Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Five Lucille Lortel Nominations Including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue and Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos; Full List of Nominations

Nominations for the 35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were announced today by Jeremy Jordan and Ashley Spencer.

The Awards will be presented during a special online event on Sunday, May 3, broadcast on the official website – beginning at 7:00pm ET. A virtual “host” and presenters will be announced at a later date. As always, the Lortel Awards will be a benefit for The Actors Fund and fans are encouraged to make donations at actorsfund.org/Lortel. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation. Additional support is provided by TDF.

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power, produced by The Public Theater and Center Theatre Group, was nominated in five categories including Outstanding Musical,  Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Original Cast Recording to be Released on April 17; The Public Theater to Host Virtual Listening Party 

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xuē Xíng Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Àohālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xuē Xíng), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Francis Jue as Duch in Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Jue was also nominated for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as Duch in Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, produced by Signature Theatre Company.

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married 

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.

Leading the nominations this year with seven is Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop, produced by Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions. The Outstanding Musical nominee also earned nominations for Stephen Brackett as Outstanding Director, as well as three acting nominations, Costume Design, and Choreographer.

Just behind with six nominations each – Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning, produced by Playwrights Horizons, received nominations for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Director Danya Taymor; and Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3’s In The Green earned a nomination for Outstanding Musical for writer Grace McLean, who was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical.

As previously announced, special honorees this year include Playwrights Horizons’ Tim Sanford, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Anna Deavere Smith, who will be inducted onto the famed Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre.

The Off-Broadway League League’s Lortel Awards Producing & Administration Committee (Jeremy Adams, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Danielle Karliner Naish, Kendra Ramthun, Catherine Russell, Lindsey Sag, and Casey York) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation (George Forbes, Jeffrey Shubart, Nancy Hurvitz, and Alana Canty-Samuel) produce the Lortel Awards Ceremony. Acclaimed writer/director Michael Heitzman returns to direct the Lortel Awards for the tenth consecutive year. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

For updates and news about the ceremony and media releases, visit www.LortelAwards.org. Follow the Lortel Awards (#LortelAwards) on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OffBroadwayNYC. Subscribe to the Lortel Awards YouTube channel to watch clips from previous ceremonies.

2020 LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS NOMINATIONS
Outstanding Play
BLKS
Produced by MCC Theater
Written by Aziza Barnes

Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis's Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni
Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni

Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Produced by Atlantic Theater Company
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Will Arbery

Is This A Room
Produced by Vineyard Theatre
Conceived by Tina Satter

Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Produced by Ars Nova
Created by The Mad Ones and Phillip James Brannon, Brad Heberlee, Carmen M. Herlihy, January LaVoy

Outstanding Musical
A Strange Loop
Produced by Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

In The Green
Produced by Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Grace McLean

Octet
Produced by Signature Theatre
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

Soft Power
Produced by The Public Theater and Center Theatre Group
Play and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang, Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster
Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster

The Secret Life of Bees
Produced by Atlantic Theater Company
Book by Lynn Nottage, Music by Duncan Sheik, Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd

Outstanding Revival
A Bright Room Called Day
Produced by The Public Theater
Written by Tony Kushner

Fires in the Mirror
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Anna Deavere Smith
Performed by Michael Benjamin Washington

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Produced by The Public Theater
Written by Ntozake Shange

Little Shop of Horrors
Produced by Tom Kirdahy, Robert Ahrens, Hunter Arnold, Mickey Liddell, Caiola Productions, Curt Cronin, John Joseph, DDM Productions, DeSantis-Baugh Productions, Elizabeth Dewberry & Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, Wendy Federman, Roy Furman, Deborah Green, Kayla Greenspan, Marguerite Hoffman, Sally Cade Holmes, Latitude Link, Seriff Productions, Silva Theatrical Group, Eric Gelb/Oliver Roth
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken

MAC BETH
Produced by Red Bull Theater
Written by William Shakespeare, Adapted by Erica Schmidt

Outstanding Solo Show
Bella Bella
Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club
Written and Performed by Harvey Fierstein

Dana H.
Produced by Vineyard Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Center Theatre Group
Written by Lucas Hnath Performed by Deirdre O’Connell

the way she spoke
Produced by Audible
Written by Isaac Gomez Performed by Kate del Castillo

We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time
Produced by The Public Theater and Goodman Theatre
Written and Performed by David Cale, Lyrics by David Cale, Music by David Cale and Matthew Dean Marsh

Where We Stand
Produced by WP Theater in association with Baltimore Center Stage
Written and Performed by Donnetta Lavinia Grays

Outstanding Director
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Tina Satter, Is This A Room
Danya Taymor, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Annie Tippe, Octet
Les Waters, Dana H.

Outstanding Choreographer
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Camille A. Brown, Toni Stone
Raja Feather Kelly, A Strange Loop
Sam Pinkleton, Soft Power
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

Aaron Yoo, left, and Johnny Wu in 'The Headlands'
Aaron Yoo, left, and Johnny Wu in ‘The Headlands’ © Kyle Froman

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Charles Busch, The Confession of Lily Dare
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Hamish Linklater, The Pain of My Belligerence
Aaron Yoo, The Headlands

Liza Colon-Zayas, Andrea Syglowski in "Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven." Photo: T. Charles Erickson.
Liza Colon-Zayas, Andrea Syglowski in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.” Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Emily Davis, Is This A Room
April Matthis, Toni Stone
Zoë Winters, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Kara Young, All the Natalie Portmans

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Christopher Borg, The Confession of Lily Dare
Marc Bovino, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Garcia, Continuity
Francis Jue, Cambodian Rock Band
Ken Narasaki, Greater Clements

Judith Ivey and Ken Narasaki in ‘Headlands’. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Okwui Okpokwasili, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Estelle Parsons, A Bright Room Called Day
Michele Pawk, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Stephanie Wright Thompson, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Alexandria Wailes, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Jonathan Groff, Little Shop of Horrors
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop
Conrad Ricamora, Soft Power

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Eisa Davis, The Secret Life of Bees
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Janelle McDermoth, We’re Gonna Die
Grace McLean, In The Green

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors
Alex Gibson, Octet
Gus Halper, Sing Street
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
John-Andrew Morrison, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Ashley Pérez Flanagan, In The Green
Ari Groover, Little Shop of Horrors
L Morgan Lee, A Strange Loop
Ciara Renée, The Wrong Man
Kuhoo Verma, Octet

Outstanding Scenic Design
You-Shin Chen and Laura Jellinek, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Yu-Hsuan Chen, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord
Tim Mackabee, Seared
James Noone, London Assurance
Clint Ramos, Soft Power

Outstanding Costume Design
Dede Ayite, BLKS
Montana Levi Blanco, A Strange Loop
Oana Botez, In The Green
Toni-Leslie James, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Lighting Design
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Alan C. Edwards, Fires in the Mirror
Tyler Micoleau, Socrates
Barbara Samuels, In The Green
Jen Schriever, Power Strip

Outstanding Sound Design
Justin Ellington, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room
Hidenori Nakajo, Octet Nicholas Pope, In The Green

Outstanding Projection Design
Stephan Mazurek, Mojada
Lisa Renkel and Possible, Emojiland the Musical
Ruey Horng Sun, The Headlands
Hannah Wasileski, Anatomy of a Suicide
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

HONORARY AWARDS Lifetime Achievement Award
Tim Sanford

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee
Anna Deavere Smith

ABOUT THE LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS
The Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were created in 1985 by the Off-Broadway League. The Lortel Awards recognize excellence in Off-Broadway by honoring the invaluable contribution of artists to the theatre community. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee. Awards may be given in the following categories: Play, Musical, Solo Show, Revival, Alternative Theatrical Experience, Director, Choreographer, Lead Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Featured Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound, and Projection Design. The following honorary awards may also be given: Lifetime Achievement Award, Body of Work (awarded to an institution), Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award and induction onto the Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. For more information, please see www.LortelAwards.org.

ABOUT THE OFF-BROADWAY LEAGUE
The Off-Broadway League was founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres (productions in Manhattan in venues with 100-499 seats), to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as a collective voice of its membership in pursuit of these goals. In the recent years the League has grown to represent an average of 150 individual members and theatres and 100 non-for-profit and commercial shows per season. ABOUT THE LUCILLE LORTEL THEATRE FOUNDATION The Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation’s mission is to sustain and advance Off-Broadway by creating awareness, appreciation, and encouraging the continued growth of Off-Broadway; assisting with theatrical infrastructure and capacity building; and developing educational programs fostering the next generation of theatre makers. The Foundation has several major programs, including the Lucille Lortel Awards and Playwrights’ Sidewalk, Internet Off-Broadway Database (IOBDB.com), Non-Profit Theatre Strategic and Management Services, Live at the Lortel podcast, NYC Public High School Playwriting Fellowship, Subsidized Theatre Space, and Fellowships in Theatre with Bennington College. For more information, please visit www.lortel.org.

ABOUT TDF
TDF is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. Founded in 1968, TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. TDF fulfills its mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts. Best known for its theatregoing programs (including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership Programs), TDF’s accessibility (including open captioned, audio described and autism-friendly performances), school (serving over 12,000 New York City students annually), community engagement and information programs — as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs — have introduced millions of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. TDF envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational. To learn more about TDF, go to: www.tdf.org.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Two Lucille Lortel Nominations including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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