Celebrating the best in Los Angeles-area theatrical excellence during the September 2011-August 2012 season, the 2012 Ovation Awards ceremony took place on Monday, November 12, at the Los Angeles Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Leading the nominations this year was the Center Theatre Group and its impressive total of 29 nominations, followed by Celebration Theatre and Musical Theatre West (each of which received 16), then by Geffen Playhouse with eleven nominations, and Colony Theatre Company and Troubadour Theater Company, each garnering nine nominations.
Out of its 29 nominations, Center Theatre Group took home a total of 13 honors, for its productions of The Convert (the Kirk Douglas Theatre), Waiting for Godot (the Mark Taper Forum), and War Horse (the Ahmanson Theatre). Meanwhile, Celebration Theatre’s The Color Purple: A Musical received six awards, including Best Production of a Musical (Intimate theater), Best Direction of a Musical (Michael Matthews), Acting Ensemble in a Musical, Featured Actress (La Toya London), Choreography (Janet Roston) and Music Direction (Gregory Nabours).
Other multiple award recipients included Musical Theatre West (four), Antaeus Company (two, including Best Production of a Play, Intimate Theater), and Theatre@Boston Court, with two awards for the premiere of its imaginative puppet-infused Medea sequel The Children.
At the ceremony, Lindsay Allbaugh of Center Theatre Group presented the CTG-administered 2012 Sherwood Award, awarded for artists showing innovation and adventurousness, to Los Angeles-based playwright and director John Sinner. The Sherwood Award is endowed by the Sherwood family and is accompanied by $10,000.
Founded in 1989, the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles, created to recognize excellence in theatrical performance, production and design in the Greater Los Angeles area. Each year, 400 productions compete in 35 Ovation Categories, and are evaluated by a pool of 250 vetted Ovation Voters, who are all currently working theatre professionals. The Awards are presented at the end of each year in a black-tie ceremony at a prominent Greater Los Angeles theatre.
Hosted by Jane Kaczmarek and Culture Clash co-founder Herbert Siguenza, this year’s ceremony included such presenters as: (in alphabetical order) Patrick J. Adams, Lindsay Allbaugh, LJ Benet, Seamus Dever, Elizabeth Doran, Kristy Edmunds, Davis Gaines, Glenne Headly, Nikki Hyde, Leslie Ito, Brian Kite, Christine Lakin, Michele Lee, Dawnn Lewis, Monique L’Heureaux, Sarah Lyding, Lesli Margherita, Gates McFadden, Jessica Wethington McLean, Laura Penn, Assembly Speaker John Perez, Bill Rauch, Allison Rawlings, Mark Roberts, Kirsten Vangsness, Ken Werther, Vanessa Williams, and Charlayne Woodard.
2012 OVATION AWARD WINNERSBEST SEASON
Center Theatre Group
BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY (INTIMATE THEATER)
Peace in Our Time — Antaeus Company
BEST PRODUCTION OF A PLAY (LARGE THEATER)
Waiting for Godot — Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum
BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL (INTIMATE THEATER)
The Color Purple: A Musical – Celebration Theatre
BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL (LARGE THEATER)
Forbidden Broadway Greatest Hits, Volume 2 — Musical Theatre West
BEST PRESENTED PRODUCTION
War Horse — Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre
ACTING ENSEMBLE FOR A PLAY
The cast of Waiting for Godot – Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum
ACTING ENSEMBLE OF A MUSICAL
The cast of The Color Purple: A Musical — Celebration Theatre
Janet Roston, The Color Purple: A Musical– Celebration Theatre
Gregory Nabours, The Color Purple: A Musical — Celebration Theatre
BOOK FOR AN ORIGINAL MUSICAL
Isaac Laskin and Matt Fogel, Hey, Morgan! — Black Dahlia Theatre