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Nominees announced for 2018 Big Easy Theater Awards 

The annual ceremony returns April 23 to the Orpheum

The Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education (FEDE), or Big Easy Awards, announced nominees for top theater performances in 2017. Special award recipients will be honored and winners announced at the Big Easy Awards Monday, April 23, at the Orpheum Theater.

  David Raphel will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Raphel has worked in theater in New York and New Orleans, where he is currently an assistant technical director for Tulane University's theater department. He has designed sets for New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, Southern Rep, Cripple Creek Theatre Co. and others. He is nominated for Best Set Design for Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.

  Emilie Whelan will be honored as Theater Person of the Year. In 2017, Whelan directed productions of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Albert Camus' Caligula and and Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha.

  Nominations for performances in 2017 were led by Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, which drew a total of 16 nominations for four shows. Its production of Jelly's Last Jam has nine nominations. Southern Rep amassed 12 nominations, including eight for Fun Home.

  Proceeds from the Big Easy Awards support FEDE, which provides annual grants to area artists and educators.

  The gala includes awards for theater and music, and there are performances by some nominated performers. Not all awards will be presented at the event. Winners in some categories will be announced on www.bestofneworleans.com.

  The gala is sponsored by Gambit, Adler's, Hall Piano Co. and Orpheum Theater. General admission tickets are $45, floor seating is $100, and VIP tickets are $150. Call Jon Broder at (504) 483-3129 for tickets.


SPECIAL AWARDS

Lifetime Achievement in Theater
David Raphel

Theater Person of the Year
Emilie Whelan

THEATER NOMINATIONS

Best Musical

Billy Elliot — The Musical, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Caroline, or Change, Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS)/Loyola University New Orleans

Fun Home, Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company

Jelly's Last Jam, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre


Best Play

Biloxi Blues, BB's Stage Door Canteen at The National World War II Museum

Camino Real, The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Hand to God, The Storyville Collective

Titus Andronicus, See 'Em On Stage


Best Director of a Musical

Blake Coheley, Fun Home

Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company

Kelly Fouchi, Billy Elliot — The Musical

Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Jackie Alexander, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Laura Hope, Caroline, or Change JPAS/Loyola University New Orleans


Best Director of a Play

Michael McKelvey, Hand to God The Storyville Collective

Augustin J. Correro, Camino Real The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Emilie Whelan, Caligula Cripple Creek Theatre Co.

Christopher Bentivegna, Titus Andronicus See 'Em On Stage


Best Choreography

Karen Hebert, Ashley Schmidt and Annie Taffaro, Billy Elliot — The Musical Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Polanco Jones Jr., Once on This Island Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Traci Tolmaire and Ted Louis Levy, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Jaune Buisson, Hairspray Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University


Best Music Director

Tom Hook, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Jefferson Turner, Fun Home Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company

Donna Clavijo, Caroline, or Change Jefferson Performing Arts Society/Loyola University

Ronald Joseph, Urinetown The NOLA Project/University of New Orleans (UNO)


Best Set Design

Eric Porter, Urinetown The NOLA Project/UNO

Bill Walker, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Derek Blanco, The Little Mermaid Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

David Raphel, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley Southern Rep


Best Lighting Design

Andrew F. Griffin, Once on This Island Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Robert Camp, Urinetown The NOLA Project/UNO

Missy Martinez, Camino Real The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Joshua Baker Courtney, Caligula Cripple Creek Theatre Co.


Best Costume Design

Hope Bennett, Tony Fuemmeler and Kenneth Thompson,

The Spider Queen The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)

Cecile Casey Covert, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley Southern Rep

Julie Winn, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Tony French, Urinetown The NOLA Project/UNO


Best Sound Design

Nick Shackleford, Not About Nightingales The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Jason Doyle, Once on This Island Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Clare Marie Nemanich, The Birds Broken Habit Productions

David Rigamer, Fun Home Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company


Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

Idella Johnson, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Camille Burkey, Fun Home Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company

Leslie Castay, Fun Home Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company

Taylor Lewis, Fun Home Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company


Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

Damien Moses, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Mike Harkins, Billy Elliot — The Musical Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Patrick Hunter, Urinetown The NOLA Project/UNO

Bryan Demond Williams, Once on This Island Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre


Best Actress in A Musical

Troi Bechet, Caroline, or Change JPAS/Loyola University New Orleans

Shangobunmi Durotimi, Once on This Island Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Sharon Martin, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill Voices in the Dark Repertory Theatre Company/The Racine Foundation

Katie Howe, Annie Get Your Gun Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University


Best Actor in a Musical

Marcel Cavaliere, Billy Elliot — The Musical Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Ted Louis Levy, Jelly's Last Jam Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Jason Dowies, Fun Home Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company

John Fitzpatrick, Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story See 'Em On Stage


Best Supporting Actress in a Play

Carol Sutton, Camino Real The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Meredith Owens, Hand to God The Storyville Collective

Kali Russell, Titus Andronicus See 'Em On Stage

Jessica Lozano, The Taming of the Shrew Cripple Creek Theatre Company/ New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane


Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Keith Claverie, It's Only a Play Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Kyle Daigrepont, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Stephen Stanley, Biloxi Blues BB's Stage Door Canteen at The National World War II Museum

Kyle Woods, Hand to God The Storyville Collective


Best Actress in a Play

Becca Chapman, The Spider Queen The NOLA Project/NOMA

Janet Shea, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Helen Jaksch, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley Southern Rep

Andrea Watson, Hand to God The Storyville Collective


Best Actor in a Play

John Fitzpatrick, Hand to God The Storyville Collective

Zeb Hollins III, Not About Nightingales The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Andrew Vaught, The Taming of t he Shrew Cripple Creek Theatre Company/New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane

Ian Hoch, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley Southern Rep


Best Ensemble

Ain't Misbehavin', BB's Stage Door Canteen at The National World War II Museum

Dividing the Estate, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, Rockfire Theatre/The Radical Buffoon(s)

Triassic Parq, See 'Em On Stage


Best Original Work of Theater

The Spider Queen, James Bartelle and Alex Martinez Wallace The NOLA Project/NOMA

Grace & Igor, Jessie Strauss Generate INK

The Way at Midnight, Hannah Pepper-Cunningham and Nick Slie Mondo Bizarro

Niagara Falls, Justin Maxwell Broken Habit Productions


Best University Production

The Christians, C. Patrick Gendusa, director Loyola University New Orleans

Dancing at Lughnasa, Jenny Mercein, director Tulane University

The Royale, Ryan M. Decker, director TheatreUNO

Seascape, Michael Aaron Santos, director Delgado Community College

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