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Lili Taylor, Tonya Pinkins receive Obie awards

The awards honor off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway performances.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Lili Taylor, Tonya Pinkins and Viola Davis were among the winners of the 2003-2004 Village Voice Obie Awards, given for the best of the off- and off-off-Broadway theater seasons.

Taylor received the prize Monday for her portrayal of an impressionable young woman in the New Group’s revival of Wallace Shawn’s “Aunt Dan and Lemon.”

Pinkins was honored for her performance as an embittered maid in “Caroline, or Change,” the Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical, which has moved from the Public Theater to Broadway. The show has been nominated for six Tony Awards.

Davis plays a lonely seamstress in Lynn Nottage’s critically praised drama, “Intimate Apparel.” The actress received a Drama Desk prize Sunday for her performance and the play was named last week as the best of the season by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle.

Among the other performers receiving Obies were Jefferson Mays for “I Am My Own Wife”; Sarah Jones, “bridge & tunnel”; Lisa Emery, “Iron”; Jayne Houdyshell, “Well”; Zilah Mendoza, “Living Out”; Brian F. O’Byrne, “Frozen”; Maude Mitchell, “Mabou Mines dollHouse,” and the acting ensembles of both “Bug” and “Small Tragedy.” Both “I Am My Own Wife” and “Frozen” have since moved to Broadway and have been nominated for the best play Tony.

“Small Tragedy,” Craig Lucas’ disturbing comedy about a group of young actors putting on a production of Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex,” was named best American play.

Direction awards went to Moises Kaufman for “I Am My Own Wife” and Lee Breuer for “Mabou Mines dollHouse.”

Among the artists receiving special citations were George C. Wolfe “for his stewardship of the Public Theater” and Martin Moran for his autobiographical one-man show, “The Tricky Part.”

A lifetime achievement award was given to political satirist Mark Russell.

The ceremony, with Swoosie Kurtz and Raul Esparza as hosts, was held at Webster Hall.