria and Best Supporting Actress in a Play (Comedy of Drama) for The Ritz.

Also honored were Music Heritage Award winner Lionel Ferbos, Lifetime Achievement in Theatre honoree Harold Evans, New Orleans Ambassador of Entertainment Vernel Bagneris and Business Recognition Award recipient Superfly Productions. Pianist Eddie Bo served as Honorary Music Chairman, while Bob Bruce of NORD Theatre fame served as Honorary Theatre Chairman.

After the ceremony, guests, nominees, winners and honorees all followed a second line by the Olympia Brass Band to Club 360 atop the World Trade Center for an after-party featuring music by Best Female Performer nominee Ingrid Lucia.

The Big Easy Entertainment Awards are presented by Gambit Weekly. The sponsors are Absolut Vanilia, Harrah's New Orleans Casino, John Jay, Barefoot Wine, Mardi Gras Productions, and Coleman E. Adler & Sons. The event benefits the Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, which supports projects that train youth in the performing arts.


2003 BIG EASY ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS WINNERS

SPECIAL AWARDS

Art Neville -- Lifetime Achievement In Music
Harold Evans -- Lifetime Achievement in Theatre
Lionel Ferbos -- Music Heritage Award
Vernel Bagneris -- New Orleans Ambassador Award
Business Recognition Award -- Superfly Productions
Patricia Clarkson -- Entertainer of the year



MUSIC AWARDS WINNERS

BEST TRADITIONAL JAZZ ARTIST
Leroy Jones Quintet

BEST CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ARTIST
Edward "Kidd" Jordan


BEST TRADITIONAL BRASS BAND
Tuba Fats & the Chosen Few

BEST CONTEMPORARY BRASS BAND
Dirty Dozen Brass Band

BEST GOSPEL CHOIR
McDonogh 35 High School Gospel Choir

BEST GOSPEL GROUP/INDIVIDUAL
Paulette Wright Davis

BEST FUNK BAND
Galactic

BEST RHYTHM & BLUES ARTIST
Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

BEST RAP/HIP-HOP ARTIST
Choppa

BEST BLUES ARTIST
Snooks Eaglin

BEST ROCK BAND
Pleasure Club

BEST ROOTS ROCK ARTIST
Sonny Landreth

BEST ZYDECO ARTIST
Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie

BEST CAJUN ARTIST
The Savoy/Doucet Band

BEST COUNTRY/FOLK ARTIST
John Rankin

BEST LATIN GROUP
Los Vecinos

BEST WORLD MUSIC/REGGAE GROUP
007

BEST MALE ARTIST
Jon Cleary

BEST FEMALE ARTIST
Theresa Andersson

BEST EMERGING ARTIST
Kelly Love Jones

BEST ALBUM
Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen
Basin Street Records
Produced by John Porter

 

THEATRE AWARDS WINNERS

BEST MUSICAL
Chicago
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST DRAMA
No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs
Anthony Bean Community Theater

BEST COMEDY
Fully Committed
All Kinds of Theatre

BEST DIRECTOR (COMEDY OR DRAMA)
John Grimsley
Gross Indecency

Dog & Pony Theatre Company and the Contemporary Arts Center

BEST DIRECTOR (MUSICAL)
Sonny Borey and Derek Franklin
Chicago
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Karen Hebert
Chicago and Anything Goes
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST SET DESIGN
Chad Talkington
No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs
Anthony Bean Community Theater

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Martin Sachs
Dirty Blonde
All Kinds of Theatre

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Linda Fried

Anything Goes
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A CHILD
(Tie)
Katherine Raymond and Anastacia Scott
No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs
Anthony Bean Community Theater

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY (COMEDY OR DRAMA)
Adriana Bate
Wit
Theatricks

BEST ACTOR IN PLAY (COMEDY OR DRAMA)
Sean Patterson
Fully Committed
All Kinds of Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Karen Hebert
Chicago
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
John Grimsley
Chicago
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A PLAY (COMEDY OR DRAMA)
Lara Grice
The Ritz
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A PLAY (COMEDY OR DRAMA)
Bob Edes Jr.
Dirty Blonde
All Kinds of Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Lara Grice
Victor/Victoria
Tulane Summer Lyric Theater

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Dane Rhodes
Chicago
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Flo Presti

Crazy for You
Rivertown Repertory Theatre

BEST ORIGINAL WORK IN THEATRE
Earl Long in Purgatory
Written By Jason Berry
Directed by Perry Martin

Produced by the Evangeline Theatre Company

BEST UNIVERSITY THEATRE PRODUCTION
Glengarry Glen Ross
University of New Orleans

click to enlarge "Uncle Lionel" Batiste of the Treme Brass Band was - in rare form.
  • "Uncle Lionel" Batiste of the Treme Brass Band was in rare form.
click to enlarge City of New Orleans Film & Video head Stephanie - Dupuy, Ambassador of Entertainment Vernel - Bagneris and director Taylor Hackford
  • City of New Orleans Film & Video head Stephanie Dupuy, Ambassador of Entertainment Vernel Bagneris and director Taylor Hackford
click to enlarge Double shot: Lara Grice won supporting actress - honors for her work in Victor/Victoria and - The Ritz.
  • Double shot: Lara Grice won supporting actress honors for her work in Victor/Victoria and The Ritz.
click to enlarge "The only thing Chicago won't win is the National - League pennant," emcee Harry Shearer quipped - after Le Petit's production of Chicago won - its Big Easy Entertainment Award of the night.
  • "The only thing Chicago won't win is the National League pennant," emcee Harry Shearer quipped after Le Petit's production of Chicago won its Big Easy Entertainment Award of the night.
click to enlarge Kelly Love Jones won for Best Emerging Artist for - her blend of R&B, hip-hop and folk.
  • Kelly Love Jones won for Best Emerging Artist for her blend of R&B, hip-hop and folk.
click to enlarge Best Contemporary Jazz Artist winner Edward "Kidd" - Jordan
  • Best Contemporary Jazz Artist winner Edward "Kidd" Jordan
click to enlarge Theresa Andersson walked away with Best Female - Artist.
  • Theresa Andersson walked away with Best Female Artist.
click to enlarge Nicole Francois, Yolanda Ratcliff and Idella Johnson - performed a number from their nominated - production of Delgado Community College's - Dreamgirls.
  • Nicole Francois, Yolanda Ratcliff and Idella Johnson performed a number from their nominated production of Delgado Community College's Dreamgirls.
click to enlarge Music Heritage Award winner Lionel Ferbos (second - from left) with Nina Buck (left), granddaughter Lori - Schexnayder, and Lars Edegran.
  • Music Heritage Award winner Lionel Ferbos (second from left) with Nina Buck (left), granddaughter Lori Schexnayder, and Lars Edegran.
click to enlarge Sean Patterson's stunning one-man performance in - Fully Committed earned him the award for - Best Actor in a Play (Comedy or Drama).
  • Sean Patterson's stunning one-man performance in Fully Committed earned him the award for Best Actor in a Play (Comedy or Drama).
click to enlarge Le Petit Theatre's Sonny Borey and Derek Franklin - shared the Best Director (Musical) award for - Chicago.
  • Le Petit Theatre's Sonny Borey and Derek Franklin shared the Best Director (Musical) award for Chicago.
click to enlarge Bob Edes Jr. played several characters to win Best - Supporting Actor in a Play (Comedy or Drama) for - Dirty Blonde.
  • Bob Edes Jr. played several characters to win Best Supporting Actor in a Play (Comedy or Drama) for Dirty Blonde.
click to enlarge Anastacia Scott and Katherine Raymond shared the - Best Performance by a Child award for their roles in - No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs.
  • Anastacia Scott and Katherine Raymond shared the Best Performance by a Child award for their roles in No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs.
click to enlarge Jackson Square fixture Tuba Fats & the Chosen Few - won for Best Traditional Brass Band.
  • Jackson Square fixture Tuba Fats & the Chosen Few won for Best Traditional Brass Band.
click to enlarge Ann Savoy accepted the Best Cajun Artist award for - The Savoy/Doucet Band.
  • Ann Savoy accepted the Best Cajun Artist award for The Savoy/Doucet Band.
click to enlarge Herman Ernest, Jon Cleary, Henry Butler, Allen - Toussaint, Dr. John, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville - and John Gros backstage after their tribute to - Lifetime Achievement Award winner Art Neville.
  • Herman Ernest, Jon Cleary, Henry Butler, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville and John Gros backstage after their tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winner Art Neville.
click to enlarge Best Gospel Group/Individual winner Paulette - Wright Davis.
  • Best Gospel Group/Individual winner Paulette Wright Davis.
click to enlarge Sonny and Cher (aka Gambit Weekly's - David Lee Simmons and drag queen/costume - designer Bianca Del Rio/Roy Haylock) ham it up - onstage.
  • Sonny and Cher (aka Gambit Weekly's David Lee Simmons and drag queen/costume designer Bianca Del Rio/Roy Haylock) ham it up onstage.
click to enlarge House of Blues general manager Dan Smith and - Honorary Music Chairman Eddie Bo.
  • House of Blues general manager Dan Smith and Honorary Music Chairman Eddie Bo.
click to enlarge Choppa (second from left) celebrated with others - after winning Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.
  • Choppa (second from left) celebrated with others after winning Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.
click to enlarge Jon Cleary (middle), who won three awards, - celebrates with Absolute Monster Gentlemen - bandmates Cornell Williams (left) and Big D. (Not - pictured: Jellybean Alexander.)
  • Jon Cleary (middle), who won three awards, celebrates with Absolute Monster Gentlemen bandmates Cornell Williams (left) and Big D. (Not pictured: Jellybean Alexander.)
click to enlarge Jason Berry took home the Best Original Work in - Theatre for his Earl Long in Purgatory.
  • Jason Berry took home the Best Original Work in Theatre for his Earl Long in Purgatory.
click to enlarge Chris Wecklein, Heidi Junius, Russell Hodgkinson - and Jessie Terrebonne sing The Black & White - Blues.
  • Chris Wecklein, Heidi Junius, Russell Hodgkinson and Jessie Terrebonne sing The Black & White Blues.
click to enlarge Dr. John with Colleen Wood.
  • Dr. John with Colleen Wood.
click to enlarge The cast performs a number from Crazy for - You, which earned Best Musical Director for Flo - Presti.
  • The cast performs a number from Crazy for You, which earned Best Musical Director for Flo Presti.
click to enlarge Mr. Cellophane: Best Supporting Actor in a Musical - winner Dane Rhodes performs the popular tune - from Chicago.
  • Mr. Cellophane: Best Supporting Actor in a Musical winner Dane Rhodes performs the popular tune from Chicago.
click to enlarge Gambit Communications Inc. Chairman Clancy - DuBos with UNO Chancellor Greg O'Brien (right) and - O'Brien's wife, Mary.
  • Gambit Communications Inc. Chairman Clancy DuBos with UNO Chancellor Greg O'Brien (right) and O'Brien's wife, Mary.
click to enlarge 2002 Best Country/Folk Artist Spencer Bohren - (right) with son Andre, drummer for Best Rock - Artist nominee Johnny Sketch & the Notes.
  • 2002 Best Country/Folk Artist Spencer Bohren (right) with son Andre, drummer for Best Rock Artist nominee Johnny Sketch & the Notes.
click to enlarge Geno Delafose works his magic on his accordion - before winning Best Zydeco Artist with his group - French Rockin' Boogie.
  • Geno Delafose works his magic on his accordion before winning Best Zydeco Artist with his group French Rockin' Boogie.
click to enlarge Wendy and George Rodrigue painted the town blue.
  • Wendy and George Rodrigue painted the town blue.
click to enlarge Allen Toussaint joined in on the piano tribute to - Lifetime Achievement Award winner Art Neville.
  • Allen Toussaint joined in on the piano tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winner Art Neville.
click to enlarge Martin Sachs' work in Dirty Blonde earned - him Best Lighting Design.
  • Martin Sachs' work in Dirty Blonde earned him Best Lighting Design.
click to enlarge John Jay and Marilyn Monroe.
  • John Jay and Marilyn Monroe.
click to enlarge Adella Gauthier and Lifetime Achievement Award in - Theatre honoree Harold Evans.
  • Adella Gauthier and Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatre honoree Harold Evans.
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