‘Our Town,’ ‘I Hate Hamlet’ lead awards nominees

By Bob Fischbach, Omaha World-Herald 07.01.2015

The Blue Barn Theatre’s production of “Our Town” is a clear front-runner for the Theatre Arts Guild’s best-drama award, and the Omaha Community Playhouse’s “I Hate Hamlet” leads comedy nominees for the 2014-15 season.

The award nominations, announced Tuesday night, indicate a tight race for best musical, with four shows receiving 10 or more nods.

 Award winners, to be chosen in balloting this month by the guild’s nearly 400 members, will be announced at a gala Aug. 2.

The Playhouse’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” has a slim lead among musicals. Its 13 nominations include best musical, director and choreographer, along with eight acting nods and two in design categories.

“Spamalot,” also a Playhouse show, is close behind with 12 nods, including best musical, director, music director, choreographer, five for acting and three for design.

Creighton University Theatre’s “Cabaret” earned 11 nominations, including best musical, director, music director, choreographer, four for acting and three for design.

The Rose Theater’s “Mary Poppins” snagged 10 nominations: best musical, choreographer, five for acting and three for design.

The fifth best-musical nominee, The Candy Project’s “Gutenberg! the Musical!,” earned five nods, including for both actors, director and music director.

Among dramas, “Our Town” earned 10 nominations: best drama, director, six for acting and two for design. Other best-drama nominees include SNAP Productions’ “We Are Proud to Present …,” the Shelterbelt Theatre’s “The Other Sewing Circle” and the Playhouse’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” with four nods each, and the Blue Barn’s “Walk the Night” with one. The Playhouse’s “Enron” got six nods, though not for best drama.

“I Hate Hamlet” earned its favored comedy status with 10 nods: best comedy, director, five for acting and three for design. Other best-comedy nominees include three SNAP shows, “Calendar Girls” with five nods, “Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike” with three and “Harbor” with two. The Blue Barn’s “Bad Jews” also earned two nods.

Of the 147 total nominations in 29 categories, the Playhouse totaled 54, the Blue Barn 17, SNAP and the Rose 15 each and Creighton 11. The Playhouse and SNAP each have four best-show nominees.

The awards cover shows that opened from late June 2014 to mid-June 2015. TAG members chose nominees, and ballots were weighted by how many shows and theaters each voter attended.

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