Awards Season is Off and Running as Nominations Are Announced
By: Ellis Nassour
First out of the gate were the 30th Lucille Lortell Award nominations for Off Broadway [www.LortelAward.com], then came the 65th Outer Critics Circle [www.outercritics.org nominating committee has had their say about Off Broadway and Broadway – announced at the Friar’s Club by three-time Drama Desk winner and multiple Tony nominee Raúl Esparza and two-time Tony and DD winner Katie Finneran.
Not to be outdone, the 81st Drama League nominations were just announced [www.dramaleague.org] from Sardi’s by Tony and Drama Desk winners Cherry Jones and Denis O’Hare.
Today [Shakespeare’s 451st birthday] two-time Tony and Drama Desk winner Judith Light and Tony and Drama Desk winner Jesse Mueller will be announcing the 60th Drama Desk Award nominations [www.dramadesk.org] at 2 P.M. from 54 Below, streamed live on www.theatermania.com. Special honors and the recipient of the Sam Norkin Award will be announced at that time.
The 69th Tony Award nominations will be announced April 28th at 8:30 A.M. from the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe by Tony and DD, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winning Mary-Louise Parker, who’ll be starring in MTC’s Heisenberg beginning next month, and Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Bruce Willis, who’ll make his Broadway debut next season in the adaptation of the hit film Misery,based on the Stephen King novel. The Tony noms, sponsored by IBM, will be telecast live on CBS This Morning and in their entirety at NY1 and www.TonyAwards.com.
By the time of the Tony nominations, it will be clear who the frontrunners are. Often by the time of the Awards, there’s little suspence. This has been a banner season for Broadway musicals – probably the largest number in many seasons: An American in Paris, Dr. Zhivago, Finding Neverland, Fun Home, Honeymoon in Vegas, It Shoulda Been You, The Last Ship, Something Rotten, and The Visit. The revivals: Gigi, The King and I, On the Town, On the Twentieth Century, and Side Show.
Off Broadway, there’s Disenchanted, The Fortress of Solitude, the Pulitzer-winning From Riverside to Crazy, and, at the Public, Hamilton, which will open on Broadway in July and become a Tony contender next season; and revivals of Fashions for Men, Into the Woods, Tamburlaine the Great, andThe Wayside Motor Inn.
It’s also been an excellent season for straight plays [drama/comedy]: Airline Highway, The Audience, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Fish in the Dark, Hand to God, Living on Love, and Wolf Hall, Parts 1 and 2. And revivals of The Elephant Man, The Heidi Chronicles, It’s Only a Play, Skylight, and You Can’t Take It with You.
As a rule the Tonys don’t expand its categories – even in seasons when it’s warranted. The Drama Desk, which honors Broadway and Off, will sometimes expand a category by one.
The Lucille Lortel Awards, presented by the Off-Broadway League and benefitting the Actors Fund, are May 10 at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Emmy nom Jesse Tyler Ferguson (TV’s Modern Family) and Anna Chlumsky (Living on Love; TV’s Veep) co-host. Among honors presented will be a Lifetime Achievement Award to Terrence McNally; and the induction of composer Jeanine Tesori onto the Lortel Theatre’s Playwrights’ Sidewalk. Tickets begin at $75, with VIP packages available for $125. To purchase visit Skirball’s Shagan box office, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, www.nyuskirball.org, or call (888) 611-8183. For more info, visit the Lortel website.
The Drama League Awards will be held at the Marriott Marquis May 15 at noon. Honorees: Tony, and Oscar winner Joel Grey will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; WNET and Neal Shapiro and David Horn will receive the Unique Contribution to Theater Award; and Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier Award winner and Oscar nom Stephen Daldry will receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing. Tickets for the cocktail reception and awards presentation are $595. Ballroom table seating is $295 and $495 with some rear seats for $199. To purchase, call (212) 244-9494.
The OCC winners will be announced on May 11th with the awards dinner and
presentation to winners May 21st at Sardi’s.
The Drama Desk Awards, presented by TheaterMania.com, are May 31 at Town Hall, produced/managed by Joey Parnes Productions, with Tony and two-time Drama Desk winner Laura Benanti returning to host. Tickets are $59-$125 with VIP packages available that include the post-show reception.
Closing the season as a new one begins, the Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards, which are presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall June 7th, 2015 in a three-hour telecast on CBS. A host has yet to be announced. Some tickets to the public will become available on April 29. Check www.TonyAwards.com.