Drama Desk Withdraws Nominations of Ragtime's Orchestration and Costume Design

By Kenneth Jones
14 May 2010

The leadership of the Drama Desk Awards has informed its membership that two 2010 nominations for the Broadway revival of Ragtime have been withdrawn.



The following statement was sent to Drama Desk voters on May 14: "The Drama Desk makes its own decisions. But when the Tony Awards withdrew its nomination for the Ragtime revival's costumes because they were not sufficiently different from the original production and when the lead producer and nominated costume designer Santo Loquasto did not disagree with the decision, we revisited the issue. The Drama Desk concurs that the excellent costuming was not sufficiently new to make it eligible. Therefore, the nomination will be removed from the ballot in the Outstanding Costume Design category.

"We have also determined that the nomination for Ragtime for Outstanding Orchestration [William David Brohn] should not be on the ballot because the highly regarded orchestration was not different enough from that of the original production to be eligible."

The statement was signed by president William Wolf and Barbara Siegel, chairperson of The Nominating Committee.

The short-lived Broadway revival of Ragtime initially received nine Drama Desk nominations; it's now nominated for seven. Tony Award winner Patti LuPone will host the May 23 awards ceremony at the LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center.

The Drama Desk is an organization of theatre critics, writers and editors that honors excellence in all areas of New York theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and not-for-profit.

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On May 13, the Tony Awards leadership withdrew the nomination of Ragtime costume designer Santo Loquasto, who was previously nominated for the same show in the same category in 1998. Tony Awards Productions released the following statement on May 13: "Yesterday, it was affirmed to Tony Award Productions that Santo Loquasto's designs for the revival of Ragtime are predominantly those from the original 1998 production, and therefore do not meet the Tony rule which states, work that 'substantially duplicate(s)' work from a prior production is ineligible. We learned this too late to remove the costumes from consideration by the nominators, but feel that we cannot allow the designs to remain in contention this year, and we must regretfully withdraw them from consideration as a nominee in the Best Costume Design of a Musical category."

There will be no replacement made for the nomination, and voters will vote for one of the three remaining nominees.

Kevin McCollum, a producer of Ragtime, said, "An honest mistake was made, and both Santo and the production graciously understand the need to rescind the nomination. We respect that decision."