56th Annual Drama Desk Nominations Announced; Book of Mormon Scores 12 Nominations

By Andrew Gans
29 Apr 2011

Nominees Laura Osnes and Colin Donnell in Anything Goes.
Nominees Laura Osnes and Colin Donnell in Anything Goes.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winners Audra McDonald and Liev Schreiber announced the nominations for the 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards, honoring productions that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off Off-Broadway during the 2010-2011 New York theatre season, April 29 at the New York Friars Club. Awards will be presented May 23.

The two best-reviewed musicals of the season, the new musical The Book of Mormon and the Sutton Foster revival of Anything Goes, received 12 and 10 nominations, respectively, the most of any shows of the season.

Other productions that fared well include the Al Pacino revival of The Merchant of Venice (seven nominations); Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Catch Me If You Can, See Rock City & Other Destinations and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (six nominations each); and Hello Again, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sister Act and The Kid (five nominations apiece).

The following awards were voted by the nominating committee and will be presented by the Drama Desk at its awards ceremony:



Outstanding Ensemble Performances

This year the nominators chose to bestow special ensemble awards for acting to the casts of two shows. Therefore, individual cast members for these shows were not eligible for acting awards in the competitive categories.

In Transit
The Normal Heart

Special Awards
Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater. For 2010-2011, these awards are:

• To A.R. Gurney for his enduring, keenly observed portraits of American life over a prolific four-decade-long career.

• To Reed Birney for his versatile and finely nuanced performances over the past thirty-five years, and for his exceptional work this season in Tigers Be Still, A Small Fire and The Dream of the Burning Boy.

• To The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.

• To The Pearl Theatre Company for notable productions of classic plays and nurturing a stalwart resident company of actors.

• To the creative team of War Horse for thrilling stagecraft: Paule Constable, Marianne Elliott, 59 Productions, Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company, Tom Morris, Rae Smith, Christopher Shutt, Toby Sedgwick, Adrian Sutton and John Tams.

The following are the nominations for the competitive categories. Winners will be selected by the voting membership of the Drama Desk.

(Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Brief Encounter and The Scottsboro Boys were considered for their productions Off Broadway in the 2009-2010 season. Under Drama Desk rules, only new elements in their transfers to Broadway were eligible this season.)

Outstanding Play

Jon Robin Baitz, Other Desert Cities
Adam Bock, A Small Fire
Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Samuel D. Hunter, A Bright New Boise
Rajiv Joseph, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
David Lindsay-Abaire, Good People
Nick Stafford, War Horse

Outstanding Musical

In Transit
Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
See Rock City & Other Destinations
Sister Act
The Book of Mormon
The Kid


Outstanding Revival of a Play

Born Yesterday
The House of Blue Leaves
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart
Three Sisters


Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Anything Goes
Hello Again
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying



Outstanding Actor in a Play

Charles Busch, The Divine Sister
Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
Geoffrey Rush, The Diary of a Madman
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Michael Shannon, Mistakes Were Made
Paul Sparks, Dusk Rings a Bell

Outstanding Actress in a Play

Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Frances McDormand, Good People
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Michele Pawk, A Small Fire
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me if You Can
Colin Donnell, Anything Goes
Daniel Radcliffe, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert:The Musical
Christopher Sieber, The Kid

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Beth Leavel, Baby It's You!
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture
Sherie Rene Scott, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Boyd Gaines, The Grand Manner
Logan Marshall-Green, The Hallway Trilogy
Zachary Quinto, Angels in America
Tom Riley, Arcadia
Yul Vázquez, The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Lisa Emery, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska
Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
Julie Halston, The Divine Sister
Sarah Nina Hayon, A Bright New Boise
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Linda Lavin, Other Desert Cities
Judith Light, Lombardi

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Adam Godley, Anything Goes
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Rory O'Malley, The Book of Mormon
Bob Stillman, Hello Again
Tom Wopat, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Kerry Butler, Catch Me if You Can
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Jill Eikenberry, The Kid
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Laura Osnes, Anything Goes

Outstanding Director of a Play

Trip Cullman, A Small Fire
Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart
Moisés Kaufman, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Davis McCallum, A Bright New Boise
Daniel Sullivan, The Merchant of Venice
Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, Baby Universe

Outstanding Director of a Musical

Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Joe Calarco, In Transit
Jack Cummings III, Hello Again
Jack Cummings III, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon


Outstanding Choreography

Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, Beautiful Burnout
Steven Hoggett, Peter and the Starcatcher
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon
Siudy, Between Worlds

Outstanding Music

Brad Alexander, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Alan Menken, Sister Act
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can
Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, The People in the Picture
David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Lyrics

Rick Crom, Newsical The Musical — Full Spin Ahead
Jack Lechner, The Kid
Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Glenn Slater, Sister Act
Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Book of a Musical

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth, In
Transit

Iris Rainer Dart, The People in the Picture
Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Michael Zam, The Kid

Outstanding Orchestrations

Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Hello Again
Bruce Coughlin, The Burnt Part Boys
Simon Hale, Jim Abbott and David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous
Breakdown

Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank, Catch Me if You Can
Lynne Shankel, The Extraordinary Ordinary

Outstanding Music in a Play

Wayne Barker, Peter and the Starcatcher
Kathryn Bostic, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Lars Petter Hagen, Baby Universe
Alan John, The Diary of a Madman
Tom Kitt, The Winter's Tale
Dan Moses Schreier, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Revue

Fyvush Finkel Live!
Newsical The Musical — Full Spin Ahead
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway


Outstanding Set Design

Rachel Hauck, Orange, Hat & Grace
David Korins and Zachary Borovay (projection design), Lombardi
Derek McLane, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Derek McLane, Anything Goes
Tony Straiges, Treasure Island
Mark Wendland, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Costume Design

Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Ann Hould-Ward, A Free Man of Color
Martin Pakledinaz, Anything Goes
Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher

Outstanding Lighting Design

Jean Kalman, John Gabriel Borkman
R. Lee Kennedy, See Rock City & Other Destinations
David Lander, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Laura Mroczkowski, Spy Garbo
Ben Stanton, The Whipping Man
David Weiner, A Small Fire 

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical

Lindsay Jones, The Burnt Part Boys
Michael Rasbury, Hello Again
Brian Ronan, Anything Goes
Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon
Jon Weston, In Transit

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play

Acme Sound Partners, The Merchant of Venice
Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Ian Dickinson, John Gabriel Borkman
Brett Jarvis, Baby Universe
Bray Poor, Wings
Eric Shimelonis, The Hallway Trilogy

Outstanding Solo Performance

Daniel Beaty, Through the Night
Mike Birbiglia, Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
Juliette Jeffers, Batman and Robin in the Boogie Down
John Leguizamo, Ghetto Klown
Colin Quinn, Colin Quinn Long Story Short
Joanna Tope, The Promise

Unique Theatrical Experience

Being Harold Pinter
Circus Incognitus
Gatz
Play Dead
Room 17B
Sleep No More


PRODUCTIONS WITH MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS

12 The Book of Mormon
10 Anything Goes
7 The Merchant of Venice
6 Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
6 Catch Me if You Can
6 See Rock City & Other Destinations
6 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
5 Hello Again
5 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
5 Peter and the Starcatcher
5 Sister Act
5 The Kid
4 A Small Fire
4 In Transit
4 Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
3 A Bright New Boise
3 Baby Universe
3 Other Desert Cities
3 The Importance of Being Earnest
3 The Motherf**ker With the Hat
3 The People in the Picture
2 Born Yesterday
2 Good People
2 John Gabriel Borkman
2 Lombardi
2 Newsical The Musical — Full Spin Ahead
2 The Burnt Part Boys
2 The Diary of a Madman
2 The Divine Sister
2 The Hallway Trilogy
2 The House of Blue Leaves
2 The Normal Heart
 

*

The Drama Desk nominees will receive their Official Nomination Certificates at a gala cocktail reception May 2 at 3 PM at Bombay Palace Restaurant.

The 2010-2011 Nominating Committee includes Barbara Siegel (chairperson), TalkinBroadway.com, TheaterMania.com; Jason Clark, Slant Magazine, TheaterOnline.com; Anita Gates, freelance, The New York Times; Lawrence Harbison, senior editor & columnist for Smith & Kraus, Inc.; Gerard Raymond, freelance, Back Stage; Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV; and Douglas Strassler, OffOffOnline.com, Show Business Weekly.

*

The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards, which will feature musical numbers from the nominated New York stage productions, will be held May 23 at 8 PM at the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, located at 34th Street and 8th Avenue.

There will be a gala sit-down dinner, prepared by celebrity chefs, during which the awards will be presented to outstanding productions and creative talent for the 2010-2011 season.

The Drama Desk Awards ceremony, which will be directed by Jeff Kalpak, will be filmed in HD for a television special that will be given two primetime airings plus four additional national broadcasts on Ovation between June 2 and June 15.

Tony winner Harvey Fierstein will be the host of the awards ceremony and the TV special. The TV special will be produced by the independent production company Heflin Filmworks. Lance Heflin will be the producer of the TV special and Mark Stroman will serve as the TV executive producer. Terry Rohnke ("Saturday Night Live") will be the television director.

"This is the most exciting announcement I have made since becoming Executive Producer of the Annual Drama Desk Awards in 1999," said Robert R. Blume in a statement. "In the 13 years since, my team and I have diligently worked to enhance the visibility and importance of the Drama Desk Awards. We have made giant strides in that direction but none bigger than the ones we are announcing here today. We are delighted to welcome television marketing executive Mark Stroman and Lance Heflin of Heflin Filmworks to our team, and we are excited that the Drama Desk Awards will be seen nationally on Ovation."

Following is list of elected officers and Drama Desk Board of Directors for 2010-2011:

President: Isa Goldberg (syndicated columnist, Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Times, Albany Times Union, Greater Philadelphia Newspapers, Middletown Times Herald Record and Pocono Record;  contributing columnist, Financial Times and Jerusalem Post)
Vice President: Leslie (Hoban) Blake (contributing writer, TheaterMania.com; recurring guest critic, Two on the Aisle, MNN)
Treasurer & 2nd Vice President: Charles Wright (A&E Television Networks; essayist and editorial board member, Best Plays Theater Yearbook, published annually by Limelight Editions)
Secretary: Richard Ridge (Broadway Beat TV)

Members at large include Arlene Epstein (theatre critic, arts columnist, South Shore Record/Herald Community Newspapers; LIherald.com); Elysa Gardner (theatre critic, USA Today); Randy Gener (senior editor, American Theatre; founding critic, New York Theatre Wire; editorial board, Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, www.criticalstages.org); John Istel (freelance arts editor and writer; Best Plays, contributing editor); David Kaufman (freelance; author); Sam Norkin (freelance artist; past Drama Desk president); and William Wolf (wolfentertainmentguide.com).

The Drama Desk (www.dramadesk.org) is an organization of professional theatre writers, editors, critics and columnists who cover all areas of professional theatre in the greater New York area, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and not-for-profit theatres. The organization was founded in 1949 to explore key issues of the theatre community.

For more information visit www.dramadeskawards.com.