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2008-2009 OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD NOMINATIONS

2008-2009 OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD NOMINATIONS

 

Nominations for the 59th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, celebrating excellence in Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre, were announced this morning.

 

 

 

33 VARIATIONS has been nominated for five Outer Critics Circle Awards including: Outstanding New Broadway Play (Moisés Kaufman), Outstanding Director of a Play (Moisés Kaufman), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Zach Grenier), Outstanding Set Design (Derek McLane) and Outstanding Lighting Design (David Lander).

 

 

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS has been nominated for one Outer Critic’s Circle Award including: Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Patrick Page).

 

 

BODY AWARENESS has received a John Gassner Award nomination for playwright Annie Baker.

 

 

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN has received three nominations, including Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway), Outstanding Director of a Play (Garry Hynes), and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (David Pearse).

 

 

EXIT THE KING by Eugene Ionesco has been nominated for two Outer Critics Circle Awards, including: Outstanding Actor in a Play (Geoffrey Rush), and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Andrea Martin). The production is directed by Neil Armfield.

 

 

FARRAGUT NORTH has received two nominations: Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and the John Gassner Award (Beau Willimon).

 

 

GOD OF CARNAGE by Yasmina Reza has been nominated for two Outer Critics Circle Awards, including: Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Actress in a play (Marcia Gay Harden). The production is directed by Matthew Warchus.

 

 

HUMOR ABUSE, which just concluded its extended run at MTC, has received a nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance (Lorenzo Pisoni).

 

 

MARY STUART has been nominated for three Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding Actress in a Play (Janet McTeer, Harriet Walter) and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (John Benjamin Hickey).

 

 

THE NORMAN CONQUESTS has been nominated for two Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Director of a Play (Matthew Warchus).  The production has won an award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance for the cast (Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root).

 

 

PAL JOEY has been nominated for two Outer Critics Circle Awards including: Outstanding Revival of a Musical and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Martha Plimpton).

 

 

RUINED, currently at Manhattan Theatre Club, has received five Outer Critics Circle Award nominations: Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, Outstanding Lead Actress (Saidah Arrika Ekulona), Outstanding Featured Actor (Russell G. Jones), Outstanding Featured Actress (Condola Rashad), and Outstanding Lighting Design (Peter Kaczorowski).

 

 

SHREK THE MUSICAL has been nominated for 10 Outer Critics Circle Awards, including: Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding New Score (David Lindsay-Abaire & Jeanine Tesori), Outstanding Director of a Musical (Jason Moore), Outstanding Choreographer (Josh Prince), Outstanding Set Design (Tim Hatley), Outstanding Costume Design (Tim Hatley), Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Brian d’Arcy James), Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Daniel Breaker), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Christopher Sieber).

 

 

WAITING FOR GODOT has been nominated for five Outer Critics Circle Awards including: Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Actor in a Play (Bill Irwin & Nathan Lane) Outstanding Director of a Play (Anthony Page) and Outstanding Set Design

(Santo Loquasto).

 

 

WHAT’S THAT SMELL? THE MUSIC OF JACOB STERLING has received two nominations, for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding Actor in a Musical (David Pittu).

 

 

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY productions have been honored with eight nominations: including three for THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, two for FARRUGUT NORTH, two for WHAT’S THAT SMELL? THE MUSIC OF JACOB STERLING and one for BODY AWARENESS

 

 

MANHATAN THEATRE CLUB productions have been honored with six Outer Critics Circle nominations: RUINED, received five nominations, the most nominations for an Off-Broadway show; and one nomination for HUMOR ABUSE

 

 

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY productions have been honored with eight nominations including five for WAITING FOR GODOT, two for PAL JOEY, and one for A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS.

 

 

TO READ THE COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES, VISIT:  http://tinyurl.com/crfaja

BODY AWARENESS DAILY NEWS REVIEW

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/arts/2008/06/05/2008-06-05_stunning_body_of_work.html

 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – Thursday, June 5, 2008

 

By Joe Dziemianowicz

 

Stunning ‘Body’ of workArticle Rating

 

Beyond its mundane title, “Body Awareness” is a comedy that’s fantastically fresh and satisfying – and comes with two bonuses. The Atlantic Theater Company production, which opened last night, also marks a pair of exciting Off-Broadway debuts.

 

One of them is by the playwright Annie Baker, 27, who establishes herself as a writer with big, bright ideas and the skill to turn them into something cohesive, heart-stirring and humorous.

 

The other debut is by actor Jonathan Clem, who graduated from NYU last month. He’s sensational playing a socially challenged young man in a performance that never tilts toward caricature.

 

They are in good company. Theater vets JoBeth Williams, Mary McCann and Peter Friedman complete the cast, with all in top form. Karen Kohlhaas’ direction is sharp and smart. Every detail, from the clothing to the snippets of songs by Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez played during blackouts, feels exactly right for these characters.

 

The story spans five days in Shirley, Vt., where lesbian life partners Joyce (Williams) and Phyllis (McCann) have their hands full teaching and being socially aware (but never P.C.). Then there’s Jared (Clem), Joyce’s 21-year-old son, who very likely has Asperger syndrome, an autism-like condition stunting his social development. He refuses to be tested for it, but his best pal is an electric toothbrush he massages his gums with when he’s stressed. Like after he says to Joyce, “I could kill you.” Welcome to leafy, low-key Vermont.

 

Phyllis is a psychology professor at Shirley State College, where her Body Awareness Week program is gliding along smoothly. Guest artist Frank Bonitatibus (Friedman) arrives and gums up the works with his photographs of nude women – and preteen girls. Feminist Phyllis finds his work highly offensive. Joyce, who’s more go-with-the-flow, appreciates the pics and even considers posing. Jared, whose new hobby is Pay-Per-View porn, just wants to talk to Frank about sex.

 

The plot takes some serious turns over 95 minutes, as relationships get bruised, tears are shed and toothbrushes buzz. What finally emerges is a fascinating family portrait, not apple pie but one all too real.

 

Click on the link below to read the rest of the review:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/arts/2008/06/05/2008-06-05_stunning_body_of_work.html

 

BODY AWARENESS plays Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00pm, Saturday matinees at 2:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. Curtain time on opening night – Wednesday, June 4th – will be 7:00 p.m. All tickets are $45.00 and available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 (www.ticketcentral.com).

 

ATLANTIC STAGE 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues).  For membership information, wheelchair seating, and/or group sales call Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.

 

www.atlantictheater.org

 

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BODY AWARENESS REVIEWED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

http://theater2.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/theater/reviews/05body.html?adxnnl=1&ref=theater&adxnnlx=1212678423-BeuRrrQtRiIW0ISsiEtOPw

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Thursday, June 5, 2008

 

A Household’s Wounds Are Raw, but No One Is Willing to Ease the Tensions

 

By Charles Isherwood

 

The beseeching smile flickers and then widens. The eyes crinkle nervously, glinting with hope. The voice is a soothing, silky purr. Joyce, the unofficial family negotiator played by JoBeth Williams in “Body Awareness,” always seems to be apologizing for something or somebody.

 

Maybe it’s for her 21-year-old son, Jared (Jonathan Clem), who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome but definitely lacks the fundamental social graces. Or it could be for Phyllis (Mary McCann), her companion, whose staunch feminist views tend to emerge as challenging position statements. The houseguest, Frank Bonitatibus (Peter Friedman), whose photographs of nude women ignite sparks of antagonism in Phyllis, needs a bit of explanatory comment too.

 

Ms. Williams’s lovely, subtle performance as Joyce – she’s the human equivalent of a cozy chenille blanket – is among the chief enticements of this low-key, engaging new comedy by Annie Baker, a young playwright with a probing, understated voice, making her Off Broadway debut. “Body Awareness,” which opened Wednesday night at the Atlantic Stage 2, is not exactly a dazzler. It announces its everyday quality almost proudly, as the characters mark the passage of time by writing the days of the week on a chalkboard at the back of the stage. But its quiet rewards steal up on you.

 

Set in a small college town in Vermont during Body Awareness Week, the play depicts the tensions that simmer and eventually boil over among its four characters as they gingerly step around one another’s tender spots – or, in some cases, cluelessly stomp all over them.

 

Mr. Clem, also making an impressive Off Broadway debut, portrays Jared as the most sensitive and the most heedless of the four. Joyce and Phyllis are convinced that he suffers from Asperger’s and have given him a book on the subject in the hope that he’ll concur and agree to seek treatment. Unsurprisingly, this rankles.

 

Jared, who speaks in an affectless tone that Mr. Clem deploys to sly, comic effect, is proud of his quirky intelligence (“I’m an autodidact” is his mantra) and his obsession with etymology. He reads the book about Asperger’s and rejects the diagnosis flatly but is clearly wounded to the core and seething with anger.

 

“Maybe you have Asperger’s,” he tells his mother. “Because you’re kind of an idiot. You’ve never read ‘Crime and Punishment.’ You’re 55, and you’ve never read ‘Crime and Punishment.’ ” Off he stalks to his job at McDonald’s, leaving Joyce in a crumpled emotional heap.

 

A much-discussed symptom of Asperger’s is a lack of empathy, of emotional awareness, but Jared is not alone in having trouble seeing a situation from someone else’s point of view. Phyllis, a psychology professor at the college, chuckles merrily when Jared refers to Joyce’s job as an academic one. “A public-school teacher is not an academic,” she says to Joyce, as if to an ill-informed child. “An academic publishes articles.” She seems unaware of her condescension.

 

 

When Frank arrives, bunking with the family as one of the week’s visiting artists, the focus of the quiet strife settles firmly on the clash of both personality and aesthetics between him and Phyllis. “Wait,” Phyllis says sternly about five seconds after being introduced. “Why do you take pictures of naked women?” The steely tone suggests the question’s glaring subtext. The curled-lip phrase “male gaze” can be confidently expected to make an appearance, and it does.

 

Nor is Frank particularly sensitive to Phyllis’s unease at the instant rapport established between him and the welcoming Joyce. Jared’s father has been absent for years, and Joyce hopes Frank’s presence can help draw Jared out. One of the funniest passages in the play finds Frank giving Jared explicit advice about approaching women, which suggests the adviser could use a few lessons of his own.

 

The director, Karen Kohlhaas, pays attentive heed to the play’s casual pacing, giving the actors time to pepper their scenes with pauses that help fill in emotional detail. Jared’s awkward lurches between blunt cruelty, defensiveness and disarming intelligence and wit are handled with particular grace by Mr. Clem, who never loses his grip on the humanity shrouded under a blank, even off-putting exterior.

 

Click on the link below to read the rest of the review:

http://theater2.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/theater/reviews/05body.html?adxnnl=1&ref=theater&adxnnlx=1212678423-BeuRrrQtRiIW0ISsiEtOPw

 

BODY AWARENESS plays Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00pm, Saturday matinees at 2:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. Curtain time on opening night – Wednesday, June 4th – will be 7:00 p.m. All tickets are $45.00 and available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 (www.ticketcentral.com).

 

ATLANTIC STAGE 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues).  For membership information, wheelchair seating, and/or group sales call Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.

 

www.atlantictheater.org

 

BODY AWARENESS TIME OUT NEW YORK FEATURE

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY

 

“BODY AWARENESS” PLAYWRIGHT

 

ANNIE BAKER

 

TIME OUT NEW YORK FEATURE

 

Click to read the full feature: 

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/theater/29926/lets-get-physical

 

OPENS WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4th AT ATLANTIC STAGE 2

 

 

Playwright Annie Baker makes her Off-Broadway debut at Atlantic Theater Company‘s Stage 2 (330 West 16th Street) with the world premiere production of her play BODY AWARENSS, now in previews toward an official opening on Wednesday, June 4th. She is featured this week in the new issue of Time Out New York Magazine, on stands now.

 

TIME OUT NEW YORK – May 29th – June 4th, 2008

 

Let’s get physical: Annie Baker makes a quirk-free Off-Broadway bow with Body Awareness.

 

By Amanda Cooper

 

From Juno and Pushing Daisies to the Decemberists, quirky seems to rule the cultural moment, and that includes young playwrights. Topping the list of weird but endearing dramatists are Adam Bock, Kyle Jarrow and princess of oddball Sarah Ruhl. The cutely flawed, whip-smart characters in plays such as The Drunken City and Dead Man’s Cell Phone brave the strangest predicaments in stylized language, proving their authors’ trendy cleverness. And then you have Annie Baker, who creates normal individuals coping with everyday issues in their small-town lives. Baker is getting her first full production with Body Awareness at Atlantic Stage 2, and it marks the arrival of a new playwright who would seem to fit the quirky bill, but aims for sincerity instead.

 

Even though there’s goofiness aplenty in her work, Baker, 27, sticks to straightforward narrative and simple dialogue. The writing isn’t superficially clever, it’s smart. “Most naturalistic plays I see are a bunch of middle- or upper-middle-class people being witty,” Baker notes. “I don’t actually find wittiness that funny…. The tragedy of bourgeois society is that we’re never that funny. People write these plays where everybody onstage is saying what we all would say-days later, when we think up what would have been the funny thing to say. But I think we are actually incredibly earnest and serious and kind of pathetic. That’s funnier to me.”

 

The result of this perspective has been a series of works based in a fictional Vermont town, of which Body Awareness is the first. “I have four plays set there,” Baker says. “I would start writing one and be like, ‘This is not going to take place in Shirley.’ And then it would.” The plays don’t have reoccurring characters, although in Baker’s mind they all know each other, so names casually pop up in plays where the person does not.

 

Body Awareness focuses on a nonnuclear family over the course of a week. There’s Joyce, a middle-aged mother and junior-high schoolteacher, and her girlfriend, Phyllis, a psychology professor at a small liberal-arts college that’s celebrating Body Awareness Week. A guest artist for the festivities is Frank, a photographer specializing in controversial nudes, who stays with the women. Rounding out the cast is Joyce’s son, a 21-year-old social outcast named Jared who obsesses over the Oxford English Dictionary, works at McDonald’s and has no friends. Jared’s funny-sad state of arrested development becomes the focus of the story, as his own “body awareness” reaches a boiling-over point. Baker endowed Jared with her own OED obsession; she was even flown out to London for a job interview there once.

 

She didn’t get the position, and her first few years out of college were tough. After getting her degree in playwriting from NYU, Baker spent years in a series of unhappy day jobs. “I had given up on anyone reading my stuff,” she recalls. “When I didn’t know a single person in the theater world, I was like, ‘How do you get in? This is impossible!

 

“Then she dropped off an application for Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood, an emerging-playwright group. Body Awareness was the first play she wrote there. Baker met director Alex Timbers, who recommended her current agent, and actor Catherine Curtin, who got the script to the Atlantic Theater Company’s artistic staff. Atlantic head Neil Pepe was sold. “Her work has all this humanity and honesty, a real down-to-earth voice compared to others,” he says.

 

To read the rest of the feature, click: http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/theater/29926/lets-get-physical

 

Directed by Atlantic founding member Karen Kohlhaas (25 Questions for a Jewish Mother), BODY AWARENESS will feature Jonathan Clem (Off-Broadway debut), Tony Award® nominee Peter Friedman (Ragtime), Atlantic founding member Mary McCann (Ethan Coen’s Almost an Evening) and Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and Emmy Award® nominated actress JoBeth Williams (Poltergeist, The Big Chill).

 

BODY AWARENESS will play Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00pm, Saturday matinees at 2:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. All tickets are $45.00 and available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 (www.ticketcentral.com).

 

ATLANTIC STAGE 2 is located at 330 West 16th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues).  For membership information, wheelchair seating, and/or group sales call Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.

 

www.atlantictheater.org

 

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