Drama Desk voters spread the wealth at the organization's 62nd celebration of New York theater. Six separate productions won at least three Drama Desk Awards when the honors were bestowed Sunday, June 4, at Town Hall, produced by TheaterMania. The musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 won a quartet of trophies, three for its design elements and a Best Director nod for Rachel Chavkin, who tied for Outstanding Direction of a Musical with David Cromer. His staging of The Band's Visit was one of three Drama Desk salutations the Atlantic Theater Company musical garnered. Other works receiving triple acknowledgements included a pair of Manhattan Theatre Club revivals--August Wilson's Jitney and the Lillian Hellman classic Little Foxes, whose actresses Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon both won; the Drama Desk Award-winning musical revival Hello, Dolly!, which also took home two acting awards thanks to Bette Midler and Gavin Creel's performances; and Come from Away, whose Outstanding Musical award topped a memorable ceremony. Michael Urie hosted the show, written by Jonathan Tolins and directed by Mark Waldrop, with help from, among others, George Takei and about a score of actors who'd at some point stepped into Urie's shoes as the lead in Buyer & Cellar.
Other notable winners included J.T. Rogers whose historical epic Oslo at Lincoln Center Theater received the Outstanding Play award. If an award was conceived for Outstanding Presentation of an Award, it would have to go to Jane Kaczmarek for her pair of fake faints, the first swoon to a full prostrate position on the deck occuring when Kevin Kline hopped onstage to accept his Outstanding Actor in a Play trophy for his tour-de-farce in Present Laughter. Meanwhile, Andy Karl earned the accolade for Outstanding Musical Performance for Groundhog Day; and Jenn Collela received hers for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, gushing "This is awesome." Danny DeVito couldn't censor his reaction for winning for his turn in The Price. "Holy s*#@tballs," he exclaimed before accepting his Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play award.
The full list of nominees is below with the winners in bold with an asterisk.
THE 2017 DRAMA DESK AWARDS Outstanding PlayIf I Forget, by Steven Levenson, Roundabout Theatre CompanyIndecent, by Paula Vogel, Vineyard TheatreA Life, by Adam Bock, Playwrights Horizons*Oslo, by J. T. Rogers, Lincoln Center TheaterSweat, by Lynn Nottage, The Public Theater Outstanding MusicalAnastasiaThe Band's Visit, Atlantic Theater Company*Come From AwayHadestown, New York Theatre WorkshopThe Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical Outstanding Revival of a PlayThe Front PageThe Hairy Ape, Park Avenue Armory*Jitney, Manhattan Theatre ClubThe Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre Club "Master Harold"... and the Boys, Signature Theatre CompanyPicnic, Transport Group Theatre Company Outstanding Revival of a MusicalFalsettos, Lincoln Center Theater*Hello, Dolly!Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetSweet Charity, The New GroupTick, Tick...BOOM!, Keen Company Outstanding Actor in a PlayBobby Cannavale, The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue ArmoryDaniel Craig, Othello, New York Theatre Workshop*Kevin Kline, Present LaughterDavid Hyde Pierce, A Life, Playwrights HorizonsJohn Douglas Thompson, Jitney, Manhattan Theatre Club Outstanding Actress in a PlayCate Blanchett, The Present*Laura Linney, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre ClubLaurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love, Roundabout Theatre CompanyHarriet Walter, The Tempest, St. Ann's Warehouse Outstanding Actor in a MusicalNick Blaemire, Tick, Tick...BOOM!, Keen CompanyJon Jon Briones, Miss SaigonNick Cordero, A Bronx Tale*Andy Karl, Groundhog DayJeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Outstanding Actress in a MusicalChristy Altomare, AnastasiaChristine Ebersole, War PaintSutton Foster, Sweet Charity, The New GroupPatti LuPone, War Paint*Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!Laura Osnes, Bandstand Outstanding Featured Actor in a PlayMichael Aronov, Oslo, Lincoln Center Theater*Danny DeVito, The Price, Roundabout Theatre CompanyNathan Lane, The Front PageJeremy Shamos, If I Forget, Roundabout Theatre CompanyJustice Smith, Yen, MCC Theater Outstanding Featured Actress in a PlayJayne Houdyshell, A Doll's House, Part 2Randy Graff, The Babylon Line, Lincoln Center TheaterMarie Mullen, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, BAM*Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre ClubEmily Skinner, PicnicKate Walsh, If I Forget, Roundabout Theatre Company Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical*Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!Jeffry Denman, Kid Victory, Vineyard TheatreGeorge Salazar, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson MusicalAri'el Stachel, The Band's Visit, Atlantic Theater CompanyBrandon Uranowitz, Falsettos, Lincoln Center Theater Outstanding Featured Actress in a MusicalKate Baldwin. Hello, Dolly!Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos, Lincoln Center Theater*Jenn Colella, Come From AwayMary Beth Peil, AnastasiaNora Schell, Spamilton Outstanding Director of a PlayRichard Jones, The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue ArmoryAnne Kauffman, A Life, Playwrights HorizonsRichard Nelson, What Did You Expect?/Women of a Certain Age, The Public Theater*Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney, Manhattan Theatre ClubDaniel Sullivan, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre ClubDaniel Sullivan, If I Forget, Roundabout Theatre Company Outstanding Director of a MusicalChristopher Ashley, Come From AwayBill Buckhurst, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street*Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812*David Cromer, The Band's Visit, Atlantic Theater CompanyJerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly! Outstanding Choreography*Andy Blankenbuehler, BandstandWarren Carlyle, Hello, Dolly!Aletta Collins, The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue ArmoryKelly Devine, Come From AwayDenis Jones, Holiday Inn, Roundabout Theatre Company Outstanding MusicStephen Flaherty, Anastasia
Dave Malloy, Beardo, Pipeline Theatre CompanyRichard Oberacker, BandstandIrene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away*David Yazbek, The Band's Visit, Atlantic Theater Company Outstanding LyricsGerard Alessandrini, SpamiltonGQ and JQ, Othello: The RemixMichael Korie, War PaintIrene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away*David Yazbek, The Band's Visit, Atlantic Theater Company
Outstanding Book of a MusicalTerrence McNally, AnastasiaItamar Moses, The Band's Visit, Atlantic Theater CompanyRichard Oberacker and Rob Taylor, Bandstand*Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From AwayJoe Tracz, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical Outstanding OrchestrationsDoug Besterman, AnastasiaBruce Coughlin, War PaintBenjamin Cox, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street*Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, BandstandAugust Eriksmoen, Come From AwayJamshied Sharifi, The Band's Visit, Atlantic Theater Company
Outstanding Music in a PlayDaniel Ocanto, Graham Ulicny, and Sean Smith, Alligator, New Georges in collaboration with the Sol ProjectMarcus Shelby, Notes from the Field, Second Stage*Bill Sims Jr., Jitney, Manhattan Theatre Club
Outstanding RevueHello Dillie!, 59E59*Life is for Living: Conversations with Coward, 59E59 Outstanding Set Design for a PlayDavid Gallo, Jitney, Manhattan Theatre Club*Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes WrongLaura Jellinek, A Life, Playwrights HorizonsStewart Laing, The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue ArmoryDouglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page Outstanding Set Design for a MusicalLez Brotherston, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, St. Ann's WarehouseSimon Kenny, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street*Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!Jason Sherwood, The View UpStairs Outstanding Costume Design for a Play*Jane Greenwood, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre ClubSusan Hilferty, Present LaughterMurell Horton, The Liar, CSCToni-Leslie James, Jitney, Manhattan Theatre ClubStewart Laing, The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue ArmoryAnn Roth, The Front Page Outstanding Costume Design for a MusicalLinda Cho, AnastasiaToni-Leslie James, Come From AwaySanto Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!Anita Yavich, The View UpStairsPaloma Young, Bandstand*Catherine Zuber, War Paint Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play*Christopher Akerlind, Indecent, Vineyard TheatreJames Farncombe, The Tempest, St. Ann's WarehouseRick Fisher, The Judas Kiss, Brooklyn Academy of MusicMimi Jordan Sherin, The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue ArmoryStephen Strawbridge, "Master Harold"...and the Boys, Signature Theatre CompanyJustin Townsend, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre Club Outstanding Lighting Design for a MusicalJeff Croiter, BandstandMark Henderson, Sunset BoulevardBradley King, Hadestown, New York Theatre Workshop*Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812Amy Mae, Sweeney Todd: The Barber of Fleet StreetMalcolm Rippeth, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, St. Ann's Warehouse
Outstanding Projection DesignReid Farrington, CasablancaBox, HEREElaine McCarthy, Notes from the Field, Second StageJared Mezzocchi, Vietgone, Manhattan Theatre ClubJohn Narun, Gorey: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey, Life Jacket Theatre Company*Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia Outstanding Sound Design in a PlayMikhail Fiksel, A Life, Playwrights Horizons*Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, The EncounterBrian Quijada, Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Radio Drama NetworkLeon Rothenberg, Notes from the Field, Second StageJane Shaw, Men on Boats, Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb Outstanding Sound Design in a MusicalSimon Baker, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, St. Ann's WarehousePeter Hylenski, AnastasiaScott Lehrer, Hello, Dolly!*Nicholas Pope, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812Mick Potter, CatsBrian Ronan, War PaintMatt Stine, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Outstanding Wig and Hair*David Brian Brown, War PaintCampbell Young Associates, Hello, Dolly!J. Jared Janas, Yours Unfaithfully, Mint Theatre CompanyJason Hayes, The View UpStairsJosh Marquette, Present LaughterTom Watson, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre Club Outstanding Solo PerformanceNancy Anderson, The Pen (Inner Voices), Premieres*Ed Dixon, Georgie: My Adventures with George RoseMarin Ireland, On the Exhale, Roundabout UndergroundSarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date, Manhattan Theatre ClubBrian Quijada, Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Radio Drama NetworkAnna Deavere Smith, Notes from the Field, Second Stage Unique Theatrical ExperienceCasablancaBox, HEREThe Paper Hat Game, The Tank/3-Legged Dog*The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of ScotlandThe Ephemera Trilogy, The Tank Outstanding Fight ChoreographyJ. David Brimmer, Yen, MCC TheatreDonal O'Farrell, Quietly, Irish Repertory TheatreMichael Rossmy and Rick Sordelet, Troilus and Cressida, New York Shakespeare FestivalThomas Schall, Othello, New York Theatre WorkshopThomas Schall, The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue Armory*U. Jonathan Toppo, Sweat, The Public Theater Outstanding Adaptation*David Ives, The Liar, Classic Stage CompanyEllen McLaughlin, The Trojan Women, The Flea Theatre Outstanding Puppet Design*Basil Twist, Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryLyndie Wright, Sarah Wright, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, St. Ann's Warehouse
SPECIAL AWARDS: Outstanding EnsembleThe Wolves, The Playwrights Realm: The superbly talented cast of Sarah DeLappe's debut play -Mia Barron, Brenna Coates, Jenna Dioguardi, Samia Finnerty, Midori Francis, Lizzy Jutila, Sarah Mezzanotte, Tedra Millan, Lauren Patten, and Susannah Perkins-jelled as one, proving that team spirit is just a alive on the stage as it is on the soccer field. Special Award to Phil LaDuca: Proving that character comes from the ground up, the designer's innovative flexible dance shoe ensures that hoofers on any stage remain on point. Sam Norkin Award: Lila Neugebauer: During a season that saw her helm the original works The Antipodes, Everybody, Miles For Mary, and The Wolves, and resurrect the works of esteemed playwrights Edward Albee, Maria Irene Fornes, and Adrienne Kennedy in Signature Plays, director Lila Neugebauer has shown that her dauntless insight into the human condition knows no bounds.