The Drama Desk Award winners were announced yesterday, and a wide variety of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and performers were honored. While the Tonys, which exclusively honor excellence in Broadway theater, are the best known theater awards, the Drama Desk Awards recognize a broader range of shows, considering excellence in all New York City theater, from Broadway to small Off-Off-Broadway productions.
The well-reviewed British musical Matilda did well, taking Drama Desks for Outstanding Musical, Featured Actor (Bertie Carvel), Set Design (Rob Howell), Book (Dennis Kelly), and Lyrics (Tim Minchin). The Broadway revival of Pippin also scored big, earning Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Director (Diane Paulus), Featured Actress (Andrea Martin), and Choreography (Chet Walker and Gypsy Snider). Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which won Outstanding Play, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which won Outstanding Revival of a Play, also enjoyed plenty of recognition.
Here Lies Love was the biggest winner among the Off-Broadway shows, earning Outstanding Music, Lighting, and Projection Design awards. Michael Urie in Buyer & Cellar won for Outstanding Solo Performance, and Old Hats (starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner) received the Outstanding Revue award.
The Tony nominations were announced this morning, and the new musical Kinky Boots came out ahead of the pack with 13 nods, including Best Musical, Direction, Choreography, Original Score, Book, and, of course, Best Costumes. Close behind was the rave-reviewed British musical Matilda, with 12 nominations.
The Broadway revival with the most Tony Award nominations was the Stephen Schwartz musical Pippin, which earned 10 noms. With 8 nominations, Golden Boy was the play revival that fared the best. Lucky Guy had the most nominations (6) of any new play, and star Tom Hanks earned a nod for Actor in a Leading Role.
The Tony nominees will battle it out on June 9 when the Tony Award ceremony takes place. The awards will take place at Radio City Music Hall and will be aired in a three-hour broadcast on CBS.
This past week the Tony Awards Administration Committee came together to determine various eligibility issues concerning shows from this Broadway season. One of the most anxiously awaited rulings was whether or not the four young performers who alternate in the title role of the musical Matilda will be eligible to share a Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical nomination. But though Billy Elliot had set a similar precedent when its three stars were nominated (and won), the committee decided not to allow Matilda‘s Milly Shapiro, Oona Laurence, Sophia Gennusa, and Bailey Ryon eligibility in the Best Actress category. Instead, the quartet will be given Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre because the committee felt that the young ladies deserved recognition for their “outstanding performances”. This makes the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) – Who developed the show – and Dodger Properties (The Producer of the show on Broadway) very happy as they can take this four-way Tony accolade all the way to the bank by squeezing the marketing juice out of this guaranteed honor pre and post Tony’s, making it unlike any other Tony award given this year.
Other decisions made by the committee included declaring Orphans eligible for Best Revival of a Play (even though it didn’t previously appear on Broadway), disallowing the Motown score award eligibility, and deciding that neither Manilow on Broadway nor The Rascals will be eligible for nomination. Most of the other decisions involved whether certain performers would be eligible in Leading or Featured acting nominations.
The forthcoming Matilda the Musical has finally found the young ladies who will play the role of the title character — all four of them. Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, and Milly Shapiro are the talented performers who will alternate in the part of the musical’s bright young heroine. Each of the actresses is making her Broadway debut.
Already a big, award-winning hit in London, Matilda the Musical comes to Broadway’s Shubert Theatre this spring. The show will begin its preview performance period on March 4, 2013, with its official Broadway opening set for April 11. The pint-sized performers will be joined onstage by Bertie Carvel, the Olivier Award-winning actor who is going to reprise the role of Miss Trunchbull, which won him so much acclaim in London.
Matilda the Musical has a score by Tim Minchin and a book by Dennis Kelly. Tony winner Matthew Warchus directs the production.