Tank & the Bangas and the theater productions Jelly's Last Jam, Hand to God and The Spider Queen all claimed multiple awards at the 30th annual Big Easy Awards gala Monday night at Orpheum Theater.

Varla Jean Merman hosted the ceremony and award presenters included Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell, Bryan Batt, John Georges, owner of The Advocate and Gambit, Becky Allen and Big Freedia.

Special awards went to Entertainer of the Year Tank & the Bangas, Theater Person of the Year Emilie Whelan, Lifetime Achievement in Theater honoree David Raphel and Special Recognition winner Mark Cortale.

[jump] Tank & the Bangas also won Best R&B and Tarriona "Tank" Ball won Best Female Performer. Lost Bayou Ramblers won Best Cajun/Zydeco and Best Album of 2017 for Kalenda.

Several theater productions won multiple awards. Le Petit's Production of Jelly's Last Jam won Best Musical, Best Music Director, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Musical. The Storyville Collective's Hand to God won Best Play, Best Director of a Play and Best Actor in a Play. The NOLA Project's original work The Spider Queen, produced in conjunction with NOMA in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, won Best Original Production, Best Actress and Best Costumes.

The event included performances by Irma Thomas, Wanda Rouzan, Germaine Bazzle, Best Blues winner Little Freddie King, Samantha Fish, Best Rock winner Sweet Crude, Best Rap/Bounce winner Delish Da Goddess and the casts of Fun Home, Ain't Misbehavin' and Once on This Island.

The Big Easy Awards are sponsored by Gambit, Coleman Adler & Sons and Abita Brewing Co. The Big Easy Awards benefit the Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education, which provides annual grants to artists and educators.

SPECIAL AWARDS

Entertainers of the Year

Tank & the Bangas

Theater Person of the Year

Emilie Whelan

Lifetime Achievement in Theater

David Raphel

Special Recognition Award

Mark Cortale

MUSIC AWARDS

Best Female Performer

Tarriona “Tank” Ball

Best Male Performer

Monk Boudreaux

Best Album of 2017

Kalenda

Lost Bayou Ramblers

Rice Pump Records

Best Traditional Jazz

Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses

Best Contemporary Jazz

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Best Brass Band

To Be Continued Brass Band

Best Gospel

McDonogh 35 High School Gospel Choir

Best Funk

Sexy Dex and the Fresh

Best Rhythm and Blues

Tank & the Bangas

Best Blues

Little Freddie King

Best Rap/ Bounce

Delish Da Goddess

Best Heavy Metal/Punk

Trampoline Team

Best Rock

Sweet Crude

Best Country/Folk

Leyla McCalla

Best Zydeco/Cajun

Lost Bayou Ramblers

Best Latin/World

Alexey Marti

Best Emerging Artist

Erica Falls

Best DJ/Electronica

AF THE NAYSAYER

THEATER AWARDS

Best Musical

Jelly’s Last Jam, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Play

Hand to God, The Storyville Collective

Best Director of a Musical

Blake Coheley, Fun Home

Southern Rep/NOCCA Stage Company

Best Director of a Play

Michael McKelvey, Hand to God

The Storyville Collective

Best Choreography

Karen Hebert, Ashley Schmidt and Annie Taffaro, Billy Elliot - The Musical

Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Best Music Director

Tom Hook, Jelly’s Last Jam

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Set Design

Eric Porter, Urinetown

The NOLA Project/UNO

Best Lighting Design

Andrew F. Griffin, Once on This Island

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Costume Design

Hope Bennett, Tony Fuemmeler and Kenneth Thompson, The Spider Queen

The NOLA Project/New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)

Best Sound Design

Jason Doyle, Once on This Island

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

Idella Johnson, Jelly’s Last Jam

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

Damien Moses, Jelly’s Last Jam

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre

Best Actress in A Musical

Troi Bechet, Caroline, or Change

JPAS/Loyola University New Orleans

Best Actor in a Musical

Marcel Cavaliere, Billy Elliot - The Musical

Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Best Supporting Actress in a Play

Carol Sutton, Camino Real

The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Kyle Daigrepont, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans

Best Actress in a Play

Becca Chapman, The Spider Queen

The NOLA Project/NOMA

Best Actor in a Play

John Fitzpatrick, Hand to God

The Storyville Collective

Best Ensemble

Ain’t Misbehavin’, BB’s Stage Door Canteen at The National World War II Museum

Best Original Work of Theater

The Spider Queen, James Bartelle and Alex Martinez Wallace

The NOLA Project/NOMA

Best University Production

The Christians, C. Patrick Gendusa, director

Loyola University New Orleans