Earlier this month, the Connecticut Critics Circle awarded a number of honors to two productions from the Yale Repertory Theatre’s 2011-12 season.
Directing plaudits went to Christopher Bayes, who directed the Moliére satire “A Doctor in Spite of Himself,” and Sam Gold, the director of “The Realistic Joneses,” a new play by Guggenheim Fellow Will Eno which premiered at the Rep in late April. The Critics Circle awarded acting honors to Steven Epp for his work on “A Doctor in Spite of Himself,” and the ensemble cast of “The Realistic Joneses.”
“There was such wealth of talent this season we recognized five directors, three for a play and two for a musical,” Rizzo wrote in an email last Friday. “In the case of Sam Gold, we couldn’t imagine Will Eno’s brilliant but idiosyncratic play being as successful as it was without his sure hand, which created a mesmerizing familiar-yet-not world…as for Mr. Bayes, well, comedy ain’t easy and commedia dell arte is perhaps the most difficult to pull off. Bayes and company make it look wild, glorious and effortless.”
Bayes said in an email that he seeks out tragic and lyrical moments in comedic texts and pursuing games within such texts, adding that a friend once described his style as “approaching a play with both a microscope and a plunger.”
Rizzo added that the Circle’s critics felt they “just had to recognize” the cast of “The Realistic Joneses.” “Water by the Spoonful,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that premiered at Hartford Stage last fall, received the Circle’s Best Play award.