Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
May 24, 1973, Vol. XVIII, No. 21
The ’73 ‘Obies’: Plays were the thing
by Audrey Berman
Judging by the “Obie” ceremony Monday night, the plays were the thing — seven of the 26 awards going for new plays, with “The Hot l Baltimore” and “The River Niger” sharing the $500 prize for the best new American plays.
But the prize of the evening was Sylvia Miles, who presented awards and zinging one-liners with the best timing this side of Jack Benny.
“I wasn’t really the first choice to present awards,” was her opening line. “The first choice was Shirley MacLaine, but Shirley is still off in China doing research for her new book, ‘Don’t Fall Off the Eggroll.’ And they did ask Jane Fonda and Jane really did want to come. She made every effort to come. But she and Tom Hayden had an appointment tonight with their decorator to meet at Bloomingdale’s, and they couldn’t figure out whether to buy a Barca lounge or a Castro Convertible”…
VILLAGE VOICE OFF-BROADWAY AWARDS
Best Plays: “The Hot l Baltimore” by Lanford Wilson, “The River Niger” by Joseph A. Walker
Distinguished Plays: “The Tooth of Crime” by Sam Shepard, “Big Foot” by Ronald Tavel, “What If It Had Turned Up Heads?” by J.E. Gaines
Distinguished Foreign Plays: “Not I” by Samuel Beckett, “Kaspar” by Peter Handke
Distinguished Direction: Jack Gelber (“The Kid”), William E. Lathan (“What If It Had Turned Up Heads?”), Marshall W. Mason (“The Hot l Baltimore’)
Distinguished Performances: Hume Cronyn (“Krapp’s Last Tape”), Mari Gorman (“The Hot l Baltimore”), James Hilbrandt (“A Boy Named Dog”), Stacy Keach (“Hamlet”), Christopher Lloyd (“Kaspar”), Charles Ludlam (“Corn” and “Camille”), Lola Pashalinski (“Corn”), Alice Playten (“Lemmings”), Roxie Roker (“The River Niger”), Jessica Tandy (“Not I”), Douglas Turner Ward (“The River Niger”), Sam Waterston (“Much Ado About Nothing”)
Special Citations: Richard Foreman (Ontological-Hysteric Theatre), San Francisco Mime Troupe (“The Dragon Lady’s Revenge”), City Center Acting Company, Workshop of the Player’s Art (WPA)
Judges: Mel Gussow, Marilyn Stasio, and Michael Smith
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