‘Matilda’ Broadway show tops New York Drama Desk Awards

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The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway.
Eligibility and award category designations for the productions under consideration this season were determined by the Drama Desk board of directors with recommendations from the nominating committee. Because of the abundance of great work throughout the season, the board also authorized increasing the number of nominees allowed in select categories.

The Drama Desk was proud to announce the category of Outstanding Projection Design, a new award honoring the design and creation of projected images, video, and other visual media.

British musical Matilda has topped the Drama Desk awards with five prizes.

The Broadway show, based on Roald Dahl’s book, won outstanding musical, while Bertie Carvel took outstanding actor in a musical and Tim Minchin won for outstanding lyrics.

US critics gave it rave reviews when it transferred to Broadway in April from London’s West End.

Dennis Kelly won another award for Matilda for outstanding book of a musical.

The musical’s prize haul was rounded out by Rob Howell, the outstanding set design winner.

The West End production of Matilda broke records last year when it won seven Olivier Awards.

Revivals of Pippin, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? were also multiple winner

Pippin, a revival of a 1972 musical that tells the story of a young prince who joins a performance troupe, won four awards, while Cinderella and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf both won three apiece.

Outstanding play was won by Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang.

Tom Hanks missed out on the best actor prize for his Broadway debut in Nora Ephron’s play Lucky Guy. That award went to Tracy Letts in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Outstanding actor in a musical went to Billy Porter for Kinky Boots and the outstanding music award was won by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, for Here Lies Love, which follows the journey of Filipina first lady Imelda Marcos.

The Drama Desk Awards are voted for by theater critics, journalists, editors and publishers.

Outstanding Play
Annie Baker, The Flick
Christopher Durang, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike * (Winner)
Joe Gilford, Finks
Richard Greenberg, The Assembled Parties
Amy Herzog, Belleville
Deanna Jent, Falling
Richard Nelson, Sorry

Outstanding Musical
A Christmas Story: The Musical
Giant
Hands on a Hardbody
Here Lies Love
Matilda  *(Winner)
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Golden Boy
Good Person of Szechwan
The Piano Lesson
The Trip to Bountiful
Uncle Vanya

Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue
Passion
Pippin* (Winner)
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
The Golden Land
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Working: A Musical

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, Uncle Vanya
Daniel Everidge, Falling
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Shuler Hensley, The Whale
Nathan Lane, The Nance
Tracy Letts, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?* (Winner)

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Maria Dizzia, Belleville
Amy Morton, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Julia Murney, Falling
Vanessa Redgrave, The Revisionist
Miriam Silverman, Finks
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful* (Winner)

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Eric Anderson, Soul Doctor
Brian d’Arcy James, Giant
Jim Norton, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots* (Winner)
Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen
Ryan Silverman, Passion
Anthony Warlow, Annie

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, Giant
Stephanie J. Block, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Carolee Carmello, Scandalous
Lindsay Mendez, Dogfight
Donna Murphy, Into the Woods
Laura Osnes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella* (Winner)
Jenny Powers, Donnybrook!

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Chuck Cooper, The Piano Lesson
Peter Friedman, The Great God Pan
Richard Kind, The Big Knife* (Winner)
Aaron Clifton Moten, The Flick
Brían F. O’Byrne, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet
Tony Shalhoub, Golden Boy

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Tasha Lawrence, The Whale
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties* (Winner)
Kellie Overbey, Sleeping Rough
Maryann Plunkett, Sorry
Condola Rashad, The Trip to Bountiful
Laila Robins, Sorry

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Stephen Bogardus, Passion
John Bolton, A Christmas Story: The Musical
Keith Carradine, Hands on a Hardbody
Bertie Carvel, Matilda* (Winner)
John Dossett, Giant
Andy Karl, The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Annaleigh Ashford, Kinky Boots
Melissa Errico, Passion
Andrea Martin, Pippin* (Winner)
Jessie Mueller, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Christiane Noll, Chaplin: The Musical
Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody
Kate Wetherhead, The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Director of a Play
Lear Debessonet, Good Person of Szechwan
Sam Gold, Uncle Vanya
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Restoration Comedy
Pam MacKinnon, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?* (Winner)
Lynne Meadow, The Assembled Parties
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, The Piano Lesson

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
John Doyle, Passion
Diane Paulus, Pippin* (Winner)
Emma Rice, The Wild Bride
Alex Timbers, Here Lies Love
Matthew Warchus, Matilda

Outstanding Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical
Warren Carlyle, A Christmas Story: The Musical
Peter Darling, Matilda
Josh Rhodes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Sergio Trujillo, Hands on a Hardbody
Chet Walker and Gypsy Snider, Pippin* (Winner)

Outstanding Music
Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green, Hands on a Hardbody
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love* (Winner)
Michael John LaChiusa, Giant
Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, A Christmas Story: The Musical
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Lyrics
Amanda Green, Hands on a Hardbody
Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bring It On: The Musical
Michael John LaChiusa, Giant
Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Tim Minchin, Matilda* (Winner)
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Dennis Kelly, Matilda* (Winner)
Sybille Pearson, Giant
Joseph Robinette, A Christmas Story: The Musical
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen, The Other Josh Cohen
Jeff Whitty, Bring It On: The Musical
Doug Wright, Hands on a Hardbody

Outstanding Orchestrations
Trey Anastasio and Don Hart, Hands on a Hardbody
Larry Blank, A Christmas Story: The Musical
Bruce Coughlin, Giant
Larry Hochman, Chaplin: The Musical
Steve Margoshes, Soul Doctor
Danny Troob, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella* (Winner)

Outstanding Music in a Play
César Alvarez with The Lisps, Good Person of Szechwan
Jiří Kadeřábek, Mahir Cetiz, and Ana Milosavljevic, Act Before You Speak: The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Glen Kelly, The Nance* (Winner)
Eugene Ma, The Man Who Laughs
Steve Martin, As You Like It
Jane Wang, Strange Tales of Liaozhai

Outstanding Revue
Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!
Old Hats* (Winner)
Old Jews Telling Jokes

Outstanding Set Design
Rob Howell, Matilda* (Winner)
Mimi Lien, The Whale
Santo Loquasto, The Assembled Parties
Anna Louizos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Michael Yeargan, Golden Boy
David Zinn, The Flick

Outstanding Costume Design
Amy Clark and Martin Pakledinaz, Chaplin: The Musical
Dominique Lemieux, Pippin
William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella* (Winner)
Chris March, Chris March’s The Butt-Cracker Suite! A Trailer Park Ballet
Loren Shaw, Restoration Comedy
Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Outstanding Lighting Design
Ken Billington, Chaplin: The Musical
Jane Cox, Passion
Kenneth Posner, Pippin
Justin Townsend, Here Lies Love* (Winner)
Daniel Winters, The Man Who Laughs
Scott Zielinski, A Civil War Christmas

Outstanding Projection Design
Jon Driscoll, Chaplin: The Musical
Wendall K. Harrington, Old Hats
Peter Nigrini, Here Lies Love* (Winner)
Darrel Maloney, Checkers
Pedro Pires, Cirque du Soleil: Totem
Aaron Rhyne, Wild With Happy

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical (a three-way tie)
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Hands on a Hardbody* (Winner)
Scott Lehrer and Drew Levy, Chaplin: The Musical* (Winner)
Tony Meola, The Mystery of Edwin Drood* (Winner)
Brian Ronan, Bring It On: The Musical
Brian Ronan, Giant
Dan Moses Schreier, Passion

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Ien DeNio, The Pilo Family Circus
Steve Fontaine, Last Man Club
Christian Frederickson, Through the Yellow Hour
Lindsay Jones, Wild With Happy
Mel Mercier, The Testament of Mary* (Winner)
Fergus O’Hare, Macbeth

Outstanding Solo Performance
Joel de la Fuente, Hold These Truths
Kathryn Hunter, Kafka’s Monkey
Bette Midler, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers
Julian Sands, A Celebration of Harold Pinter
Holland Taylor, Ann
Michael Urie, Buyer & Cellar* (Winner)

Unique Theatrical Experience
Bello Mania
Chris March’s The Butt-Cracker Suite! A Trailer Park Ballet
Cirque Du Soleil: Totem* (Winner)
That Play: A Solo Macbeth
The Fazzino Ride
The Man Who Laughs

The following awards were previously voted by the Nominating Committee. They were presented at the awards ceremony:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
This year the nominators chose to bestow a special ensemble award to the cast of Working: A Musical. Marie-France Arcilla, Joe Cassidy, Donna Lynne Champlin, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Nehal Joshi and Kenita R. Miller “created a memorable ensemble of marvelously gifted singer-actors working together in pure artistic harmony.” Individual cast members receiving this award are ineligible for acting awards in the competitive categories.

Special Awards
Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater. For 2012-13, these awards are:

• To The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Executive Director and Producer: “For a decade of creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form.”
• To Wakka Wakka (Gabrielle Brechner, Kirjan Waage, and Gwendolyn Warnock): “For sophisticated puppet theater, as represented by this season’s SAGA, that explores with wit, imagination, and insight serious issues of our times.”
• To Jayne Houdyshell: “For her artistry as an exceptionally versatile and distinctive Broadway and Off-Broadway performer.”
• To Samuel D. Hunter: “His empathic and indelible The Whale affirms his arrival as a distinguished dramatist who depicts the human condition.”
To Maruti Evans, the Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award: “For his ingenious lighting designs, reflecting an exquisite and bold theatrical aesthetic. This season’s The Pilo Family Circus and Tiny Dynamite confirm his incandescent creativity.” (Recipient of the Sam Norkin Award receives a $1,000 honorarium, a gift from Mrs. Francie Norkin.)

Eligibility and award category designations for the productions under consideration this season were determined by the Drama Desk Board of Directors with recommendations from the Nominating Committee. Because of the abundance of work throughout the season, the Board also authorized increasing the number of nominees allowed in select categories.

The president of Drama Desk is Isa Goldberg. Randie Levine Miller is director of special events.

The 2012-13 Drama Desk Nominating Committee comprised Barbara Siegel, Chairperson (TalkinBroadway.com and freelance); David Kaufman (author and freelance), Samuel L. Leiter (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center), Martha Wade Steketee (urbanexcavations.com; editor and contributor, Chance Magazine), Adrian Wattenmaker (Theater Faculty, Brooklyn College; Director, School of Creative and Performing Arts) and James Wilson (Professor of Theatre, CUNY; co-editor of Journal of American Drama and Theatre).

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