The Village Voice presented its 59th annual Obie Awards, celebrating achievement in the Off-Broadway and off-off Broadway theater, at a ceremony earlier tonight at Webster Hall in Greenwich Village. The festivities were co-hosted by Tamara Tunie and Hamish Linklater. Among the presenters: Betsy Aidem, Harvey Fierstein, Lena Hall, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Andy Karl, David Bar Katz, Cristin Milioti, Kelli O’Hara, Lily Rabe and Stephen Trask.
Highlights of the 2014 Obies included the Lifetime Achievement Award, which Kelli O’Hara presented to Estelle Parsons, 86, for her extraordinary, multifaceted life in the theater. In a statement read aloud by Andy Karl, star of the Broadway production of Rocky, Al Pacino apologized for not being able to attend and hailed Parsons as “a guiding light, a force, and a genius actor.” Pacino was returning a favor: Parsons presented him with an Obie back in 1968.
At the other end of the temporal spectrum, Sydney Lucas, 10, became the youngest recipient in Obies history when she won an award for her performance in the Off-Broadway musical Fun Home. The show was also honored in the Musical Theater category, with an Obie for author Lisa Kron, composer Jeanine Tesori and director Sam Gold.
During the ceremony, Lucas performed a song from Fun Home, “Ring of Keys.”
Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who received an Obie for Best New American Play, is featured on the cover of this week’s Village Voice, available late tomorrow (Tuesday). The Voice‘s new lead theater critic, Tom Sellar, profiles Jacobs-Jenkins in a feature story for the Obies issue. Also inside: an essay by Obies chairman Michael Feingold, and a profile of Lifetime Achievement Award winner Estelle Parsons, written by Dennis Brown.
A complete list of award winners is on the next page.
LARRY PINE, A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (SoHo Rep)
MIA KATIGBAK, Awake and Sing (NAATCO)
SYDNEY LUCAS, Fun Home (Public Theater)
JOHN ELLISON CONLEE, The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons)
K. TODD FREEMAN, Fetch Clay, Make Man (NYTW)
JOHN EARL JELKS, Sunset Baby (Labyrinth) / Fetch Clay, Make Man (NYTW)
JOHANNA DAY, Appropriate (Signature)
MARYLOUISE BURKE, sustained excellence of performance
CHRIS MYERS, An Octoroon (SoHo Rep)
WILL ENO, The Open House (Signature)
LISA KRON (author), JEANINE TESORI (composer), and SAM GOLD (director), Fun Home
BEN RUBIN (projections), Arguendo (Elevator Repair Service @ Public Theater)
EMMANUEL BROWN (fight direction) and SONYA TAYEH (choreography), Kung Fu (Signature)
JUSTIN TOWNSEND, sustained excellence of lighting design
ERIC SOUTHERN (lighting design), The Correspondent (Rattlestick)
MALLORY CATLETT, This Was the End (Chocolate Factory)
HEATHER CHRISTIAN (music), JIYOUN CHANG (lighting) and HANNAH WASILESKI (projections), The World Is Round (Ripe Time @ BAM Fisher)
RATTLESTICK PLAYWRIGHTS THEATER and LUCY THURBER, The Hill Town Plays
THE ROSS WETZSTEON AWARD
ABRONS ARTS CENTER (www.abronsartscenter.org)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
BEST PLAY AWARD
BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS, Appropriate (Signature) and An Octoroon (SoHo Rep)
Judges: Michael Feingold, Chairman, Kirsten Childs, Nicky Paraiso, Tonya Pinkins, Michael Sommers, Rick Sordelet.
See photos from the 2014 Obie Awards ceremony