‘Ain’t Too Proud,’ ‘Oklahoma!’ Among 2019 Drama League Nominations

Article Image
Photo Source: Matthew Murphy

Oh, what a beautiful mornin’ it was for Broadway’s “Oklahoma!” revival and other New York theater productions nominated for 2019 Drama League Awards.

Announced today by “Waitress” co-stars Shoshana Bean and Jeremy Jordan from Sardi’s Restaurant, the Drama League Awards—the country’s oldest theater honors, established in 1922—recognize Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and Distinguished Performance.

Nominated alongside “Oklahoma!” are 21 other Broadway shows, including “The Ferryman,” “All My Sons,” “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” and “Kiss Me, Kate,” all eligible for this year’s upcoming Tony Awards. Also eligible for Drama League Awards are Off-Broadway productions, 17 of which received nominations. Among them are “Fairview” (the recent winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), “Boesman and Lena,” “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future,” and the current Yiddish-language revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

Countdown to the Tonys: Your Official 2019 NYC Theater Awards Calendar

In addition, 53 actors received Distinguished Performance Award nominations. Seven more, ineligible for this once-in-a-lifetime honor because they’ve won it before, were singled out for commendation: Stockard Channing (“Apologia”), Glenn Close (“Mother of the Maid”), Glenda Jackson (“King Lear”), Cherry Jones (“The Lifespan of a Fact”), Nathan Lane (“Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”), John Lithgow (“Hillary and Clinton”), and Stephen Rea (“Cyprus Avenue”).

Also acknowledged at today’s event were the recipients of the Drama League’s Special Recognition Awards. As previously announced, this year’s Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award will go to Kelli O’Hara (starring in “Kiss Me, Kate”), the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing to Alex Timbers (director of “Beetlejuice”), and the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award to Taylor Mac (author of “Gary”).

All the awards—voted on by a cross-section of the theater community that includes artists, audiences, and producers—will be presented during the 85th annual Drama League Awards ceremony May 17 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. For tickets to the event and a full list of nominees, visit dramaleague.org.

Check out Backstage’s theater audition listings!