The 60th Annual Drama Desk Awards
Charles Wright, Drama Desk President
Nominating Committee Chairperson, Barbara Siegel
The Town Hall
Executive Producer: TheaterMania and Gretchen Shugart
Co-Executive Producers: Robert R. Blume and David S. Stone
Assoc. Producers: John Issendorf and Renee McCurry
Produced by Joey Parnes Productions
Written by Bill Rosenfeld and Laura Benanti
Directed by Jack Cummings III
Press Representative: Keith Sherman & Associates
Scenic Designer: Sandra Goldmark
Sound Designer: Drew Levy
Music Director: Dan Lipton
Lighting Designer: Jen Schriever
Production Stage Manager: Joshua Halperin
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 31, 2015
(Read Reviews of Many of the 2014-2015 Nominated Shows)
(Click Here To See a List of 2015 Drama Desk Nominees and Winners)
(Click Here for a Video of the May 31, 2015 Awards Show)
The 2015 Drama Desk Awards were once again the culmination of a series of Spring Events, including the announcements of The Drama Desk nominations for 2014-2015, with Judith Light and Jessie Mueller on the podium, at 54 Below on April 23, 2015, and the Nominees Reception at New World Stages on May 6, 2015. Once again, guests filed directly into The Town Hall, saving celebrations for the Post-Show Party at the 8th Floor, Broadway Lounge in the New York Marriott Marquis at 1535 Broadway. Tonight’s entire 60th Annual Drama Desk Awards event was webcast, powered by Livestream - Click here to watch. The Host of the 60th Drama Desk Awards was Laura Benanti, who won a 2009 Drama Desk Award for her role in a revival of Gypsy, and who also hosted last season, with warmth and wit. Once again, Ms. Benanti was stunning and fashionable, adding one-liners to the award presenters' comments, and switching costumes during her breaks.
Tonight’s opening act was the young duo, Jake Lucas and Sydney Lucas, from the Broadway show, Fun Home. With dry humor, beyond their years, they crisply read the rules of the evening, addressing tonight's, soon-to-be winners of Drama Desk Awards. The Lucas siblings requested speedy dashes to the onstage podium, followed by streamlined, acceptance speeches. Charles Wright, Drama Desk President, graciously greeted the packed crowd and paid tribute to the tireless Nominating Committee and its Chair, Barbara Siegel. Numerous celebrities were seen in the audience, like Helen Mirren and Christian Borle, who also made their way to the stage for awards. There were musical performances, as well, from John and Jen ("Hold Down the Fort", sung by Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan), Pretty Filthy ("Beautiful", sung by Luba Mason), The Last Ship ("The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance", sung by Michael Esper and Colin Kelly-Sordelet), and It Shoulda Been You ("Jenny's Blues", sung by Lisa Howard). For the "In Memoriam" segment, "Come the Wild, Wild Weather" was sung by Judy Kuhn.
Each year, a Drama Desk Special Award is presented to an Outstanding Ensemble Performance, and this year's honors went to the ensemble of A.R. Gurney's The Wayside Motor Inn, with Mr. Gurney gratefully accepting his award. In addition, Special Awards are annually presented, “to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater”. The Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award was given to Bess Wohl, for a breakout year with American Hero, Pretty Filthy, and Small Mouth Sounds. Andy Blankenbuehler received a Special Award for "his inspired and heart-stopping choreography" in Hamilton. Ensemble Studio Theatre also won a Special Award for "its unwavering commitment to producing new works by American playwrights".
As for the 2015 Drama Desk Awards, in 29 different categories, Click here for nominees and winners. Outstanding Play went to Simon Stephens, for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Outstanding Revival of a Play to The Elephant Man, Outstanding Musical to Hamilton, Outstanding Revival of a Musical to The King and I, Outstanding Actor in a Play to Alex Sharp, for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Outstanding Actress in a Play to Helen Mirren, for The Audience, Outstanding Actor in a Musical to Robert Fairchild, for An American in Paris, and Outstanding Actress in a Musical to Kristin Chenoweth, for On the Twentieth Century. See reviews of most of the winning productions here.
Kudos to The Drama Desk, and kudos to all the organizers, the nominees, and, of course, the winners.