Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Laura Benanti Will Host the Drama Desk Awards

Photo: (© David Gordon)
Drama Desk and Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) will host the 59th annual Drama Desk Awards.

For the third consecutive year, TheaterMania will present the awards ceremony and Joey Parnes Productions will produce and manage the show. TheaterMani CEO Gretchen Shugart is the managing executive producer of awards, which will be written by Bill Rosenfield and directed by Jack Cummings III (co-founder and artistic director of Transport Group). The awards will be presented at 8 pm Sunday, June 1 at Town Hall, 123 West 43rd St., NYC.

"I am thrilled to bring my particular brand of idiocy to what is usually a very classy affair. #ForThePeopleByThePeople," Benanti said.

The nominations announcement news conference will be held 11 am Friday, April 25 at 54 Below and will be live-streamed on www.TheaterMania.com.

Tickets to the 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards are available at www.dramadeskawards.com.

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics' organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

The 2013-2014 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of: Barbara Siegel, Chairperson, (Author and Freelance Critic); Morgan Jenness (Dramaturg; Columbia & Pace University Professor); Samuel L. Leiter (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, CUNY); Sandy MacDonald (freelance; TheaterNewsOnline.com); Chad McArver (Lighting and Set Designer; Professor, Fordham University); Martha Wade Steketee (Editor and Contributor, Chance Magazine; UrbanExcavations.com); and James Wilson (Theatre Professor, CUNY; Co-Editor of JADT).

The 2013-2014 Board of Directors of the Drama Desk is composed of: President Isa Goldberg (The Broadway Channel), Leslie (Hoban) Blake (City Arts; Two on the Aisle), Charles Wright (A+E Networks), Richard Ridge (Broadway World), Arlene Epstein (South Shore Record & Herald Community Newspapers), Elysa Gardner (USA Today), Randy Gener (USA Editor, Critical Stages; Contributor, NPR), John Istel (Freelance), Edward Karam (offoffonline.com), David Kaufman (Author & Freelance), William Wolf (Adjunct Professor, NYU &wolfentertainmentguide.com), Lauren Yarger, reflectionsinthelight.com, BroadwayWorld and www.theaterlife.com.

In addition to Shugart, Robert R. Blume and David S. Stone, in association with Renee McCurry, are producers of the awards.

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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.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

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- 2017 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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