Nominations for the Helen Hayes Awards, which honor the best of the Washington, D.C.-area theatre scene, have been announced.
The Kennedy Center production of Monty Python's Spamalot, which recently transferred to Broadway's St. James Theatre, received eight nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Choreography, Musical Direction, Direction, and Ensemble. In addition to the creative nods, Spamalot stars Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Michael Urie, and Rob McClure all received nominations for their performances in the comedy. Both Kritzer and Urie came with the production to Broadway, while Ethan Slater stepped into the role played by McClure.
Swept Away, the new Avett Brothers musical, received 12
nominations, tieing for the most of any production in the D.C. area with a
staging of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Swept Away is nominated for Outstanding Musical, Choreography, Music
Direction, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Set Design, Sound Design,
Director, and Ensemble, with performers Stark Sands, John Gallagher Jr.,
and Adrian Blake Enscoe all receiving individual nods.
Awa Sal Secka, soon to star in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of After Midnight, received a nod for her performance in Ragtime, Bryhona Marie was nominated for her performance in Sweeney Todd, and Tony winner Stephanie J. Block was nominated for her performance in the Kennedy Center's production of Sunset Boulevard, which also received a nod for its director, Sammi Cannold.
The Hayes Awards are some of the only theatre awards to recognize the work presented by touring theatrical productions: This year's Outstanding Performer in a Visiting Production nominees include Ben Turner, Jonathan Nyati, Julie Hesmondhalgh, and Twana Omer from The Jungle, Jeremy Davis and Lauren Nicole Chapman from Disney's Frozen, Melody A. Betts and Nichelle Lewis from The Wiz, a second nomination for Rob McClure in Mrs. Doubtfire, and a second nomination for Stephanie J. Block in Into the Woods.
Peter Marks, formerly the theatre critic at the Washington Post, will receive the 2024 Helen Hayes Tribute Award. Marks recently stepped down after serving in this role for 21 years.
The Helen Hayes Awards will be held May 20, when the winners of all 41 competitive categories will be announced at the Anthem. Named for actor Helen Hayes—a D.C. native and legendary First Lady of the American Theatre—the awards have honored excellence in professional theatre for four decades.
Recognizing work from 151 eligible productions, nominations are grouped in “Helen” or “Hayes” cohorts, depending on the number of Equity members involved in the production. Nominations are the result of 49 carefully vetted judges who considered 44 musicals, 107 plays, and 36 world premieres.
For a complete list of nominees, click here.