The morning of April 30 brought some good news for the Broadway musicals Sweet Smell of Success and Thoroughly Modern Millie, courtesy of the Drama Desk Organization of theatre critics, editors and reporters. Following the announcement of the Drama Desk's 2002 awards contenders, the two tuners—which have struggled for critical acceptance—found themselves in possession of the lion's share of nominations.
Millie came out on top with a grand total of 12 noms, while Success won an impressive 11. Also coming out well was Oklahoma!, which copped nine nominations. Like Success and Millie, Oklahoma! received less than a bear hug from New York's drama critics. Ben Brantley of the New York Times, in particular, was decidedly cool toward all three shows.
Millie won Drama Desk nominations for the performers Sutton Foster and Marc Kudisch, composer Jeanine Tesori, lyricist Dick Scanlan, librettists Scanlan and Richard Morris, director Michael Mayer and choreographer Rob Ashford.
Sweet Smell of Success was noticed for the work of performers Brian d'Arcy James and John Lithgow, composer Marvin Hamlisch, lyricist Craig Carnelia, librettist John Guare, director Nicholas Hytner and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.
No doubt, the producers of these shows will trumpet the nominations in coming ads. Whether the honors will translate into increased tickets sales remains to be seen. In the past, only Tony Awards have made a difference at the box office.