Billy Elliot, Carnage, Ruined and Avenger Are Outer Critics Circle Award Winners

By Andrew Gans
May 11, 2009

Winners of the 59th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards — which honor the best in Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre — were announced May 11.

Billy Elliot the Musical received seven awards, the most of any show of the season. Shrek the Musical also fared well, winning four awards.

There was a tie in the Outstanding Actress in a Musical category: Both Sutton Foster (Shrek the Musical) and Josefina Scaglione (West Side Story) will receive that award.

Winners will be celebrated with an awards dinner May 21 in the Eugenia Room of Sardi's Restaurant.

It had previously been announced that Special Achievement Awards will be given to Billy Elliot co-stars David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish — who all rotate in the musical's title role — and the full cast of The Norman Conquests will be presented the Outstanding Ensemble Performance Award.

Winners of the 59th annual Outer Critics Circle Awards follow (winners names are in bold and preceded by an asterisk):

Outstanding New Broadway Play
*God of Carnage
Irena's Vow
reasons to be pretty
33 Variations

Outstanding New Broadway Musical
*Billy Elliot: The Musical
Rock of Ages
Shrek the Musical
A Tale of Two Cities

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Becky Shaw
Farragut North
*Ruined
Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself)
Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
Happiness
Rooms: A Rock Romance
*The Toxic Avenger
What's That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling

Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
*Billy Elliot: The Musical
Happiness
Rooms: A Rock Romance
Shrek The Musical

Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Blithe Spirit
The Cripple of Inishmaan
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
*The Norman Conquests
Waiting for Godot

Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Enter Laughing
*Hair
Pal Joey
West Side Story

Outstanding Director of a Play
Garry Hynes, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Anthony Page, Waiting for Godot
Bartlett Sher, Joe Turner's Come and Gone
*Matthew Warchus, The Norman Conquests
Moises Kaufman, 33 Variations

Outstanding Director of a Musical
*Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical
Arthur Laurents, West Side Story
Jason Moore, Shrek the Musical
Diane Paulus, Hair
Susan Stroman, Happiness

Outstanding Choreographer
Karole Armitage, Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5
*Peter Darling, Billy Elliot the Musical
Josh Prince, Shrek the Musical
Susan Stroman, Happiness

Outstanding Set Design (Play or Musical)
*Tim Hatley, Shrek the Musical
Santo Loquasto, Waiting for Godot
Derek McLane, 33 Variations
Ian MacNeil, Billy Elliot the Musical
Walt Spangler, Desire Under the Elms

Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical)
Nicky Gillibrand, Billy Elliot the Musical
*Tim Hatley, Shrek the Musical
John Napier, Equus
Martin Pakledinaz, Blithe Spirit
Catherine Zuber, Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)
Kevin Adams, Hair
*Rick Fisher, Billy Elliot the Musical
David Hersey, Equus
Peter Kaczorowski, Ruined
David Lander, 33 Variations

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Raúl Esparza, Speed-the-Plow
Bill Irwin, Waiting for Godot
Nathan Lane, Waiting for Godot
*Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Thomas Sadoski, reasons to be pretty

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Ruined
Carla Gugino, Desire Under the Elms
*Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter, Mary Stuart

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
James Barbour, A Tale of Two Cities
Matt Cavenaugh, West Side Story
*Brian d'Arcy James, Shrek the Musical
Josh Grisetti, Enter Laughing
David Pittu, What's That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling

Outstanding Actress in a Musical (tie)
*Sutton Foster, Shrek the Musical
Megan Hilty, 9 to 5
Leslie Kritzer, Rooms A Rock Romance
Nancy Opel, The Toxic Avenger
*Josefina Scaglione, West Side Story

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Zach Grenier, 33 Variations
John Benjamin Hickey, Mary Stuart
Russell G. Jones, Ruined
Patrick Page, A Man for All Seasons
*David Pearse, The Cripple of Inishmaan

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
*Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit
Andrea Martin, Exit the King
Kristine Nielsen, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
Susan Louise O'Connor, Blithe Spirit
Condola Rashad, Ruined

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Daniel Breaker, Shrek the Musical
Aaron Simon Gross, 13
*Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot the Musical
Christopher Sieber, Shrek the Musical
Wesley Taylor, Rock of Ages

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Kathy Fitzgerald, 9 to 5
*Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot the Musical
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey
Carole Shelley, Billy Elliot the Musical

Outstanding Solo Performance
Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk With Me
Mike Burstyn, Lansky
Mike Daisey, If You See Something, Say Something
*Lorenzo Pisoni, Humor Abuse
Matt Sax, Clay

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
*The cast of The Norman Conquests: Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root

John Gassner Award (Presented for an American Play, Preferably by a New Playwright)
Annie Baker, Body Awareness
*Gina Gionfriddo, Becky Shaw
Beau Willimon, Farragut North

Special Achievement Award
*For their performances in Billy Elliot: David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish

For more information visit www.outercritics.org.

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[Dividing the Estate was considered last season and won the OCC Award for Outstanding New Play. Next to Normal was also considered last year and won the OCC Award for Outstanding Score. [title of show] was also eligible when it played Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre two years ago.]