Best Costume Design Miami 2008 - Ellis Tillman for Altar Boyz, Martha Mitchell Calling, and Urinetown
280 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Ellis Tillman's work at Actors' Playhouse this year was subtle and awe-inspiring. The vaguely ill-fitting, vaguely daft duds on the members of the Altar Boyz seemed to reflect the awkwardness of their stock poses. Martha Mitchell's expensively lurid ensemble in Martha Mitchell Calling spoke of old-school classiness trying to get along in a world where everything comes cheaper by the day. And in Urinetown, the mere cut of Cherlyn Franco's potato-sack dress captured the feeling of dumb youth struggling with the implications of adult wisdom. Glen Ballard's uniform as the psychotic Officer Comstock suggested Patrick Bateman with a badge, Tally Sessions's Bobby Strong character looked like a dystopian Rob Roy, and Rachel Jones's matronly rags conveyed poverty, dignity, and sternness. Doing a lot with a little is always better than doing a little with a lot, and in Urinetown's worst neighborhoods, Tillman outdid himself again and again.