Best Musical Director

Jeffrey Richard Carter, New Line Theatre

Staff Pick

Jeffrey Richard Carter could have earned this award solely for his nimble work in Jerry Springer: The Opera at New Line Theatre. Richard Thomas' score incorporates a variety of musical styles, from big Broadway show tunes to molto allegro classical music. Carter sweated and rocked his way through that show, but the music never sounded strained or hurried; it was beautiful and at times sublime. Carter also deserved to be recognized for his stewardship of Kurt Weill's pre-war jazz songs in New Line's The Threepenny Opera. "Mack the Knife" is a tune that everyone knows even if they don't care for musicals (the fools!), but Carter and his small ensemble made its rickety rhythms sound brand-new. The director set a decidedly jaunty tempo, which offset Brecht's cynical lyrics and underlined the topsy-turvy themes of the show. The fact that he's behind two such singular performances this year would lead one to argue for two individual awards. Judges? No? Well, all right. One dual-purpose award will have to do the trick.
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