Mormon, War Horse, Normal Heart, Anything Goes, Mark Rylance Win Drama League Awards

By Andrew Gans
May 20, 2011

Kathleen Turner hosted The 77th Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon May 20 in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.



Presenters included Daniel Radcliffe, who presented the award for Distinguished Production of a Musical; Brian Bedford, who presented the award for Distinguished Production of a Play; Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, who presented the award for Distinguished Revival of a Play; Patina Miller, who presented the award for Distinguished Revival of a Musical; and James Earl Jones, who presented the Distinguished Performance Award.

For the non-competitive awards, Douglas Aibel presented The Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing to Susan Stroman; Robin Williams presented the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award to Whoopi Goldberg; and John Kander presented the Distinguished Acheivement in Musical Theatre Award to Liza Minnelli.

Nominees for The Drama League's four major production award categories  follow (winners are in bold preceded by an asterisk):
   
 Distinguished Production of a Play 
   Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo | Richard Rodgers Theatre
   The Diary of a Madman | Brooklyn Academy of Music
   The Dream of the Burning Boy | Roundabout Theatre Company
   The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity | Second Stage Theatre
   Gatz | Elevator Repair Service/The Public Theater
   Good People | Manhattan Theatre Club
   Jerusalem | Music Box Theatre
   Kin | Playwrights Horizons
   The Motherf**ker with the Hat | Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
   Other Desert Cities | Lincoln Center Theatre
   Sleep No More | Punchdrunk/The McKittrick Hotel
    *War Horse | Lincoln Center Theatre
 
Distinguished Production of a Musical
   *The Book of Mormon | Eugene O'Neill Theatre
   Catch Me If You Can | Neil Simon Theatre
   Elf | Al Hirschfeld Theatre
   In Transit | Primary Stages
   The People in the Picture | Roundabout Theatre Company
   Priscilla, Queen of the Desert | Palace Theatre
   Sister Act | Broadway Theatre
 
Distinguished Revival of a Play 
   Angels in America | Signature Theatre Company
   Arcadia | Ethel Barrymore Theatre
   Born Yesterday | Cort Theatre
   The Collection and a Kind of Alaska | Atlantic Theatre Company
   The House of Blue Leaves | Walter Kerr Theatre
   The Importance of Being Earnest | Roundabout Theatre Company
   La Bête | Music Box Theatre
   The Little Foxes | New York Theatre Workshop
   The Merchant of Venice | The Public Theater/Broadhurst Theatre
    *The Normal Heart | John Golden Theatre
 
Distinguished Revival of a Musical
   *Anything Goes | Roundabout Theatre Company
   Hello Again | The Transport Group
   How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying | Al Hirschfeld Theatre
 
(This season's Broadway transfers of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Brief Encounter, The Scottsboro Boys and Time Stands Still were nominated in 2010 for their original productions, and thus were not eligible for this year's awards.)
 
The Drama League also paid tribute to the season's best performers by including the nominees of The Distinguished Performance Award on a dais. This seasons' 63-member dais included the following performers. Winner of The Distinguished Performance  is Mark Rylance.
 
   Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
   Vanessa Aspillaga, underneathmybed
   Daniel Beaty, Through The Night
   Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
   Jim Belushi, Born Yesterday
   Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
   Reed Birney, The Dream of the Burning Boy
   Desmin Borges, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
   Christian Borle, Angels in America and Peter and the Starcatcher
   André Braugher, The Whipping Man
   Charles Busch, The Divine Sister
   Bill Camp, Notes From Underground
   Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker With The Hat
   Victoria Clark, Sister Act
   Billy Crudup, Arcadia and The Metal Children
   Colin Donnell, Anything Goes
   Lisa Emery, The Collection/A Kind of Alaska
   * Ensemble, Sleep No More
   * Ensemble, Hello Again
   Raúl Esparza, Arcadia
   Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves and This Wide Night
   Halley Feiffer, Tigers Be Still
   Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
   Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon
   Laura Heisler, Kin
   John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
   Marin Ireland, In the Wake and Three Sisters
   John Larroquette, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
   Dan Lauria, Lombardi
   John Leguizamo, Ghetto Klown
   Judith Light, Lombardi
   Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
   Elizabeth Marvel, The Little Foxes and Other Desert Cities
   Frances McDormand, Good People
   Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
   Patina Miller, Sister Act
   Arian Moayed, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
   Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture
   Seth Numrich, War Horse
   Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
   Estelle Parsons, Good People
   Alison Pill, This Wide Night
   Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice
   Daniel Radcliffe, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
   Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon  
   Martin Rayner, Freud's Last Session
   Vanessa Redgrave, Driving Miss Daisy
   Paul Reubens, The Pee-Wee Herman Show
   Chris Rock, The Motherf**ker With The Hat
   *Mark Rylance, Jerusalem and La Bête
   Michael Shannon, Mistakes Were Made
   Fiona Shaw, John Gabriel Borkman
   Tony Sheldon, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
   Scott Shepherd, Gatz
   Christopher Sieber, The Kid
   Alexandra Socha, The Dream of the Burning Boy
   Paul Sparks, Dusk Rings a Bell
   Ben Stiller, The House of Blue Leaves
   Will Swenson, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
   Kathleen Turner, High
   Aaron Tveit, Catch Me If You Can
   Robin Williams, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
   Tom Wopat, Catch Me If You Can
 
(*The ensemble casts of Sleep No More and Hello Again were honored collectively on the dais.)
 
Seven past recipients of The Distinguished Performance Award were honored on the dais for their work this season. However, because an individual can only receive The Distinguished Performance Award once in his/her lifetime, these artists  were ineligible for award consideration this year:
 
   Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
   Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
   Cherry Jones, Mrs. Warren's Profession
   James Earl Jones, Driving Miss Daisy
   Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown
   Brian Stokes Mitchell, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
   Geoffrey Rush, The Diary of a Madman
 

For more information visit www.dramaleague.org.

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The Drama League was founded in 1916 as an association of theatre professionals and patrons dedicated to encouraging the finest in professional theatre and has since then developed into the theatre's premiere service organization.