Debra Messing and David Hyde Pierce Will Host 79th Annual Drama League Awards | Playbill

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News Debra Messing and David Hyde Pierce Will Host 79th Annual Drama League Awards Emmy winner Debra Messing, who can currently be seen on the NBC musical series "Smash," will join the previously announced Tony and Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce to co-host the 79th Annual Drama League Awards, which will be held May 17 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.

David Hyde Pierce
David Hyde Pierce Photo by Joan Marcus

For the first time in its history, The Drama League will welcome stage directors to its esteemed dais of performers as awards presenters for the major categories. The 2013 Award Presenters, all of whom are alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, include Rachel Chavkin, Pam MacKinnon, Diane Paulus and Alex Timbers.

Pop icon Cyndi Lauper and Emmy Award winner Mary Tyler Moore will present special awards to Tony Award winners Jerry Mitchell and Bernadette Peters, respectively.

2013 Awards Honorary Co-Chairs include Bobby Cannavale, Alan Cumming, Edie Falco, Judith Ivey, Nathan Lane, Judith Light, Patina Miller, Donna Murphy, Fiona Shaw, Holland Taylor, Cicely Tyson and Michael Urie.

The 2013 Special Awards recipients include three-time Tony winner Peters, who will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in recognition of her contribution to the musical theatre; Madison Square Garden Entertainment & the Rockettes, who will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award for the continuing efforts in promoting live theatre; and Tony Award winner Mitchell, who will receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.

Nominees in the competitive categories follow: OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

The Assembled Parties
Manhattan Theatre Club/Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
by Richard Greenberg
Directed by Lynne Meadow
Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer; Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Producer

I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers
Booth Theatre
By John Logan
Directed by Joe Mantello
Graydon Carter, Arielle Tepper Madover, James L. Nederlander, The Shubert Organization, Terry Allen Kramer, Stephanie P. McClelland, Jeffrey Finn, Ruth Hendel, Larry Magid, Jon B. Platt, Scott and Brian Zeilinger, producers

Lucky Guy
Broadhurst Theatre
by Nora Ephron
Directed by George C. Wolfe
Colin Callender, Roy Furman, Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger and William Berlind, Stacey Mindich, Robert Cole and Frederick Zollo, David Mirvish, Daryl Roth, James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyer, Scott and Brian Zeilinger, producers, in association with Sonia Friedman Productions and The Shubert Organization

The Nance
Lincoln Center Theater/Lyceum Theatre
by Douglas Carter Beane
Directed by Jack O'Brien
Andre Bishop, Artistic Director; Bernard Gersten, Executive Producer

Old Hats
Signature Theatre Company
by Bill Irwin and David Shiner
Directed by Tina Landau
James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director

The Testament of Mary
Walter Kerr Theatre
by Colm Toibin
Directed by Deborah Warner
Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Jon B. Platt, Roger Berlind, Broadway Across America, Scott M. Delman, Jean Doumanian, Roy Furman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sonia Friedman Productions/Tulchin Bartner Productions, The Araca Group, Heni Koenigsberg, Daryl Roth, and Eli Bush, producers

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Lincoln Center Theatre/Golden Theatre
by Christopher Durang
Directed by Nicholas Martin
Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschhorn, Joan Raffe/Jhett Tolentino, Martin Platt and David Elliot, Pat Flicker Addiss, Catherine Adler, John O'Boyle, Joshua Goodman, Jamie deRoy/Richard Winkler, Cricket Hooper Jiranek/Michael Palitz, Mark S. Golub and David S. Golub, Radio Mouse Entertainment, Shadowcatcher Entertainment, Mary Cossette/Barbara Manocherian, Megan Savage/Meredith Lynsey Schade, Hugh Hysell/Richard Jordan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Ron Simons, S.D. Wagner, John Johnson, producers, in association with McCarter Theatre Center and Lincoln Center Theater

The Whale
Playwrights Horizons
by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Davis McCallum
Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director, Carol Fishman, General Manager


Second Stage Theatre
Book by Peter Duchan, Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Directed by Joe Mantello
Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director

Here Lies Love
The Public Theater
Music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Concept and Lyrics by David Byrne
Directed by Alex Timbers
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director

Kinky Boots
Al Hirschfeld Theatre
Book by Harvey Fierstein; Music and Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper
Directed by Jerry Mitchell
Daryl Roth, Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, CJ E&M, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just For Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergere, Allan S. Gordon and Adam S. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy and Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Ron Fierstein and Dorsey Regal, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Michael DeSantis/Patrick Baugh, Brian Smith/Tom and Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp and Jujamcyn Theaters, producers

Matilda The Musical
Shubert Theatre
Book by Dennis Kelly, Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Directed by Matthew Warchus
The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Dodgers, producers

Motown: The Musical
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
Book by Berry Gordy, Music and Lyrics by Various Artists
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright
Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy, producers

Murder Ballad
Manhattan Theatre Club/Union Square Theatre
Conceived by and with Book and Lyrics by Julia Jordan, Music and Lyrics by Juliana Nash
Directed by Trip Cullman
Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer; Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Producer

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Ars Nova/Kazino
Written and Composed by Dave Malloy
Directed by Rachel Chavkin
Jason Eagan, Artistic Director; Jeremy Blocker, Managing Director
Howard and Janet Kagan, Randy Weiner, Simon Hammerstein, producers


As You Like It
The Public Theater/Delacorte Theater
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Daniel Sullivan
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director

Golden Boy
Lincoln Center Theater/Belasco Theatre
by Clifford Odets
Directed by Bartlett Sher
Andre Bishop, Artistic Director; Bernard Gersten, Executive Producer

Ethel Barrymore Theatre
by William Shakespeare
Directed by John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg
Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Carl Daikeler, Cody Lassen, Joan Raffe and Jhett Tolentino, Julia Broder, Luigi and Rose Caiola, Michael DeSantis, Neil Gooding Productions, John C. Hall, Marguerite Hoffman, Ken Mahoney, Elliott Masie, Dean Roth, Bellanca Smigel Rutter, and Kat White, producers

The Piano Lesson
Signature Theatre Company
by August Wilson
Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director

The Trip to Bountiful
Stephen Sondheim Theatre
by Horton Foote
Directed by Michael Wilson
Nelle Nugent, Paula Marie Black, David R. Weinreb, Kenneth Teaton, Stephen Byrd, Alia M. Jones, Carole L. Haber/Philip Geier, Wendy Federman/Carl Moellenberg/Ricardo Hornos, Fifty Church Street Productions/Hallie Foote, producers, in association with Kevin Liles, Joseph Sirola, Howard and Janet Kagan/Charles Salameno, Sharon A. Carr/Patricia R. Klausner, Raymond Gaspard, Willette Murphy Klausner/Reginald M. Browne

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Booth Theatre
by Edward Albee
Directed by Pam MacKinnon
Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Susan Quint Gallin, Mary Lu Roffe, Kit Seidel, Amy Danis and Mark Johannes, Patty Baker, Mark S. Golub and David S. Golub, Richard Gross, Jam Theatricals, Cheryl Lachowicz, Michael Palitz, Dramatic Forces/Angelina Fiordellisi, Luigi and Rose Caiola, Ken Greiner, Kathleen K. Johnson, Kirmser Ponturo Fund, Will Trice, and GFour Productions, producers


Palace Theatre
Book by Thomas Meehan, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Directed by James Lapine
Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, James M. Nederlander, Jane Bergere/Daryl Roth, Eva Price/Christina Papagjika, producers

Marry Me a Little
Keen Company
Conceived and Developed by Norman Rene and Craig Lucas; Songs by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Jonathan Silverstein
Jonathan Silverstein, Artistic Director; Adam Fitzgerald, General Manager

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Roundabout Theatre Company/Studio 54
Book, Music and Lyrics by Rupert Holmes
Directed by Scott Ellis
Todd Haimes, Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert, Managing Director; Julia C. Levy, Executive Director

Classic Stage Company
Book by James Lapine; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by John Doyle
Brian Kulick, Artistic Director ; Greg Reiner, Executive Director

Music Box Theatre
Book by Roger O. Hirson, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Directed by Diane Paulus
Barry and Fran Weissler, Howard and Janet Kagan, Lisa Matlin, Kyodo Tokyo, A&A Gordon/Brunish Trinchero, Tom Smedes/Peter Stern, Broadway Across America, Independent Presenters Network, Norton Herrick, Allen Spivak, Rebecca Gold, Joshua Goodman, Stephen E. McManus, David Robbins/Bryan S. Weingarten, Philip Hagemann/Murray Rosenthal, Jim Kierstead/.Carlos Arana/Myla Lerner, Hugh Hayes/Jamie Cesa/Jonathan Reinis, Sharon A. Carr/Patricia R. Klausner, Ben Feldman, Square 1 Theatrics, Wendy Federman/Carl Muellenberg, Bruce Robert Harris/Jack W. Batman, Infinity Theatre Company/Michael Rubenstein, and Michael A. Alden/Dale Badway/Ken Mahoney, producers

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella
Broadway Theatre
New Book by Douglas Carter Beane, Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed by Mark Brokaw
Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman, Stephen Kocis, Edward Walson, Venetian Glass Productions, The Araca Group, Luigi Caiola and Rose Caiola, Roy Furman, Walt Grossman, Peter May/Sanford Robertson, Glass Slipper Productions LLC/Eric Schmidt, Ted Liebowitz/James Spry, Blanket Fort Productions, producers, in association with Center Theatre Group

One winner is selected from this category. The recipient can only receive the award once during his or her career.

Alec Baldwin, Orphans
Danny Burstein, Talley's Folly
Bobby Cannavale, The Big Knife and Glengarry Glen Ross
Bertie Carvel, Matilda The Musical
Tracee Chimo, Bad Jews
Lilla Crawford, Annie
Alan Cumming, Macbeth
Brandon J. Dirden, The Piano Lesson
Brandon Victor Dixon, Motown: The Musical
Jesse Eisenberg, The Revisionist
Edie Falco, The Madrid
America Ferrera, Bethany
Jake Gyllenhaal, If There is I Haven't Found it Yet
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Jessica Hecht, The Assembled Parties and Harvey
Shuler Hensley, The Whale
Bill Irwin, Old Hats
Judith Ivey, The Heiress
Brian d'Arcy James, Giant
Scarlett Johansson, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Judy Kuhn, Passion
Nathan Lane, The Nance
Valisia LeKae, Motown: The Musical
Tracy Letts, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties
Constantine Maroulis, Jekyll and Hyde
Andrea Martin, Pippin
Rob McClure, Chaplin
Lindsay Mendez, Dogfight
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Bette Midler, I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers
Patina Miller, Pippin
Amy Morton, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Donna Murphy, Into the Woods
Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Jim Norton, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Seth Numrich, Golden Boy
Laura Osnes, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella
Tina Packer, Women of Will
David Hyde Pierce, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
Lily Rabe, As You Like It
Vanessa Redgrave, The Revisionist
Chita Rivera, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Paul Rudd, Grace
Roslyn Ruff, The Piano Lesson
Stark Sands, Kinky Boots
Tony Shalhoub, Golden Boy
Michael Shannon, Grace
Fiona Shaw, The Testament of Mary
Ryan Silverman, Passion
Phillipa Soo, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
Tom Sturridge, Orphans
Holland Taylor, Ann
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Michael Urie, Buyer and Cellar
Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy
Anthony Warlow, Annie
Stephen Tyrone Williams, My Children! My Africa!
Vanessa Williams, The Trip to Bountiful

The Drama League wishes to recognize the superb contributions to the season of its previous Distinguished Performance Award winners that include:

Norbet Leo Butz, Dead Accounts
Kathleen Chalfant, Red Dog Howls
Stockard Channing, The Exonerated
Patti LuPone, The Anarchist
Bebe Neuwirth, Golden Age
Francis Sternhagen, The Madrid

Bernadette Peters
Presented by Mary Tyler Moore

Madison Square Garden Entertainment and The Rockettes
Presented by Tommy Tune

Jerry Mitchell
Award Presented by Cyndi Lauper 

The 79th Annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon includes cocktail reception, luncheon and awards presentation. For more information call (212) 244-9494, ext. 27, e-mail [email protected] or visit


First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatregoer awards chosen by audience members — specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

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