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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lifetime Achievement Award Obie to ESTELLE PARSONS at Village Voice's 59th Annual Awards Event




The Village Voice, the nation’s largest alternative weekly newspaper, announced today that the Lifetime Achievement Award Obie will go to the esteemed ESTELLE PARSONS.
 
Estelle is most widely known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Bonnie and Clyde and her 10 years as Mother Bev on the hit sitcom “Roseanne.” In the theater, she is known for her portrayal of the tyrannical eighth grade teacher in Roberto Athayde’s classic about totalitarian power,Miss Margarida’s Way, which she performed on Broadway, all over the United States and in London, Dublin, Turkey and Australia. She has appeared in plays by the great writers of our time, including Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Dario Fo, Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Paul Zindel and Horton Foote. Estelle starred in August: Osage County by Tracy Letts on Broadway for a year and on the road for a year. Most recently Estelle was seen in The Velocity of Autumn by Eric Coble (2014 Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations), Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire and the George & Ira Gershwin musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick. In 2012, she was directed by Neil LaBute in Marco Calvani’sThings of This World. As a director, she created the New York Shakespeare Festival Players for Joseph Papp in the 1980s. For two seasons, they performed Shakespeare on Broadway for New York City school students and their families in an effort to develop a multicultural audience for New York. She also directed Al Pacino in Oscar Wilde’s Salome: the Reading on Broadway. Estelle Parsons is a member of The Actors Studio and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2004.
 
Additional exciting Obie Awards Ceremony news is the announcement of a live performance by the acclaimed fresh musical FUN HOME.
 
From four-time Tony Award-nominated composer Jeanine Tesori and Tony-nominee Lisa Kron FUN HOME is a fresh, daring new musical based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.  When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.  Directed by Sam Gold, Fun Home is a groundbreaking world-premiere musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
 
 
Tickets  On Sale  Now
Tickets will are on sale now at obies.villagevoice.com for the 59th Annual Obie Awards on Monday, May 19, 2014, at Webster Hall in the East Village, 125 East 11th Street. Online box office will close on Monday, May 19th at midnight and be available at the event doors that evening.
 
The Obies will be co-hosted by the distinguished actress Tamara Tunie, whose many memorable stage performances include the lead in the Public Theater’s Troilus and Cressida, while her film and television credits include Devil’s AdvocateFLIGHT, City Hall, Snake Eyes, Eve’s Bayou, The Caveman’s Valentine, The Red Road, “Law and Order: SVU”, “24”, “Sex and The City”, “NYPD Blue”.
 
Sharing the stage with Tunie will be co-host Hamish Linklater, an Obie winner who is currently starring in the CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones” opposite Robin Williams and recently starred in the HBO series “The Newsroom”.   His theater performances include Seminar on Broadway and many appearances for the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater, where he will be seen this summer in Much Ado About Nothing for NYSF. On film Linklater can next be seen in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight both to be released in 2014.
 
The 2014 Obies are honored to have, among those who will be presenting Obie Awards, the following performers who have made or are currently making a notable impact on New York’s theatrical scene:
 
 Betsy Aidem, an Obie winner for Sustained Excellence of Performance, who can currently be seen on Broadway playing Lady Bird Johnson opposite Bryan Cranston’s LBJ in All the Way. Her New York stage appearances include Nikolai and the Others (Lincoln Center),  Dreams of Flying,Celebration, Sea of Tranquility (Atlantic) among others.  Film and TV work includes: Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret & You Can Count on MeThe Bleeding House. TV:  “The Americans”, “The Big C”, “Rescue Me”, “Nurse Jackie”, “Law & Order.” 
 
 Harvey Fierstein is the author of the current Broadway smash hits Kinky Boots (2013 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical) and Newsies, as well as Torch Song Trilogy (Tony, Drama Desk and OBIE Awards), La Cage aux Folles (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), The Sissy Duckling (Humanitas Award), A Catered Affair (12 Drama Desk nominations), Safe Sex (Ace Award), Legs Diamond, Spookhouse, Flatbush ToscaCommon Ground, and more. He will soon have three productions running on Broadway when Newsies and Kinky Boots are joined by the world premiere of his first play in nearly 30 years, Casa Valentina, which will open at MTC's Samuel J Friedman Theater in April, directed by Joe Mantello. As an actor Mr. Fierstein is known worldwide for his performances in films like Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day, and on stage in Hairspray (Tony Award), Fiddler On The Roof, La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy (Tony Award), and TV shows such as "Smash," “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Good Wife,” “Cheers” (Emmy nomination), “The Simpsons,” and “Nurse Jackie.”
 
Lena Hall  is currently starring as Yitzhak in the hit Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch opposite Neil Patrick Harris. Most recently, she starred as Nicola in the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots. Previous Broadway and Off Broadway roles include starring in the award winning Toxic Avenger at New World Stages, Tarzan (Original Cast), Dracula (Original Cast), 42nd St ( Anytime Annie), Cats ( Demeter), Beg Bugs ( NYMF) and Green Eyes ( Fringe) as well as numerous TV and film roles. When not on the Broadway stage, Lena performs with her band The Deafening.
 
LaTanya Richardson Jackson is starring on stage this season in the role of Lena Younger opposite Denzel Washington in A Raisin in the Sun. Her extensive theatre credits include Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Broadway); for colored girls…Spell #7,Casanova, and Unfinished Women (Public Theater); Stop Reset (Signature Theatre); August Wilson’s 20th Century cycle (Kennedy Center) among others. Film/TV: The Fighting Temptations, U.S. Marshals, Freedomland, Malcolm X, Mother and Child, Losing Isaiah, “The Watsons Go to Birmingham,” “Harry’s Law,” “Frannie’s Turn,” “Damages,” “Law & Order,” “Introducing  Dorothy Dandridge,” and Sidney Lumet’s “100 Centre Street.”
 
Andy Karl is an award winning actor currently starring as Rocky in the new hit Broadway musical based on the Oscar winning film and directed by two time Obie winner Alex Timbers. He starred in Mystery of Edwin Drood on Broadway for which he received a Drama Desk Nomination. Andy is best known to off-Broadway audiences for his performance as Luke, the thuggish rapper in the original cast of Altar Boyz. Numerous Broadway productions include 9 to 5,  Legally Blonde (ACCA Award), The Wedding Singer, Saturday Night Fever and On the 20th Century. His Film and TV roles include Joyful Noise; Rob Reiner's And So It Goes (opposite Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton); Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle WoodsOn the One; New York, I Love You.
 
David Bar Katz is a member of The LAByrinth Theater Company which produced his plays Philip Roth in Khartoum (at The Public Theater) and The Atmosphere of Memory (starring Ellen Burstyn) and has presented six of his plays in their annual Barn Series Festival.   He is an award winning screenwriter, playwright, author and director.
 
Cristin Milioti won our hearts as “The Girl” in the OBIE-winning Off-Broadway production of the musical Once. When Once moved to Broadway, Cristin was singled out for her outstanding performance by every major theatrical award and she helped the company win the Tony for Best Musical and a Grammy for “Best Musical Theater Album.   Most recently, she played  “The Mother” on CBS’s hit comedy show "How I Met Your Mother"  and played opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in  Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.
 
Kelli O'Hara is receiving rave reviews for her portrayal of Francesca in the musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County currently playing on Broadway.  
She has also graced the stage and earned awards for her in performances in Nice Work If You Can Get ItSouth PacificPajama GameThe Light in the Piazza among others. Her concert work spans from Carnegie Hall to Capitol Hill.  She is a frequent performer on PBS's live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors.  
 
Lily Rabe, Tony nominee Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater will headline The Public Theater’s line-up for the 2014 free Shakespeare in the Park season at the Delacorte Theater. Rabe and Linklater will star as Beatrice and Benedick respectively in Much Ado About Nothing. Film credits include Beyond RedemptionLetters from the Big ManAll Good ThingsWeaknessAftermathWhat Just HappenedThe Toe TacticA CrimeNo ReservationsMona Lisa SmileNever Again. UPCOMING: PAWN SACRIFICE (dir by Ed Zwick), THE VEIL (dir by Phil Joanou), (Mary Pickford in The First. On Television she has appeared as a regular on FX's  AMERICAN HORROR STORY, and recurred on Good WifeNip/Tuck, the "Law & Orders”, among others.
 
Stephen Trask, co-creator and Obie winner for Music and Lyrics  of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hedwig is back on Broadway this season.  Stephen is also the orchestrator for the Broadway production of Rocky. Since 2003, Stephen has been scoring films on both the independent and studio level for directors as diverse as Tom McCarthy, Paul Weitz, Todd Graff, Tamara Jenkins, Jon Kasdan, Robert Benton, Sean Anders, Bill Condon, Alan Poul, Tom Vaughn, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman. Stephen has recorded and performed with alt  rock n' roll royalty such as Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Mould, Sleater-Kinney, Yoko Ono, Debbie Harry and Lene Lovitch.
 
The 2014 Obie Awards are chaired by Michael Feingold, a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and George Jean Nathan Award winner, who began contributing to The Village Voice in 1971 and served as its chief theater critic from 1983 to 2013. Feingold’s fellow judges include: Kirsten Child, whose musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin won her, in addition to the Obie, the Kleban, Larson, and Rodgers Awards;Nicky Paraiso, Director of Programming for The Club at La MaMa and curator of the annual La MaMa Moves!; Tonya Pinkins, the Tony and Obie Award-winning actress, who has appeared in television and film but whose first love is theater; Michael Sommers, who currently covers the New York theater scene for New Jersey Newsroom and is a freelance reviewer of regional theater for The New York Times; and Rick Sordelet, an award-winning and prolific fight director with 60 Broadway productions and 54 first-class productions on five continents to his credit.
 
For the past 59 years, the Village Voice Obie Awards, founded by Jerry Tallmer in 1956, have honored the best of Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Structured with informal categories that change annually, the Village Voice Obie Awards recognize persons and productions of excellence. Unlike most theater awards, the Village Voice Obie Awards list no nominations publicly. In the conviction that creativity is not competitive, the judges may give several Obies in each category, and may even invent new categories to reward exceptional artistic merit. 
 
Many of the most celebrated names in theater, film, and television say their Obie Award was the first major recognition of their professional career. Past winners include such well-known stars  as Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Felicity Huffman, Viola Davis, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Tony Kushner, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver, to name a few.
 
Because the Obies always strive to recognize artists of exceptional ability early in their careers, the award often serves to encourage, support, and in some sense nurture youthful talent. The Obies help shine an important light on theater artists who are breaking new ground, or just breaking through in their careers. In addition, the Obies honor those who have given years of service to the theater, with awards for Sustained Excellence and Lifetime Achievement.
 
Tickets for the Village Voice’s 59th Annual Obie Awards are $25 general admission Balcony and will go on sale April 9th athttp://obies.villagevoice.com/2014/
 
The ceremony begins at 8pm sharp and will be held at Webster Hall. For more information, please visit http://obies.villagevoice.com/2014/
 

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