56th Annual Drama Desk Awards Debut on Ovation Network June 4

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
and Kenneth Jones
04 Jun 2011

Sutton Foster and company in <i>Anything Goes</i>.
Sutton Foster and company in Anything Goes.
Photo by Joan Marcus

The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards, which were handed out May 23 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, make their broadcast debut June 4 at 9 PM ET on the Ovation network. 

The 90-minute highlights of the ceremony, which honored New York City theatre for the 2010-11 season, will also be seen on Ovation June 12 at 12:30 PM ET and 2 PM ET.

The 2011 Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, recognized The Book of Mormon, Anything Goes, The Normal Heart and War Horse in production categories.

The Book of Mormon, an irreverent look at modern faith seen through the eyes of two Mormon missionaries seeking to convert misery-plagued Africans to their gospel, won five Drama Desk Awards, as did Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of the Cole Porter musical from 1934, Anything Goes. The Book of Mormon had the best songs of the season, according to Drama Desk voters, but underdog Adam Mathias won the Drama Desk for his book to the tiny ensemble musical See Rock City & Other Destinations, seen Off-Broadway in a production by Transport Group.

The revival of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, a snapshot of paranoia, activism and love in the early days of AIDS, won two awards (Revival and Director) and earned a previously announced non-competitive honor for its acting ensemble. Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo also won two awards (Lighting and Sound). No other production won more than two awards.



The Drama Desk Awards honor productions that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway during the 2010-2011 New York theatre season.

The following are the winners and nominees for the competitive categories. Winners are marked in boldface with an asterisk.

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


*

The following previously announced awards were voted by the nominating committee and were 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 35 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.

 

Frances McDormand in Good People.
photo by Joan Marcus

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 Drama Desk Awards ceremony is directed by Jeff Kalpak. The TV special is produced by the independent production company Heflin Filmworks. Lance Heflin is the producer of the TV special and Mark Stroman serves as the TV executive producer. Terry Rohnke ("Saturday Night Live") is the television director.

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.