TheatreLAB’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ wins big at 2019 RTCC awards

At the 12th annual Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards, TheatreLAB’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” emerged as the big winner, taking home seven awards, including Best Musical.

The black-tie event, hosted by local actors Bianca Bryan and Jerold Solomon, took place Sunday evening at Virginia Rep’s November Theatre. Nicknamed the Artsies, the awards show honors excellence within the Richmond theater scene and serves as a fundraiser for the Theatre Artist Fund of Greater Richmond, which provides financial assistance to individuals in the local theater community during times of need. With the theme of “All the World’s a Stage,” this year’s event aimed to recognize the sometimes itinerant nature of working in professional theater.

In addition to Best Musical, “Sweeney Todd” garnered wins for TheatreLAB artistic director Deejay Gray in the Best Direction – Musical category, Alexander Sapp for Best Actor in a Leading Role – Musical, Audra Honaker for Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical, and JS Fauquet for Best Musical Direction, among others.

The award for Best Actress in a Leading Role – Musical went to Susan Sanford for her portrayals of both Big Edie and Little Edie in Richmond Triangle Players’ “Grey Gardens”; the musical is based off Albert and David Maysles’ 1975 documentary about a formerly wealthy and mother and daughter living in squalor in East Hampton.

In the Best Play category, there were two winners: Richmond Triangle Players’ “The Laramie Project,” which concerns the 1998 slaying of Matthew Shepard and its aftermath; and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ workplace drama “Gloria,” produced by Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Rep. “The Laramie Project” also garnered awards for Best Direction – Play for Lucian Restivo, and the Best Acting Ensemble Award for its cast.

“The Wiz,” Virginia Rep’s musical journey down the Yellow Brick Road, picked up three awards, including a Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical for Brandon LeReau’s portrayal of the Cowardly Lion, a Best Choreography award for director Kikau Alvaro, and a win for Outstanding Costume Design – Musical for Jeanne Nugent. Best Actor in a Leading Role – Play award went to Jamar Jones for his work in TheatreLAB’s staging of Jacobs-Jenkins’ meta melodrama “An Octoroon.” The award for Best Actress in a Leading Role – Play went to Haliya Roberts for her work in 5th Wall Theatre’s one-woman show “Pretty Fire.”

For her own one-woman show “In My Chair,” local actress Eva DeVirgilis won for Best Original Work. The show, which was produced by Cadence Theatre in partnership with Virginia Rep, concerns global beauty standards, female empowerment and self-acceptance.

“The local theater scene continues to produce impressive work well beyond what one might expect from a market this size,” said Rich Griset, RTCC president and event chair. “We’re glad to be able to recognize the city’s embarrassment of riches. Congratulations to both the winners and the nominees.”

Best Musical
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
TheatreLAB

Best Direction – Musical
Deejay Gray
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Musical
Alexander Sapp
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Best Actress in a Leading Role – Musical
Susan Sanford
“Grey Gardens”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical
Brandon LeReau
“The Wiz”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical
Audra Honaker
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Best Musical Direction
JS Fauquet
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Best Choreography
Kikau Alvaro
“The Wiz”

Outstanding Costume Design – Musical
Jeanne Nugent (“The Wiz”) AND Alex Valentin (“Lizzie the Musical”)

Outstanding Lighting Design – Musical
Michael Jarett
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Outstanding Set Design – Musical
Jason Sherwood
“Atlantis”

Outstanding Sound Design – Musical
Joey Luck
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Best Play
“The Laramie Project” (Richmond Triangle Players) AND “Gloria” (Cadence Theatre in partnership with Virginia Rep)

Best Direction – Play
Lucian Restivo
“The Laramie Project”

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Play
Jamar Jones
“An Octoroon”

Best Actress in a Leading Role – Play
Haliya Roberts
“Pretty Fire”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Play
Jeremy V. Morris
“Oedipus: A Gospel Myth”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Play
Amber Marie Martinez
“Dance Nation”

Outstanding Costume Design – Play
Sue Griffin
“The Game’s Afoot: Holmes for the Holidays”

Outstanding Lighting Design – Play
BJ Wilkinson
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

Outstanding Set Design – Play
Chris Raintree
“Songs from Bedlam”

Outstanding Sound Design – Play
Roger Price
“Talk Radio”

Most Promising Newcomer
Joel Ashur
“Gloria”

Best Original Work
“In My Chair”
Cadence Theatre in partnership with Virginia Rep

2019 Ernie McClintock
Best Acting Ensemble Award

For their notable performance as a cohesive and compelling ensemble,
the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle honors the cast members of

“The Laramie Project”
Richmond Triangle Players

Rachel Dilliplane
Annella Kaine
Amber Marie Martinez
Cole Metz
Jacqueline O’Connor
Stevie Rice
Adam Turck
Scott Wichmann

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