Philip Seymour Hoffman presented the award for Distinguished Play to "Other Desert Cities," Christian Borle presented the award for Distinguished Revival of a Play to "Death of a Salesman," Cynthia Nixon presented the award for Distinguished Production of a Musical to "Once," Kelli O’Hara presented the award for Distinguished Revival of a Musical to "Follies," and John Lithgow presented the award for Distinguished Performance to Audra McDonald ("Porgy and Bess").
In addition, Tony Award-winner Donna Murphy ("Wonderful Town") presented eight-time Academy Award-winning theater and movie composer Alan Menken (currently represented on Broadway by "Newsies") with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in recognition of his contribution to musical theater; Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein ("Hairspray") presented Rosie O’Donnell with the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award for her continuing efforts in promoting live theater; and Tony nominee Gavin Creel ("Hair") presented Tony nominee Diane Paulus with The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.
The Drama League Awards honor distinguished productions, performances, and exemplary career achievements in musical theater and directing. First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. The 2012 nominees were selected from over 170 productions.
Also at the ceremony, Knud Adams, Amy Claussen, Vesselin Dimov, Shana Gozansky, Jess Jung, Swaine Kaui, Jesse Jou, David Mendizábal, Cat Miller, Patrick Walsh, and Christopher Windom were introduced as the 2012 Fellows of The Drama League Directors Project.
Broadway stars Nina Arianda, Christian Borle, Norbert Leo Butz, Rosemary Harris, Jeremy Jordan, Christine Lahti, Linda Lavin, Norm Lewis, Judith Light, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, and Blair Underwood served as honorary co-chairs for the awards this year.
The complete list of 2011-12 Drama League Award winners is below:
DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
"Other Desert Cities"
DISTINGUISHED REVIVAL OF A PLAY
"Death of a Salesman"
DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
DISTINGUISHED REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE AWARD
Audra McDonald, "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL THEATRE
UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION TO THE THEATRE
FOUNDERS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN DIRECTING