The Alliance Theatre won or shared 13 of the 20 prizes for Atlanta theater excellence bestowed at last night's Fourth Annual Suzi Bass Awards ceremony at the Fox Theatre's Egyptian Ballroom. The sublime musical revue Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris won five awards, but the big story may be the four earned by In the Red and Brown Water, a world premiere drama from the Alliance's Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition. The honors for Tarell Alvin McRaney's haunting drama suggests that the Alliance (and Atlanta theater in general) isn't just staging excellent productions, but developing excellent new plays as well.
The Suzi Awards ceremony paid tribute to its founder, the late Gene-Gabriel Moore, and presented the Spirit of Suzi Bass award to actress Carol Mitchell-Leon, who was unable to receive it in person due to a lingering illness. The Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award went to Pearl Cleage for A Song for Coretta. (Overall, Actor's Express proved a surprising shut-out.) A complete list of awards follows, while the Suzi Bass Awards official site contains the full list of nominees.
Featured actress, play. Bethany Anne Lind, "The Last Schwartz," Jewish Theatre of the South.
Featured actor, play. Andrew Benator, "Eurydice," Alliance Theatre/Georgia Shakespeare co-production.
Lead actress, play. LaLa Cochran, "The Little Dog Laughed," Theatre in the Square.
Lead actor, play. Joe Knezevich, "Richard III," Georgia Shakespeare.
Lead actress, musical. Natasha Drena, "Annie Get Your Gun," Aurora Theatre.
Lead actor, musical. Craig A. Meyer, "Jacques Brel," Alliance.
Director, play. Tina Landau, "In the Red and Brown Water," Alliance.
Director, musical. Susan V. Booth, "Jacques Brel," Alliance.
Production, play. "In the Red and Brown Water," Alliance.
Production, musical. "Jacques Brel," Alliance.
Scenic design. Kat Conley, "Eurydice," Alliance/Georgia Shakespeare.
Lighting design. Scott Zielinski, "In the Red and Brown Water," Alliance.
Sound design. Chris Bartelski, "In Darfur," Horizon Theatre.
Costume design. Christine Turbitt, "The Merchant of Venice," Georgia Shakespeare.
Featured actress, musical. Marva Hicks, "The Women of Brewster Place," Alliance.
Featured actor, musical. Eric Moore, "Godspell," Theatrical Outfit.
Ensemble, play. "In the Red and Brown Water," Alliance.
Ensemble, musical. "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris," Alliance.
Choreography. Byron Easley and Kent Gash, "Sophisticated Ladies," Alliance.
Musical direction. Michael Fauss, "Jacques Brel," Alliance.
Photo of Kianné Muschett and Rodrick Covington in In the Red and Brown Water, by Greg Mooney
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