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    Posted April 11, 2011

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The 35th Annual Carbonell Awards in South Florida

On Monday evening, April 4th, South Florida theatre professionals celebrated the 35th Annual Carbonell Awards at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The audience was dressed from gowns and tuxes to jeans and scruffy beards. The atmosphere was joyous and friendly. Special guest Sharon Gless remarked on the supportive audience as each winner was applauded and congratulated by the audience and other nominees.

The big winner of the evening was the production Blasted by Sarah Kane, produced by GableStage in Coral Gables. It was given Best Production of a Play, Best Director of a Play, Joe Adler, Best Scenic Design by Tim Connolly, Best Sound Design by Matt Corey and Best Lighting design by Jeff Quinn.

Best Director of a Musical went to David Arisco, and Best Musical Direction went to Eric Alsford, both for Miss Saigon at Actors' Playhouse. Best Choreography went to Marcia Milgrom Dodge for Anything Goes, and Best Costume Design went to Jose M. Rivera for La Cage Aux Folles, both at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

Barbara Bradshaw was given the Carbonell Award as Best Actress in a Play for her work in Collected Stories at The Mosaic Theatre in Plantation, FL This award was sponsored by Actors' Equity Association and presented by Arne Gunderson, Councillor Emeritus, and Eastern Regional Councillor, Margot Moreland.

Deborah Sherman, a new AEA member, won Best Supporting Actress in a Play for Goldie, Max and Milk at Florida Stage. Gregg Weiner continued his winning streak with the Best Actor in a Play Carbonell Award for his work in Fifty Words at GableStage; and Will Connolly won Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Marchbanks in Candida at Palm Beach Dramaworks.

Nick Duckart and Lisa Manuli

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical went to Lisa Manuli in the premiere production of Motherhood, the Musical. Nick Duckart won his first Carbonell Award, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, for DR. RADIO at Florida Stage. Best Actor in a Musical went to Herman Sebeck for MISS SAIGON at the Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, and Best Actress in a Musical went to Tari Kelly in ANYTHING GOES at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

Best New Work went to Christopher Demos-Brown for WHEN THE SUN SHONE BRIGHTER at Florida Stage; and Best Ensemble went to 12 ANGRY MEN at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

The evening featured performances from each of the shows nominated for Best Musical, as well as a clever opening parody of the South Florida theatre scene written by Maribeth Graham. There were also presentations of the George Abbott Award to Patrice Bailey, Dean of the New World School of the Arts, and the Ruth Foreman Award to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

In addition to celebrating excellence in South Florida Theatre, the Carbonell ceremony is also designed to raise scholarships for students in the tri-county area to study at accredited colleges and universities for careers in the visual and performing arts, and in journalism. Since the first, single $500 scholarship was given in 1978, dozens of students in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have received more than $100,000.

An After Party, sponsored by The Theatre League of South Florida had everyone celebrating another fine year of theatre.

Marjorie O'Neill-Butler
AEA Liason Committee South Florida

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