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Andreas, Esparza, Frugé et al. Win Barrymore Awards

Nicole Van Giesen and Wayne Wilcox in the
Philadelphia Theatre Company production
of The Last Five Years
The People's Light & Theatre Company's spellbinding production of Suzan-Lori Parks' In the Blood and the Prince Music Theater's world premiere of the musical The Green Violin were the big winners at the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards for excellence in theater, held on Monday, October 27. Each production captured four awards.

Written by Frank London (composer) and Elise Thoron (book & lyrics), The Green Violin won for outstanding direction of a musical (Rebecca Bayla Taichman), lead actor (Raúl Esparza), choreography (David Dorfman), and London's Klezmer-inspired score. In the Blood earned Barrymores for outstanding production of a play as well as for director Abigail Adams, lead actress Roslyn Ruff, and best ensemble in a play.

In one of Violin's few defeats, the Philadelphia Theatre Company's production of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years took home the award for outstanding musical. In the category of outstanding new play, acclaimed author Jeffrey Hatcher was awarded for his intimate drama A Picasso, which had its world premiere at the Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Kraig Swartz was honored as outstanding lead actor in a play for his solo performance in Fully Committed, a dual production of the Philadelphia Theatre Company and Act II Playhouse. Broadway star Christine Andreas won in the lead actress in a musical category for her show-stopping portrayal of Vera Simpson in the Prince's revival of Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey.

The award for supporting actress in a play went to Marcia Saunders for People's Light production of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance. In the supporting actor in a musical category, Romain Frugé won for the Prince's Peter Pan and Wendy and Emmanuelle Delpech-Ramey was recognized for her work in the Pig Iron Theatre Company's audacious new rock musical James Joyce is Dead and So is Paris: The Lucia Joyce Cabaret.

Ian Merrill Peakes captured the supporting actor in a play award for the Arden Theatre Company's All My Sons. He later walked off with his second award of the evening when he won the prestigious F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Artist, which carries with it a $10,000 cash prize.

The Wilma Theater, known for its elaborate and technically impressive productions, swept all four of the awards recognizing technical achievement. Jerry Rojo captured the award for outstanding scenic design for the Wilma's production of Big Love and Janus Stefanowicz was honored for design of the show's costumes. Likewise, the Wilma's Red won awards for both James Sugg's sound design and Russell H. Champa's lighting.

The biggest ovation of the evening was reserved for veteran local actor Tom McCarthy, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to Philadelphia area theatre.

Winners were chosen from among the 34 productions and over 100 artists nominated. The Barrymore Awards nominating committee and panel of judges are made up of theatergoers and industry professionals.

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