Billy Elliot and Shrek Top Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominations

By Andrew Gans
20 Apr 2009

David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish all rotate in the title role of Billy Elliot — The Musical.
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish all rotate in the title role of Billy Elliot — The Musical.
Photo by David Scheinmann, Alistair Muir (Kowalik)

Nominations for the 59th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards — which honor the best in Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre — were announced April 20 by Broadway couple Rebecca Luker and Danny Burstein. Billy Elliot and Shrek both earned ten nominations a piece, the most of any show of the season.

Ruined, Lynn Nottage's lavishly praised drama set in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, received five nominations, the most of any Off-Broadway production of the season.

Special Achievement Awards will be given to Billy Elliot co-stars David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish — who all rotate in the musical's title role — and the full cast of The Norman Conquests will be presented the Outstanding Ensemble Performance Award.

Winners of the 2008-2009 Outer Critics Circle Awards will be revealed the morning of May 11. Winners will be celebrated with an awards dinner May 21 in the Eugenia Room of Sardi's Restaurant.

Rebecca Luker, OCC President Simon Saltzman and Danny Burstein
photo by Aubrey Reuben
The Outer Critics Circle Awards are decided upon by a group of writers "covering New York theatre for out-of town newspapers, national publications and other media beyond Broadway."



The nominees for the 59th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards follow:

Outstanding New Broadway Play
God of Carnage
Irena's Vow
reasons to be pretty
33 Variations

Outstanding New Broadway Musical
Billy Elliot: The Musical
Rock of Ages
Shrek the Musical
A Tale of Two Cities

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Becky Shaw
Farragut North
Ruined
Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself)
Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
Happiness
Rooms: A Rock Romance
The Toxic Avenger
What's That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling

Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Billy Elliot: The Musical
Happiness
Rooms: A Rock Romance
Shrek The Musical

Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Blithe Spirit
The Cripple of Inishmaan
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
The Norman Conquests
Waiting for Godot

Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Enter Laughing
Hair
Pal Joey
West Side Story

Outstanding Director of a Play
Garry Hynes, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Anthony Page, Waiting for Godot
Bartlett Sher, Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Matthew Warchus, The Norman Conquests
Moises Kaufman, 33 Variations

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical
Arthur Laurents, West Side Story
Jason Moore, Shrek the Musical
Diane Paulus, Hair
Susan Stroman, Happiness

Outstanding Choreographer
Karole Armitage, Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5
Peter Darling, Billy Elliot the Musical
Josh Prince, Shrek the Musical
Susan Stroman, Happiness

Outstanding Set Design (Play or Musical)
Tim Hatley, Shrek the Musical
Santo Loquasto, Waiting for Godot
Derek McLane, 33 Variations
Ian MacNeil, Billy Elliot the Musical
Walt Spangler, Desire Under the Elms

Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical)
Nicky Gillibrand, Billy Elliot the Musical
Tim Hatley, Shrek the Musical
John Napier, Equus
Martin Pakledinaz, Blithe Spirit
Catherine Zuber, Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)
Kevin Adams, Hair
Rick Fisher, Billy Elliot the Musical
David Hersey, Equus
Peter Kaczorowski, Ruined
David Lander, 33 Variations

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Raúl Esparza, Speed-the-Plow
Bill Irwin, Waiting for Godot
Nathan Lane, Waiting for Godot
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Thomas Sadoski, reasons to be pretty

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Ruined
Carla Gugino, Desire Under the Elms
Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter, Mary Stuart

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
James Barbour, A Tale of Two Cities
Matt Cavenaugh, West Side Story
Brian d'Arcy James, Shrek the Musical
Josh Grisetti, Enter Laughing
David Pittu, What's That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Sutton Foster, Shrek the Musical
Megan Hilty, 9 to 5
Leslie Kritzer, Rooms A Rock Romance
Nancy Opel, The Toxic Avenger
Josefina Scaglione, West Side Story

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Zach Grenier, 33 Variations
John Benjamin Hickey, Mary Stuart
Russell G. Jones, Ruined
Patrick Page, A Man for All Seasons
David Pearse, The Cripple of Inishmaan

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit
Andrea Martin, Exit the King
Kristine Nielsen, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
Susan Louise O'Connor, Blithe Spirit
Condola Rashad, Ruined

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Daniel Breaker, Shrek the Musical
Aaron Simon Gross, 13
Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot the Musical
Christopher Sieber, Shrek the Musical
Wesley Taylor, Rock of Ages

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Kathy Fitzgerald, 9 to 5
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot the Musical
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey
Carole Shelley, Billy Elliot the Musical

Outstanding Solo Performance
Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk With Me
Mike Burstyn, Lansky
Mike Daisey, If You See Something, Say Something
Lorenzo Pisoni, Humor Abuse
Matt Sax, Clay

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
The cast of The Norman Conquests: Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root

John Gassner Award (Presented for an American Play, Preferably by a New Playwright)
Annie Baker, Body Awareness
Gina Gionfriddo, Becky Shaw
Beau Willimon, Farragut North

Special Achievement Award
For their performances in Billy Elliot: David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish

[Dividing the Estate was considered last season and won the OCC Award for Outstanding New Play. Next to Normal was also considered last year and won the OCC Award for Outstanding Score. [title of show] was also eligible when it played Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre two years ago.]

Nominations talley for three or more:

Billy Elliot the Musical, 10
Shrek the Musical, 10
33 Variations, 5
Ruined, 5
Waiting for Godot, 5
West Side Story, 5
Blithe Spirit, 4
Hair, 4
Happiness, 4
The Cripple of Inishmaan, 3
Joe Turner's Come and Gone, 3
Mary Stuart, 3
9 to 5, 3
Rooms: A Rock Romance, 3

For more information visit www.outercritics.org.