'Fun Home,' 'Here Lies Love' Top Off-Broadway Awards
The two hit musicals, as well as Bertolt Brecht revival "Good Person of Szechwan," made the 29th annual Lucille Lortel Awards a banner night for the Public Theater.
NEW YORK – David Byrne's immersive dance-club fantasia about the life of Imelda Marcos, Here Lies Love, and Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron's intimate musical about the parallel sexual self-discoveries of a gay father and daughter in a family mortuary business, Fun Home, were the big winners Sunday night at the 29th annual Lucille Lortel Awards, the top honors for off-Broadway theater.
Here Lies Love notched up the most wins, with five awards, including outstanding director for Alex Timbers and actress in a musical for Ruthie Ann Miles, as well as lighting, sound and costumes. A smash in 2013, the show conceived by Byrne and composed together with big-beat DJ Fatboy Slim was extended multiple times last year in its limited-engagement premiere and has recently reopened at the Public Theater in an open-ended commercial run.
But the top prize for best musical went to Fun Home, composer Tesori and writer-lyricist Kron's adaptation of the graphic novel by comic-strip artist Alison Bechdel. That show also had a wildly acclaimed premiere run at the Public last year and is tipped to return in a commercial engagement on Broadway during the coming season. Fun Home won additional awards for lead actor in a musical, Michael Cerveris, and featured actress in a musical, Judy Kuhn.
The Public also scored as a presenter of outstanding revival winner Good Person of Szechwan, the Bertolt Brecht play staged by the Foundry Theatre. That production garnered a second Lortel award for Kron as featured actress in a play.
While Signature Theatre's production of Will Eno's cryptic twist on the domestic comedy-drama, The Open House, took home just one award, it was the major prize of outstanding play. Eno bowed two plays in New York during the past season, also making his Broadway debut with The Realistic Joneses, which drew strong critical support and raised eyebrows when it was shut out of the Tony Award nominations last week.
Other major Lortel winners included Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (pictured below), an electro-pop Russian dinner theater retelling of a chapter from War and Peace, which won three awards -- for featured actor in a musical Lucas Steele, scenic design and costumes, the latter in a tie with Here Lies Love.
Outstanding solo show went to the long-running hit Buyer & Cellar, by Jonathan Tolins, which starred Michael Urie as an out-of-work Los Angeles actor who takes a job in Barbra Streisand's basement. Tracee Chimo took honors for actress in a play in Bad Jews, and Steven Boyer for actor in a play in Hand to God.
The complete list of winners is at www.lortelaward.com.