Manu Narayan, Mark Bennett, Lea Salonga, Michael K. Lee and Stafford Arima Among 2012 Craig Noel Award Nominees

Posted by Lia Chang

Photo by Henry Dirocco - Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura and Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura in the World Premiere of Allegiance - A New American Musical at The Old GlobeCongrats to Manu Narayan, who has been nominated for a 2012 San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for his electrifying turn as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s Glengarry Glen Ross, in the category of outstanding male featured performance in a play. Multimedia: Manu Narayan Dazzles as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s Revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross

Manu Narayan (Photo by Lia Chang)

Manu Narayan (Photo by Lia Chang)

On Monday, February 4, 2013, more than 110 local and national theater artists representing more than 45 San Diego theatrical productions will compete for the 2012 San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Awards at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 700 Prospect Drive, La Jolla, CA. The award ceremony, which will take place from 6 to 10 p.m., is produced by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle. Admission to the ceremony is free. Reservations and details can be found at www.sdcriticscircle.org.

Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki and Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura in the World Premiere of Allegiance - A New American Musical, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, directed by Stafford Arima, at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki and Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura in the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, directed by Stafford Arima, at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

Allegiance, The Old Globe’s world premiere musical starring George Takei, Telly Leung and Lea Salonga, is in the lead with six nominations including Outstanding New Musical; an outstanding female featured performance nomination for Salonga’s portrayal of Kei Kimura and an outstanding male featured performance in a musical nod for Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki. Helmer Stafford Arima was nominated for outstanding direction of a musical, Howard Binkley for outstanding lighting design and Darrel Maloney for outstanding projection design. The Old Globe’s Production Photos of George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and Paolo Montalban in World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical

Moxie Theatre’s revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s, A Raisin in the Sun also received six nominations. Cygnet Theatre’s production of the musical, Paradeand The Old Globe’s production of the musical The Scottsboro Boys received five.

Productions with four nominations included The Old Globe’s world premiere musical Nobody Loves You, Moonlight Stage Productions’ Sweeney Todd, The Old Globe’s Summer Shakespeare Festival revival of Inherit the Wind, and two productions from ion theatre: Top Dog/Underdog, and The Little Flower of East Orange.

The cast of the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

The cast of the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

Competing for the outstanding resident musical award will be The Scottsboro BoysParade, and Moonlight’s Fiddler on the RoofAllegiance is up against the Broadway-bound La Jolla Playhouse production of Hands on a Hardbody,Nobody Loves You, Diversionary Theatre’s world premiere production ofHarmony, Kansas, and La Jolla Playhouse’s adaptation of the Flaming Lips’Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots in the category of outstanding new musical. Competing for the outstanding dramatic production award will be A Raisin in the SunInherit the WindTop Dog/Underdog, and two La Jolla Playhouse offerings, Blood and Gifts, and An Iliad.

In the musical acting categories, the nominees for outstanding female leading performance in a musical are Sandy Campbell (Parade), Bets Malone (Sweeney Todd), along with Natalie Storrs for the Welk Resorts Theatre’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hilary Maiberger for Moonlight’s Little Women: The Musical. The nominees for outstanding male lead in a musical are Hunter Foster (Hands on a Hardbody), and Robert Townsend (Sweeney Todd), along with Sean Murray (Man of La Mancha, produced by Cygnet Theatre), Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper (Words By…, produced by North Coast Repertory Theatre), and Shaun Tuazon (Deconstruction of a Drag Queen, produced by Circle Circle dot dot Theatre).

In the dramatic acting categories, the outstanding female leading performance nominees are Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson (A Raisin in the Sun), Dana Green (As You Like It, produced by The Old Globe’s Summer Shakespeare Festival), Yolanda Franklin (The Sugar Witch, produced by OnStage Playhouse) Eva Kaminsky (Good People, produced by The Old Globe), and Catalina Maynard (Julia, produced by ion theatre). The outstanding male lead performance in a play nominees are co-stars Robert Foxworth and Adrian Sparks (Inherit the Wind), Laurence Brown (Top Dog/Underdog), Jeffrey Jones (The Little Flower of East Orange), and Mark Christopher Lawrence for performances in both Top Dog/Underdog and A Raisin in the Sun.

Mark Bennett (Photo by Lia Chang)

Mark Bennett (Photo by Lia Chang)


The outstanding sound design nominees are Mark Bennett (An Iliad at La Jolla Playhouse), Kevin Anthenill, (The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Moxie Theatre), Melanie Chen (Blasted, ion theatre), Lindsay Jones (The Recommendation, The Old Globe), Shahrokh Yadegari (Blood and Gifts, La Jolla Playhouse) Mark Bennett Receives Lucille Lortel Nomination for Outstanding Sound Design for An Iliad

The outstanding ensemble award will be presented to the cast of one of the following productions: A Raisin in the Sun, Parade, The Scottsboro Boys, The Little Flower of East Orange, Kita y Fernanda (produced by Mo’olelo Performing Arts), or In the Red and Brown Water (produced by the University of California, San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance).

Founded in 1983 and re-established in 2002, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle is an independent, nonprofit organization of print and online theater critics dedicated to open and honest dialogue about theatre in San Diego County and to honoring artistic excellence. The members of the organization are professional critics writing for daily newspapers, magazines, alternative weeklies, entertainment trade publications, broadcast media, and web sites in San Diego County. The Circle’s annual awards for outstanding San Diego theatre are named for the late Craig Noel, founder and longtime artistic director of The Old Globe and a recipient of the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to American regional theater in the 20th century.

Nominees for the 2011 Craig Noel Awards:
Outstanding Resident Musical
Fiddler on the Roof, Moonlight Stage Productions
Parade, Cygnet Theatre
The Scottsboro Boys, The Old Globe

Outstanding New Musical
Allegiance, The Old Globe
Hands on a Hardbody, La Jolla Playhouse
Harmony, Kansas, Diversionary Theatre
Nobody Loves You, The Old Globe
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Female
Sandy Campbell, Parade, Cygnet Theatre
Hilary Maiberger, Little Women, The Musical, Moonlight Stage Productions
Bets Malone, Sweeney Todd, Moonlight Stage Productions
Natalie Storrs, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Welk Resorts Theatre

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male
Sean Murray, Man of La Mancha, Cygnet Theatre
Hunter Foster, Hands on a Hardbody, La Jolla Playhouse
Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper, Words By … North Coast Repertory Theatre
Robert Townsend, Sweeney Todd, Moonlight Stage Productions
Shaun Tuazon, Deconstruction of a Drag Queen, Circle Circle dot dot

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Male
Anthony Carrillo, Sweeney Todd, Moonlight Stage Productions
David Kirk Grant, Man of La Mancha, Cygnet Theatre
Michael K. Lee, Allegiance, The Old Globe
Kurt Norby, Man of La Mancha, Cygnet Theatre
Taylor Peckham, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Musical, Intrepid Shakespeare Company

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female
Eileen Bowman, Guys and Dolls, Lamb’s Players Theatre
Eileen Bowman, Joe vs. the Volcano, Lamb’s Players Theatre
Lauren Molina, Nobody Loves You, The Old Globe
Lea Salonga, Allegiance, The Old Globe
Karen Ziemba, A Room with a View, The Old Globe

Stafford Arima (Photo by Lia Chang)

Stafford Arima (Photo by Lia Chang)


Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Stafford Arima, Allegiance, The Old Globe
Sean Murray, Parade, Cygnet Theatre
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys, The Old Globe
Michelle Tattenbaum, Nobody Loves You, The Old Globe
James Vasquez, Harmony, Kansas, Diversionary Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction
Eric Ebbenga, The Scottsboro Boys, The Old Globe
Elan McMahan, As You Like It, The Old Globe
Elan McMahan, Fiddler on the Roof, Moonlight Stage Productions
Elan McMahan, Sweeney Todd, Moonlight Stage Productions
Billy Thompson, Parade, Cygnet Theatre

Outstanding Choreography
Michael Mizerany, Altar Boyz, Noah Longton Presents at Diversionary Theatre
Bradley Rapier, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, La Jolla Playhouse
Colleen Kollar Smith, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Musical Intrepid Shakespeare Company
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys, The Old Globe
Javier Velasco, Zoot Suit, The San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding New Score
A Room with a View, music and lyrics by Jeffrey Stock with additional lyrics by Marc Acito, The Old Globe
Hands on a Hardbody, music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green; lyrics by Amanda Green, La Jolla Playhouse
Harmony, Kansas, music by Anna K. Jacobs; lyrics by Bill Nelson, Diversionary Theatre
Nobody Loves You, music by Gaby Alter; lyrics by Itamar Moses and Gaby Alter, The Old Globe

Outstanding Dramatic Production
A Raisin in the Sun, Moxie Theatre
An Iliad, La Jolla Playhouse
Blood and Gifts, La Jolla Playhouse
Inherit the Wind, The Old Globe
Topdog/Underdog, ion theatre

Outstanding Ensemble
A Raisin in the Sun, Moxie Theatre
In the Red and Brown Water, University of California, San Diego, Department of Theatre & Dance
Kita y Fernanda, Mo’olelo Performing Arts
Parade, Cygnet Theatre
The Little Flower of East Orange, ion theatre
The Scottsboro Boys, The Old Globe

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Male
Laurence Brown, Topdog/Underdog, ion theatre
Robert Foxworth, Inherit the Wind, The Old Globe
Jeffrey Jones, The Little Flower of East Orange, ion theatre
Mark Christopher Lawrence, A Raisin in the Sun, Moxie Theatre
Mark Christopher Lawrence, Topdog/Underdog, ion theatre
Adrian Sparks, Inherit the Wind, The Old Globe

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play, Female
Yolanda Franklin, The Sugar Witch, OnStage Playhouse
Dana Green, As You Like It, The Old Globe
Eva Kaminsky, Good People, The Old Globe
Catalina Maynard, Julia, Ion Theatre
Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson, A Raisin in the Sun, Moxie Theatre

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Female
Kaja Amado Dunn, Around the World in 80 Days, Lamb’s Players Theatre
Yolanda Franklin, A Raisin in the Sun, Moxie Theatre
Samantha Ginn, Hickorydickory, Moxie Theatre
Dana Green, Richard III, The Old Globe
Trina Kaplan, The Little Flower of East Orange, Ion Theatre

Manu Narayan (left) as “Richard Roma” and James Sutorius as “Dave Moss” in La Jolla Playhouse’s production of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, by David Mamet, directed by Christopher Ashley. Photo by Craig Schwartz

Manu Narayan (left) as “Richard Roma” and James Sutorius as “Dave Moss” in La Jolla Playhouse’s production of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, by David Mamet, directed by Christopher Ashley. Photo by Craig Schwartz


Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Male
Phil Johnson, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Coronado Playhouse
Stu James, Hoodoo Love, Mo’olelo Performing Arts
Manu Narayan, Glengarry Glen Ross, La Jolla Playhouse
Claudio Raygoza, The Little Flower of East Orange, ion theatre
Mike Sears, A Behanding in Spokane, Cygnet Theatre
James Sutorius, Glengarry Glen Ross, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding New Play
Julia, Claudio Raygoza, ion Theatre
The Recommendation, Jonathan Caren, The Old Globe
Tortilla Curtain, T. C. Boyle, as adapted by Matthew Spangler, San Diego Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Adrian Noble, Inherit the Wind, The Old Globe
Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, A Raisin in the Sun, Moxie Theatre
Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, Topdog/Underdog, ion Theatre
Lucie Tiberghian, Blood and Gifts, La Jolla Playhouse
Gregory Wallace, In the Red and Brown Water, UC San Diego, Department of Theatre & Dance

Outstanding Sound Design
Kevin Anthenill, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Moxie Theatre
Mark Bennett, An Iliad, La Jolla Playhouse
Melanie Chen, Blasted, ion theatre
Lindsay Jones, The Recommendation, The Old Globe
Shahrokh Yadegari, Blood and Gifts, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Costume Design
Deirdre Clancy, Inherit the Wind, The Old Globe
Mary Larson, Zoot Suit, San Diego Repertory Theatre
Shirley Pierson, Pippin, Diversionary Theatre
Jeanne Reith, Joe vs. the Volcano, Lamb’s Players Theatre
Deborah Roberts, White Christmas, San Diego Musical Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design
Howell Binkley, Allegiance, The Old Globe
Alan Burrett, As You Like It, The Old Globe
David Lander, A Room With a View, The Old Globe
Jean-Yves Tessier, Fiddler on the Roof, Moonlight Stage Productions
Scott Zielinski, An Iliad, La Jolla Playhouse

Outstanding Scenic Design
Robert Brill, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, La Jolla Playhouse
Wilson Chin, Anna Christie, The Old Globe
Jennifer Brawn Gittings, Hickorydickory, Moxie Theatre
Todd Rosenthal, Glengarry Glen Ross, La Jolla Playhouse
Bruce Wilde, The Sugar Witch, OnStage Playhouse

Outstanding Projection Design
Darrel Maloney, Allegiance, The Old Globe
Michael McKeon, Joe vs. the Volcano, Lamb’s Players Theatre
Shawn Sagady, American Night: The Ballad of Juan Jose, La Jolla Playhouse
Ian Wallace, Tortilla Curtain, San Diego Repertory Theatre

Other awards to be announced on February 4 include Outstanding Young Artist/Sandra Ellis Troy Scholarship, Outstanding Technical Achievement, Outstanding Orchestrations, Outstanding Featured Musical Performance in Play, Outstanding Special Event, Outstanding Solo Performance, Actor of the Year, and Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Work by a Small Theater Company.

Founded in 1983 and re-established in 2002, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle is an independent, nonprofit organization of print and online theater critics dedicated to open and honest dialogue about theater in San Diego County and to honoring artistic excellence.

The members of the organization are professional critics writing for daily newspapers, magazines, entertainment trade publications and Web sites in San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.

The organization’s major event is an awards program held each January, honoring the previous year’s finest in theater production, direction, acting, playwriting, scoring and technical achievements. The event is presented free of charge to the theatrical community thanks to the gracious support of private underwriters.

In 2002, the awards were renamed in honor of Craig Noel, longtime artistic director at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre and the founding father of San Diego’s theater community, who passed away in 2010.

The Craig Noel Awards program is underwritten by San Diego arts philanthropists, including Donald & Darlene Shiley, Danah H. Fayman, Audrey Geisel, The Harvey & Sheryl White Foundation, Osborn & Dea Hurston, Jay & Julie Sarno, Yolanda Braunagel and Ted & Trina Kaplan.

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Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.