The big winner at the June 14 FANY Awards (Broadway's equivalent of the "People's Choice" was Cabaret, nabbing 7 of the 8 categories for which it was nominated. The Kander & Ebb musical revival won for Best Musical Revival, with acting awards going to Alan Cumming, John Benjamin Hickey, Michelle Pawk and Natasha Richardson, as well as to choreographer Rob Marshall and lighting designers Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari.
As in the Tony Awards, Art and The Lion King won for Best Play and Musical, though the FANYs diverged on Play Revival, giving the nod to The Diary of Anne Frank, whereas the Tonys picked A View From The Bridge. (The FANYs compensated by giving acting trophies to Bridge's Anthony LaPaglia and Allison Janney.)
Surprise wins this year included a tie between Cabaret's Richardson and the two Side Show twins, Alice Ripley & Emily Skinner. In a move sure to raise eyebrows, Side Show also beat out Ragtime for Best Book.
Dubbed the "People's Choice Awards for Broadway Theatre," the FANYs were founded in 1990 to reward excellence on Broadway. (The acronym initially stood for "FAns of NY theatre" but the organization later changed its name to "Friends of NY Theatre.) FANY nominees are chosen by the membership (open to all) from all Broadway plays which opened May 1, 1997-Apr. 30, 1998. That said, both The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Judas Kiss weren't eligible this year, because members didn't have enough time to see them.
The FANY Award winners were announced at a ceremony, June 14, 6:30 PM (EST) at the Broadway Grill Restaurant in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Reached June 10, FANY founder Steve Ridgeway told Playbill On-Line the voting deadline was June 6, meaning that the FANY's "aren't directly influenced by the Tony Awards" held the next night. "In fact," he said, "1990, our first year, was the last time we matched the Tonys." (City of Angels was the winner.)
Expected at this year's FANYs were Richardson and Cumming (Cabaret), Soelistyo (Golden Child) and Betty Buckley (Triumph of Love). Presenters were to include the nominees Jan Maxwell, Skinner & Ripley, and Rob Marshall (a three-time FANY winner), as well as Robert Cuccioli, Lynn Thigpen, Ruben Santiago Hudson and Daniel McDonald.
Added Ridgeway, "Our niche is that the FANYs are very relaxed. It's the last award of the season, so it's more a celebration than anything else. It's our `thank you' back to the theatre community."
Here's the list of 1998 FANY winners (in BOLD CAPS)
THE LION KING
Outstanding Revival of a Play:
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
A View From the Bridge;
Wait Until Dark
Outstanding Revival of a Musical:
The Sound of Music
Outstanding Score of a Musical:
RAGTIME (Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens)
The Lion King (Elton John & Tim Rice)
The Scarlet Pimpernel (Frank Wildhorn & Nan Knighton)
Side Show (Henry Krieger & Bill Russell)
Outstanding Scenic Design:
ANDREW JACKNESS, (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
John Lee Beatty, (Proposals)
Richard Hudson, (The Lion King)
Adrienne Lobel, (The Diary of Anne Frank)
Tony Straiges, (Golden Child)
Outstanding Actress in a Play:
ALLISON JANNEY, (A View From the Bridge)
L. Scott Caldwell, (Proposals)
Natalie Portman, (The Diary of Anne Frank)
Marisa Tomei (Wait Until Dark)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play:
LEO BURMESTER, Ah, Wilderness!;
George Hearn, The Diary of Anne Frank;
Randall Duk Kim, Golden Child;
Max Wright, Ivanov.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical:
JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY Cabaret;
Max Cassella, The Lion King;
Steven Sutcliffe, Ragtime
Samuel E. Wright, The Lion King.
Outstanding Broadway Debut:
SCOTT IRBY-RANNIAR as Young Simba in The Lion King
Gregg Barnes, Costume Designer, Side Show
Margaret Colin as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Jackie, An American Life
Sam Trammell as Richard Miller in Ah, Wilderness!
Here's the run-down of shows and how they fared in wins/nominations:
The Lion King...4 / 12
Cabaret ...7 / 8
The Diary of Anne Frank...1 / 6
Golden Child...2 / 6
Side Show...2 / 6
Ah, Wilderness!...1 / 5
Proposals...0 / 5
The P Pimpernel...1 / 5
1776...0 / 4
Art...1 / 3
A View From the Bridge...2 / 3
High Society...0 / 2
Ivanov...0 / 2
Jackie, An American Life...0 / 2
Wait Until Dark...0 / 2
Those interested in joining FANY just need to pay the annual membership fee and fill out an application. The annual fee is $25 basic membership with right to vote; $15 for seniors/students. Says spokesperson Steve Ridgeway, "There are also different levels of membership, the highest being $200, which gets you two free tickets to the FANY Awards, your name in the program, and sometimes a special reception with the presenters and nominees." Member tickets to the FANY awards are generally $35.
For a membership application, just call (212) 974-0139. "Anybody can become a member," says Ridgeway. "One restriction -- You're not allowed to cast a preliminary (nominations) ballot for a show if you're working on it, but you are allowed to vote."
Attending last year's FANY ceremony were Wendy Wasserstein, Julie Harris, Al Hirschfeld, Karen Ziemba and Gregory Harrison (Steel Pier), Brian D'Arcy James, Victoria Clark and Jennifer Piech (Titanic), Chuck Cooper, David Newman & Ira Gasman (The Life), Robert Cuccioli & Christiane Noll (Jekyll & Hyde), Marcia Lewis, Steve Ross and Beth Fowler.