Hairspray, the John Waters-inspired film which both spoofs and celebrates early 1960s Baltimore, handily won for best musical on the first ballot. Take Me Out, Greenberg's rich drama about baseball, baseball culture and American culture at large, was decided upon on the third ballot, with Our Lady of 121st Street its closest competition. Talking Heads, Alan Bennett's collection of monologues, prevailed on the second ballot. Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden and Caryl Churchill's Far Away were its chief rivals. The Circle, which voted on May 13, is headed by president Charles Isherwood (Variety), and was founded in 1935. Other current voters are Clive Barnes (NY Post), David Cote (Time Out New York), Michael Feingold (Village Voice), Robert Feldberg (Bergen Record), John Heilpern (NY Observer), Charles Isherwood (Variety), Howard Kissel (Daily News), Michael Kuchwara (AP), Jacques le Sourd (Gannett), Donald Lyons (NY Post), Jeremy McCarter (New York Sun), Ken Mandelbaum, John Simon (New York magazine), Frank Scheck (Hollywood Reporter), David Sheward (Back Stage), Michael Sommers (Newhouse Newspapers), Jason Zinoman (Time Out New York) and Richard Zoglin (Time).
Ben Brantley and Bruce Weber of the New York Times exited the group last winter, cited a new Times policy paper called the "Ethical Journalism Code of Conduct."