‘Doyle and Debbie Show’ Captures Two Jeff Awards in Chicago

Doyle and DebbieCHICAGO – The Doyle and Debbie Show snagged two major prizes Monday at the 44th Annual Joseph Jefferson Equity Awards ceremony at Drury Lane Oakbrook.

The Nashville-originated production won what is commonly called a “Jeff Award” for Production – Musical in midsize theaters and its creator Bruce Arntson copped the Actor in a Principal Role – Musical prize for his portrayal of “Country Music’s has-been-that-never-was” Doyle Mayfield. The show’s Debbie, Jenny Littleton, was nominated for the Actress in a Principal Role – Musical honor.

The Jeff Awards celebrate excellence in professional Chicagoland theaters. The Doyle and Debbie Show ran at The Royal George Cabaret Theatre in late 2011 to critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences. That mirrored its success with reviewers and theatergoers in Nashville and elsewhere.

The show premiered at Bongo Java After Hours Theater in 2006 and has played in the Music City regularly ever since – in fact, a performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at The Station Inn, and there are other dates there this month and at Zanies Comedy Club in November and December (click here for a complete schedule).

Click here for more on the Jeff Awards; for more on The Doyle and Debbie Show click here.


*Photo of (L to R) Bruce Arntson as Doyle and Jenny Littleton as Debbie courtesy The Doyle and Debbie Show.

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About Evans Donnell

Evans Donnell is the chief theater, film and opera critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He wrote reviews and features about theater, opera and classical music for The Tennessean from 2002 to 2011. He was the theater, film and opera critic for ArtNowNashville.com from 2011 to 2012. Donnell has also contributed to The Sondheim Review, Back Stage, The City Paper (Nashville), the Nashville Banner, The (Bowling Green, Ky.) Daily News and several other publications since beginning his professional journalism career in 1985 with The Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat. He was selected as a fellow for the 2004 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) arts journalism institutes for theater and musical theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2006 and classical music and opera at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2009. He has also been an actor (member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA), founding and running AthensSouth Theatre from 1996 to 2001 and appearing in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" among other credits. Donnell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (www.americantheatrecritics.org).