Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 Drama Desk Award Winners

The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards for excellence in New York theater were presented Monday night at a gala awards ceremony at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan Center, hosted by Harvey Fierstein.

The Book of Mormon and Anything Goes each won five Drama Desk Awards to lead the parade of winners, followed by The Normal Heart and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo which won two awards each. Cast members of The Normal Heart also took home special non-competitive Outstanding Ensemble Awards which were bestowed earlier by the Drama Desk nominating committee. No other production won more than one award.

War Horse by Nick Stafford and The Book of Norman with music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone were voted Outstanding Play and Outstanding Musical, respectively, and The Normal Heart and Anything Goes won as Outstanding Play and Musical Revivals. The team of Parker, Lopez and Stone also won the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics for their collaboration on The Book of Mormon
.
Bobby Cannavale (The Motherf**ker With the Hat) and Frances McDormand (Good People) were chosen as Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Play, and Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can) and Sutton Foster (Anything Goes) won as Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Musical. The Outstanding Featured Actor and Featured Actress in a Play awards went to Brian Bedford (The Importance of Being Earnest) and Edie Falco (The House of Blue Leaves), and the Outstanding Featured Actor and Actress in a Musical awards were won by John Larroquette (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) and Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown).

The Outstanding Direction winners were Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe (The Normal Heart) and Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker (The Book of Mormon); and the Outstanding Choreography award was given to Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes). Adam Mathias (See Rock City & Other Business) won for Outstanding Book of a Musical. Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus (The Book of Mormon) won for Outstanding Orchestrations and Wayne Barker (Peter and the Starcatcher) won for Outstanding Music in a Play.

The Drama Desk for Outstanding Revue was given to Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway. John Leguizamo won the Drama Desk for his Outstanding Solo Performance (Ghetto Klown). The Unique Theatrical Experience award was presented to Sleep No More.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo won two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design (David Lander) and Outstanding Sound Design (Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers). Derek McLane (Anything Goes) won for Outstanding Set Design and Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner (Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical) won the Outstanding Costume Design award.

Each year the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater:

Outstanding Ensemble Performances
This year the nominators chose to bestow special ensemble awards for acting to
the casts of two shows. Therefore, individual cast members for these shows were not
eligible for acting awards in the competitive categories.
  • In Transit
  • The Normal Heart
Special Awards
Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and
significant contributions to the theater. For 2010-2011, these awards are:
  • To A.R. Gurney for his enduring, keenly observed portraits of American life over
    a prolific four-decade-long career.
  • To Reed Birney for his versatile and finely nuanced performances over the past
    thirty-five years, and for his exceptional work this season in Tigers Be Still, A Small Fire and The Dream of the Burning Boy.
  • To The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott for presenting contemporary
    new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.
  • To The Pearl Theatre Company for notable productions of classic plays and
    nurturing a stalwart resident company of actors.
  • To the creative team of War Horse for thrilling stagecraft: Paule Constable,
    Marianne Elliott, 59 Productions, Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring
    Puppet Company, Tom Morris, Rae Smith, Christopher Shutt, Toby Sedgwick,
    Adrian Sutton and John Tams.
Presenters at the 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards ceremony included (in alphabetical order): Ellen Barkin, T.V. Carpio, Tyne Daly, Jennifer Damiano, Montego Glover, Jonathan Groff, Katie Holmes, Cheyenne Jackson, Larry Kramer, Marsha Mason, Karen Olivo, David Hyde Pierce, Colin Quinn, Daniel Radcliffe, Liev Schreiber, Annabella Sciorra, Christian Siriano, Holland Taylor and Tom Wopat.

The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards highlights special will premiere on Ovation, the only network dedicated to arts culture, Saturday, June 4 at 9:00 pm ET/7:30 pm PT.   In addition to the June 4 premiere, Ovation will broadcast encore presentations on Sunday, June 12 at 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT and 2:00  pm ET/5:00 pm PT. 

Full List
2010/2011 DRAMA DESK AWARD WINNERS

Outstanding Play: War Horse by Nick Stafford
Outstanding Musical: The Book of Mormon
Outstanding Revival of a Play:The Normal Heart
Outstanding Revival of a Musical: Anything Goes
Outstanding Actor in a PlayBobby Cannavale (The Motherf**ker With the Hat)
Outstanding Actress in a Play: Frances McDormand (Good People)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical:Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can)
Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Sutton Foster (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play:Brian Bedford (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Edie Falco (The House of Blue Leaves)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical:John Larroquette (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical:Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)
Outstanding Director of a Play:Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe (The Normal Heart)
Outstanding Director of a Musical:Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Choreography:Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Music:Trey Parker, Robert Lopez & Matt Stone (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Lyrics:Trey Parker, Robert Lopez & Matt Stone (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Book of a MusicalAdam Mathias (See Rock City & Other
Destinations
)
Outstanding Orchestrations:Larry Hochman & Stephen Oremus (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Musical Revue:Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway
Outstanding Music in a Play: Wayne Barker (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Outstanding Set Design:Derek McLane (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Costume Design:Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner (Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical)
Outstanding Lighting Design:David Lander (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo)
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Brian Ronan (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play: Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers (Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo)
Outstanding Solo Performance:John Leguizamo (Ghetto Klown)
Unique Theatrical Experience:Sleep No More

Non-Competetive Awards
Outstanding Ensemble Performances
This year the nominators chose to bestow special ensemble awards for acting to the casts of two shows. Therefore, individual cast members for these shows were not eligible for acting awards in the competitive categories.
  • In Transit
  • The Normal Heart
Special Awards
For 2010-2011, these awards are:
  • To A.R. Gurney for his enduring, keenly observed portraits of American life over a prolific four-decade-long career.
  • To Reed Birney for his versatile and finely nuanced performances over the past thirty-five years, and for his exceptional work this season in Tigers Be Still, A Small Fire and The Dream of the Burning Boy.
  • To The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.
  • To The Pearl Theatre Company for notable productions of classic plays and nurturing a stalwart resident company of actors.
  • To the creative team of War Horse for thrilling stagecraft: Paule Constable, Marianne Elliott, 59 Productions, Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company, Tom Morris, Rae Smith, Christopher Shutt, Toby Sedgwick, Adrian Sutton and John Tams.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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