Jonathan Larson's Rent and August Wilson's Seven Guitars were named Best Musical and Best Play, respectively, in the 1996 Drama League Awards, announced May 3.
The ceremony, which was hosted by Cherry Jones at the Plaza Hotel in New York, began by honoring 53 Outstanding Artists of the 1995-96 Season, including Donna Murphy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Savion Glover, Daniel Jenkins, Judith Ivey and Elaine Stritch. Nearly all 53 artists, sitting at one long table, gave a small speech in acceptance of the honor.
Broadway shows won all three categories in the awards, which include off-Broadway shows among the nominees. Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance was named Best Revival.
Zoe Caldwell gave a phenomenal introduction in honor of Uta Hagen, who won the Distinguished Performance Award for her portrayal of Melanie Klein in Off-Broadway's Mrs. Klein. George Wolfe won the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk.
Here is a complete list of the nominees: * BEST MUSICAL: Bed and Sofa, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Rent, State Fair and Victor/Victoria.
* BEST PLAY: A Fair Country, The Green Bird, Master Class, Molly Sweeney, Old Wicked Songs, Racing Demon and Seven Guitars.
More than 1000 members of the Drama League vote on the awards, which the League claims is the largest votership of any theatre award.