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The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards Gala, at The Hammerstein, in a Trio of Events
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The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards Gala, at The Hammerstein, in a Trio of Events

- Backstage with the Playwrights: Special Events


The New Yorker Hotel
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Robert R. Blume & StepForward Entertainment Group, Ltd.
In Association with
Renée McCurry, TheaterMania.com, & David S. Stone
Present:

The 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards Gala
(Drama Desk Website)

Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk President

At
The Hammerstein
Manhattan Center
(The Hammerstein Web Page)

Hosted by
Harvey Fierstein

Television Special produced by Heflin Filmworks for Ovation
www.ovationtv.com

Executive Producer: Robert R. Blume
Set Designer: Jeremy C. Doucette
Lighting Designer: Al Crawford
Sound Designer: Carl Casella & Christopher Cronin
Musical Director: Ozzie Melendez
Gala Producer: Christopher Raphael
Press: L.S. Communications
Springer Associates
Consulting Producer: Lauren Class Schneider
Line Producer: Rich Bittner
Assoc. Director: Richard J. Hinds
Drama Desk President: Isa Goldberg
Drama Desk Special Events Director:
Randie Levine-Miller
Production Manager: Peter H. Smith
Assoc. Producers: Les Schecter, Joseph Callari
Director: Jeff Kalpak


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 23, 2011


(Read Reviews of Many of the 2010-2011 Nominated Shows)

(See the 2010, 55th Annual Drama Desk Awards Review)

(See the April 29, 2011 Friars Club Reception and Nominee Announcements)

(See the May 2, 2011 Pre-Awards, Nominees Reception at Bombay Palace)

(Click Here To See a List of All 2011 Drama Desk Winners)


Robert R. Blume, Producer, Isa Goldberg, new Drama Desk President, and the entire Annual Awards team, again presented a richly entertaining evening with renowned guests and speakers. The evening began right in the lobby of The Hammerstein at the Manhattan Center, where nominees and guests were greeted with a special red carpet. This event was streamed live by Ovation TV. At the Pre-Party, wine was served, courtesy of Lubov Galleries, Inc., as well as passed hors d’oeuvres. This was a black tie event, and it was quite exciting to see the Gala dinner tables set with florals, Godiva chocolate boxes, and Pol Roger champagne. Guests even walked out with generous gift bags with CD’s, tank tops, and an Equinox pass.

On April 29, 2011, at 8:45 AM, nominations for the 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards had been announced at the Friars Club by Liev Schreiber and Audra McDonald, who both won Drama Desk Awards in the past. Tonight’s event was expansive, grand, and a class act. Victoria Clark, actress and nominee for her role in Sister Act, introduced Harvey Fierstein, the Gala Host. As always, Mr. Fierstein had them laughing “in the aisles”, although tables were so tight that slim space existed. With Ovation TV filming this event, tables were sold out early. Also greeting the press and Gala guests were Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk President, Barbara Siegel, Chairperson of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee, and Robert R. Blume, Executive Producer of the Drama Desk Awards events. On May 2, the 2010-2011 Nominees received their Nomination Certificates at Bombay Palace, in a bi-level, media-blitz Reception, with taped videos for the Ovation programming. Click links above this article to see Photo-Essays of both the Friars Club and Bombay Palace Pre-Award Receptions.

The 2010/2011 Nominating Committee for the Drama Desk Awards included: Barbara Siegel Chairperson, “TalkinBroadway.com”, “Theatermania.com”; Jason Clark, “Slant Magazine”, “TheaterOnline.com”; Anita Gates, freelance, “The New York Times”; Lawrence Harbison Senior Editor & Columnist, “Smith & Kraus, Inc”; Gerard Raymond, freelance, “Back Stage”; Richard Ridge, “Broadway Beat TV”; Douglas Strassler, “OffOffOnline.com”, “Show Business Magazine”.(Courtesy Drama Desk Press).

Harvey Fierstein exudes stage presence, personality, and wit. When Brian Bedford made the longest acceptance speech in history, Mr. Fierstein made it a running gag. Joining Mr. Fierstein, presenting solo and ensemble awards, were Broadway stars, like Daniel Radcliffe, Annabella Sciorra, David Hyde Pierce, Marsha Mason, Colin Quinn, Katie Holmes, and Tom Wopat. The Drama Desk Awards, founded in 1949, presented its first awards in 1955. They support ongoing theatrical development and are the only critics’ awards that compete Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway shows in the same categories. Isa Goldberg was exuberant, as she introduced herself and this first televised event to the crowd. Live performances from nominated shows were especially exciting, such as Laura Benanti in “Model Behavior”, from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the cast of Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway, performing “Help”, and the cast of The Kid, performing “Her Name is Melissa”.

Highlights of the Awards presentations follow. (Click Here To See a List of All 2011 Drama Desk Winners)

Winning five Drama Desk Awards each were The Book of Mormon and Anything Goes, one a new musical and one a revival. The Normal Heart and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a new play and a revival, each won two awards. Outstanding Play and Outstanding Musical were War Horse by Nick Stafford and The Book of Mormon, by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. The Normal Heart won Outstanding Play, while Anything Goes won Outstanding Musical Revival.

Frances McDormand won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play, in Good People, while Bobby Cannavale won Outstanding Lead Actor, in The Motherf**ker With the Hat. In the Musicals, Norbert Leo Butz won Outstanding Lead Actor for Catch Me If You Can, while Sutton Foster won Outstanding Lead Actress for Anything Goes. Both Ms. Foster and Mr. Cannavale paid tribute to each other, as they expressed love and admiration, with a personal touch. When Brian Bedford won an Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play award, for his role in The Importance of Being Earnest, he almost got the hook to leave the stage, while Edie Falco, who won the same award for actress, for her role in The House of Blue Leaves, didn’t even come to the event.

However, John Larroquette, who won Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, became quite emotional, and Laura Benanti, who won the same award for actress, for her role in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, danced all the way to the stage, in a seeming breathless evocation of her award-winning role.
The After-Party, mobbed with enthusiastic revelers, followed in an upstairs ballroom, with no travel required. Kudos to all the nominees and winners, and kudos to the entire 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards team.



David Lindsay-Abaire, Playwright,
Good People, at the
56th Annual Drama Desk Awards
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Victoria Clark Greets the
Drama Desk Awards Guests
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Harvey Fierstein, Host, Greets the
Drama Desk Awards Guests
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Robert Lopez, Composer, Lyricist,
The Book of Mormon
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Kathleen Marshall, Director, Choreographer,
Anything Goes
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Sutton Foster, Actress,
Anything Goes
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



56th Annual Drama Desk Awards
Guests Fill Hammerstein Ballroom
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Joel Grey, Director, The Normal Heart
and Actor, Anything Goes,
with Kathleen Marshall
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Performers of Rain:
A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Leguizamo, Actor, Writer,
Ghetto Klown
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Brian Bedford, Actor,
The Importance of Being Earnest
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Sutton Foster, Actress,
Anything Goes
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Laura Osnes, Actress,
Anything Goes, and Guest
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Andrew Rannells, Actor,
The Book of Mormon
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Drama Desk After-Party Guest
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Laura Benanti, Actress,
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV,
and Drama Desk After-Party Guests
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Valy, Artist, and After-Party Guests
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk President, and
Charles Wright, Drama Desk Treasurer and 2nd VP
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Princess Rivera and Friends at the After-Party
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Les Schecter, Drama Desk Awards PR,
and Guest at the After-Party
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Joe Trentacosta, Springer Associates,
Drama Desk Awards Press Assoc.
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Joseph Callari, Drama Desk Awards Assoc. Producer,
and Guest at the After-Party
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower





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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net