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The Big Easy Entertainment Awards recognize annual achievement in local theater

The Big Easy Entertainment Awards announced the nominees for theater performances in 2007 and will recognize the winners at an awards gala on Monday, March 24, at Harrah's Casino. This is the 20th anniversary of the Big Easy's theater awards. Special recognition awards will honor career accomplishments and new initiatives. The irrepressible Becky Allen will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She's been one of the city's favorite performers since debuting in West Side Story at Le Petit Theatre in 1966. Since then, she's taken on every imaginable type of role in serious dramas, comedies, musical shows, cabaret and more.

The inaugural Theatre Person of the Year will be presented to playwright John Biguenet. His drama about Hurricane Katrina, Rising Water, debuted at Southern Repertory Theater and became the playhouse's bestselling show ever. The play was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has been produced in several cities in the United States, and a London production is forthcoming. Biguenet also wrote Vulgar Soul, The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories, the novel Oyster and has won numerous awards for his stories, plays and essays. Rising Water drew nominations for Best Original Play, Best Actor and Best Actress in a Drama.

A special Business Recognition Award will go to Stageclick.com founder Marc Fouchi. The Web site has become an online community for actors, directors, producers and other theater professionals to share and find information about auditions, shows, jobs and more.

Le Petit's The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas received the most production nominations with eight, including Best Musical, Best Director of a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Actress in a Musical. Southern Rep's production of the play Doubt, about possible abuse by a priest, collected seven nominations including Best Drama, Best Director of a Drama and Best Actor and Actress in a Drama. Dem Boys Productions' version of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's harrowing tale The Pillowman received six nominations. Le Petit's Sugar Babies and NOLA Project and Southern Rep's co-operative production, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, both drew five nominations.

While Le Petit garnered a huge number of nominations for a trio of musicals, the list of nominees represents a large pool of talented actors, actresses, directors and stage designers from across the metro area. Bob Edes Jr. achieved a rare feat by earning nominations for roles in a comedy, drama and musical in the same year. Besides Biguenet's Rising Water, The Breach, also written about Katrina, debuted at Southern Rep and is nominated for Best Original Play.

Roy Haylock, aka Bianca Del Rio, will host the Theatre Awards Gala at Harrah's Theatre. He will be joined by honorary chairpersons Maureen and John 'Spud" McConnell. The awards are sponsored by Gambit Weekly, Harrah's New Orleans Casino and Hotel, John Jay and Coleman Adler & Sons. Tickets to the event are $125. Tables of 10 are $1000 until March 14 and $1250 after. VIP tables are also available. Call 483-3129 for more information.

2008 Big Easy Special Recognition Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Becky Allen

Business Recognition Award

Marc Fouchi - Stageclick.com

Theatre Person of the Year

John Biguenet

2008 Big Easy Theatre Awards Nominees

Best Musical

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Sugar Babies

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Little Me

Summer Lyric at Tulane

Best Comedy

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

NOLA Project & Southern Repertory Theater

Valhalla

To Do Productions

The Titanic Adventures of the Loveboat Poseidon

Running with Scissors

Best Drama

Doubt

All Kinds of Theater & Southern Repertory Theater

The Pillowman

Dem Boys Productions

Rising Water

Southern Repertory Theater

Best Director of a Musical

Sonny Borey & Derek Franklin

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Gary Rucker

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Rivertown Repertory

Sonny Borey & Derek Franklin

Sugar Babies

Best Director of a Comedy

Noel Wilson

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Glenn Meche

Valhalla

Richard Read

CarrieÕs Facts of Life

Running with Scissors

Best Director of a Drama

Carl Walker

Doubt

Dane Rhodes

The Pillowman

Ryan Rilette

Rising Water

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

Joan C. Spraggins

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Carol Sutton

Purlie

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Jessie Terrebonne

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

Bob Edes Jr.

The Pajama Game

Rivertown Repertory Theater

Dane Rhodes

Purlie

Sean Patterson

Little Me

Best Actress in a Musical

Kelly Fouchi

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Idella Johnson

Purlie

Karen Hebert

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Best Actor in a Musical

Dane Rhodes

Sugar Babies

Ricky Graham

Little Me

Fenwick Broyard III

Purlie

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Cammie West

Valhalla

Dorian Rush

The Titanic Adventures of the Loveboat Poseidon

Kathlyn Tarwater

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

James Bartelle

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Bob Edes Jr.

CarrieÕs Facts of Life

Running with Scissors

Brian Peterson

The Titanic Adventures of the Loveboat Poseidon

Best Actress in a Comedy

Angela Papale

Prelude to a Kiss

ActorÕs Theater of New Orleans

Melissa Ogren

Private Lives

MinacapelliÕs Dinner Playhouse

Stacy Taliancich

Arsenic and Old Lace

Rivertown Repertory Theater

Best Actor in a Comedy

Peter McElligott

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Marc Fouchi

Arsenic and Old Lace

Tim Bellow

Driving Miss Daisy

ActorÕs Theater of New Orleans

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

Andrea Frankle

Doubt

Troi Bechet

The Breach

Southern Repertory Theater

Donna Duplantier

Doubt

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

Bob Edes Jr.

The Breach

Leon Contavesprie

The Pillowman

Harold X. Evans

Gem of the Ocean

Anthony Bean Community Theater

Best Actress in a Drama

Claire Moncrief

Doubt

Veronica Russell

A Different Woman

Textpatriot Productions

Cristine McMurdo-Wallis

Rising Water

Best Actor in a Drama

Jamie Wax

Doubt

Danny Bowen

Rising Water

Blake Balu

The Pillowman

Best Original Play

Rising Water

John Biguenet

Scrooge in Rouge

Ricky Graham & Jeff Roberson

Le Chat Noir

The Breach

Catherine Filloux, Tarell McCraney and Joe Sutton

Best Musical Director

Derek Franklin

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Jonne Dendinger

Tunes

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

C. Leonard Raybon

Chicago

Summer Lyric at Tulane

Best Choreography

Kelly Fouchi

The Pajama Game

Karen Hebert

Sugar Babies

Karen Hebert

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Best Costume Design

R. Haylock, C. Casey-Covert, R. Schlotzhaven, C. Barrois and L. Fried

Sugar Babies

Cecile Casey Covert

Scrooge in Rouge

Linda Fried

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Best Set Design

Chad Talkington and Josh Palmer

The Pillowman

David Raphel

Doubt

Rick Paul

Little Me

Best Lighting Design

Chad Talkington and Josh Palmer

The Pillowman

Earl H. Lennie III

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

William Liotta

The Breach

Best University Production

Dog Sees God

Gary Rucker, Director

Tulane University

The Three Sisters

David W. Hoover, Director

University of New Orleans

Sylvia

Benjamin Clement, Director

Loyola University

Best Performance by a Child

Andy LaRocca

Ordinary People

ActorÕs Theater of New Orleans

Tony Felix

Morning, Noon and Night

Anthony Bean Community Theater

Tyler Chetta

The Red Sneaks

Crescent City Lights/NORD

click to enlarge Becky Allen will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Becky Allen will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
click to enlarge Among the nominees from the cast of Doubt are Claire Moncrief (Best Actress in a Drama), Jamie Wax (Best Actor in a Drama) and Andrea Franklin (Best Supporting Actress in a Drama).
  • Among the nominees from the cast of Doubt are Claire Moncrief (Best Actress in a Drama), Jamie Wax (Best Actor in a Drama) and Andrea Franklin (Best Supporting Actress in a Drama).
click to enlarge Among the eight nominations garnered by The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas are Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Karen Hebert (left) and Jessie Terrebonne.
  • Among the eight nominations garnered by The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas are Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Karen Hebert (left) and Jessie Terrebonne.
click to enlarge Marc Fouchi will receive the Business Recognition Award for creating Stageclick.com.
  • Marc Fouchi will receive the Business Recognition Award for creating Stageclick.com.
click to enlarge Idella Johnson is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in Purlie.
  • Idella Johnson is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in Purlie.
click to enlarge The musical Sugar Babies earned five nominations including Best Musical, Best Choreography and Best Costumes. (7 Pajama Game) The Pajama Game featured Carrie Black and Bob Edes Jr. who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in three categories.
  • The musical Sugar Babies earned five nominations including Best Musical, Best Choreography and Best Costumes. (7 Pajama Game) The Pajama Game featured Carrie Black and Bob Edes Jr. who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in three categories.
click to enlarge feat-16965.jpeg
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