The Coast of Utopia and Spring Awakening were the big winner at the 2006/2007 Drama Desk Awards winning Outstanding Play and Outstanding Musical respectively in an evening that featured many wins by our British colleagues.
British playwright, Tom Stoppard's epic trilogy of 19th century Russian intellectuals,The Coast of Utopia, stunningly produced by Lincoln Center took home 7 awards at the ceremony hosted by Broadway darling Kristin Chenoweth. Besides being named Outstanding Play the saga won for Director Jack O'Brien and Martha Plimpton, Featured Actress in a Play, as well as awards for Sets, Lighting, and Costumes.
The rock musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, Spring Awakening, a sexual coming of age tale based on 1891 German play about sexually anguished teenagers scored 4 wins. In addition to being named Outstanding Musical, the groundbreaking Broadway Musical scored wins for Director Michael Mayer as well as Music and Lyrics by Sheik and Sater.
Frank Langella and Eve Best were named Outstanding Actor and Actress respectively. Langella for his searing portrait of President Richard Nixon in the British import Frost/Nixon that will be made into a major motion picture with Langella reprising his Nixon. Making her Broadway debut the British Actress Eve Best charmed the critics and the voters with her remarkable performance as Josie in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten opposite Kevin Spacey, which also originated in London.
Another British import Journey's End, a harrowing account of war beautifully acted by the marvelous ensemble won three awards including Outstanding Revival of a Play , Outstanding Featured Actor award for Boyd Gaines, and Sound Design by Gregory Clarke.
The Outstanding Revival of a Musical went to the Sondheim classic Company and it's star Raul Esparza was named Outstanding Actor in a Musical. A big surprise came near the end of the evening when Audra McDonald's triumphant performance as Lizzie in a revival of 110 in the Shade tied with Donna Murphy in LoveMusik for outstanding actress in a Musical.
The 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards Show featured musical numbers by nominated shows and were televised live. The Awards Show will be broadcast as a two-hour special on NYC TV Channel 25 on Thursday, May 24 at 8:00 PM and Saturday, May 26 at 10:00 PM,as well as on Thirteen/WNET on Sunday, May 27, at 12:30 PM. The television special will also be broadcast on many PBS stations across the United States starting in June.
A complete list of the Winners follows.
2006/2007 DRAMA DESK AWARD WINNERS
Outstanding Play: The Coast of Utopia by Tom Stoppard
Outstanding Musical: Spring Awakening
Outstanding Revival of a Play: Journey’s End by R.C. Sherriff
Outstanding Revival of a Musical: Company by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth
Outstanding Actor in a Play: Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Outstanding Actress in a Play: Eve Best (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Raul Esparza (Company)
Outstanding Actress in a Musical: TIE Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade) and
Donna Murphy (LoveMusik)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Boyd Gaines (Journey’s End)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Debra Monk (Curtains)
Outstanding Director of a Play: Jack O’Brien (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Director of a Musical: Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening)
Outstanding Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights)
Outstanding Music: Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening)
Outstanding Lyrics: Steven Sater (Spring Awakening)
Outstanding Book of a Musical Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone (Curtains)
Outstanding Music for a Play Mark Bennett (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Orchestrations: TIE Mary Mitchell Campbell (Company) and
Jonathan Tunick (LoveMusik)
Outstanding Set Design of a Play: Bob Crowley and Scott Pask (The Coast of
Outstanding Set Design of a Musical: Bob Crowley (Mary Poppins)
Outstanding Costume Design: Catherine Zuber (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Lighting Design: Kenneth Posner, Brian MacDevitt, Natasha Katz
(The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Sound Design: Gregory Clarke (Journey’s End)
Outstanding Solo Performance: Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Unique Theatrical Experience: Edward Scissorhands
In addition, the following non-competitive awards were presented:
Outstanding Ensemble Performances: The cast of In The Heights
The cast of Lebensraum
To John Kander and Fred Ebb for 42 years of excellence in advancing the art of musical theater.
To Austin Pendleton – actor, director, playwright, teacher – A Renaissance man of the American theater.
To Transport Group for its breath of vision and its presentation of challenging production.
To National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene for preserving for 92 consecutive seasons the cultural legacy of Yiddish speaking theater of America.
Photography: Barry Gordin