We are excited to present the 31st Annual LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards.
This year will look a little different from past Ovations to ensure the safety and health of our LA Theatre Community. In line with CDC guidelines and government orders, we will be presenting, for the first time ever, the Ovation Awards through stream!
We will be providing regular updates here and on our Social Media, so subscribe, follow, and check in for the latest on the 31st Annual LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards!
Lifetime Achievement Ovation Award
Left Picture - Michael Shepperd(Left) Lily Tomlin(Center) Jon Imparato(Right)
Right Picture - Lily Tomlin(Left) Jon Imparato(Right)
Photo Credit: Victor Soria
Congratulations to JON IMPARATO for his Lifetime Achievement Ovation Award!
An actor in New York for 25 years before making the switch to producing. In 1998, he was tapped by the Los Angeles LGBT Center to be artistic director of the Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center, a program he created for the Center. Highlights include the West Coast premiere of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and three official 25th anniversary productions: Jack Heifner’s Vanities (starring Kathy Bates), Jane Chambers’ lesbian classic Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, and an all-star staged reading of Larry Kramer’s incendiary AIDS drama, The Normal Heart, directed by Joel Grey and starring Lisa Kudrow. Jon has also produced the debuts of new shows by Jenifer Lewis, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Coco Peru, Alec Mapa, Carol Channing, as well as the world premieres of Victory Dance by Jessica Litwak (Ovation Award nomination); Patricia Cotter and Lori Scarlet’s Ovation, Garland, and LA Drama Critics Circle Award-winning musical, The Break Up Notebook: The Lesbian Musical; the Ovation-nominated Miss Coco Peru Is Undaunted; Adelina Anthony’s Bruising for Besos; Nick Salamone’s The Sonneteer; D’Lo’s To T, or Not to T; and highly acclaimed revivals of Ira Levin’s Deathtrap; Tectonic Theater Project’s The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later; Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?; Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love; the multiple award-winning Hit the Wall, by Ike Holter; and The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited, the first authorized version of Jane Wagner’s iconic play to be staged with a full cast.
Jon also produces Conversations with Coco, in which Miss Coco Peru conducts onstage interviews with such legendary performers as Lily Tomlin, Liza Minnelli, Jane Fonda, Allison Janney, Lesley Ann Warren, and the late Bea Arthur.
Jon’s productions for the Center were honored with five 2015-16 Ovation Awards, including Best Musical: HAM! by Sam Harris, and the highest award, Best Season. In 2018 Jon’s career at the Center was honored by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle with their Margaret Harford Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatre.
Celebration Theatre Artistic Director Michael A. Shepperd ha s been set to host the 31st Annual LA STAGE Alliance the Ovation Awards Ceremony.
Michael A. Shepperd has been Artistic Director or Co-Artistic Director of Celebration Theatre since 2007. It is t he oldest continuously producing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, inter-sexed, two-spirited, asexual, cis-gendered, gender non-binary, gender non-conforming theatre in the country. The theatre ’s production history include s The Boy from Oz (six Ovation Awards including Best Director for Shepperd and LADCC Award for Best Director); BootyCandy (Ovation and Stage Raw Awards, Best Supporting Actor); The Color Purple (six Ovation Awards including Best Musical);The Producers (Ovation Award nomination, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical); Four; The Women of Brewster Place (Ovation Awards, Best Production and Ensemble); Take Me Out, Coffee Will Make You Black, [title of show], and many others. Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional acting credits include Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby; Little Shop of Horrors; Caroline, or Change; Five Guys Named Moe; Fences (Ovation Award nomination, Lead Actor in a Play); Choir Boy; Smokey Joe’s Café; and The Whipping Man. Television credits include Bosch, Why Women Kill, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Hot in Cleveland, Wizards of Waverly Place, Monk, Criminal Minds, and NCIS.
During the 2019–2020 voting season, 137 productions were registered for awards consideration by 36 producing organizations, and 174 individual artists were evaluated. This year’s 303 voters cast a total of over 1,400 ballots. there were 40 Ovation recommended shows in the greater Los Angeles area.
The eligibility period ran from September 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.
Congratulations to all the nominees!