Monday, February 20, 2017

BARBEQUE @ CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE



Through March 11, 2017
(216) 631-2727

Bob Abelman

Although this CPT production under Beth Woods’ direction has some difficulty reconciling the inconsistent stylings of the two acts, "Barbecue" is nonetheless a savory and satisfying offering.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.

Howard Gollop
No review yet.

Mark Horning
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

David Ritchey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

Andrea Simakis
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

WAIT UNTIL DARK @ GREAT LAKES THEATER



Through March 12, 2017
(216) 664-6064

Bob Abelman

After its GLT run, the show will be moving to production partner Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s outdoor facility in May. Considering how late the sun sets there at that time of year, actually waiting until dark will be more of a stage direction than a title. And it just may provide the added suspense this play so sorely needs.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


Wait Until Dark continues the GLT tradition of producing a mystery as part of its season offerings.  Those who love murder mysteries may well be enthused, but both script and production do not reach the level of effectiveness of previous shows of this genre.

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

Think of this dated play as a glass of fine champagne that has been left out too long. It tastes the same but has lost all of its fizz. In spite of the best efforts of everyone involved they simply cannot return the original effervescent of when it was fresh and new.  

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey

In this misbegotten production at Great Lakes Theater, there are virtually no thrills and a remarkable absence of chills. 

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

David Ritchey

Wait Until Dark has script problems that make it a strange choice for Great Lakes Theater. Even the movie, with the talented Audrey Hepburn, doesn't hold up well 50+ years later.

To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL @ THE BECK CENTER



February 10 through 26, 2017
(216) 521-2540

Bob Abelman

Beck’s ‘Bring It On’ offers cheer-face and style over substance.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


Bring It On: The Musical is not a great script, but with a talented cast, high energy dancing, creative choreography, compelling gymnastics, and a dynamic musical score, Beck appears to have another cash cow on its hands as large audiences should fill up the theatre.

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson

The musical 'Bring It On' smartly manages to poke tongue-and-cheek fun at the cheerleading world while at the same time celebrating the spirit of competition and friendship.

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.


Mark Horning

For fans of The Beck Center and BWU’s Musical Arts Program this production of Bring It On- The Musical will continue to fill the theater with sell-out crowds due mainly to the performance level of the cast and crew and in spite of the weak script and non-memorable music. Get your ticket early to avoid missing this well performed show.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey


Your interest in cheerleading competitions may be minimal, or nonexistent, but this effusive production will have you standing and applauding at the final curtain.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene





REPAIRING A NATION @ KARAMU THEATRE



February 9 through 26, 2017
(216) 795-7070  


Mark Horning
Strong personalities clash as this no-holds-barred battle of the wits and lips unfolds before the audience. No need to mike the actors as this cast carries their voices clear to the back of the theater. While sporting an intricate plot it is an entertaining work that combines American history with a dysfunctional family.    
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey

Under the direction of Margaret Ford-Taylor, the cast works hard for almost three hours to loom Salter’s threads of memory into a powerful whole. And while it doesn’t entirely succeed, the play is often compelling and instructive.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

THE WIZ @ NEAR WEST THEATRE (YOUTH CAST 9-15)



February 10 through 19, 2017
(216) 961-6391
Or http://www.nearwesttheatre.org/pages/tickets

WORTH NOTING: 
In order to bring attention to local productions of merit at theaters that are not on the Cleveland Critics Circle’s approved list, members of the Circle who attend a community or educational theater production that is perceived as of high quality will have the option of listing that production on the CCC blogsite.  This review falls into that category.

Mark Horning

As in all Near West Theater productions, The Wiz is a family friendly theater outing that the entire clan will enjoy. You will marvel at the youth of the actors on stage and the powerful beyond-their-years performance that they give. This is a great “first time” show to see as well as an inspiration to younger family members as to what can be achieved with hard work and plenty of rehearsal.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

I CALL MY BROTHERS @ CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE



February 9 through March 4, 2017

(216) 631-2727


Bob Abelman

CPT’s ‘I Call My Brothers’ offers a poignant portrait of next to normal.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Christine Howey

This script, as translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles, shifts back and forth from Amor's frightened journey through the city to his internal thoughts and memories and eventually some dream sequences. It is loaded with powerful stuff, but there is so much disconnection inherent in the staging that the play never lands the knockout blow it seems to desire.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

THE KING AND I @ PLAYHOUSE SQUARE



Through February 26, 2017
(216) 241-6000

Bob Abelman

The remarkable success of the touring ‘The King and I’ is no puzzlement.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.


Kerry Clawson

The national tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s "The King and I" is a breathtakingly gorgeous production that appeals to our most romantic natures.  The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, which sailed into Playhouse Square this week, presents an iconic culture clash between two of the most famously strong-willed characters in musical theater history: Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam.

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.

Howard Gollop

This “King and I” is hardly a style-over-substance endeavor. Director Bartlett Sher gracefully goes for introspection, not outward theatrics. He culls profundity and even timeliness from what has been dismissed by other directors as a creaky standard-issue musical book.

Mark Horning

This is THE ONE! The single show that you need to put on your must see winter list. With its sparkling grandeur, fabulous costuming, exquisite lighting, delightful dance sequences and crystal clear singing it is the must see show of this season’s Key Bank Broadway Series. 

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.


Christine Howey

In short, The King and I has all the Broadway zazz you’re looking for, while giving us another perspective on what’s happening in our world today. Hard to ask for anything more.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene


Andrea Simakis

[Director] Bartlett Sher's "The King and I" not only honors the Rodgers and Hammerstain golden age classic--with a muscular pit orchestra giving a rousing performance of its lush, memorable score--but offers us a fresh, 21-st century face."

To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

RADIO GOLF @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE



Through February 26, 2017
(216) 321-2930

Mark Horning


Radio Golf   is a morality play that pits ambition and greed against doing what is right and proper no matter what the consequences. In this day and age it is what we would call a fantasy work. Sides are being chosen, the line is drawn in the sand and we the audience gets to witness it all. An intriguing story told well and well worth seeing.  

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.


Roy Berko


August Wilson, who is one of the most important contemporary playwrights, shines a well-focused spotlight on the history and conflicts of the African American community.  Ensemble’s production of Wilson’s Radio Golf is a well-conceived tribute to the man and his message.  It is a must see! 

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Christine Howey

Director Terrence Spivey once again shows he knows how to bring resonant performances out of a talented cast. And that leads to a staging of Radio Golf that, while not perfect, is thoroughly involving from start to finish.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene


THE WHALE @ NONE TOO FRAGILE



Through February 18. 2017
(330) 671-4563

Bob Abelman

none too fragile’s ‘The Whale’ wallows in well-chartered waters

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Kerry Clawson

At face value, a play about a 600-pound recluse who’s slowly eating himself to death sounds miserable. Granted, Charlie’s story is a sad one. But Robert Ellis brings a lovingness and nobility to his character that is uplifting, as the dying man forms a fragile community of people who care about each other.

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.

Mark Horning

If you are a fan of shows that deliver hard hitting emotion, this is the one show you will not want to miss. You will find yourself drawn in to a swirling cauldron of despair, anger, self pity and addiction. After seeing this show you are guaranteed to feel better about your life by comparison no matter what.  

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey


Much like its protagonist, in this play there is a wonderful entity struggling to fight its way out of the smothering confines in which it finds itself. And this production only succeeds in fits and starts.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

David Ritchey

The none too fragile theater has brought this compelling story to its stage in a
dynamite production. 


To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY @ LAKELAND CIVIC THEATRE



February 3 through 19, 2017
(440) 525-7134

Bob Abelman

Rickety ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ is bolstered by Lakeland Civic Theatre’s talent and vision.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko

It may be cliché and overly dramatic, but The Bridges of Madison County makes for a fine evening of theatre.  The Lakeland production was stellar.  Applause, applause, applause!  

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here. 




LOVE FROM A STRANGER @ CLAGUE PLAYHOUSE



Through February 12, 2017
(440) 331-0403
https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=cplay

WORTH NOTING: 
In order to bring attention to local productions of merit at theaters that are not on the Cleveland Critics Circle’s approved list, members of the Circle who attend a community or educational theater production that is perceived as of high quality will have the option of listing that production on the CCC blogsite.  This review falls into that category.


Mark Horning

If you can get past the bad accents and wigs, this show is actually rather well done. The suspense is slowly built up and the surprise ending is quite satisfying. It is classic Agatha and needs to be seen. Clague productions nearly always sell out so buy your tickets quickly.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

BASKERVILLE @ CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE



Through February 12, 2017
(216) 241-6000

Bob Abelman

Before the Cleveland Play House considers Ken Ludwig’s next play, it should hire Dr. Ruth Westheimer as a dramaturg.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


Is Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, a great play?  No!  Is it even a very good play?  Probably not.  What it is is a play that will delight many.  Especially those who like to solve mysteries, who are enamored with farcical delights, and enjoy a cast who is having a lark playing lots of characters and changing costumes a great deal.  And, no spoiler alert here, the butler didn’t do it! 

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

While not quite measuring up to the very high comedic bar of Ken Ludwig’s past works, “Baskerville” does make for an enjoyable evening of theater especially for those familiar with Sir Author Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. While lacking in the farce department there is enough action to keep your attention. Not a bad play per say, just different than what was expected.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey


There are chuckles aplenty in this send-up of Sherlock—it’s a bracing dose of silliness for the sometimes overly staid CPH audiences.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

David Ritchey

On the stage a well-crafted mystery provokes the audience to gasp or scream or grab the arm of a complete stranger. Every heart in the auditorium skips a beat and then gallops as the mystery moves toward its terrifying climax.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

Andrea Simakis

The fast-moving production is as fun as roller coasters were when you were 10, thanks to the show's central conceit: Five actors play some 40 roles. The joy of "Baskerville" is seeing how they pull it off.

To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

THE NIGHT ALIVE @ DOBAMA THEATRE



January 20 through February 12, 2017
(216) 932-3396

Bob Abelman

“The Night Alive” is an intriguing play and risky enterprise.  This is a remarkable production of it. 

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


THE NIGHT ALIVE, which is about the lives of a few lost souls, gets a strong staging.  Unfortunately, the play is about people who don’t engender a reason to be cared about. 

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson

"The Night Alive" is a very dark show by famed Irish playwright Conor McPherson about five characters who have few redeeming qualities. ... Director Leighann Delorenzo has undoubtedly directed her actors to create consistently awkward connections between their characters. But their dynamics are so tentative that the intermissionless play, which runs an hour and 50 minutes, drags during the first half hour.

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.


Mark Horning

While extremely well done, the show seems to falter at the end. Many of the patrons leaving the theater seemed to have enjoyed the complexity and especially the comedy of the play but were unanimously confused concerning the ending as in “Who died?” Tommy? Aimee? Both? Part of the challenge will be in figuring out this burning question.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey

Under the intelligent and specific direction of Leighann DeLorenzo, the immensely talented five-person cast does this material proud. 

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene





Saturday, January 14, 2017

THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE



Through January 22, 2017
(216) 321-2930

Roy Berko


Ensemble Theatre should be commended for bringing live children’s theater to an audience.  There are far too few opportunities for youngsters to be exposed to the theatrical arts.  Though not a totally effective production, there is enough positive about THE PHANTOM TOLL BOOTH to encourage parents to bring their children and, hopefully, then discuss the implications of the script with them.

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

If you are a young parent with small children (6 to 11) wishing to share a night of nonsense humor, puns galore and hilarious wordplay then this is a play you will not want to miss. Feed your inner child while introducing your own children to live theater.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

THIS IS NOT ABOUT MY DEAD DOG@ PLAYWRIGHTS LOCAL


Through January 28, 2017
(216) 302-8850
Or http://playwrightslocal.org/

Bob Abelman

We’ve all had moments like those revealed by Amy Schwabauer and see ourselves in her embarrassment and angst.  But few of us are brave enough to put it on stage before an audience, bold or brilliant enough to perform it ourselves, and brazen enough to consider it theater.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


The largely mid-twenties female sold-out audience responded well to the tales of self-loathing.  Some even shed tears at the end.  The stories obviously hit a chord with them.  Some adjustments in the script could expand the appeal to a wider audience and provide a better theatrical experience.

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Christine Howey

If you’re going to write a one-woman play that is largely about drinking and vomiting, it helps if you’re an engaging and at times electric actor. Thankfully, that’s what writer-performer Amy Schwabauer has going for her.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

INTO THE WOODS @ PLAYHOUSE SQUARE


Through January 29, 2017
(216) 241-6000

Bob Abelman

Put Sweeney Todd in lederhosen and brightly colored socks and he is still the demon barber of Fleet Street.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


The Fiasco Theater staging of INTO THE WOODS, part of the Key Bank Broadway series, is not a flashy production filled with special effects.  It is a visionary piece of directing excellence by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, who looked beyond the surface and came up with a concept which gave new life to an oft-produced play.  Will everyone like it?  No.  Those who live for escape, want conflict-free stories, who are tired of seeing yet another production of this script, and those who don’t appreciate Sondheim’s musical genius, may well be turned off.  The rest of us will revel in a magical evening of theatrical creativity.

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson

Fiasco Theater’s Into the Woods is a breath of fresh air,  full of offbeat imagination and crystal-clear storytelling that makes for a stimulating evening with Stephen Sondheim’s most famous musical.

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.


Mark Horning

Whether you are a Stephen Sondheim fan or not, you owe it to yourself to see this adult targeted performance simply due to the uniqueness in which it is portrayed. The simplicity in the stage set, costuming and musical numbers allows more room for the story to stand on its own.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey

Into the Woods is all about dreams and the reality of how those dreams often turn out, based on the decisions we make. In that regard, this production is a fine and inventive interpretation of this work. But at almost three hours with one intermission, and placed on a single unchanging set, it takes the resolve of a fairy tale hero to stay focused on these colliding yarns.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

David Ritchey

Once upon a time, a team of actors and stage technicians went into the woods – or maybe just on tour and found themselves in the Connor Palace Theater, Cleveland, Ohio.  Yes, they tour with “Into the Woods.”  But, something went wrong.  Or even worse, several things went wrong.  Those Cleveland audiences known for giving everyone a standing ovation, did not stand for the cast of “Into the Woods” at the curtain-call time.  The audience rushed out of the theater.

To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

Andrea Simakis

Be careful what you wish for, because it might just come true. It's a lesson we'd do well to heed, now and ever after.
Still, it's worth straying from that moral here, because one couldn't wish for a finer iteration of an American masterwork than Fiasco Theater's "Into the Woods."
Don't be afraid of the dark.

To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

CLEVELAND CRITICS CIRCLE 2016 THEATER AWARDS




The Cleveland Critics Circle each year honors local theaters, performances, performers and technicians of plays staged by Cleveland area professional theaters during the January 1-December 31 year.

Awards Committee: Bob Abelman, Roy Berko, Kerry Clawson, Mark Horning, Christine Howey, David Ritchey and Andrea Simakis.  Participation in these awards does not preclude individual critics from preparing their own recognitions.

Those recognized for Superior Achievement are listed alphabetically, not by order of achievement.

Best Musical Production: My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
Superior Achievement:
            Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Footloose, Porthouse
            Ruthless!, Beck Center
            The Fantasticks, Great Lakes Theater
            The Little Mermaid, Beck Center

Best Non-Musical Production: An Octoroon, Dobama Theatre
Superior Achievement:
            All the Way, Cleveland Play House
            Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Landford Wilson’s Take Five, Cesear’s Forum
            Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater
            Mr. Wolff, Cleveland Play House
            Sans Merci, none-too-fragile
            The Beauty Queen of Leenane, none-too-fragile
            The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble Theatre

Best Actor – Musical:  Ellis C. Dawson III, In the Heights, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
Alan O’Reilly, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Ari Butler, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Colton Ryan, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Devon Turchan, Cabaret, Blank Canvas
            Marcus Martin, Aida, Rubber City Shakespeare
            Matthew Wright, Ruthless!, Beck Center
            Reggie Kelly, Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Tom Ford, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater

Best Actor – Non-Musical: Jeff Grover, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
Superior Achievement:
            Benjamin Gregorio, Pure Shock Value, none-too-fragile
            Geoff Knox, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble Theatre
            Michael Mauldin, Margin of Error, Ensemble Theatre
            Sean Hudock, Sex with Strangers, Cleveland Play House
            Steve Vinovich, All the Way, Cleveland Play House

Best Actress – Musical:  Katherine DeBoer, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Colleen Longshaw, Sister Act, Porthouse Theatre
            Jillian Kates, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Lauren Molina, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Miah Bickley, Aida, Rubber City Shakespeare
            Natalie Green, The Toxic Avenger, Cain Park
            Susan Hughes, Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Tricia Bestic Cabaret, Blank Canvas

Best Actress – Non-Musical:  Dorothy Silver, The Revisionist, Dobama
Superior Achievement:
            Anjanette Hall, An Octoroon, Dobama Theatre
            Cassandra West, Sans Merci, none-too-fragile
            Derdriu Ring, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Derdriu Ring, Beauty Queen of Leenane, none-too-fragile
Heather Anderson Boll, The Mystery of Love and Sex, Cleveland Play
            House
            Holly Holsinger, Frankenstein’s Wake, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Kimberly Sias, Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Lara Mielcarek, Marie Antoinette, Dobama Theatre
           
Rising Star Award
            Male:  J. R. Heckman, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
            Female:  Calista Zajac, Ruthless!, Beck Center

Best Director – Musical: Victoria Bussert, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
Superior Achievement:
            Terri Kent, Footloose, Porthouse Theatre
            Pierre-Jacques Brault, Finian’s Rainbow, Mercury Theater Company
            Amanda Dehnert, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Scott Spence, Billy Elliot, Beck Center

Best Director – Non-Musical: Nathan Motta, An Octoroon, Dobama
Superior Achievement:
            Beth Woods, Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theater
            Celeste Cosentino, The Night That Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble
            Charles Fee, And Then There Were None, Great Lakes Theater
            Dan Kilbane and Caitlin Lewins, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Cleveland
                        Public Theatre
            Nathan Motta, Marie Antoinette, Dobama
            Sean Derry and Brian Kenneth Armour, Sans Merci, none-too-fragile
            Sean Derry, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Tyne Rafaeli, Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater

Best Choreographer: Martín Céspedes, Billy Elliott, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Greg Daniels, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Greg Daniels, In The Heights, Beck Center
            Holly Handman, Mr. Burns, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Martin Céspedes, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
            Mary Ann Black, Footloose, Porthouse Theatre

Best Musical Direction:   Larry Goodpaster, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Ian Huettel, Wild Party, Blank Canvas
            Joel Mercier, My Fair Lady, Great Lake Theater
            Amanda Dehnert, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Jonathan Swoboda, Footloose, Porthouse Theatre
            Larry Goodpaster, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Nathan Motta, Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater
            Caitlin Lewins, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Cleveland Public Theatre
           
Best Scenic Design:   Russell Metheny,  And Then There Were None, Great Lakes
                        Theater
Superior Achievement:
            Douglas Puskas, Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Michael Schweikardt, Luna Gale, Cleveland Play House
            Perry Catalano and Fred Sellers, Talley’s Folly, Actors Summit      
            Philip Whitcomb, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
Philip Whitcomb, The Good Peaches, Cleveland Play House/Cleveland
            Orchestra
            Richard H. Morris, Jr., Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Russell Metheny, Twelfth Night, Great Lakes Theater
            Trad A Burns, Into the Woods, Lakeland Civic Theatre
            Wes Calkin, Mr. Burns, Cleveland Play House
           
Best Lighting Design: Kevin Ozan, The Whipping Man, none-too-fragile
Superior Achievement:
            Gina Scherr, Mr. Wolf, Cleveland Play House
            Jeff Herman, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
            Mary Jo Dondlinger and Cynthia Stillings, A Christmas Carol, Great Lakes Theater
            Richard H. Horris, Jr., Rasheeda Speaking, Karamu
            Rick Martin, And Then There Were None, Great Lakes Theater
            Sean Derry, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Wes Calkin, Mr. Burns, Cleveland Public Theatre

Best Projection Design: Adam Zeek, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Adam Zeek, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Dan Scully, The Mountaintop, Cleveland Play House
            Dan Scully, All The Way, Cleveland Play House
            Patrick Ciamacco, Silence! The Musical, Blank Canvas
            Steven Vasse-Hansell, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble
            Val Kozlenko, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Cleveland Public Theatre

Best Costume Design:   Inda Blatch-Geib, Blues in the Night, Karamu
Superior Achievement:
Andrea Hood, Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater
Charlotte M. Yetman, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
Jen Caprio, Steel Magnolias, Cleveland Play House
Kim Krumm Sorenson, Twelfth Night, Great Lakes Theater
Marty LaConte, The Tempest, Ohio Shakespeare Festival
Suzy Q. Campbell, Lady’s Windermere’s Fan, Mamai Theatre Company
Tesia Dugan Benson, Marie Antoinette, Dobama Theatre

Best Sound Design:   James C. Swonger, The Good Peaches, Cleveland Play
 House/Cleveland Orchestra
Superior Achievement:
            David Gotwald, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Joe Court, And Then There Were None, Great Lakes Theater
            Josh Horvath Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Nathan Rosemerin, Ring of Fire, Porthouse Theatre
            Richard Ingraham, Marie Antoinette, Dobama Theatre
           
Best Touring Production:   Fun Home, Playhouse Square
Superior Achievement:
            Beautiful, Playhouse Square
            Finding Neverland, Playhouse Square
            Phantom of the Opera, Playhouse Square
            Wrestling Jerusalem, Cleveland Public Theatre           

Special Mention:

David Frazier, the brilliant and beloved stage performer who appeard in more than 150 Cleveland productions—including the iconic Jacques Brel—who died at age 76

Actors Summit, which closed in Akron in August, 2016, after 17 years of producing locally and hiring Northeast Ohio actors

Playwrights Local for producing the year’s “Most Socially Significant Local Play,” Objectively Reasonable, and creating a venue for local playwrights to develop their works

convergence-continuum for its fifth year of hosting the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts (NEOFMA) Playwright Festival

Raymond Bobgan for 10 years of creative leadership at Cleveland Public Theatre
           
Victoria Bussert on her 30th anniversary with Great Lakes Theater

Near West Theatre for its commitment to empowering children, teens and adults through transformational arts

New World Performance Laboratory for The Devil’s Milk Trilogy, an exploration of Akron’s rubber industry history.

Baldwin Wallace University for their innovative productions of West Side Story and Perestroika