It’s billed as the largest cast party in town and on Monday, April 8, no one was celebrating more than Carolyn Griffin and the cast, crew and supporters of Alexandria’s MetroStage Theatre, which won three Helen Hayes Awards for last year’s production of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.”
“‘Jacques Brel’ was a labor of love with every single member of the cast, the musicians, and crew committed to sharing the richness and depth of his music and lyrics with the audience,” said Griffin, MetroStage’s founder and producing artistic director. “To receive such recognition for the production and celebration of his work on Monday was even more special because it was also Brel’s birthday. That evening, a celebration of his birthday was also taking place at The Triad in New York City and one of the MetroStage original cast members, Sam Ludwig, was there performing. It was a very special evening.”
MetroStage walked away with three of the most coveted awards: Serge Seiden for Outstanding Direction, Natascia Diaz for Outstanding Lead Actress and Bobby Smith for Outstanding Lead Actor. The Ensemble, Music Director Jenny Cartney, and the production itself had also been honored with nominations. In addition, MetroStage’s production of “Josephine Tonight” received a nomination for Outstanding Ensemble.
Held at the Warner Theatre, MetroStage was well represented at what is considered Washington’s equivalent of the Tony Awards. Two performers featured during the evening were Roz White, who had just performed the role of Billie Holiday in “Ladies Swing the Blues,” and Tracey Stephens, a member of the Capitol Steps, who performs 14 characters in MetroStage’s annual holiday production of “A Broadway Christmas Carol.”
Another MetroStage favorite was a presenter: Maurice Hines, who won the Helen Hayes Award a few years ago as Outstanding Choreographer for MetroStage’s production of “Cool Papa’s Party,” directed and choreographed “Josephine Tonight,” and will return to MetroStage next winter to direct a show about Ella Fitzgerald. Another presenter, Susan Lynskey, is currently in rehearsal for MetroStage’s next production, “Ghost-Writer.”
MetroStage and its productions have now been honored eight times with Helen Hayes Awards.
For more information on the upcoming MetroStage season, visit www.metrostage.org.