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Was ‘Robin Hood’ The Best Play In Boston Over The Past Year?

Jordan Dean as Robin and Christina Bennett Lind as Marion in "The Heart of Robin Hood" at the American Repertory Theater.  (Evgenia Eliseeva)
Jordan Dean as Robin and Christina Bennett Lind as Marion in "The Heart of Robin Hood" at the American Repertory Theater. (Evgenia Eliseeva)
This article is more than 6 years old.

“The Heart of Robin Hood”—which WBUR ARTery theater critic Ed Siegel called “an incredibly entertaining retake of the Robin Hood myth with Marion showing Robin what it means to be a real revolutionary” when the play (pictured above) was performed at Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater in December and January—has received five nominations in the 32nd Annual Elliot Norton Awards, Boston’s version of the Tonys, which were announced Wednesday night.

Will Lyman in "Windowmen." (Boston Playwrights' Theatre)
Will Lyman in "Windowmen." (Boston Playwrights' Theatre)

Also leading the pack with five nominations in these awards for theater excellence around the Boston area over the past year were “Windowmen,” last fall’s Boston Playwrights’ Theatre production about a guy’s difficulties working at New York’s Fulton Fish Market; Company One’s production of “The Flick"; and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” the musical comedy about a flapper looking to marry for money, which is playing at the Stoneham Theatre last May. Bryan Cranston’s nomination for “outstanding actor” helped American Repertory Theater’s “All the Way” get three nominations.

Bryan Cranston as Lyndon Johnson in American Repertory Theater’s “All the Way." (Evgenia Eliseeva)
Bryan Cranston as Lyndon Johnson in American Repertory Theater’s “All the Way." (Evgenia Eliseeva)

Winners are scheduled to be announced at Boston’s Wheelock Family Theatre on May 19. The Boston Theater Critics Association, which administers the awards, will also give special recognition to Paul Daigneault of SpeakEasy Stage for “Sustained Excellence” and to Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis for “Lifetime Achievement.” The full list of nominees follows:

Outstanding Visiting Production Mies Julie (Baxter Theatre Centre, presented by ArtsEmerson) Waiting for Godot (Gare St Lazare Players and Dublin Theatre Festival, presented by ArtsEmerson) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic in association with Handspring Puppet Company, presented by ArtsEmerson) Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre)

Outstanding Production by a Large Resident Theater All the Way (American Repertory Theater) The Heart of Robin Hood (American Repertory Theater) Venus in Fur (Huntington Theatre Company)

Outstanding Production by a Midsize Theater Tribes (SpeakEasy Stage Company) Imagining Madoff (New Repertory Theatre) The Cherry Orchard (Actors’ Shakespeare Project)

Outstanding Production by a Small Theater Windowmen (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre) How We Got On (Company One) The Flick (Company One)

Outstanding Production by a Fringe Theater Punk Rock (Zeitgeist Stage Company) The Normal Heart (Zeitgeist Stage Company) The Libertine (co-produced by Bridge Repertory Theater and Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company)

Outstanding Design, Large Theater The Heart of Robin Hood: Set design by Börkur Jónsson, costumes by Emma Ryott, lighting by Björn Helgason, sound by Jonathan Deans (American Repertory Theater) Mies Julie: Set and lighting design by Patrick Curtis, original lighting design by Paul Abrams, costumes by Birrie Le Roux, music composed and performed by Daniel and Matthew Pencer (Baxter Theatre Centre, presented by ArtsEmerson) The Jungle Book: Scenic design by Daniel Ostling, costumes by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting by T.J. Gerckens, sound by Joshua Horvath, Ray Nardelli, and Andre J. Pluess (Huntington Theatre Company)

Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater Windowmen: Scenic design by Anthony R. Phelps, sound and lighting by David Wilson, costumes by Rachel Padula Shufelt (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre) The Flick: Scenic design by Cristina Todesco, lighting by Jen Rock, costumes by Amanda Maciel Antunes, sound by Edward Young, props master Anita Shriver (Company One) The Whale: Scenic design by Cristina Todesco, costumes by Gail Astrid Buckley, lighting by Jeff Adelberg, sound by David Remedios (SpeakEasy Stage Company)

Outstanding Musical Production by a Large Theater Once (Broadway in Boston) The Jungle Book (Huntington Theatre Company) Witness Uganda (American Repertory Theater)

Outstanding Musical Production by a Midsize, Small or Fringe Company Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre) It’s a Horrible Life (Gold Dust Orphans) Hairspray (Wheelock Family Theatre)

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor Andre De Shields, The Jungle Book (Huntington Theatre Company) Paul Melendy, It’s a Horrible Life (Gold Dust Orphans) Francis Jue, Miss Saigon (North Shore Music Theatre)

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress Melody Betts, Witness Uganda (American Repertory Theater) Aimee Doherty, On the Town (Lyric Stage Company of Boston), Hairspray (Wheelock Family Theatre) Ephie Aardema, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre)

Outstanding New Script Windowmen, by Steven Barkhimer (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre) Absence, by Peter M. Floyd (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre) Breaking the Shakespeare Code, by John Minigan (Vagabond Theatre Company)

Outstanding Director, Large Theater Gisli Örn Gardarsson, The Heart of Robin Hood (American Repertory Theater) Mary Zimmerman, The Jungle Book (Huntington Theatre Company) Yael Farber, Mies Julie (Baxter Theatre Centre, presented by ArtsEmerson)

Outstanding Director, Midsize Theater M. Bevin O’Gara, Tribes (SpeakEasy Stage Company) Ilyse Robbins, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre) Melia Bensussen, The Cherry Orchard (Actors’ Shakespeare Project)

Outstanding Director, Small or Fringe Theater Summer L. Williams, How We Got On (Company One) David J. Miller, Punk Rock and The Normal Heart (Zeitgeist Stage Company) Shawn LaCount, The Flick (Company One)

Outstanding Actor, Large Theater Bryan Cranston, All the Way (American Repertory Theater) Bongile Mantsai, Mies Julie (Baxter Theatre Center, presented by ArtsEmerson) Denis O’Hare, An Iliad (Homer’s Coat, presented by ArtsEmerson)

Outstanding Actress, Large Theater Hilda Cronje, Mies Julie (Baxter Theatre Center, presented by ArtsEmerson) Andrea Syglowski, Venus in Fur (Huntington Theatre Company) Christina Bennett Lind, The Heart of Robin Hood (American Repertory Theater)

Outstanding Actor, Midsize Theater John Kuntz, The Whale (SpeakEasy Stage Company) Steven Barkhimer, The Cherry Orchard (Actors’ Shakespeare Project) Jeremiah Kissel, Imagining Madoff (New Repertory Theatre)

Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater Erica Spyres, Tribes (SpeakEasy Stage Company) Georgia Lyman, The Whale (SpeakEasy Stage Company) Marianna Bassham, The Cherry Orchard (Actors’ Shakespeare Project)

Outstanding Actor, Small or Fringe Theater Phil Gillen, Punk Rock (Zeitgeist Stage Company) Alex Pollock, This Is Our Youth (Gloucester Stage Company), Windowmen (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), The Flick (Company One) Victor Shopov, The Normal Heart (Zeitgeist Stage Company)

Outstanding Actress, Small or Fringe Theater Maureen Adduci, The Normal Heart (Zeitgeist Stage Company) Brenna Fitzgerald, The Flick (Company One) Cloteal Horne, How We Got On (Company One)

Outstanding Ensemble, Large Theater All the Way (American Repertory Theater) The Heart of Robin Hood (American Repertory Theater) The Seagull (Huntington Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater Punk Rock (Zeitgeist Stage Company) Windowmen (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre) Hairspray (Wheelock Family Theatre) Thoroughly Modern Millie (Stoneham Theatre)

Correction: Much to our chagrin an earlier version of this story contained errors. Due to incorrect information distributed by the Boston Theater Critics Association, the information we first reported about Anthony R. Phelps's name, the people behind "The Libertine" and Paul Daigneault's theater was wrong. Not to be left out, we undercounted the number of nominations "The Flick" received. Goodness. These errors have since been corrected.

This article was originally published on April 17, 2014.

Greg Cook Twitter Arts Reporter
Greg Cook was an arts reporter and critic for WBUR's The ARTery.

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