Hot Topic: 53rd Annual Drama Desk Nominees

Posted by: Staffon 2008/5/7 19:40:00 3771 reads 2008 Drama Desk Award Nominees

Nominations for the 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced at the New York Friars Club by Bebe Neuwirth and Len Cariou, multi-award winning stage, screen and television stars. They were joined for the announcement by William Wolf, Drama Desk President, Barbara Siegel, Chairperson of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee, Robert Blume, Executive Producer of the Drama Desk Awards, and Randie Levine-Miller, Director of Special Events for the Drama Desk...

In keeping with the Drama Desk's unique mission, the nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, off Broadway and off-off Broadway during the 2007/2008 season in the same competitive categories. Final deliberations took place at the Travel Inn, New York City.

The 2007/2008 Nominating Committee for the Drama Desk Awards is composed of: Barbara Siegel ( and, Chairperson; Dan Bacalzo (; Robert Cashill (New York Theater News and Live Design); Celia Ipiotis (Eye on the Arts);Gerard Raymond (Back Stage and The Advocate), and Richard Ridge (

Leading the slate of distinguished nominees is A Catered Affair with twelve nominations, followed by Adding Machine with nine, South Pacific and Young Frankenstein, each with eight, August: Osage County, Passing Strange, Sunday in the Park with George and The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, tied at seven, and Xanadu with six. (See complete list)

The 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards will be held Sunday, May 18, 2008, in the LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. The awards show will be webcast for the sixth year in a row by It will also be broadcast live on satellite radio’s XM – 28 On Broadway for the second consecutive year.

Drama Desk nominees will receive their official nomination certificates at a cocktail reception on Thursday, May 1, 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Arte Café, 106 West 73rd Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.

In the Heights, which was distinguished with multiple nominations and awards last season, was considered only for new elements in the current Broadway production. Glory Days did not commence performances before the Drama Desk cut-off date and it will therefore be eligible next season.

This year the nominators chose to bestow special ensemble awards for acting to the casts of two shows –The Dining Room off-Broadway and The Homecoming on Broadway. Therefore individual cast members for these shows were not eligible for acting awards in the competitive categories. The Drama Desk maintains its tradition of acknowledging excellence in the theater by announcing special awards to: Edward Albee, James Earl Jones, 59E59 Theaters and Playwrights Horizons.

This year the Nominating Committee recognized the creative use of digital technology and its integral part of theater artistry with a category for Outstanding Projection and Video Design.


The following awards were voted by the nominating committee and will be presented by the Drama Desk at its awards ceremony:

Outstanding Ensemble Performances:

The Dining Room
The Homecoming

Special Award:

Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater. For 2007/2008, these awards are:

* To Edward Albee in his 80th year, whose provocative plays, including this season's Peter and Jerry, enrich the American theater.

* To James Earl Jones, a commanding force on the stage for nearly half a century.

* To 59E59 Theaters whose imaginative curatorial vision has created a stimulating environment to nurture a diverse range of artists.

* To Playwrights Horizons for ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work.

Following are the nominations for the competitive categories. Winners will be selected by the voting membership of the Drama Desk:

Outstanding Play:
Alan Ayckbourn, Intimate Exchanges
Rinde Eckert, Horizon
Liz Flahive, From Up Here
Horton Foote, Dividing the Estate
Tracy Letts, August: Osage County
Tom Stoppard, Rock ’n’ Roll

Outstanding Musical:
A Catered Affair
Adding Machine
Passing Strange
The Glorious Ones
The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island

Outstanding Revival of a Play:
Happy Days
The Country Girl
The Dining Room
The Return of the Prodigal

Outstanding Revival of a Musical:
Black Nativity
South Pacific
Sunday in the Park with George
Take Me Along

Outstanding Revue:
Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening
Fugitive Songs
Make Me a Song

Outstanding Actor in a Play:
Bill Champion, Intimate Exchanges
Kevin Kline, Cyrano de Bergerac
Bill Pullman, Peter and Jerry
Mark Rylance, Boeing-Boeing
Tobias Segal, From Up Here
Rufus Sewell, Rock ’n’ Roll

Outstanding Actress in a Play:
Sinead Cusack, Rock ’n’ Roll
Deanna Dunagan, August: Osage County
Frances McDormand, The Country Girl
Amy Morton, August: Osage County
Fiona Shaw, Happy Days
Julie White, From Up Here

Outstanding Actor in a Musical:
Daniel Breaker, Passing Strange
André De Shields, Black Nativity
Daniel Evans, Sunday in the Park with George
Cheyenne Jackson, Xanadu
Matthew Morrison, 10 Million Miles
Paulo Szot, South Pacific

Outstanding Actress in a Musical:
Sierra Boggess, The Little Mermaid
Patti LuPone, Gypsy
Kelli O’Hara, South Pacific
Faith Prince, A Catered Affair
Alice Ripley, Next to Normal
Jenna Russell, Sunday in the Park with George

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play:
John Cullum, The Conscientious Objector
Conleth Hill, The Seafarer
Francis Jue, Yellow Face
Arian Moayed, Masked
Jeff Perry, August: Osage County
Michael T. Weiss, Scarcity

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play:
Elizabeth Ashley, Dividing the Estate
Johanna Day, Peter and Jerry
Zoe Kazan, 100 Saints You Should Know
Linda Lavin, The New Century
Rondi Reed, August: Osage County
Marisa Tomei, Top Girls

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical:
Danny Burstein, South Pacific
Christopher Fitzgerald, Young Frankenstein
Boyd Gaines, Gypsy
Shuler Hensley, Young Frankenstein
Bobby Steggert, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Tom Wopat, A Catered Affair

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical:
Laura Benanti, Gypsy
Leslie Kritzer, A Catered Affair
Andrea Martin, Young Frankenstein
Mary Testa, Xanadu
Amy Warren, Adding Machine
Mare Winningham, 10 Million Miles

Outstanding Director of a Play:
David Schweizer, Horizon
Anna D. Shapiro, August: Osage County
Leigh Silverman, From Up Here
Jonathan Silverstein, The Dining Room
Matthew Warchus, Boeing-Boeing
Deborah Warner, Happy Days

Outstanding Director of a Musical:
Christopher Ashley, Xanadu
Sam Buntrock, Sunday in the Park with George
David Cromer, Adding Machine
John Doyle, A Catered Affair
Bob McGrath, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Bartlett Sher, South Pacific

Outstanding Choreography:
Karole Armitage, Passing Strange
Rob Ashford, Cry-Baby The Musical
Shana Carroll and Gypsy Snider, Traces
Dan Knechtges, Xanadu
Peter Pucci, Queens Boulevard (the musical)
Susan Stroman, Young Frankenstein

Outstanding Music:
John Bucchino, A Catered Affair
Stephen Flaherty, The Glorious Ones
Tom Kitt, Next to Normal
Mark Mulcahy, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Joshua Schmidt, Adding Machine
Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Passing Strange

Outstanding Lyrics:
Lynn Ahrens, The Glorious Ones
Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein
John Bucchino, A Catered Affair
Ben Katchor, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt, Adding Machine
Stew, Passing Strange

Outstanding Book of a Musical:
Douglas Carter Beane, Xanadu
Harvey Fierstein, A Catered Affair
Ben Katchor, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt, Adding Machine
Stew, Passing Strange
Eric H. Weinberger, Wanda's World

Outstanding Orchestrations:
Doug Besterman, Young Frankenstein
Jason Carr, Sunday in the Park with George
Michael Starobin, The Glorious Ones
Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Passing Strange
Jonathan Tunick, A Catered Affair
Tim Weil, 10 Million Miles

Outstanding Set Design of a Play:
Beowulf Boritt, Spain
Scott Bradley, Eurydice
David Korins, Hunting and Gathering
Santo Loquasto, Trumpery
Scott Pask, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Clint Ramos, The Return of the Prodigal

Outstanding Set Design of a Musical:
David Gallo, A Catered Affair
Takeshi Kata, Adding Machine
Derek McLane, 10 Million Miles
George Tsypin, The Little Mermaid
Robin Wagner, Young Frankenstein
Michael Yeargan, South Pacific

Outstanding Costume Design:
Mara Blumenfeld, The Glorious Ones
Michael Bottari and Ronald Case, Jessica Jahn, Die Mommie Die!
Ann Hould-Ward, A Catered Affair
Ana Kuzmanic, August: Osage County
Katrina Lindsay, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
William Ivey Long, Young Frankenstein

Outstanding Lighting Design:
Kevin Adams, The 39 Steps
Ken Billington, Sunday in the Park with George
Maruti Evans, Slaughterhouse-Five
Donald Holder, South Pacific
Natasha Katz, The Little Mermaid
Keith Parham, Adding Machine

Outstanding Sound Design:
Adam Cork, Macbeth
Jorge Cousineau, Opus
Joseph Fosco, The Conversation
Scott Lehrer, South Pacific
Mic Pool, The 39 Steps
Tony Smolenski IV, Adding Machine

Outstanding Solo Performance:
Kris Andersson, Dixie's Tupperware Party
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
Stephen Lang, Beyond Glory
April Yvette Thompson, Liberty City

Outstanding Projection and Video Design:
Paul Barritt, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Timothy Bird and The Knifedge Creative Network, Sunday in the Park with George
Zachary Borovay, A Catered Affair
Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Lorna Heavey, Macbeth
Tal Yarden, The Misanthrope

Unique Theatrical Experience:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Cut to the Chase
The 39 Steps


A Catered Affair 12
Adding Machine 9
Young Frankenstein 8
South Pacific 8
August: Osage County 7
Passing Strange 7
Sunday in the Park with George 7
The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island 7
Xanadu 6
The Glorious Ones 5
10 Million Miles 4
From Up Here 4
Gypsy 4
Boeing-Boeing 3
Happy Days 3
Macbeth 3
Rock ’n’ Roll 3
The 39 Steps 3
The Dining Room 3
The Little Mermaid 3
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea 2
Black Nativity 2
Dividing the Estate 2
Horizon 2
Intimate Exchanges 2
Les Liaisons Dangereuses 2
Peter and Jerry 2
Next to Normal 2
The Country Girl 2
The Return of the Prodigal 2
Traces 2


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 organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition between Broadway, off Broadway and off-off Broadway productions in the same categories.

The organization hosts panels throughout the year, to which the public is invited, to promote understanding and appreciation of the professional theater. In addition to honoring creative artists and stage productions in multiple categories, the Drama Desk annually presents scholarships to two worthy seniors in the Drama Department of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts who are planning careers in the theater.

The Drama Desk Awards invites personal sketches from this year’s nominated performers and creative talent for its Art*Kive program, started eight years ago by Art*Kive creator Sarah Galvin. This annual program—unique to the Drama Desk Awards—invites the nominees to render a sketch that is relevant to the role or stage production that helped them achieve their nomination. The sketches will be displayed at the awards ceremony.

To find out more about the organization and this year’s awards show, visit