The Drama Desk, which honors quality in Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off Off-Broadway with its annual awards, will announce its 1996-1997 nominees at the Friars Club in New York, April 28 at 5 PM. Local TV station New York-1 will carry the announcement live.
David Sheward, president of the Drama Desk and managing editor of Back Stage magazine, said that the Drama Desk will try to get as many nominees as possible to attend the announcement, to be made by Julie Harris (The Gin Game) and Michael Nouri (Victor/Victoria).
Sunday, May 18, will be the date for the actual awards ceremony, also to be broadcast live on New York-1. Past Drama Desk recipients have been invited to attend a cocktail reception following the nominations in 27 categories.
Last year's Drama Desk Awards for best musical and play went to Rent and Master Class, respectively. This year's nominees will be chosen by Alexis Greene, Frank Scheck, David Sheward, Michael Sommers, David Patrick Stearns, Jan Stuart and Sydney Weinberg.
Founded in 1949, the Drama Desk offers a forum for "theatre reporters, editors and critics to spotlight areas of concern for the theatrical community and act as a catalyst for educating the public." The author of "It's A Hit," about long-running Broadway musicals, David Sheward is currently working on another book about show business awards, to be published this year. Aside from the Drama Desk, Sheward is a member of the New York Drama Critics Circle, the Outer Critics Circle, and the American Theatre Critics Association.
-- By David Lefkowitz