Tony Award Winner, Chris Akerlind is always preparing to travel somewhere – either in the United States or somewhere around the world! This afternoon, however, he was waiting for a bus on Congress Street on Munjoy Hill where he lives. He needed to get to downtown Portland to pick up his tuxedo. “Why do you need a tuxedo, Chris?”
Chris has been nominated for a Tony award for his stunning lighting designing in “Indecent” a new Broadway play. The new play has been nominated for three Tony awards including best new play as well as Chris’ award. The 71st Annual Tony Award Ceremony is tomorrow evening, Sunday, June 11 at 7:00 pm in New York City. TV coverage apparently starts at 8:00 pm, on CBS, however.
Should Chris win for this inspiring new play based on a true story “Indecent,” this would be his second Tony. The first came in 2005 for best lighting design for a musical, “LIght in the Piazza,” a masterpiece that won 6 Tony awards. This is Chris’ Fifth Nomination for a Tony award.
The highly acclaimed “Indecent” opened at the Cort Theater on Broadway just several months ago following a successful run at Vineyard Theatre. The New York Times gave “Indecent” an outstanding review calling it: “superbly realized and remarkably powerful.” In the few minutes Chris had to talk before boarding his bus, he said the play is about two lesbians. “It’s a play within a play.” It’s directed by Rebecca Taichman, a long-time Friend of Chris. Then the bus arrived to carry Chris downtown!
Chris and Anita Stewart also a Hill resident with the Portland Stage Co., Forest Avenue, attended the Yale School of Drama together. He will be collaborating with her in a January 2018 production.
Accompanying Chris at the 71st Annual Tony Awards will be Dierdre Nice, director of the St. Lawrence Arts Center on the Hill. He serves on the Board of the St. Lawrence Arts Center.
The modest Mr. Akerlind does not issue press releases about his success which makes a chance meeting with him all the more memorable! Chris will be returning to Munjoy Hill briefly following the Tony presentation tomorrow evening – and then taking off before a vacation back here in August.
(editor’s note: Congratulations, Chris! He won his second Tony award for his part in “Indecent.”)