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Dinner Theater Production of The Color Purple Leads Nominations for D.C.'s Helen Hayes Awards

Dinner Theater Production of The Color Purple Leads Nominations for D.C.'s Helen Hayes Awards
Theresa Cunningham & David Little in 'The Color Purple'
The 29th Helen Hayes Awards will be held on April 8 in Washington, D.C.

Nominations for the 29th Helen Hayes Awards, which honor the best in theater in Washington, D.C., were announced on Monday, and a surprise musical frontrunner took the cake. The Toby’s Dinner Theatre production of The Color Purple led the way for musicals with eight nominations, with the Signature Theatre’s Dreamgirls following close behind with seven. Woolly Mammoth’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Folger Theatre’s The Taming of the Shrew both led the straight play nominations with nine each. The four shows will compete for Outstanding Resident Musical and Outstanding Resident Play, respectively, which are the top honors at the awards.

The ceremony will be held on April 8 at the Warner Theatre. Nomination highlights include:

Outstanding Resident Musical
1776 — Ford’s Theatre
The Color Purple — Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Dreamgirls — Signature Theatre
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris — MetroStage
Spring Awakening — The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Resident Play
A Midsummer Night’s Dream — Shakespeare Theatre Company
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity — Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Invisible Man — The Studio Theatre
Our Class — Theater J
The Taming of the Shrew — Folger Theatre

Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
Matthew R. Wilson, A Commedia Christmas Carol
Jason Gray Platt, Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus
Bryony Lavery, Dirt
Kathryn Chase Bryer, David Palmer, Janet Stanford, Septime Webre, Bari Biern, Matthew Pierce, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Cheryl L. West, Pullman Porter Blues
Paul Downs Colaizzo, Really Really
Renee Calarco, The Religion Thing

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical
Matthew A. Anderson, Seussical
Brooks Ashmanskas, 1776
James Gardiner, Little Shop of Horrors
Doug Kreeger, Brother Russia
Paul Scanlan, Spring Awakening
Bobby Smith, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical
Mary Bridget Davies, One Night with Janis Joplin
Natascia Diaz, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
Nova Y. Payton, Dreamgirls
Dayna Quincy, The Color Purple
Erin Weaver, Xanadu

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
Teagle F. Bougere, Invisible Man
Steven Epp, The Servant of Two Masters
Larry Marshall, Pullman Porter Blues
Cody Nickell, The Taming of the Shrew
Jose Joaqu Perez, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play
Rena Cherry Brown, August: Osage County
Helen Carey, Long Day
Francesca Faridany, Strange Interlude
Lee Mikeska Gardner, Side Man
Kathryn Kelley, The Belle of Amherst
Kate Eastwood Norris, The Taming of the Shrew
Kathleen Turner, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins
Holly Twyford, Dirt

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical
Christopher Bloch, 1776
Michael John Casey, Rapunzel
Robert Cuccioli, 1776
David Little, The Color Purple
Cedric Neal, Dreamgirls
Nicholas Rodriguez, My Fair Lady
Bobby Smith, Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical
Priscilla Cuellar, Legally Blonde the Musical
Theresa Cunningham, The Color Purple
Sherri L. Edelen, Xanadu
Crystal Joy, Dreamgirls
Donna Migliaccio, The Music Man

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play
Adam Green, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Adi Hanash, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Matthew McGee, Taking Steps
Danny Scheie, The Taming of the Shrew
Bradley Foster Smith, Suite Surrender

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play
E. Faye Butler, Pullman Porter Blues
Sarah Marshall, The Taming of the Shrew
Natalia Payne, Dirt
Nancy Robinette, The Government Inspector
Holly Twyford, The Taming of the Shrew

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
Josephine Tonight
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Puerto Rico…
Rapunzel
Spring Awakening

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play
August: Osage County
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
The Government Inspector
The Taming of the Shrew
Pullman Porter Blues

Outstanding Director, Resident Musical
Kathryn Chase Bryer, Rapunzel
Matthew Gardiner, Dreamgirls
Toby Orenstein, The Color Purple
Lawrence B. Munsey, The Color Purple
Mark A. Rhea, Spring Awakening
Susan Marie Rhea, Spring Awakening
Serge Seiden, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
Janet Stanford, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Outstanding Director, Resident Play
Christopher Bayes, The Servant of Two Masters
Robert Falls, Red
Kirsten Kelly, Big Love
Christopher McElroen, Invisible Man
Ethan McSweeny, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Aaron Posner, The Taming of the Shrew
John Vreeke, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Michael Kahn, The Government Inspector

For the complete list of nominees, visit the awards’ official website.

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