Around The Town

“Wet Brain” Dominates Lortel Nominations

By: David Sheward

April 5, 2024: Wet Brain, John J. Caswell’s Jr.’s play about a Hispanic family dealing with the father’s alcoholism and delusions of being kidnapped by aliens, co-produced by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater, received the most nominations for the 39th annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Off-Broadway excellence, with 8. The nominations were announced April 4 by Amber Iman and George Abud, stars of the Broadway musical Lempicka. The Lortels, named for the legendary Off-Broadway producer, will be presented on May 5 at the NYU Skirball Hall. The event is open to the public and tickets are available starting April 11 at tickets.edu.nyu or at the NYU box office, Tues.-Sat., 12-6PM. 

“Wet Brain” from Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater, received the most Lortel nominations. Credit: Joan Marcus

By: David Sheward

April 5, 2024: Wet Brain, John J. Caswell’s Jr.’s play about a Hispanic family dealing with the father’s alcoholism and delusions of being kidnapped by aliens, co-produced by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater, received the most nominations for the 39th annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Off-Broadway excellence, with 8. The nominations were announced April 4 by Amber Iman and George Abud, stars of the Broadway musical Lempicka. The Lortels, named for the legendary Off-Broadway producer, will be presented on May 5 at the NYU Skirball Hall. The event is open to the public and tickets are available starting April 11 at tickets.edu.nyu or at the NYU box office, Tues.-Sat., 12-6PM. 

Other productions with strong showings include Stereophonic with 7 and (pray) and Dead Outlaw with 6 each.

The Off-Broadway League’s Lortel Awards Producing & Administration Committee (Jeremy Adams, Alana Canty-Samuel, Tisa Chang, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Kenneth Naanep, Ralph Peña, Catherine Russell, Michael Sag, Jonathan Whitton, Casey York, and Jeffrey Shubart, Chair) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre (George Forbes, Jeffrey Shubart, Nancy Hurvitz, Alana Canty-Samuel, Maura Le Viness, and Karla Liriano) produce the Lortel Awards Ceremony. Acclaimed writer/director Michael Heitzman directs the Lortel Awards with Terry Berliner as Co-Director. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

2024 LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS NOMINATIONS

Outstanding Play

The Comeuppance

Produced by Signature Theatre

Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Plays For The Plague Year

Produced by The Public Theater

Written by Suzan-Lori Parks

Primary Trust

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company

Written by Eboni Booth

Stereophonic

Produced by Playwrights Horizons

Written by David Adjmi

Wet Brain

Produced by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater

Written by John J. Caswell, Jr.

Outstanding Musical 

(pray)

Produced by Ars Nova and National Black Theatre

Created by nicHi douglas, with music by S T A R R Busby and JJJJJerome Ellis

Buena Vista Social Club

Produced by Atlantic Theater Company

Book by Marco Ramirez, Music by Buena Vista Social Club

Dead Outlaw

Produced by Audible Theater

Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek & Erik Della Penna, Book by Itamar Moses, Conceived by David Yazbek

Hell’s Kitchen

Produced by The Public Theater

Music and Lyrics by Alicia Keys, Book by Kristoffer Diaz

Teeth

Produced by Playwrights Horizons

Book and Music by Anna K. Jacobs, Book and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

Outstanding Revival

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Produced by Play Hooky Productions, Seaview, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jayne Baron Sherman, Stella La Rue, Roth-Manella Productions, Sony Music Masterworks, Jillian Robbins, David Binder, Folk Productions, Antonio Marion, Daniel Schwartz, Wessex Grove, Stephanie Choate, Hillary Wyatt

Written by John Patrick Shanley

I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Produced by Classic Stage Company

Book by Jerome Weidman (based on his novel), Music and Lyrics by Harold Rome, Book revisions by John Weidman

Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre Company

Written by Brian Friel

Sunset Baby

Produced by Signature Theatre Company

Written by Dominique Morisseau

Translations

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre

Written by Brian Friel

Outstanding Solo Show

All The Devils Are Here – How Shakespeare Invented the Villain

Produced by Mara Isaacs, Thomas M. Neff, Willette and Manny Klausner, 42nd.Club, Daryl Roth

Written and Performed by Patrick Page

I Love You So Much I Could Die

Produced by New York Theatre Workshop

Written and Performed by Mona Pirnot

Make Me Gorgeous!

Produced by triangle productions!

Written by Donnie, Additional Material by Wade McCollum

Performed by Wade McCollum

Sorry For Your Loss

Produced by Audible

Written and Performed by Michael Cruz Kayne

Triple Threat

Produced by Brendan Gaul, Brett Henenberg, James T. Lane, and T32 Theatrical

Written and Performed by James T. Lane                                                          

Outstanding Director

Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

David Cromer – Dead Outlaw

nicHi douglas – (pray)

Eric Ting – The Comeuppance

Dustin Wills – Wet Brain

Outstanding Choreographer

Camille A. Brown – Hell’s Kitchen

Graciela Daniele and Alex Sanchez – The Gardens of Anuncia

Patricia Delgado and Justin Peck – Buena Vista Social Club

nicHi douglas – (pray)

Raja Feather Kelly – Teeth

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play

Christopher Abbott – Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Gabby Beans – Jonah

William Jackson Harper – Primary Trust

Nicole Ari Parker – The Refuge Plays

Josh Radnor – The Ally

A.J. Shively – Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Paco Tolson – The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Play

Arnie Burton – Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors

Eli Gelb – Stereophonic

Carmen M. Herlihy – The Apiary

Florencia Lozano – Wet Brain

Julio Monge – Wet Brain

Bubba Weiler – Swing State

Frank Wood – Toros

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical

Natalie Venetia Belcon – Buena Vista Social Club

Jeb Brown – Dead Outlaw

Andrew Durand – Dead Outlaw

Santino Fontana – I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Priscilla Lopez – The Gardens of Anuncia

Alyse Alan Louis – Teeth

Maleah Joi Moon – Hell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Musical

Shoshana Bean – Hell’s Kitchen

Rodrick Covington – Rock & Roll Man

Kecia Lewis – Hell’s Kitchen

Jessica Molaskey – The Connector

Steven Pasquale – Teeth

Mel Semé – Buena Vista Social Club

Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Ensemble

(pray)

Ariel Kayla Blackwood, S T A R R Busby, Ashely De La Rosa, Tina Fabrique, Satori Folkes-Stone, Amara Granderson, Taylor Symone Jackson, Ziiomi Louise Law, Aigner Mizzelle, Gayle Turner, Darnell White, D. Woods

The Comeuppance

Brittany Bradford, Caleb Eberhardt, Susannah Flood, Bobby Moreno, Shannon Tyo

Flex

Brittany Bellizeare, Christiana Clark, Eboni Edwards, Renita Lewis, Erica Matthews, Ciara Monique, Tamera Tomakili

Outstanding Scenic Design

Jason Ardizzone-West – shadow/land

Arnulfo Maldonado – Buena Vista Social Club

Arnulfo Maldonado – Dead Outlaw

Kate Noll – Wet Brain

David Zinn – Stereophonic

Outstanding Costume Design

Dede Ayite – Buena Vista Social Club

Enver Chakartash – Stereophonic

Linda Cho – The Half-God of Rainfall

DeShon Elem – (pray)

Lux Haac – Manahatta

Outstanding Lighting Design

Amith Chandrashaker – The Comeuppance

Jiyoun Chang – Stereophonic

Jen Schriever – Spain

Cha See – Wet Brain

John Torres – Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Outstanding Sound Design

Tei Blow & John Gasper – Wet Brain

Jonathan Deans – Buena Vista Social Club

Palmer Hefferan – The Comeuppance

Ryan Rumery – Stereophonic

Mikaal Sulaiman – (pray)

Outstanding Projection Design

59 Productions – Corruption

Nick Hussong – Wet Brain

Jared Mezzocchi – Poor Yella Rednecks

Jared Mezzocchi – Russian Troll Farm

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew – The Connector

HONORARY AWARDS 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee

Dominique Morisseau

Outstanding Body of Work

Ars Nova

Wet Brain Dominates Lortel Nominations

By David Sheward

Wet Brain, John J. Caswell’s Jr.’s play about a Hispanic family dealing with the father’s alcoholism and delusions of being kidnapped by aliens, co-produced by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater, received the most nominations for the 39th annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Off-Broadway excellence, with 8. The nominations were announced April 4 by Amber Iman and George Abud, stars of the Broadway musical Lempicka. The Lortels, named for the legendary Off-Broadway producer, will be presented on May 5 at the NYU Skirball Hall. The event is open to the public and tickets are available starting April 11 at tickets.edu.nyu or at the NYU box office, Tues.-Sat., 12-6PM. 

Other productions with strong showings include Stereophonic with 7 and (pray) and Dead Outlaw with 6 each.

The Off-Broadway League’s Lortel Awards Producing & Administration Committee (Jeremy Adams, Alana Canty-Samuel, Tisa Chang, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Kenneth Naanep, Ralph Peña, Catherine Russell, Michael Sag, Jonathan Whitton, Casey York, and Jeffrey Shubart, Chair) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre (George Forbes, Jeffrey Shubart, Nancy Hurvitz, Alana Canty-Samuel, Maura Le Viness, and Karla Liriano) produce the Lortel Awards Ceremony. Acclaimed writer/director Michael Heitzman directs the Lortel Awards with Terry Berliner as Co-Director. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

2024 LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS NOMINATIONS

Outstanding Play

The Comeuppance

Produced by Signature Theatre

Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Plays For The Plague Year

Produced by The Public Theater

Written by Suzan-Lori Parks

Primary Trust

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company

Written by Eboni Booth

Stereophonic

Produced by Playwrights Horizons

Written by David Adjmi

Wet Brain

Produced by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater

Written by John J. Caswell, Jr.

Outstanding Musical 

(pray)

Produced by Ars Nova and National Black Theatre

Created by nicHi douglas, with music by S T A R R Busby and JJJJJerome Ellis

Buena Vista Social Club

Produced by Atlantic Theater Company

Book by Marco Ramirez, Music by Buena Vista Social Club

Dead Outlaw

Produced by Audible Theater

Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek & Erik Della Penna, Book by Itamar Moses, Conceived by David Yazbek

Hell’s Kitchen

Produced by The Public Theater

Music and Lyrics by Alicia Keys, Book by Kristoffer Diaz

Teeth

Produced by Playwrights Horizons

Book and Music by Anna K. Jacobs, Book and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

Outstanding Revival

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Produced by Play Hooky Productions, Seaview, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jayne Baron Sherman, Stella La Rue, Roth-Manella Productions, Sony Music Masterworks, Jillian Robbins, David Binder, Folk Productions, Antonio Marion, Daniel Schwartz, Wessex Grove, Stephanie Choate, Hillary Wyatt

Written by John Patrick Shanley

I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Produced by Classic Stage Company

Book by Jerome Weidman (based on his novel), Music and Lyrics by Harold Rome, Book revisions by John Weidman

Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre Company

Written by Brian Friel

Sunset Baby

Produced by Signature Theatre Company

Written by Dominique Morisseau

Translations

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre

Written by Brian Friel

Outstanding Solo Show

All The Devils Are Here – How Shakespeare Invented the Villain

Produced by Mara Isaacs, Thomas M. Neff, Willette and Manny Klausner, 42nd.Club, Daryl Roth

Written and Performed by Patrick Page

I Love You So Much I Could Die

Produced by New York Theatre Workshop

Written and Performed by Mona Pirnot

Make Me Gorgeous!

Produced by triangle productions!

Written by Donnie, Additional Material by Wade McCollum

Performed by Wade McCollum

Sorry For Your Loss

Produced by Audible

Written and Performed by Michael Cruz Kayne

Triple Threat

Produced by Brendan Gaul, Brett Henenberg, James T. Lane, and T32 Theatrical

Written and Performed by James T. Lane                                                          

Outstanding Director

Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

David Cromer – Dead Outlaw

nicHi douglas – (pray)

Eric Ting – The Comeuppance

Dustin Wills – Wet Brain

Outstanding Choreographer

Camille A. Brown – Hell’s Kitchen

Graciela Daniele and Alex Sanchez – The Gardens of Anuncia

Patricia Delgado and Justin Peck – Buena Vista Social Club

nicHi douglas – (pray)

Raja Feather Kelly – Teeth

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play

Christopher Abbott – Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Gabby Beans – Jonah

William Jackson Harper – Primary Trust

Nicole Ari Parker – The Refuge Plays

Josh Radnor – The Ally

A.J. Shively – Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Paco Tolson – The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Play

Arnie Burton – Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors

Eli Gelb – Stereophonic

Carmen M. Herlihy – The Apiary

Florencia Lozano – Wet Brain

Julio Monge – Wet Brain

Bubba Weiler – Swing State

Frank Wood – Toros

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical

Natalie Venetia Belcon – Buena Vista Social Club

Jeb Brown – Dead Outlaw

Andrew Durand – Dead Outlaw

Santino Fontana – I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Priscilla Lopez – The Gardens of Anuncia

Alyse Alan Louis – Teeth

Maleah Joi Moon – Hell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Musical

Shoshana Bean – Hell’s Kitchen

Rodrick Covington – Rock & Roll Man

Kecia Lewis – Hell’s Kitchen

Jessica Molaskey – The Connector

Steven Pasquale – Teeth

Mel Semé – Buena Vista Social Club

Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Ensemble

(pray)

Ariel Kayla Blackwood, S T A R R Busby, Ashely De La Rosa, Tina Fabrique, Satori Folkes-Stone, Amara Granderson, Taylor Symone Jackson, Ziiomi Louise Law, Aigner Mizzelle, Gayle Turner, Darnell White, D. Woods

The Comeuppance

Brittany Bradford, Caleb Eberhardt, Susannah Flood, Bobby Moreno, Shannon Tyo

Flex

Brittany Bellizeare, Christiana Clark, Eboni Edwards, Renita Lewis, Erica Matthews, Ciara Monique, Tamera Tomakili

Outstanding Scenic Design

Jason Ardizzone-West – shadow/land

Arnulfo Maldonado – Buena Vista Social Club

Arnulfo Maldonado – Dead Outlaw

Kate Noll – Wet Brain

David Zinn – Stereophonic

Outstanding Costume Design

Dede Ayite – Buena Vista Social Club

Enver Chakartash – Stereophonic

Linda Cho – The Half-God of Rainfall

DeShon Elem – (pray)

Lux Haac – Manahatta

Outstanding Lighting Design

Amith Chandrashaker – The Comeuppance

Jiyoun Chang – Stereophonic

Jen Schriever – Spain

Cha See – Wet Brain

John Torres – Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Outstanding Sound Design

Tei Blow & John Gasper – Wet Brain

Jonathan Deans – Buena Vista Social Club

Palmer Hefferan – The Comeuppance

Ryan Rumery – Stereophonic

Mikaal Sulaiman – (pray)

Outstanding Projection Design

59 Productions – Corruption

Nick Hussong – Wet Brain

Jared Mezzocchi – Poor Yella Rednecks

Jared Mezzocchi – Russian Troll Farm

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew – The Connector

HONORARY AWARDS 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee

Dominique Morisseau

Outstanding Body of Work

Ars Nova