Neal Zoren’s 2019 Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Award Winners

Edited and republished by kind permission from NealsPaper.com

Walter Briggs and Keith D. Gallagher in MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN, from McCarter Theater, winner of Neal’s 2019 award for best production. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Awards have been part of the entertainment industry for ages. The first Oscars were distributed in 1929, the first Tonys in 1947. People enjoy making lists, comparing, and deciding on a “best.” It’s a subjective process. Just look at the 2019 Academy Awards. Renée Zellweger in “Judy” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell” are both deserving of honor. Only one can have it, unless, as in 1968, there’s a tie for Best Actress.

One viewer can think differently from another, but I find it fun and edifying to recall an entire year or season by going over programs, grabbed randomly, and ranking shows and performances to see, for myself, who and what I thought were the best of the lot.

The Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Award derives from that pastime, making lists, checking them twice, and giving praise to the particularly nice. I’ve been seeing theater since 1967 and have kept diaries that led to the rankings that led to an award.

Theater is more than a love. Anyone who knows me well knows how much pleasure and excitement I derive from my playgoing adventures. The Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Awards are a way of showing appreciation and saying “thank you” to many who have made the wiling of my time so wonderful.

This year’s awards are dedicated to a seven-time nominee and three-time recipient of the Philadelphia Theater Critic’s Award, the gifted actress, singer, musician, and human being , Ann C    rumb. I mourn her loss, not only for the performances that will never be, but because the world lost one of its truly special, unique really, that October day when her years-long battle against cancer ended. There are no people like show people.

The recipients of the 2019 PHILADELPHIA THEATER CRITIC’S AWARD ARE:

Cordelia Dewdney and Keith D. Gallagher in MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN. Photo by Liz Lauren.

BEST PRODUCTION

  • 1 MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN by David Catlin after Mary Shelley, Lookingglass Theatre at McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
  • 2. NIXON IN CHINA by John Adams and Alice Goodman, Princeton Festival, Princeton, N.J.
  • 3. HAMILTON by Lin-Manuel Moreno, National Tour, Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia
  • 4. THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Simon Stephens after Mark Haddon, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
  • 5. ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare, Wilma Theater, Philadelphia
  • 6. RAGTIME by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia

BEST ACTOR

  • 1. WALTER BRIGGS, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
  • 2. Austin Nedrow, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
  • 3. Matteo Scammell, Romeo and Juliet, Wilma Theater, Philadelphia
  • 4. Nathan Darrow, A Number, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
  • 5. Sean Anderson, Nixon in China, Princeton Festival, Princeton, N.J.
  • 6. Nathaniel Stampley, Paul Robeson, Crossroads Theatre, New Brunswick, N.J.

BEST ACTRESS

  • 1. CORDELIA DEWDNEY, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
  • 2. Sabrina Profitt, Awake and Sing, Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia
  • 3. Natalie Carter, Dot, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
  • 4. Sarah Gliko, The Bridges of Madison County, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Philadelphia
  • 5. Mahira Kakkar, Skylight, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
  • 6. Mary McDonnell, Gloria: A Life, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • 1. ALLEN LEWIS RICKMAN, The Sunshine Boys, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol, Pa.
  • 2. Keith D. Gallagher, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
  • 3. Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Romeo and Juliet, Wilma Theater, Philadelphia
  • 4. Luke Bradt, Young Frankenstein, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
  • 5. Lawrence Pressman, Awake and Sing, Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia
  • 6. Paul Oakley Stovall, Hamilton, National Tour, Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • 1. ZUHAIRAH, Dot, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa. and Gem of the Ocean, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia
  • 2. Miche Braden, Nina Simone: Four Women, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.
  • 3. E. Ashley Izard, L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, King Lear, The Tinker’s Wedding, and The Playboy of the Western World, Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia
  • 4. Daniela Mack, Semele, Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia
  • 5. Karen Peakes, The Comedy of Tenors and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia
  • 6. Hannah Cruz, Hamilton, National Tour, Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia

BEST DIRECTOR

  • 1. DAVID CATLIN, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lookingglass Theatre at McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J.
  • 2. Steven LaCosse, Nixon in China, Princeton Festival, Princeton, N.J.
  • 3. Thomas Kail, Hamilton, National Tour, Forrest Theatre, Philadelphia
  • 4. Blanka Zizka, Romeo and Juliet and There, Wilma Theater, Philadelphia
  • 5. John Collins, Gatz, Elevator Repair Service at McCarter Theatre, Princeton
  • 6. Eliza Baldi, A Number, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Malvern, Pa.

To see Neal’s top 40 in each category, visit nealspaper.com >>>

Features, Theater - Tags: - no comments

About the author

Neal Zoren for NealsPaper

Neal of the Nealspaper is a fan of all forms of live entertainment, movies, and television. He is also a constant reader and a frequent traveler. He writes for NealsPaper.com, a place for people to come to read one authoritative voice in the dialogue, and find out what might be worthwhile — or not — as you plan your entertainment outings.