Actors' Equity Association just presented Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 with the eleventh annual ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. Presented by Equity's Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA), the ACCA Award is the only industry accolade of its kind to honor the distinctive talents and contributions made by the original chorus members of a Broadway musical.
The 27 individual recipients of the 2017 ACCA Award – all of whom were part of the Great Comet chorus on the musical's November 14, 2016, Broadway opening night – are Sumayya Ali, Courtney Bassett, Josh Canfield, Kennedy Caughell, Ken Clark, Erica Dorfler, Lulu Fall, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Nick Gaswirth, Alex Gibson, Billy Joe Kiessling, Mary Spencer Knapp, Blaine Alden Krauss, Reed Luplau, Brandt Martinez, Andrew Mayer, Mary Page Nance, Shoba Narayan, Azudi Onyejekwe, Pearl Rhein, Celia Mei Rubin, Heath Saunders, Ani Taj, Cathryn Wake, Katrina Yaukey and Lauren Zakrin.
"The Great Comet chorus members are outstanding both as a unit and as individuals," said Rebecca Kim Jordan, Actors' Equity Association's Second Vice President and Chair of the ACCA. "They act, they sing, they dance, they play instruments ... they even serve pierogis! So much of what makes this show special is how totally the audience is immersed into the world of the show, and that is because these 27 performers go above and beyond, up close and personal, eight times a week."
In reviewing the chorus of each Broadway musical that opened during the 2016–17 theatrical season, ACCA considered the chorus requirements made by each show's director, choreographer and musical director; the caliber of technical skill used to execute those requirements; and the unique contributions made by the entire chorus to the overall production.
Past Broadway chorus recipients of the ACCA Award are Legally Blonde (2007), In the Heights (2008), West Side Story (2009), Fela! (2010), The Scottsboro Boys (2011), Newsies (2012), Pippin (2013), Beautiful (2014), An American in Paris (2015) and Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (2016).