Presenters and Musical Performances Announced for 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards

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15 May 2013

Brian d'Arcy James in <i>Giant</i>.
Brian d'Arcy James in Giant.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Presenters and musical performances have been announced for the 58th Annual Drama Desk awards, which will be held May 19 at 8 PM at The Town Hall.

Presenters will include Stephanie J. Block, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Daniel Breaker, Danny Burstein, David Byrne, Charlotte d'Amboise, Jim Dale, John Glover, Cynthia Henson, Paul Huntley, Steve Karam, Lisa Kron, Martin Lowe, Terrence Mann, Joe Mantello, Jan Maxwell, Audra McDonald, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Donna Murphy, Denis O'Hare, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Michele Pawk, Tonya Pinkins, Alex Timbers, Tommy Tune, Michael Urie and William Wolf.

The evening will also feature performances from the Drama Desk-nominated shows Dogfight, Giant, Hands on a Hardbody, Here Lies Love and Working: A Musical.

Gretchen Shugart is managing executive producer of the Drama Desk Awards. The show will be written by Bill Rosenfield and directed by Jack Cummings III (co-founder and artistic director of Transport Group). Joey Parnes Productions will produce and manage the evening.

Drama Desk Awards, which are presented annually, honor outstanding achievement by professional theatre artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Drama Desk Awards are voted on and bestowed by theatre critics, journalists, editors and publishers covering theatre "without any vested interest in the results.”



Two new musicals, which are both now closed, received nine nominations each, the most of any production of the season: the Off-Broadway musical Giant, seen at the Public Theater, and the short-lived Broadway musical Hands on a Hardbody, based on the documentary film of the same name. Three other musicals, Broadway's Matilda and The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the Off-Broadway revival of Passion, earned six nominations apiece.

The Drama Desk also announced the category of “Outstanding Projection Design,” a new award honoring the design and creation of projected images, video and other visual media.

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

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
This year the nominators chose to bestow a special ensemble award to the cast of Working: A Musical. Marie-France Arcilla, Joe Cassidy, Donna Lynne Champlin, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Nehal Joshi and Kenita R. Miller "created a memorable ensemble of marvelously gifted singer-actors working together in pure artistic harmony." Individual cast members receiving this award are ineligible for acting awards in the competitive categories.

Special Awards
Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater. For 2012-13, these awards are:

• To The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Executive Director and Producer: "For a decade of creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form."
• To Wakka Wakka (Gabrielle Brechner, Kirjan Waage, and Gwendolyn Warnock): "For sophisticated puppet theater, as represented by this season’s SAGA, that explores with wit, imagination, and insight serious issues of our times."
• To Jayne Houdyshell: "For her artistry as an exceptionally versatile and distinctive Broadway and Off-Broadway performer."
• To Samuel D. Hunter: "His empathic and indelible The Whale affirms his arrival as a distinguished dramatist who depicts the human condition."
To Maruti Evans, the Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award: "For his ingenious lighting designs, reflecting an exquisite and bold theatrical aesthetic. This season’s The Pilo Family Circus and Tiny Dynamite confirm his incandescent creativity." (Recipient of the Sam Norkin Award receives a $1,000 honorarium, a gift from Mrs. Francie Norkin.)

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

Outstanding Play
Annie Baker, The Flick
Christopher Durang, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Joe Gilford, Finks
Richard Greenberg, The Assembled Parties
Amy Herzog, Belleville
Deanna Jent, Falling
Richard Nelson, Sorry

Outstanding Musical
A Christmas Story: The Musical
Giant
Hands on a Hardbody
Here Lies Love
Matilda
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Golden Boy
Good Person of Szechwan
The Piano Lesson
The Trip to Bountiful
Uncle Vanya

Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue
Passion
Pippin

Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
The Golden Land
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Working: A Musical

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, Uncle Vanya
Daniel Everidge, Falling
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Shuler Hensley, The Whale
Nathan Lane, The Nance
Tracy Letts, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Maria Dizzia, Belleville
Amy Morton, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Julia Murney, Falling
Vanessa Redgrave, The Revisionist
Miriam Silverman, Finks
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Eric Anderson, Soul Doctor
Brian d’Arcy James, Giant
Jim Norton, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen
Ryan Silverman, Passion
Anthony Warlow, Annie

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, Giant
Stephanie J. Block, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Carolee Carmello, Scandalous
Lindsay Mendez, Dogfight
Donna Murphy, Into the Woods
Laura Osnes, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Jenny Powers, Donnybrook!

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Chuck Cooper, The Piano Lesson
Peter Friedman, The Great God Pan
Richard Kind, The Big Knife
Aaron Clifton Moten, The Flick
Brían F. O’Byrne, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet
Tony Shalhoub, Golden Boy

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Tasha Lawrence, The Whale
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties
Kellie Overbey, Sleeping Rough
Maryann Plunkett, Sorry
Condola Rashad, The Trip to Bountiful
Laila Robins, Sorry

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Stephen Bogardus, Passion
John Bolton, A Christmas Story: The Musical
Keith Carradine, Hands on a Hardbody
Bertie Carvel, Matilda
John Dossett, Giant
Andy Karl, The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Annaleigh Ashford, Kinky Boots
Melissa Errico, Passion
Andrea Martin, Pippin
Jessie Mueller, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Christiane Noll, Chaplin: The Musical
Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody
Kate Wetherhead, The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Director of a Play
Lear Debessonet, Good Person of Szechwan
Sam Gold, Uncle Vanya
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Restoration Comedy
Pam MacKinnon, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Lynne Meadow, The Assembled Parties
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, The Piano Lesson

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
John Doyle, Passion
Diane Paulus, Pippin
Emma Rice, The Wild Bride
Alex Timbers, Here Lies Love
Matthew Warchus, Matilda

Outstanding Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical
Warren Carlyle, A Christmas Story: The Musical
Peter Darling, Matilda
Josh Rhodes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Sergio Trujillo, Hands on a Hardbody
Chet Walker and Gypsy Snider, Pippin

Outstanding Music
Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green, Hands on a Hardbody
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love
Michael John LaChiusa, Giant
Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, A Christmas Story: The Musical
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Lyrics
Amanda Green, Hands on a Hardbody
Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bring It On: The Musical
Michael John LaChiusa, Giant
Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Tim Minchin, Matilda
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Dennis Kelly, Matilda
Sybille Pearson, Giant
Joseph Robinette, A Christmas Story: The Musical
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen
Jeff Whitty, Bring It On: The Musical
Doug Wright, Hands on a Hardbody

Outstanding Orchestrations
Trey Anastasio and Don Hart, Hands on a Hardbody
Larry Blank, A Christmas Story: The Musical
Bruce Coughlin, Giant
Larry Hochman, Chaplin: The Musical
Steve Margoshes, Soul Doctor
Danny Troob, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella

Outstanding Music in a Play
César Alvarez with The Lisps, Good Person of Szechwan
Jiří Kadeřábek, Mahir Cetiz, and Ana Milosavljevic, Act Before You Speak: The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Glen Kelly, The Nance
Eugene Ma, The Man Who Laughs
Steve Martin, As You Like It
Jane Wang, Strange Tales of Liaozhai

Outstanding Revue
Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!
Old Hats
Old Jews Telling Jokes

Outstanding Set Design
Rob Howell, Matilda
Mimi Lien, The Whale
Santo Loquasto, The Assembled Parties
Anna Louizos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Michael Yeargan, Golden Boy
David Zinn, The Flick

Outstanding Costume Design
Amy Clark and Martin Pakledinaz, Chaplin: The Musical
Dominique Lemieux, Pippin
William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Chris March, Chris March's The Butt-Cracker Suite! A Trailer Park Ballet
Loren Shaw, Restoration Comedy
Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Outstanding Lighting Design
Ken Billington, Chaplin: The Musical
Jane Cox, Passion
Kenneth Posner, Pippin
Justin Townsend, Here Lies Love
Daniel Winters, The Man Who Laughs
Scott Zielinski, A Civil War Christmas

Outstanding Projection Design
Jon Driscoll, Chaplin: The Musical
Wendall K. Harrington, Old Hats
Peter Nigrini, Here Lies Love
Darrel Maloney, Checkers
Pedro Pires, Cirque du Soleil: Totem
Aaron Rhyne, Wild With Happy

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Hands on a Hardbody
Scott Lehrer and Drew Levy, Chaplin: The Musical
Tony Meola, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Brian Ronan, Bring It On: The Musical
Brian Ronan, Giant
Dan Moses Schreier, Passion

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Ien DeNio, The Pilo Family Circus
Steve Fontaine, Last Man Club
Christian Frederickson, Through the Yellow Hour
Lindsay Jones, Wild With Happy
Mel Mercier, The Testament of Mary
Fergus O’Hare, Macbeth

Outstanding Solo Performance
Joel de la Fuente, Hold These Truths
Kathryn Hunter, Kafka’s Monkey
Bette Midler, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers
Julian Sands, A Celebration of Harold Pinter
Holland Taylor, Ann
Michael Urie, Buyer & Cellar

Unique Theatrical Experience
Bello Mania
Chris March's The Butt-Cracker Suite! A Trailer Park Ballet
Cirque Du Soleil: Totem
That Play: A Solo Macbeth
The Fazzino Ride
The Man Who Laughs

PRODUCTIONS WITH MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS:
9 Giant
9 Hands on a Hardbody
7 Matilda
7 Passion
7 The Mystery of Edwin Drood
6 A Christmas Story: The Musical
6 Chaplin: The Musical
6 Pippin
6 The Other Josh Cohen
5 Bring It On: The Musical
5 Here Lies Love
5 Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
5 Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
4 Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
4 The Assembled Parties
3 Falling
3 Golden Boy
3 Good Person of Szechwan
3 Sorry
3 The Flick
3 The Man Who Laughs
3 The Piano Lesson
3 The Trip to Bountiful
3 The Whale
3 Uncle Vanya
2 Belleville
2 Chris March's Butt-Cracker Suite! A Trailer Park Ballet 2 Cirque Du Soleil: Totem
2 Finks
2 Kinky Boots
2 Old Hats
2 Restoration Comedy
2 Soul Doctor
2 The Nance
2 Wild With Happy

Eligibility and award category designations for the productions under consideration this season were determined by the Drama Desk Board of Directors with recommendations from the Nominating Committee. Because of the abundance of work throughout the season, the Board also authorized increasing the number of nominees allowed in select categories.

The Other Place was considered for its Off-Broadway production in the 2011-12 season. Under Drama Desk rules, only new elements in its transfer to Broadway were eligible this season.

Gretchen Shugart is managing executive producer of Drama Desk Awards. The president of Drama Desk is Isa Goldberg. Randie Levine Miller is director of special events.

The 2012-13 Drama Desk Nominating Committee comprises Barbara Siegel, Chairperson (TalkinBroadway.com and freelance); David Kaufman (author and freelance), Samuel L. Leiter (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center), Martha Wade Steketee (urbanexcavations.com; editor and contributor, Chance Magazine), Adrian Wattenmaker (Theater Faculty, Brooklyn College; Director, School of Creative and Performing Arts) and James Wilson (Professor of Theatre, CUNY; co-editor of Journal of American Drama and Theatre).

For more information visit dramadeskawards.com.

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