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Best Place to See a Seven-Man Pyramid Cross the High Wire 

click to enlarge pyramid.jpg

Brian S. Bembridge

Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale

In its original 2005 Lookingglass Theatre production, Tony Hernandez and Heidi Stillman’s “Greek mythology circus tale” offered plenty of acrobatics. But this year the high ceiling at the Goodman’s Owen Theatre allowed Hernandez to take this already jaw-dropping show to new heights with an audacious indoor version of the three-tier, seven-person high-wire pyramid made tragically famous by the Flying Wallendas. Two Wallenda family members were killed and a third was paralyzed from the waist down when the pyramid collapsed during a 1962 performance of the act, devised in 1942. But, Hernandez (who’s married to a Wallenda) is quoted as saying in the program note, “You would never for a moment consider that a pilot would get into his plane and think, ‘Boy, I hope I make it to London without crashing.’ It’s the same for us on the high wire.”

Hephaestus’s international cast included three members of the Wallenda clan—one of whom, Nik, plans to become the first person in the world to walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. According to his bio, he’s “already secured the permits.”

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Best Michael Jackson Cover

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Best Mustache in a Local Band

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Best Lawn Seat at Ravinia

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Best Microscene

No Coast Collective continue

Best Free Movie Series

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Best Moonlighting Witch

Jackie Hoffman in Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition continue

Best Theatrical Hat Trick

Chris Sullivan in The Hairy Ape, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and The Illusion continue

Best New Play

Agon Trilogy continue

Best New Theatrical Form

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Best Theater History Collection

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Best Puppeteer

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Best Place to See a Seven-Man Pyramid Cross the High Wire

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Best Variety Show

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Best Improv Group

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Best Stand-up Comedian

A tie between Beth Stelling and Junior Stopka continue

Best Sketch Show

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Best Commentary on Modern Technology by a Choreographer

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Best Under­appreciated Chicago Novel

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)