Hamish Linklater and Tamara Tunie, two TV stars with theatrical roots, will host the 59th annual Village Voice Obie Awards on May 19 at Webster Hall in the East Village. In addition to starring on such TV series as The New Adventures of Old Christine, The Newsroom, and the current The Crazy Ones, Linklater’s stage credits include The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, and The School for Lies, for which he won an Obie Award. He will be appearing in Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park this summer. Tunie, known for her roles on Law & Order: SVU, 24, and NYPD Blue, made a memorable Helen of Troy in Shakespeare in the Park’s Troilus and Cressida back in 1995. She also won a Tony in 2007 as a producer of Spring Awakening.
Presenters at the 2014 Obies will include Betsy Aidem (All the Way), Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Casa Valentina), Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Andy Karl (Rocky), playwright David Bar Katz, Cristin Milioti (Once), Kelli O’Hara (The Bridges of Madison County), LaTanya Richardson Jackson (A Raisin in the Sun) and Stephen Trask (co-creator, music and lyrics, Hedwig and the Angry Inch).
Founded in 1956 by Voice theater critic Jerry Talmer, the Obies honor excellence in Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater. Previous recipients have included Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Felicity Huffman, Viola Davis, Kevin Kline,Nathan Lane, Tony Kushner, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver. Unlike other theatrical awards, there are no nominees or set categories, only honorees for distinguished achievement.
The 2014 Obie Award Committee is composed of critic Michael Feingold (chairman); playwright-composer Kirsten Childs; Nicky Paraiso, director of programming for The Club at La MaMa and curator of the annual La MaMa Moves!; Tony winning actress Tonya Pinkins,(Caroline or Change, Jelly’s Last Jam); critic Michael Sommers (New Jersey Newsroom); and fight director Rock Sordelet.