F-bombs dropped aplenty during acceptance speeches in the ballroom Monday at Webster Hall, as the Village Voice and the downtown theater community celebrated the always colorful Obie awards for Off-Broadway excellence.
Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical based on the life and duel-to-the-death of the star-crossed Founding Father, took home the prize for Best New American Theater Work.
Among the performers honored were Usman Ally (The Invisible Hand), Firdous Bamji (Indian Ink), Brooke Bloom (You Got Older), and April Matthis (sustained excellence).
Playwrights Ayad Akhtar (The Invisible Hand), Clare Barron (You Got Older), and Suzan-Lori Parks (Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2, & 3) also received coveted Obie certificates.
Led by longtime Obies chairman Michael Feingold, the judges awarded grants of $2,500 apiece to Horse Trade Theater Group/The Fire This Time Festival and the arts center JACK.
Orange Is the New Black‘s Lea DeLaria emceed the event; presenters included Sting, Jesse Eisenberg, Stockard Channing, Billy Crudup, Tony Kushner, and Tommy Tune. The Obies’ diamond anniversary marked the first year the Voice shared the event with the American Theatre Wing, which stages Broadway theater’s Tony Awards.
The complete list of winners follows.
Click on each production name to read our original review, see past Obies winners at villagevoice.com/obies, and read all of our theater reviews at villagevoice.com/theater.
Best New American Theater Work*
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton (Public Theater)
See also: Our Daveed Diggs Hamilton interview
Additional citations: Thomas Kail (director), Andy Blankenbuehler (choreographer), Alex Lacamoire (orchestrator/musical director)
Ayad Akhtar, The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop)
Clare Barron, You Got Older (Page 73 Productions)
Suzan-Lori Parks, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) (Public Theater)
Usman Ally, The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop)
Firdous Bamji, Indian Ink (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Brooke Bloom, You Got Older (Page 73 Productions)
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy (Atlantic Theater/Second Stage)
April Matthis, sustained excellence of performance
John Douglas Thompson, Tamburlaine (Theatre for a New Audience) and The Iceman Cometh (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Trip Cullman, Punk Rock (MCC Theater)
Anne Kauffman, sustained excellence of direction
Darko Tresnjak, The Killer (Theatre for a New Audience)
Abigail DeVille (set/costumes), Prophetika: An Oratorio (La MaMa)
Christine Jones, sustained excellence of set design
Ben Stanton, sustained excellence of lighting design
Japhy Weideman, sustained excellence of lighting design
Kate Benson (writer) and Lee Sunday Evans (director), A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes (New Georges)
Bush Moukarzel and Dead Centre, Lippy
Andrew Dinwiddie, Caleb Hammons, and Jeff Larson, Catch
Bridget Everett, Rock Bottom (Public Theater)
See also: Our profile of Bridget Everett
Robert O’Hara (writer-director) and ensemble, Bootycandy (Playwrights Horizons) (Phillip James Brannon, Jessica Frances Dukes, Jesse Pennington, Benja Kay Thomas, Lance Coadie Williams)
Andrew Schneider, Youarenowhere (P.S.122/Mass Live Arts)
Horse Trade Theater Group/The Fire This Time Festival
The Ross Wetzsteon Award*
Judges Michael Feingold (chairman), Adam Bock, Bruce Coughlin, Lear deBessonet, Mimi Lien, David Rooney, Tom Sellar, Liesl Tommy