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    Posted March 30, 2011

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On Monday Night, March 28th, the Big Easy Foundation handed out its awards for best performances in New Orleans theater in 2010 at a gala event at Harrah's New Orleans Hotel & Casino. 27 categories plus six special awards were given out during the evening. Several AEA members walked away with top prizes and special award selections. The evening was hosted by AEA Member, Bryan Batt.

l-r: Jeffery Roberson (aka Varla Jean Merman)-photo by Benjamin
Jessie Terrebonne in 39 STEPS-photo by Brain Johnston
Leslie Castay in GREY GARDENS-photo by John Barrios
Sean Patterson in HAIRSPRAY-photo by John Barrios

Among the special awards, AEA member Jeffery Roberson (aka Varla Jean Merman) was presented with the ENTERAINER OF THE YEAR award. He also was nominated for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR for his work in THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP. Along with Mr. Roberson, Dennis Assaf of JEFFERSON PERFORMING ARTS SOCIEY, one of our main AEA Producers, was presented the THEATRE CHAIRPERSON award for his work.

Three AEA members walked away with performance awards. Jessie Terrebonne won BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY for her work in 39 STEPS. 39 STEPS also starred member Shad Willingham whose performance was nominated for BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY and featured member Sean Patterson whose performance received a nomination for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY. The production also won BEST DIRECTION OF A COMEDY and BEST COMEDY. In addition to Ms. Terrebonne, members Jessica Podewell and Francine Segal were also nominated in the BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY category for their work in MATT AND BEN and THE NEW CENTURY respectively.

Member Leslie Castay won BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL for her performance in GREY GARDENS. GREY GARDENS also featured member Janet Shea whose performance received a nomination for BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL and members Kris Shaw and Ron Flagge. Joining Ms. Castay in the BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL category were nominations for members Liz Argus, MAME and Dianna Duffy, Hairspray.

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL went to member Sean Patterson for his performance in HAIRSPRAY. HAIRSPRAY also won for BEST CHOREOGRAPHY and BEST MUSICAL. Also nominated for BEST ACTOR was member Robert Pavlovich, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS.

Other members nominated for awards were; Peggy Walton-Walker, BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA for THE PIANO TEACHER; John Neisler, BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA for AFTERLIFE; Edward R Cox, BEST COSTUME DESIGN for WHEN PIGS FLY and Kris Shaw, BEST DIRECTION OF A DRAMA for TOUCH.

Also, Congrats to EMC Lisa Picone for her win in the BEST CABARET PERFORMANCE for LISA SINGS LEE. Other EMCs receiving nominations were A.J. Allegra, Tara Brewer, Carrie Black, Keith Claverie, Kristin Witterschein, Amanda Zirkenbach, Michael Aaron Santos, Becca Chapman, Lucy Faust, Cliff Thompson, and Vatican Lokey.

We offer a special thank you to Southern Rep, JPAS, Le Petit, Le Chat Noir, Tulane Shakespeare, Tulane Summer Lyric, Ricky Graham and Theater 13 who produced the shows for which the NOLA members were nominated in 2010.

We are so proud of all of our members and their great work!

- Edward R Cox and John Bostic

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