It's getting to be a familiar refrain around New York City theatre awards circles: The Producers and Proof are 2001's best musical and play. The New York Drama Critics Circle certainly concurs, naming the two alongside the British play, The Invention of Love, as the best of the year.
The Circle voted May 8 at the Conde Nast offices in Manhattan, according to Awards spokesperson Richard Kornberg. The Awards ceremony will be held May 22 at the Palm West restaurant, 250 West 50th St.
Proof has already nabbed a Pulitzer Prize, as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Play and six Tony nominations, including one for every member of the cast. The Producers, with a record-breaking 15 Tony nominations this year, took home the Outer Critics Award for Best Musical. The Invention of Love, by Britian's Tom Stoppard, is a five-time Tony nominee (including for Best Play) and garnered Outer Critics Awards for its director, Jack O'Brien, featured star, Robert Sean Leonard and lighting design.
Last year's winners were August Wilson's Jitney for Best Play, Michael Frayn's Copenhagen for Best Foreign Play and James Joyce's The Dead for Best Musical.
The Circle, headed by president Michael Sommers (New Jersey Star Ledger) was founded in 1935. Other current voters are Ben Brantley (NY Times), Clive Barnes (NY Post), Michael Feingold (Village Voice), Robert Feldberg (Bergen Record), Amy Gamerman (Wall Street Journal), Elysa Gardner (USA Today), John Heilpern (NY Observer), Charles Isherwood (Variety), Howard Kissel (Daily News), Michael Kuchwara (AP), Ken Mandelbaum (Broadway.com), John Simon (New York magazine), Jacques le Sourd (Gannett), Donald Lyons (NY Post), Frank Scheck (Hollywood Reporter), David Sheward (Back Stage), Bruce Weber (NY Times) and Richard Zoglin (Time).