Connecticut Critics Give ‘A Flea in Her Ear,’ ‘Music Man’ Top Honors

EAST HADDAM — The classic French farce “A Flea in Her Ear” at the Westport Country Playhouse and a nostalgic revival of “The Music Man” at Goodspeed Musicals took top honors at the Monday, June 3rd Connecticut Critics Circle Awards.

The event, which celebrates the work from the state’s professional theaters during the ’18-’19 season, was held at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam.

This year the awards were spread out to many productions throughout the state, though Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party” earned the most taking four for outstanding director, actor, set and lighting.

Awards for outstanding actor and actress in a musical went to Philip Hernandez of Westport’s “Man of La Mancha” and Emily Ferranti for Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

Awards for outstanding actor and actress in a play went to Zach Appelman for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party” and — in a tie — Peggy Cosgrave and Marina Refor in Seven Angels Theatre’s “Ripcord.”

Top directing awards went to Mark Lamos for Westport’s “Man of La Mancha” and Darko Tresnjak for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party.” Tresnjak is exiting after eight years as artistic director at the theater where Lamos presided in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Outstanding ensemble award went to the cast of West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park’s “The Revolutionists:”
Rebecca Hart, Olivia Jampol, Jennifer Holcombe, Erin Roche.

Outstanding solo honors was awarded to Rachel Christopher in Long Wharf Theatre’s “An Iliad.” (The production featured a second musician-performer, but Christopher as the storyteller was so outstanding it was placed in this category.)

Patricia Wilcox won for her choreography for Goodspeed Musicals’ “The Music Man.”

Michael Yeargan, Tony Award winning set designer and co-chair of the Yale School of Drama design program, received the Tom Killen Award for lifetime service to the theater from Lamos, a frequent collaborator.

The outstanding featured actress award in a musical award went to Anne Kanengeiser in Music Theatre of Connecticut’s production of “Cabaret.” Outstanding featured actor in a musical honors went to Brandon Andrus for Goodspeed’s “Oliver!”

The award for outstanding featured actors in a play went to Leon Addison Brown for Long Wharf Theatre’s “Paradise Blue” and to Adriana Sevahn Nichols for Yale Rep’s “el Huracan.”

Design awards went to Joshua D. Reid for sound for TheaterWorks’ “Girlfriend;” Mika H. Eubanks for costumes for Yale Rep’s “Twelfth Night;” Matthew Richards for lighting for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party;” Yaara Bar for projections for Yale Rep’s “el Huracan” and Alexander Dodge for set design for Hartford Stage’s “The Engagement Party.”

Kenneth Galm received the debut award for Connecticut Repertory Theater’s Nutmeg Summer Series production of “Sweeney Todd.”

Jennifer Cody, who will be starring in Connecticut Repertory Theater’s Nutmeg Summer Series production of “Mamma Mia!” this month presided over the event.

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