The organization voted not to award a Best Musical honor this year. It also voted against bestowing a Best Foreign Play prize. Aside from the Best Play award, the NYDCC decided to present a special award to Barbara Cook for her contributions to the musical theatre.
In Nottage's play, which was presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company, a much sought-after African-American seamstress — who sews elegant intimates for socialites and harlots alike — looks for love and respect in turn of-the-20th-century Manhattan. The work, inspired by Nottage's grandmother who made lingerie in the same time period, was recently honored with the 2004 Steinberg New Play Award and Francesca Primus Prize.
The Circle, which voted on May 11, 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), Gordon Cox (Newsday), Michael Feingold (Village Voice), Robert Feldberg (Bergen Record), Elysa Gardner (USA Today), 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), Linda Winer (Newsday) and Richard Zoglin (Time).