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Will Lyman At The Nortons: ‘Stay Thirsty, My Friends’

Will Lyman accepting the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence Monday night. (Paul Lyden)

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BOSTON — It was a great night for the Lyman family at the 31st Elliot Norton Awards last night. As had been previously announced, Will Lyman was the winner of this year’s Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence. The actor has long been one of the best actors on the local scene and in the past five years or so has been appearing in more local productions. He also won this year’s award for Outstanding Actor, Midsize Theater, for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (New Repertory Theatre) and “Operation Epsilon” (Nora Theatre Company and Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT Project).

Lyman ended an acceptance speech that somehow managed to be both reverent toward theater acting and irreverent toward his place in that spectrum with the line from the Dos Equis commercial he narrates, “Stay thirsty, my friends,” which was the perfect punctuation on the evening. (Perhaps I didn’t get enough to eat last night. In an earlier posting, I wrote that Lyman said, “Stay hungry, my friends.”)

Meanwhile, Georgia Lyman, his daughter, took the Outsanding Solo Performance for her bi-species performance in “Chesapeake” at the New Rep. (She’s reincarnated as a dog in the second act.) Click here to listen to Ed Siegel’s 2009 interview with the Lyman family.

Ricardo Engermann in Company One's "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity." (Liza Voll)

Ricardo Engermann in Company One’s “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity.” (Liza Voll)

Company One’s “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” staged in a wrestling ring, captured four awards including Outstanding Small Production. Other multiple winners last night were the Lyric Stage Company’s “Avenue Q,” SpeakEasy Stage Company’s “The Motherf**ker With the Hat,” Happy Medium Theatre’s “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” (Happy Medium Theatre), “Metamorphosis” at ArtsEmerson, and “The Glass Menagerie” and “Pippin,” both at the American Repertory Theater.

Chita Rivera and Cherry Jones. (Paul Lyden)

Chita Rivera and Cherry Jones. (Paul Lyden)

Chita Rivera was the guest of honor. Among those paying tribute to her were Maurice Hines, Boston Youth Moves and The Manzari Brothers, who are appearing with Hines in his current show at the Cutler Majestic.

Here’s a complete list of the winners:

Outstanding Visiting Production
Metamorphosis (Vesturport Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, presented by ArtsEmerson)

Outstanding Production, Large Theater
Our Town (Huntington Theatre Company)

Outstanding Production, Midsize Theater
The Motherf**ker with the Hat (SpeakEasy Stage Company)

Outstanding Design, Large Theater
Metamorphosis: set design by Börkur Jonsson, lighting by Björn Helgason, sound by Nick Manning (Vesturport Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, presented by ArtsEmerson)

Outstanding Actor, Midsize Theater
Will Lyman, Long Day’s Journey into Night (New Repertory Theatre), Operation Epsilon (Nora Theatre Company and Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT Project)

Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater
Evelyn Howe, The Motherf**ker with the Hat (SpeakEasy Stage Company)

Outstanding Actor, Large Theater
LeRoy McClain, A Raisin in the Sun (Huntington Theatre Company)

Outstanding Actress, Large Theater
Bianca Amato, Private Lives (Huntington Theatre Company)

Outstanding Production, Small Theater
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Company One)

Outstanding Production, Fringe Theater
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (Happy Medium Theatre)

Outstanding New Script
Mildred Fierce, by Ryan Landry (Gold Dust Orphans)

Outstanding Solo Performance
Georgia Lyman, Chesapeake (New Repertory Theatre)

Outstanding Director, Large Theater
John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie (American Repertory Theater)

Outstanding Director, Midsize Theater
Paul Melone, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (SpeakEasy Stage Company)

Outstanding Director, Small or Fringe Theater
Shawn LaCount, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Company One)

Outstanding Design, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity: set and props by Jason Ries, lighting by Jen Rock, sound by Arshan Gailus, costumes by Kendra Bell, video by Olivia Sebesky (Company One)

Outstanding Actor, Small or Fringe Theater
Ricardo Engermann, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Company One)

Outstanding Actress, Small or Fringe Theater
Kiki Samko, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (Happy Medium Theatre)

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela! (presented by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, FELA Broadway LLC in association with The National Theatre of Great Britain)

Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actress
Andrea Martin, Pippin (American Repertory Theater)

Outstanding Musical Production by a Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
Avenue Q (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)

Outstanding Musical Production by a Large Theater
Pippin (American Repertory Theater)

Outstanding Ensemble, Large Theater
The Glass Menagerie (American Repertory Theater)

Outstanding Ensemble, Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater
Avenue Q (Lyric Stage Company of Boston)