With a few glaring omissions, The Israel Theater Prize’s 61 academicians have gotten it pretty right this year. The 72 nominees in the ITP’s 18 categories mostly deserve their nominations, so let’s get to it.The Cameri Theater’s rousing Cabaret – Best Musical – leads the pack with nine nominations followed by Beersheba’s magnificent Galileo – Best Translated Play – with seven. Then it’s The Suitcase Packers (6) and Happy End (5) – Best Original Play, both Cameri productions. Gesher’s moving A Pigeon and a Boy is up for four, including Best Original and Best Director – Yevgeny Arye.Galileo director Ido Ricklin and Happy End director Edna Mazia are missing from this year’s director lineup which has Omri Nitzan for Cabaret, Udi Ben Moshe for Suitcase (why not for his delicious XII Night at the Khan) and the Khan’s Micki Gurevitch for his sparkling Eating, also named for Best Comedy as are Haifa’s Art and Bet Lessin’s Mandragola. Instead, Ricklin is named as Translator for Galileo.Best Original Play also lists Gilad Evron’s powerful Ulysses on Bottle. The Haifa Theater’s Halifa Natur is up for Best Actor and Evron for Best Playwright.The Best Actor list also includes Lior Ashkenazi, who is so superb in Bet Lessin’s Le Prénom – Best Comedy too – and Amir Kriaf, utterly commanding as Galileo. Each of these three more than deserves the award. Efrat Ben-Tzur, who so movingly plays The Girl in Pigeon, is not on the Best Actress List but wonderful Anat Waxman is, for Happy End.The other Best Supporting Actress awards seem to be driven mostly by sentiment, Hanna Marron for Suitcase, Zharira Harifa’i for Happy End and Miriam Zohar Maxi and Me. Among the Best Supporting Actors Doron Tavory, the narrator of Blood Brothers, is missing but Norman Issa is there for Art as is Nadav Assulin for Comedy of Errors.Yossi Graber’s Lifetime Achievement Award is richly deserved as is the new Recognition Award given this year to Shimon Lev Ari, the founder and curator of the Theater Museum at Tel Aviv University.And like last year, Production of the Year, chosen from among the 15 competing for the various play categories, will be a surprise at the awards at the Gesher Theater on May 11. The ceremony will be filmed and broadcast later on Channel 1.