Aurora Theatre’s “Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale,” an original musical about the infamous Depression-era bank robbers, was the big winner at the 8th-annual Suzi Bass Awards, honoring outstanding achievement in Atlanta theater for the 2011-12 season.
The show walked off with six trophies at Monday night’s ceremony – including best world premiere and best director of a musical (for New York-based Lonny Price) – although it failed to nab the top prize.
In the evening’s major upset, the best musical production award was bestowed on Actor’s Express’ rock ’n’ rolling “Spring Awakening,” about teen angst in 19th-century Germany.
Theatrical Outfit’s drama “Red,” about a fictional relationship between the real-life 1950s artist Mark Rothko and his new assistant, took home three awards, including best production of a play and best featured actor in a play (Jimi Kocina).
For the third consecutive year, Tess Malis Kincaid received the Suzi for best lead actress in a play, this time for her performance in the Alliance Theatre’s “Broke.” (She won last year for “August: Osage County” and in 2010 for “Good Boys and True.”) Her real-life husband, Mark Kincaid, was cited as best lead actor in a play for Serenbe Playhouse’s “Shipwrecked: An Entertainment.”
Bethany Anne Lind, another previous winner (for 2008’s “The Last Schwartz”), garnered her second Suzi for best featured actress in a play for Georgia Shakespeare’s “The Glass Menagerie.”
In the musical acting categories, the lead actress award went to another two-timer, Ingrid Cole for Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s “Gypsy” (she also won for “A Catered Affair” in 2010), while New York-based Stephen Mitchell Brown won for best lead actor in Legacy Theatre’s “Jane Eyre: The Musical.” Co-stars Bryant Smith and Karen Howell were tapped for their featured roles in “Clyde ’n’ Bonnie.”
Among special presentations: Aurora also earned the audience choice award (voted on by the general public); the Shakespeare Tavern’s resident costume designer Anne Carole Butler got a lifetime achievement award; the Tavern’s Sandra Meierhofer was named volunteer of the year; and co-founder Palmer Wells accepted this year’s “Spirit of Suzi” award on behalf of Theatre in the Square, the 30-year-old Marietta company that closed its doors last season.
Director (play): Richard Garner, “Much Ado About Nothing” (Georgia Shakespeare).
Ensemble (play): “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls” (Alliance Theatre).
Ensemble (musical): “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (Atlanta Lyric Theatre).
Scenic design (play): Lee Maples, “Red.”
Scenic design (musical): Todd Rosenthal, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” (Alliance Theatre).
Lighting design (play): Andrew Carson, “Shipwrecked: An Entertainment.”
Lighting design (musical): Robert Wierzel and Adam Larsen, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.”
Costume design (play): Ivan Ingermann, “The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls.”
Costume design (musical): Lex Liang, “Into the Woods” (Alliance Theatre).
Sound design (play): Kendall Simpson and Adair Mallory, “I Just Stopped by to See the Man” (Alliance Theatre).
Sound design (musical): Bobby Johnston, “Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale.”
Music direction: Ann-Carol Pence, “Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale.”
Choreography: Karen Hebert, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (Atlanta Lyric Theatre).
Gene-Gabriel Moore Atlanta Playwriting Award: Janece Shaffer, “Broke.”
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