The Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Lyric’s ‘Little Shop,’ Georgia Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ lead Suzi nominations

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 9, 2008

Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s “The Little Shop of Horrors” and Georgia Shakespeare’s “Richard III” lead the nominations for the 2007-2008 Suzi Bass Awards — with nine nods each.

The Suzis — named for a beloved Atlanta actress who died of melanoma in 2002 — are Atlanta’s answer to Broadway’s Tony Awards. The 20 awards for excellence in professional theater will be awarded Nov. 10 in the Fox Theatre’s Egyptian.

After “Little Shop,” Alliance Theatre artistic director Susan Booth’s production of “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” scored the most nominations for a musical — with eight. Among plays, Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” staged at the Alliance Theatre in a co-production with Georgia Shakespeare, earned eight nominations. Georgia Shakespeare producing artist director Richard Garner directed both “Eurydice” and “Richard III.”

Among theaters overall, the Alliance received the most citations (35), followed by Georgia Shakespeare (20) and Atlanta Lyric (12). (Both the Alliance and Georgia Shakespeare were nominated for “Eurydice.”)

Though it may come as no big surprise that the Alliance, the city’s largest playhouse, and Georgia Shakespeare, Atlanta’s leading repertory company, lead the pack, the Lyric’s performance is particularly impressive.

The musical-theater producer, formerly known as the Savoyards, has flown largely under the radar screen in recent years. But under artistic director Brandt Blocker, who arrived last year and directed “Little Shop,” it seems to be on the move. Recently, the Lyric announced plans to be the resident musical theater company of the Strand, an old art deco movie theater on the Marietta town square that’s currently under renovation.

“It of course makes you incredibly pleased and proud that you come in and your work is being well-received,” Blocker said Tuesday. “But what it also tells me is that Atlanta does treasure its musicals and treasures them when they are done well. So it gives me great hope for re-energizing the musical theater audience here in Atlanta.”

The Suzi nominations were announced Monday night at Stone Mountain’s Art Station theater. For tickets to the November event: suziawards.org.

Here’s the complete list of nominees:

Production – Play
“A Song for Coretta” 7 Stages
“Eurydice” Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
“In Darfur Horizon Theatre
In the Red and Brown Water Alliance Theatre
Richard III GA Shakespeare

Director – Play
Freddie Ashley dark play or stories for boys Actor’s Express
Lisa Adler In Darfur Horizon Theatre
Rachel May Expecting Isabel Synchronicity Performance Group
Richard Garner Eurydice Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
Richard Garner Richard III GA Shakespeare
Tina Landau In the Red and Brown Water Alliance Theatre

Lead Actress – Play
Ayesha Ngaujah Angela’s Mixtape Synchronicity Performance Group
Courtney Patterson My Name is Rachel Corrie Synchronicity Performance Group
Jackie Prucha Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks Georgia Ensemble
Jill Jane Clements Southern Comforts Theatrical Outfit
Joanna Daniel Lettice & Lovage Shakespeare Tavern
LaLa Cochran The Little Dog Laughed Theatre in the Square
Suehyla El-Attar The Clean House Horizon Theatre

Lead Actor – Play
David De Vries Sleuth Alliance Theatre
Eric Little Blue Door Theatre in the Square
Joe Knezevich Richard III GA Shakespeare
Jon Hayden Diary of a Madman Metropolis Port Theater
Travis Smith Of Mice and Men Shakespeare Tavern

Featured Actress – Play
Bethany Anne Lind The Last Schwartz Jewish Theatre of the South
Donna Biscoe Doubt Alliance Theatre
Donna Biscoe Gee’s Bend Theatrical Outfit
Kate Donadio Rabbit Hole Theatre in the Square
Maria Sager Expecting Isabel Synchronicity Performance Group
Tess Malis Kincaid Richard III GA Shakespeare
Tess Malis Kincaid The Missionary Position Horizon Theatre

Featured Actor – Play
Andrew Benator Eurydice Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
Chris Kayser Eurydice Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
Daniel Thomas May In the Red and Brown Water Alliance Theatre
Don Finney Some Men Actor’s Express
Doug Kaye Of Mice and Men Shakespeare Tavern
James Donadio Richard III GA Shakespeare
Tom Thon Some Men Actor’s Express

Ensemble – Play
Angela’s Mixtape Synchronicity Performance Group
A Song for Coretta 7 Stages
In the Red and Brown Water Alliance Theatre
It’s a Wonderful Life Theatrical Outfit
Some Men Actor’s Express

Production – Musical
Annie Get Your Gun Aurora Theatre
Godspell Theatrical Outfit
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre
The Women of Brewster Place Alliance Theatre

Director – Musical
Brandt Blocker Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Kate Warner The Last Five Years Actor’s Express
Molly Smith The Women of Brewster Place Alliance Theatre
Susan V. Booth Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
Tom Key Godspell Theatrical Outfit

Lead Actress – Musical
Courtenay Collins Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
Claci Miller Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Natasha Drena Annie Get Your Gun Aurora Theatre
Natasha Drena The Last Five Years Actor’s Express
Tina Fabrique The Women of Brewster Place Alliance Theatre

Lead Actor – Musical
Craig A. Meyer Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
Craig Waldrip Hedwig and the Angry Inch Actor’s Express
Googie Uterhardt Five Course Love ART Station
Jahi Kearse Godspell Theatrical Outfit
Jeff Juday Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Featured Actress – Musical
Angela Motter Hedwig and the Angry Inch Actor’s Express
Barbara Cole Uterhardt Annie Get Your Gun Aurora Theatre
Felicia Boswell Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Harriet D. Foy The Women of Brewster Place Alliance Theatre
Marva Hicks The Women of Brewster Place Alliance Theatre

Featured Actor – Musical
Bryan Terrell Clark Sophisticated Ladies Alliance Theatre
Craig A. Meyer Forever Plaid Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Geoff Uterhardt Annie Get Your Gun Aurora Theatre
Geoff Uterhardt Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Eric Moore Godspell Theatrical Outfit

Ensemble – Musical
Forever Plaid Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Godspell Theatrical Outfit
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre
The Women of Brewster Place Alliance Theatre

Music Direction
Ann-Carol Pence Annie Get Your Gun Aurora Theatre
Ann-Carol Pence Godspell Theatrical Outfit
B.J. Brown Forever Plaid Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Brandt Blocker Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Michael Fauss Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
William Foster McDaniel The Women of Brewster Place Alliance Theatre

Choreography
Byron Easley/Kent Gash Sophisticated Ladies Alliance Theatre
Craig A. Meyer Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
Dawn Axam Godspell Theatrical Outfit
Heidi Cline/Jeff McKerley The Water Coolers: An Office Musical Horizon Theatre
Jen MacQueen/Ricardo Aponte Annie Get Your Gun Aurora Theatre
Ricardo Aponte Little Shop of Horrors Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Costume Design
Christine Turbitt The Merchant of Venice GA Shakespeare
Douglas J Koertge All’s Well That Ends Well GA Shakespeare
Joanna Schmink The Persians Theatre in the Square
Miranda Hoffman Eurydice Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
Sydney Roberts Richard III GA Shakespeare

Lighting Design
Jessica Coale In Darfur Horizon Theatre
Justin Townsend Eurydice Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
Ken Yunker The Persians Theatre in the Square
Mike Post Richard III GA Shakespeare
Scott Zielinski In the Red and Brown Water Alliance Theatre

Scenic Design
Dex Edwards The Persians Theatre in the Square
Edward E. Haynes, Jr. Sleuth Alliance Theatre
Kat Conley Eurydice Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
Kat Conley Richard III GA Shakespeare
Leslie Taylor Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Alliance Theatre
Leslie Taylor The Merchant of Venice GA Shakespeare
Todd Rosenthal Doubt Alliance Theatre

Sound Design
Chris Bartelski In Darfur Horizon Theatre
Chris Bartelski It’s a Wonderful Life Theatrical Outfit
Clay Benning & Kendall Simpson Eurydice Alliance Theatre & GA Shakespeare
Haddon Givens Kime Richard III GA Shakespeare
Joseph P. Monaghan III Octopus Actor’s Express
Mimi Epstein In the Red and Brown Water Alliance Theatre

The Atlanta Lyric Theatre