Carbonell Awards Recognize Excellence in Regional Theater

Choreographer Ron Hutchins was one of the big winners Monday night at the 39th Carbonell Awards for his work on “42nd Street” at The Wick Theatre. Credit: Submitted photo.

The South Florida theater community gathered Monday, April 30 at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the 39th annual Carbonell Awards, affectionately known as “theater prom.”

Unlike previous years, no individual theater or production swept the awards. GableStage in Coral Gables took home four trophies for three productions, Best Actress in a Play, Natalia Coego, and Best Supporting Actor in a Play, Mark Della Ventura, for “Bad Jews,” Best Supporting Actress in a Play, Arielle Hoffman, “The Whale,” and Best Sound Design, Matt Corey, “The Mountaintop.”

Zoetic Stage, in residence at the Arsht Center, came into the evening with the most nominations, 16, and earned three awards, including Best New Work, Michael McKeever, and Best Director of a Play, Stuart Meltzer for “Clark Gable Slept Here,” and Best Production of a Musical, Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins.”

Maltz Jupiter Theatre took Best Production of a Play honors for “The Foreigner,” while Marcia Milgrom Dodge won Best Director of a Musical, for “The King and I.” Leon Weibers won Best Costume Design, also for “The King and I.” 

The edgy rock and roll musical, “Murder Ballad,” also earned Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables three trophies, Chris Crawford, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical; Mariand Torres, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical; and Best Ensemble.

Slow Burn Theatre, in its second year of eligibility, won in two categories: Best Musical Direction, Emmanuel Schvartzman, and Best Actress in a Musical, Ann Marie Olson, both for “Parade.”

Winning one Carbonell each were The Theater at Arts Garage in Delray Beach, Best Actor in a Musical, Clay Cartland, “The Trouble with Doug,” and The Wick in Boca Raton, Ron Hutchins, Best Choreography, for “42nd Street.”

Broward County theaters were shut out, including Island City Stage, which swept the awards last year with its powerful production of Dan Clancy’s “The Timekeepers.” The company, which focuses on LGBTQ-themed plays, was nominated for two new works, Josh Mesnick’s “Have I Got a Girl for You” and Michael Aman’s “Poz,” and Best Supporting Actress, Christina Groom in “Have I Got a Girl for You.”

In addition to theatrical awards, three local students were presented with scholarships and Iris Acker, actress, author and host of “Spotlight on the Arts” on BECON-TV, was presented with Howard Kleinberg Award for her longtime support of the South Florida theater community.

For a complete list of winners and photographs from the awards ceremony, go to

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