1989, LA STAGE Alliance founded the annual Ovation Awards ceremony “to recognize excellence in theatrical performance, production and design in the Greater Los Angeles area,” as the event program explains. But attendees could be excused for mistakenly thinking the January 17 ceremony was part-awards show, part-political rally. Before the show, protesters (unaffiliated with guests or the Ovation Awards producing team) stood outside the Ahmanson, greeting audience members with signs spelling out “I-L-L-E-G-I-T-I-M-A-T-E.” Inside, many presenters and award winners —

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