Gordin's View

The Drama League Awards

Brian Cranston Awarded Distinguished Performance of the year and Hadestown named Outstanding Musical.

May 18, 2019:  The Drama League announced the winners of the 85th Annual Drama League Awards at a star-studded luncheon ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Bryan Cranston was awarded the Distinguished Performance of the Year, an honor that can only be received once in a lifetime.  The other winners announced at the ceremony were: Outstanding Production of a Musical, Hadestown; Outstanding Production of a Play, The Ferryman; Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Kiss Me, Kate; and Outstanding Revival of a Play, The Waverly Gallery.

Bryan Cranston

Brian Cranston Awarded Distinguished Performance of the year and Hadestown named Outstanding Musical.

May 18, 2019:  The Drama League announced the winners of the 85th Annual Drama League Awards at a star-studded luncheon ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Bryan Cranston was awarded the Distinguished Performance of the Year, an honor that can only be received once in a lifetime.  The other winners announced at the ceremony were: Outstanding Production of a Musical, Hadestown; Outstanding Production of a Play, The Ferryman; Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Kiss Me, Kate; and Outstanding Revival of a Play, The Waverly Gallery.

Hadestown cast and creative team

The festivities, hosted by Kristine Nielsen and Julie White now starring on Broadway in Gary, also celebrated the 2019 Special Awards Recipients. They were Tony® Award winning actress and singer Kelli O’Hara, currently starring in Kiss Me, Kate on Broadway, who received the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; two-time Tony® Award nominated director Alex Timbers, of  Beetlejuice and the upcoming Moulin Rouge on Broadway, received the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing; and MacArthur Genius Grant-winning playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer Taylor Mac, writer of this season’s Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus on Broadway, received the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award.

Kelli O’Hara
Taylor Mac

During the ceremony, legendary writer Kenneth Lonergan and Director Lila Neugebauer introduced the 2019 Directing Fellows of The Drama League Directors Project: NJ Agwuna, Sharifa Elkady, Raz Golden, Chika Ike, Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly, Ismael Lara, Jr., Amanda McRaven, Lindsey Hope Pearlman, Ben Randle, Tai Thompson, Gabriel Torres, and Sophia Watt.

The 85th Annual Drama League Awards is sponsored by MAC Cosmetics, Official Make-up Partner of The Drama League. The Drama League acknowledges with great appreciation its sponsor Art Lab LLC. The Drama League Awards Event Chair is Bonnie Comley.

Stan Ponte, Bonnie Comley

First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. The Drama League Awards recognize distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements. The first Drama League Award was presented to Katharine Cornell in 1935; since then, the Distinguished Performance Award has been accorded to a roster of theatre legends such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chita Rivera, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Liev Schreiber, Sir John Gielgud, Harvey Fierstein, Cherry Jones, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Helen Hayes, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, and Christopher Plummer.

Alex Timbers

Photography: Barry Gordin

Alex Timbers with Moulin Rouge! Cast and Creative Team
André De Shields
Robert Horn
John Behlmann
Ali Stroker
Ephraim Sykes
Be More Chill Cast and Creative
Bonnie Milligan
Laurie Metcalf
George Salazar
Jessica Frances Dukes
Sophia Anne Caruso
Sarah Stiles 
Stephanie J. Block
Santino Fontana
BD Wong
Michael Urie
Richie Jackson, Jordan Roth
Annette Bening
Beth Leavel
Celia Keenan-Bolger
John Lithgow
Leslie Kritzer
Denis Jones
Caitlin Kinnunen
David Neumann
Quincy Tyler Bernstine
Rachel Hauck
Michael Stuhlbarg
Christopher Sieber
Angie Schworer
Jeff Daniels
Gbenga Akinnagbe, Celia Keenan- Bolger, Gideon Glick
Stacey Sargeant
Marin Ireland
Ruth Wilson
Heidi Schreck
Amber Gray
Tracey Letts
Joel Grey with Members of the Fiddler on the Roof Cast and Creative Team
Beeetlejuice – Cast and Creative Team
Santino Fontana, Lilli Cooper, David Yazbek
Joe Iconis, Lauren Marcus
Jeremy Kushnier
Brandon Uranowitz
Zainab Jah
Lynn Nottage, Jessica Frances Dukes, Kamilah Forbes
Sergio Trujillo, Derrick Baskin, Dominique Morisseau, Jeremy Pope, Jawan M. Jackson
Jana Robbins, Joel Grey, Hal Luftig
Stephanie Hsu
Brooks Ashmanskas
Anais Mitchell
Aaron Sordin
Jermey Pope
Julie White, Kristine Nielson
Andre deShields