Mantello won the Drama Desk prize for his direction of the hit new musical Wicked. A spokesperson for the Drama Desk told Playbill On-Line, "There was a human error in transferring the name of the show onto the presenter's envelope. The winner's name was correct, but the show was not."
The change means that Wicked scored the most Drama Desk Awards of any show this season, taking six prizes including Outstanding Musical of the season, Director (Mantello), Book (Holzman), Lyrics (Schwartz), Costume (Susan Hilferty) and Set Design (Eugene Lee). The revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Assassins has now won four awards, including those for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Orchestrations (Michael Starobin), Lighting (Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer) and Sound (Dan Moses Schreier).
As a performer, Joe Mantello starred on Broadway in both parts of Angels in America. His directorial credits include What's Wrong With This Picture?, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Proposals, Design for Living, Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Lune, Take Me Out, Wicked and Assassins. He won the Best Director Tony for Take Me Out and is nominated this season for Assassins. He also received Tony nominations for his direction of Love! Valour! Compassion! and his performance in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.