Monday, April 27, 2009

2008-2009 Drama Desk Nomonations

That's right theatre fans. The award season continues. Nominations for this years Drama Desk Awards were announced today and just like with the Outer Critics Circle Awards there were a lot of suprises not to mention some glaring omissions. Leading the pack with 15 nominations is 9 to 5 followed by Shrek with 12 and Billy Elliot with 10. According to their website,"The Drama Desk is an organization of theatre critics, writers and editors that honors excellence in all areas of New York theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and not-for-profit." Now on to the nomionations.

Outstanding Play:
Annie Baker, Body Awareness
Gina Gionfriddo, Becky Shaw
Neil LaBute, reasons to be pretty
Lynn Nottage, Ruined
Michael Weller, Fifty Words
Craig Wright, Lady

I loved reasons to be pretty but I can't believe they left out God of Carnage the best reviewed and most successful new play of the season.

Outstanding Musical:
9 to 5
Billy Elliot The Musical
Liza's at the Palace….
Shrek The Musical
The Story of My Life

Come on. Liza? Really? Yes she's a legend but the Drama Desks are also giving her a special award for " Herenduring career of sustained excellence, and her glorious performance in Liza's at the Palace."

Outstanding Revival of a Play:
Blithe Spirit
Exit the King
Mary Stuart
The Cripple of Inishmaan
The Norman Conquests
Waiting for Godot

Excluding Inishmaan it will probably be the same at the Tony's. However you shouldn't count out Equus or All My Sons.

Outstanding Revival of a Musical:
Enter Laughing The Musical
Pal Joey
West Side Story

Should be the same at the Tony's just insert Guys and Dolls instead of Enter Laughing.

Outstanding Actor in a Play:
Simon Russell Beale, The Winter's Tale
Reed Birney, Blasted
Raúl Esparza, Speed-The-Plow
Bill Irwin, Waiting for Godot
Daniel Radcliffe, Equus
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Thomas Sadoski, reasons to be pretty

Strong category here and will be at the Tony's as well.

Outstanding Actress in a Play:
Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Ruined
Jane Fonda, 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage
Elizabeth Marvel, Fifty Words
Jan Maxwell, Scenes From an Execution
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart

Glad to see Jane Fonda got a nomination.

Outstanding Actor in a Musical:
James Barbour, A Tale of Two Cities
Daniel Breaker, Shrek The Musical
Brian d'Arcy James, Shrek The Musical
Josh Grisetti, Enter Laughing The Musical
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!
Will Swenson, Hair

I loved Daniel Breaker but he stands a better shot of winning in the featured catagory.

Outstanding Actress in a Musical:
Stephanie J. Block, 9 to 5
Stockard Channing, Pal Joey
Sutton Foster, Shrek The Musical
Megan Hilty, 9 to 5
Allison Janney, 9 to 5
Karen Murphy, My Vaudeville Man!

I really don't think all three girls from 9 to 5 wil be nominated but you never know. Sutton Foster gets her usual nomination of course.

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play:
Brian d'Arcy James, Port Authority
Jeremy Davidson, Back Back Back
Peter Friedman, Body Awareness
Ethan Hawke, The Winter's Tale
Pablo Schreiber, reasons to be pretty (Off-Broadway)
Jeremy Shamos, Animals Out of Paper

Not one Broadway show nomination. Really?

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play:
Rebecca Hall, The Cherry Orchard
Zoe Kazan, The Seagull
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit
Andrea Martin, Exit the King
Carey Mulligan, The Seagull
Condola Rashad, Ruined

They will probably give it to Angela.

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical:
Hunter Foster, Happiness
Demond Green, The Toxic Avenger
Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot The Musical
Marc Kudisch, 9 to 5
Bryce Ryness, Hair
Christopher Sieber, Shrek The Musical

I like all the nominees.

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical:
Farah Alvin, The Marvelous Wonderettes
Christina Bianco, Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot The Musical
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Nancy Opel, The Toxic Avenger
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey

Karen Olivo is my favorite here and my favorite for the Tony.

Outstanding Director of a Play:
Sarah Benson, Blasted
Michael Blakemore, Blithe Spirit
Garry Hynes, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Terry Kinney, reasons to be pretty
Matthew Warchus, The Norman Conquests
Kate Whoriskey, Ruined

Glad to see Terry Kinney in there. I would nominate Matthew Warchus for God of Carnage though instead of Norman.

Outstanding Director of a Musical:
Walter Bobbie, Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot The Musical
Joe Mantello, 9 to 5
Jason Moore, Shrek The Musical
Diane Paulus, Hair
Stuart Ross, Enter Laughing The Musical

Diana Paulus all the way.

Outstanding Choreography:
Karole Armitage, Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5
Peter Darling, Billy Elliot The Musical
Bill T. Jones, Fela!
Randy Skinner, Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Shonn Wiley, My Vaudeville Man!

Expect it to be a two-way race between Bily Elliot and Fela!

Outstanding Music:
Neil Bartram, The Story of My Life
Zina Goldrich, Dear Edwina
Elton John, Billy Elliot The Musical
Dolly Parton, 9 to 5
Stephen Sondheim, Road Show
Jeanine Tesori, Shrek The Musical

Who would have thought we would have a season with both Dolly Parton and Elton John.

Outstanding Lyrics:
Neil Bartram, The Story of My Life
Jason Robert Brown, 13
Marcy Heisler, Dear Edwina
David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek The Musical
Dolly Parton, 9 to 5
Stephen Sondheim, Road Show

Outstanding Book of a Musical:
Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis, This Beautiful City
Joe DiPietro, The Toxic Avenger
Lee Hall, Billy Elliot The Musical
Brian Hill, The Story of My Life
David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek The Musical
Patricia Resnick, 9 to 5

You nominate Lee Hall for Best Book but not Best Lyrics? Remind me again who is on the nominating committee?

Outstanding Orchestrations:
Larry Blank, Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Bruce Coughlin, 9 to 5
Aaron Johnson and Antibalas, Fela!
Edward B. Kessel, A Tale of Two Cities
Martin Koch, Billy Elliot The Musical
Danny Troob, Shrek The Musical

Who knows?

Outstanding Music in a Play:
Mark Bennett, The Cherry Orchard
Mark Bennett, The Winter's Tale
Dominic Kanza, Ruined
DJ Rekha, Rafta, Rafta…
Richard Woodbury, Desire Under the Elms
Gary Yershon, The Norman Conquests

I didn't see any of them but I like the category.

Outstanding Set Design of a Play:
Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Rob Howell, The Norman Conquests
David Korins, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
Derek McLane, 33 Variations
Neil Patel, Fifty Words
Walt Spangler, Desire Under the Elms

I would say Exit the King or Desire Under The Elms.

Outstanding Set Design of a Musical:
Tim Hatley, Shrek The Musical
Anna Louizos, Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Thomas Lynch, Happiness
Scott Pask, 9 to 5
Scott Pask, Hair
Basil Twist, Arias With a Twist

Shrek is my pick.

Outstanding Costume Design:
Tim Hatley, Shrek The Musical
Rob Howell, The Norman Conquests
William Ivey Long, 9 to 5
Michael McDonald, Hair
Martin Pakledinaz, Blithe Spirit
Carrie Robbins, Irving Berlin's White Christmas

Shrek again.

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Play:
Marcus Doshi, Hamlet (Theatre for a New Audience)
David Hersey, Equus
Ben Kato, Washing Machine
R. Lee Kennedy, Bury the Dead
Paul Pyant, The Winter's Tale
Hugh Vanstone, Mary Stuart

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical:
Kevin Adams, Hair
Jules Fisher and Kenneth Posner, 9 to 5
Rick Fisher, Billy Elliot The Musical
Jason Lyons, Clay
Sinéad McKenna, Improbable Frequency
Richard Pilbrow, A Tale of Two Cities

Hair is the winner.

Outstanding Sound Design:
Acme Sound Partners, Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Paul Arditti, Billy Elliot The Musical
Gregory Clarke, Equus
John Gromada, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself)
André J. Pluess, 33 Variations
John H. Shivers, 9 to 5

Outstanding Solo Performance:
Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk With Me
Frank Blocker, Southern Gothic Novel
Michael Laurence, Krapp, 39
Lorenzo Pisoni, Humor Abuse
Matt Sax, Clay
Campbell Scott, The Atheist

Unique Theatrical Experience:
Absinthe (2008 Edition)
Arias With a Twist
Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words
Soul of Shaolin

Productions with multiple nominations
9 to 5, 15
Shrek The Musical, 12
Billy Elliot The Musical, 10
Hair, 8
Irving Berlin's White Christmas, 6
Ruined, 5
The Norman Conquests, 5
Blithe Spirit, 4
Exit the King, 4
Fela!, 4
reasons to be pretty, 4
The Story of My Life, 4
The Winter's Tale, 4
33 Variations, 3
A Tale of Two Cities, 3
Enter Laughing The Musical, 3
Equus, 3
Fifty Words, 3
Mary Stuart, 3
Pal Joey, 3
The Toxic Avenger, 3
Arias With a Twist, 2
Blasted, 2
Body Awareness, 2
Clay, 2
Dear Edwina, 2
Desire Under the Elms, 2
Happiness, 2
My Vaudeville Man!, 2
Road Show, 2
The Cherry Orchard, 2
The Cripple of Inishmaan, 2
The Seagull, 2
Waiting for Godot, 2
West Side Story, 2

The 54th Annual Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein, will be held May 17 at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The ceremony will begin at 9 PM.

So there we are. Who will win and who will lose? Expect some upsets. I will be back next week with the Tony nominations.

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