Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

2014 Tony Awards Predictions: Best Lighting Design

Note: My personal rankings are listed in order from best to worst, with #1 being my favorite, while predictions for the actual winners will be in orange.

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY

rebecca-hall-stars-in-machinal-89049

1. MACHINAL
Jane Cox

2. THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Natasha Katz

3. THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN
Paule Constable

4. OF MICE AND MEN
Japhy Weideman

Always a fan of the underdog, I’m rooting for the stark, expressionistic lighting by Jane Cox for Machinal, though the work this season by Paule Constable (Tony winner for War Horse) and Japhy Weideman (2013 nominee for The Nance) are as admirable as ever. But surely Natasha Katz (who also designed for Aladdin) has already cleared a spot on her mantle for this, her fourth Tony. Her almost ghostly wisps of soft, blue light envelop the characters in The Glass Menagerie with a gentle, cool dreaminess that perfectly captured the essence of director John Tiffany’s concept.

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

[RP]House-FRONT_V04 copy

1. ROCKY
Christopher Akerlind

2. HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
Kevin Adams

3. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
Donald Holder

4. AFTER MIDNIGHT
Howell Binkley

Kevin Adams may be destined to win for Hedwig and the Angry Inch for creating everything from the intimate feel of a small concert venue act to full-scaled flashing spectacle. But everyone’s favorite underdog is positioned as the spoiler — so you shouldn’t count Rocky out just yet. Christopher Akerlind puts up quite a fight with a design that starts with ’70s near-monochromatic grittiness, but by the end, assaults you with multi-colored beams of swirling strobe lights. It’s one knockout of a design.

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