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Arlington Theaters Honored

Local companies nab 22 Hayes nominations, two WATCH awards.

When nominations for the Helen Hayes Awards, given to professional quality Washington-area theater companies, were announced on Monday, four Arlington theater companies received 22 nominations.

The bulk of those nominations went to Signature Theatre for three musical productions, “Follies,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “110 in the Shade.”

Washington Shakespeare Company received nominations for its productions of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and “Scaramouché,” and both Keegan Theatre and new company Synetic Theater came in for one nomination each.

Signature dominated some categories. Eric Schaeffer, Signature artistic director, received two nominations for best director of a resident musical, and Jon Kalbfleisch received two nominations for best musical direction.

In the category for best supporting actor in a resident musical, four of the five nominees were actors in the Signature production of “110 in the Shade,” a musical version of the play “The Rainmaker.” The production tells the story of a stranger who arrives in a drought-stricken Western town and promises to make it rain. Overall, Signature’s production of the play netted seven Hayes nominations.

Signature was also nominated for two Stephen Sondheim musicals: “Follies,” which looks at a reunion of performers from a vaudeville show, and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Those two shows, and “110 in the Shade,” were nominated for outstanding musical.

On Sunday night, two Arlington theater companies won awards for two productions at the annual Washington Area Theater Community Honors Awards at the Birchmere. WATCH awards are given to outstanding community theater productions.

The Arlington Players production of the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me, Kate” won five awards. The show was nominated for 17, and Arlington Players also received three nominations for its production of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

In addition, Dominion Stage was honored with one award for its production of “An Inspector Calls.” The production received two nominations.