Doubt, Spamalot, Twelve Angry Men, La Cage Win 2005 Drama Desk Awards

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and Andrew Ku
23 May 2005

Doubt, Twelve Angry Men, Monty Python's Spamalot, La Cage aux Folles, Slava's Snowshow and Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit were winners in the production categories of the 2005 Drama Desk Awards May 22.

Identified by some as the starry Big Show drawing the most attention to the New York season, Spamalot was named Outstanding Musical by Drama Desk voters, who represent theatrical press celebrating the Broadway and Off-Broadway season in the 50th annual awards. Eric Idle won for Oustanding Lyrics for Spamalot and Tim Hatley won for his costumes in the musical based on the cult-hit Monty Python movie, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

The musical gaining the most Drama Desks was Lincoln Center Theater's production of The Light in the Piazza (snagging five in total). It won for its picturesque set (Michael Yeargan) and evocative lighting (Christopher Akelrind), depicting 1950s Florence and filling what seems to be the entire capacious depth of the Vivian Beaumont Theater, as well as for its lush score by Adam Guettel (who won for Outstanding Music) and its rapturous orchestrations (by Ted Sperling, Bruce Coughlin and Guettel).

Victoria Clark, playing the American mother of a fragile daughter on holiday in Florence, won Outstanding Actress in a Musical for what critics have identified as her passionate and textured work at Lincoln Center.

Outstanding Actor in a Musical went to Norbert Leo Butz for his over-the-top portrayal of a sleazy con man in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Jerry Mitchell, who choreographed both La Cage and Dirty Rotten this season, and was nommed for both here, won for his agressive, athletic work in the revival of La Cage (the show features a thigh-busting can-can from its all-male dance corps).



John Patrick Shanley's Doubt won Drama Desks for Outstanding Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play (Cherry Jones), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Adriane Lenox), Outstanding Director of a Play (Doug Hughes) and Outstanding Actor in a Play (Brian F. O'Byrne).

Michael Stuhlbarg won the Drama Desk for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his wide-eyed portrayal of the troubled brother of a writer in The Pillowman, which also won the category of Outstanding Sound Design (Paul Arditti).

For his flourescent-lit real estate office complete with revolving door, in Glengarry Glen Ross, Santo Loquasto won in the category of Outstanding Set Design of a Play.

James Lapine (director) and Rachel Sheinkin (book) won Drama Desks for their work on the populist musical favorite, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Billy Crystal, the star of 700 Sundays, an often sold-out smash solo show drawing on the comedian's family history (and greatly expanding on standup comedy routines he's done over the years), won the the category of Outstanding Solo Performance.

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The ceremony was at LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. The evening, hosted by Harvey Fierstein, was taped for television and a two-hour version will be aired on NYC TV Channel 25 at 8 PM May 25 and May 27, and on Thirteen/WNET at noon May 29.

This year's nominating committee included Barbara Siegel, William Wolf, Andy Buck, Michael Buckley, Christopher Byrne, Andrew Propst and Richard Ridge.

The 2004-05 nominees and winners are listed below, with winners indicated by boldface type and asterisks.

Outstanding Orchestrations
Steven M. Alper, The Immigrant
Larry Hochman, Monty Python's Spamalot
Doug Katsaros & Lynne Shankel, Altar Boyz
Kim Scharnberg, Little Women
*Ted Sperling, Adam Guettel, Bruce Coughlin, The Light in the Piazza
Harold Wheeler, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe, Cam Jensen
Kevin Del Aguila, Altar Boyz
Mark Harelik, The Immigrant
Eric Idle, Monty Python's Spamalot
Jeffrey Lane, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
*Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Outstanding Lyrics
Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker, Altar Boyz
Douglas J. Cohen, Children's Letters to God
Rick Crom, Newsical
William Finn, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
*Eric Idle, Monty Python's Spamalot
David Yazbek, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Outstanding Music
Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker, Altar Boyz
Terry Davies, Play Without Words
William Finn, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Stephen Flaherty, Dessa Rose
*Adam Guettel, The Light in the Piazza
David Yazbek, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Unique Theatrical Experience
all wear bowlers
Belle Epoque
The Mysteries
Play Without Words
*Slava's Snowshow

Outstanding Revue
Absolutely Fascinating
*Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit
Newsical

Outstanding Solo Performance
*Billy Crystal, 700 Sundays
Dave Gorman, Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure
Barry Humphries, Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance
Jackie Mason, Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed
Tim Miller, Us
James Urbaniak, Thom Pain (based on nothing)

Outstanding Costume Design
Lez Brotherston, Play Without Words
*Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
William Ivey Long, La Cage aux Folles
Jeff Mahshie, Hurlyburly
Anthony Ward, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Catherine Zuber, The Light in the Piazza

Outstanding Lighting Design
Christopher Akerlind, Belle Epoque
*Christopher Akerlind, The Light in the Piazza
Mark Henderson, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Donald Holder, Gem of the Ocean
R. Lee Kennedy, The Audience
James Japhy Weideman, Frankenstein

Outstanding Sound Design
ACME Sound Partners, The Light in the Piazza
*Paul Arditti, The Pillowman
Jill B.C. DuBoff, Miss Julie
Jill B.C. DuBoff, Spatter Pattern (Or, How I Got Away With It)
Jeff Lorenz, Frankenstein
Darron L. West, Hot 'n' Throbbing

Outstanding Set Design of a Play
Robert Brill, Streetcar Named Desire
Marisa Frantz, Frankenstein
Nathan Heverin, Outward Bound
Richard Hoover, After the Fall
David Korins, Orange Flower Water
*Santo Loquasto, Glengarry Glen Ross

Outstanding Set Design of a Musical
Lez Brotherston, Play Without Words
Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
Scott Pask, Sweet Charity
David Rockwell, All Shook Up
Anthony Ward, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
*Michael Yeargan, The Light in the Piazza

Outstanding Choreography
Matthew Bourne, Play Without Words
Christopher Gattelli, Altar Boyz
Barry McNabb, Sailor's Song
Jerry Mitchell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
*Jerry Mitchell, La Cage aux Folles
Casey Nicholaw, Monty Python's Spamalot

Outstanding Director of a Play
Joshua Carlebach, Frankenstein
Scott Elliott, Hurlyburly
Scott Ellis, Twelve Angry Men
Edward Hall, Rose Rage
*Doug Hughes, Doubt
Joe Mantello, Glengarry Glen Ross

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Matthew Bourne, Play Without Words
Jack Cummings III, The Audience
Mark Dornford-May, The Mysteries
*James Lapine, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Mike Nichols, Monty Python's Spamalot
Bartlett Sher, The Light in the Piazza

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Julie Halston, White Chocolate
*Adriane Lenox, Doubt
Portia, McReele
Lily Rabe, Steel Magnolias
Lee Roy Rogers, Orson's Shadow
Mary Testa, String of Pearls

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Sarah Uriarte Berry, The Light in the Piazza
Joanna Gleason, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Kecia Lewis, Dessa Rose
*Jan Maxwell, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Maureen McGovern, Little Women
Jennifer Simard, Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Philip Bosco, Twelve Angry Men
Larry Bryggman, Romance
Jeff Goldblum, The Pillowman
Josh Hamilton, Hurlyburly
Paul Sparks, Orange Flower Water
*Michael Stuhlbarg, The Pillowman

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Monty Python's Spamalot
Gregory Jbara, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Norm Lewis, Dessa Rose
Tyler Maynard, Altar Boyz
Michael McGrath, Monty Python's Spamalot
*Denis O'Hare, Sweet Charity

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Adam Arkin, Brooklyn Boy
John Cullum, Sin (A Cardinal Deposed)
Bill Irwin, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
*Brian F. O'Byrne, Doubt
Jeremy Piven, Fat Pig
John Turturro, Souls of Naples

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Hank Azaria, Monty Python's Spamalot
Mike Burstyn, On Second Avenue
*Norbert Leo Butz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Matthew Morrison, The Light in the Piazza
David Hyde Pierce, Monty Python's Spamalot
Bill Thompson, God Hates the Irish: The Ballad of Armless Johnny

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Veanne Cox, Last Easter
*Cherry Jones, Doubt
Judy Kaye, Souvenir
Laura Linney, Sight Unseen
Frances Sternhagen, Echoes of the War
Kathleen Turner, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Christina Applegate, Sweet Charity
*Victoria Clark, The Light in the Piazza
Sutton Foster, Little Women
LaChanze, Dessa Rose
Sherie Rene Scott, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Rachel York, Dessa Rose

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Glengarry Glen Ross
Hurlyburly
Outward Bound
Pullman Car Hiawatha
*Twelve Angry Men

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death
*La Cage aux Folles
On Second Avenue
Sweet Charity

Outstanding Play
Democracy (Michael Frayn)
*Doubt (John Patrick Shanley)
Pentecost (David Edgar)
The Pillowman (Martin McDonagh)
Sailor's Song (John Patrick Shanley)
Sin (A Cardinal Deposed) (Michael Murphy)

Outstanding Musical
Altar Boyz
The Audience
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Light in the Piazza
*Monty Python's Spamalot
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The following noncompetitive awards were presented by the Drama Desk at its awards ceremony:

  • For Outstanding Ensemble Performances: the cast of Glengarry Glen Ross; the cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

  • A Career Achievement Award to Julie Harris for her commitment to excellence in the theatre.

  • To Keen Company, a Special Award for moving and enlightening audiences with plays that build upon our theatrical heritage.

  • In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Drama Desk Awards, a Special Award to The Public Theater for its 50 years of exceptional contributions to the theatre.

    Here are the titles and the number of awards each won:

    The Light in the Piazza - 5
    Doubt - 5
    Spamalot - 3
    The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - 2 (plus ensemble acting)
    The Pillowman - 2
    La Cage aux Folles - 2
    Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays - 1
    Slava's Snowshow - 1
    Forbidden Broadway: SVU - 1
    Glengarry Glen Ross - 1 (plus ensemble acting)
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - 1
    Sweet Charity - 1
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - 1
    Twelve Angry Men - 1