Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 Drama Desk Nomnations

Matthew Morrison and Vanessa Williams announced the nominations. Photo: Barry Gordin
Outstanding Book of a Musical
John Caird, Daddy Long Legs
Michael John LaChiusa, First              Daughter Suite
Jessie Nelson, Waitress

Outstanding  Play
The  Christians, PlaywrightsHorizons
The  Humans, Roundabout
John, Signature  Theatre
King  Charles  III
The  Royale,  Lincoln  Center  Theater

Outstanding  Musical
First  Daughter  Suite, Public  Theater Daddy  Long  Legs
School  of  Rock
Shuffle  Along

Outstanding  Revival  of  a  Play 
Cloud  Nine,  Atlantic  Theater
Death  of  a  Salesman, New  Yiddish        Rep
Henry  IV, Donmar  Warehouse  at St.      Ann’s  Warehouse
Long  Day’s  Journey  Into  Night,              Roundabout Theatre  Company
A  View  from  the  Bridge
Women Without  Men, Mint Theater

Outstanding  Revival  of  a  Musical The  Color  Purple
The  Golden  Bride, National  Yiddish Theatre  Folkesbiene
Fiddler  on  the  Roof
She  Loves  Me, Roundabout Theatre        Company
Spring  Awakening

Outstanding  Actor  in  a  Play Andrew  Garman,  The  Christians
Avi  Hoffman,  Death  of  a  Salesman Frank  Langella, The  Father
Tim  Pigott-Smith,  King  Charles  III Mark  Strong,  A  View  from  the               Bridge

Outstanding  Actress  in  a  Play Georgia  Engel,  John
Mamie  Gummer,  Ugly  Lies  the Bone
Marin  Ireland, Ironbound
Jessica  Lange,  Long  Day’s  Journey  Into  Night
Nicola  Walker,  A  View  from  the  Bridge

Outstanding  Actor  in  a  Musical Danny  Burstein, Fiddler  on  the  Roof
Robert  Creighton,  Cagney
Michael  C.  Hall,  Lazarus
Zachary  Levi,  She Loves Me
Benjamin  Walker,  American  Psycho

Outstanding  Actress  in  a  Musical Laura  Benanti, She  Loves  Me Carmen  Cusack,  Bright  Star
Cynthia  Erivo,  The  Color  Purple Jessie  Mueller,  Waitress
Annette  O’Toole,  Southern  Comfort

Outstanding  Orchestrations
August  Eriksmoen,  Bright  Star
Larry  Hochman,  She  Loves  Me
Joseph  Joubert/Catherine  Jayes,  The  Color  Purple
Andrew  Lloyd  Webber,  School  of  Rock
Michael  Starobin/Bruce  Coughlin,  First  Daughter  Suite

Outstanding  Music  in  a  Play
Billie  Joe  Armstrong,  These  Paper  Bullets!
Estelle  Bajou,  Please  Excuse  My  Dear  Aunt  Sally
 Shaun  Davey,  Pericles
Philip  Glass,  The  Crucible
Tom  Kitt,  Cymbeline

Outstanding  Set  Design  for  a  Play Riccardo  Hernandez,  Red Speedo
Mimi  Lien,  John G.  W.  Mercier,  Head  of  Passes
 Christopher  Oram,  Hughie
 Derek  McLane,  Fully  Committed

 Outstanding  Set  Design  for  a  Musical 
Es  Devlin,  American  Psycho
Emily  Orling,  Matt  Saunders,  Eric  Farber,  Futurity
 David  Rockwell,  She  Loves  Me

Outstanding  Costume  Design  for  a  Play 
Jessica  Ford,  These  Paper  Bullets! Martha  Hally,  Women  Without  Men
Constance  Hoffman,  Pericles William  Ivey  Long,  Shows  for  Days
Anita  Yavich,  The  Legend  of  Georgia  McBride

 Outstanding  Costume  Design  for  a  Musical 
Jane  Greenwood,  Bright  Star Katrina  Lindsay,  American  Psycho Jeff  Mahshie,  She  Loves  Me
Alejo  Vietti,  Allegiance
Ann  Roth, Shuffle  Along

Outstanding  Lighting  Design  for  a  Play 
Neil  Austin,  Hughie Mark  Barton,  John Bradley  King,  Empanada  Loca Tyler  Micoleau, Antlia  Pneumatica
Justin  Townsend,  The  Humans

Outstanding  Lighting  Design  for  a  Musical
 Jane  Cox,  The  Color  Purple
 Jake  DeGroot,  SeaWife
Ben  Stanton,  Spring  Awakening Justin  Townsend,  American  Psycho Jules  Fisher/Peggy  Eisenhauer,  Shuffle  Along

 Outstanding  Projection  Design   Nicholas  Hussong,  These  Paper  Bullets!
Darrel  Maloney,  Tappin’  Thru  Life Peter  Nigrini,  Dear  Evan  Hansen Finn  Ross,  American  Psycho
Tal  Yarden,  Lazarus

Outstanding  Sound  Design  in  a  Play
 Fitz  Patton,  An  Act  of  God
 Fitz  Patton,  The  Humans
 Miles  Polaski,  Fulfillment
Bray  Poor,  John Ryan  Rumery,  Empanada  Loca

Outstanding  Sound  Design  in  a  Musical 
Mick  Potter,  School  of  Rock
 Brian  Ronan,  Lazarus
Nevin  Steinberg,  Bright  Star
Dan  Moses  Schreier,  American  Psycho
Scott  Lehrer,  Shuffle  Along

Outstanding  Wig  and  Hair
David  Brian  Brown,  She  Loves  Me Jason  Hayes,  The  Legend  of  Georgia  McBride
Robert-Charles  Vallance,  Women  Without  Men
Charles  G.  LaPointe,  The  School  for  Scandal
 Mia  M.  Neal,  Shuffle  Along

Outstanding  Solo  Performance Simon  Callow,  Tuesdays  at  Tesco’s Kathleen  Chalfant,  Rose
James  Lecesne,  The  Absolute  Brightness  of  Leonard  Pelkey   Daphne  Rubin-Vega,  Empanada  Loca
 Jesse  Tyler  Ferguson,  Fully  Committed

Unique  Theatrical  Experience ADA/AVA,  Manual  Cinema/3LD/The  Tank/ Antigona  –  Soledad  Barrio/Noche  Flamenca
That  Physics  Show   The  Very  Hungry  Caterpillar  Show YOUARENOWHERE – 3LD/The Tank

Special  Awards
The  Humans  –  Special  Drama  Desk  Award  for  Outstanding  Ensemble Cassie  Beck,  Reed  Birney,  Jayne  Houdyshell,  Lauren  Klein,  Arian  Moayed,  and  Sarah  Steele  spend  a very  special  Thanksgiving  Day  together  in  Stephen  Karam’s  play,  reminding  us  that  home  is  indeed where The Humans are.

The  Royale  –  Special  Drama  Desk  Award  for  Outstanding  Ensemble The  heavyweight  cast  of  McKinley  Belcher  III,  Khris  Davis,  Montego  Glover,  John  Lavelle,  and  Clarke Peters  gels  as  a  unit  in  bringing  Marco  Ramirez’s  story,  inspired  by  Jack  Johnson,  to  unforgettable  life, offering a trenchant statement on racism in America.

Sheldon  Harnick  –  Special  Drama  Desk  Award New  productions  of  Fiddler  on  the  Roof,  Rothschild  and  Sons, and  She  Loves  Me  this  season  remind us that this veteran lyricist’s takes on faith, family and community are as resonant as ever. Camp Broadway  –  Special  Drama  Desk  Award For  more  than  20  years,  this  indispensable  organization  has  introduced  young  people  to  the  magic  of theater. Camp Broadway plays a crucial role in creating tomorrow’s audiences.

Danai  Gurira  –  Sam  Norkin  Award Whether  writing  about  women  in  wartime  Liberia  in  Eclipsed  or  about  an  affluent  immigrant  family  from Zimbabwe  struggling  with  assimilation  in  Familiar, Danai  Gurira  demonstrates  great  insight,  range,  and depth, bringing a fresh new voice to American theater.

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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 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. Her play "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

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

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

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

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 Episcopal Actors' Guild.

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.


All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


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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