Each will receive $2,000 and an engraved crystal trophy at a ceremony that will be held June 12 in Manhattan at Equity's Eastern Regional Board meeting.
Established in 1944 by actor and former Actors' Equity Association President Clarence Derwent, The Derwent Awards are among the oldest awards on Broadway. Past recipients include Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Calista Flockhart, Gene Hackman, Dana Ivey, John Malkovich, Ann Reinking, George C. Scott, Frances Sternhagen, Gene Wilder and James Woods. Felicia P. Fields (The Color Purple) and Jason Ritter (Third) were last year's winners.
This year's judges panel included Irene Backalenick, Back Stage; Adam Feldman, Time Out NY; Harry Haun, Playbill; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; David Rosenberg, Back Stage; and Michael Sommers, The Star Ledger.
Leslie Kritzer plays Serena in the new Broadway musical Legally Blonde. She has also been seen on Broadway in Hairspray and Off-Broadway in The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Drama Desk nomination), Bat Boy and Godspell. Her other theatrical credits include the national tour of Hairspray and regional productions of Funny Girl and Grease. Kritzer also recently received a MAC Award for her much-extended Joe's Pub show, Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches. Lin-Manuel Miranda stars in the Off-Broadway musical In the Heights, for which he penned music and lyrics. He received the Georgia Holof Lyricist Award for the production of In the Heights at the O'Neill Music Theatre Conference. Miranda has also written commercial music for Fernando Ferrer and Eliot Spitzer, and he is a co-founding member of Freestyle Love Supreme.