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Garlands Honor L.A. Theatre

The elite of West Coast theatre gathered Monday night at Westwood's Geffen Playhouse to accept Back Stage West/Drama-Logue's Garland Awards.

In all, 224 awards were presented in 13 categories ranging from performance (71 awards), direction (38), and ensemble work (12) to choreography (7), and costume (17), lighting (16), and set design (27).

The unique voting process involved the newspaper's theatre critics listing their year-end "best" in all categories, involving all the shows they'd seen, not just those reviewed for the paper.

From those lists, editor Rob Kent developed a consensus, with any production or artists cited by two or more individual critics receiving a Garland.

"I think the resulting awards represent a good, broad cross section of the best in West Coast theatre in '98," Kent said. "Even though our bar for consensus is as low as it can possibly be and still be consensus, there are so many worthy shows and artists onstage in L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Costa Mesa, Portland, and all points in between that, for us to get one critic out for every single one, can be a trial."

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