The Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) have announced the nominees for the 20th Annual IRNE Awards, to be presented at a ceremony on Monday, April 11. This year's IRNEs will be dedicated to the memory of the late Barbara Meek, the longtime member of Trinity Repertory Company who won an IRNE Award for her 1997 portrayal of Sadie in the company's production of Having Our Say. Her 40-year acting career included stints on Broadway as well as world premieres at Vienna's English Theater and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
The American Repertory Theater's Broadway-bound Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 was nominated for Best Musical in the Large Theater category, along with the Huntington Theatre Company's A Little Night Music (which earned a total of 11 nominations), Billy Elliot (North Shore Music Theatre), Nice Work If You Can Get It(Ogunquit Playhouse), The Little Mermaid (Fiddlehead Theatre), and A.R.T. productions of Crossing and Waitress, which opens its Broadway transfer this spring.
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 led the Large Theater Musical category with 14 nominations, while the Huntington Theatre Company's Come Back Little Shebaearned 10 nominations in the Large Theater Play group.
Lyric Stage Company made a strong showing in the Mid-Size category, earning 23 nominations spread over a half-dozen productions (My Fair Lady, Light Up the Sky,Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, Intimate Apparel, City of Angels, and Buyer & Cellar). SpeakEasy Stage Company, meanwhile, earned 13 nominations with five productions (Mothers & Sons, Big Fish, Appropriate, Casa Valentina, and A Future Perfect).