‘Carousel’ Busts Out With 12 Drama Desk Award Nominations

Photo Source: “Carousel”: Julieta Cervantes

The theater award season is officially in full swing. Broadway regulars and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” stars Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess honored the best of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway as they announced the nominations for the 63rd Drama Desk Awards April 26 at Feinstein’s/54 Below.

Spinning circles around other productions, the Broadway musical revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” led with the most recognition. The 12 nominations included cast members Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, Alexander Gemignani, and Lindsay Mendez, as well as for “Outstanding Revival of a Musical.” New Broadway musical “SpongeBob SquarePants” soaked up 11 nominations and “Mean Girls” fetched 10. (Only new elements of the Broadway iteration of “The Band’s Visit” were considered eligible, as it was nominated last season.)

Of the 2017–18 season’s plays, the West End transfers of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “People Places & Things,” and “Angels in America,” plus the revival of Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women,” netted the most nominations in the play categories. Unlike last year, all 27 nominated productions were recognized in at least two categories.

The Drama Desk Awards often set a precedent for theater’s biggest prize, the Tony Awards. Last year’s winner for Outstanding Play, “Oslo,” went on to win in its corresponding category at the 71st Tonys ceremony. The same went for musical revival “Hello, Dolly!,” and its star Gavin Creel, and “Present Laughter” star Kevin Kline. “Come From Away” won the Drama Desk for Outstanding Musical in 2017, but the top Tony went to “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Sean Carvajal and Edi Gathegi of Signature Theater’s “Jesus Hopped the A Train” ­­will be presented with a special award for their last-minute entrances into the production. “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” will also be recognized for its ensemble. And the Drama Desk’s Sam Norkin Award will go to performer Juan Castano.

For the third year running, Drama Desk winner Michael Urie will host the awards ceremony June 3 at Town Hall, presented with TheaterMania. Founded in 1949, the organization is made up of media professionals covering theater in New York City. Members nominate and vote for the winners. The nominating committee saw approximately 280 productions all around the city this season, according to Drama Desk president Charles Wright

For the full list of Drama Desk Award nominations, click here. For more on Backstage’s coverage of Tony Awards season, click here. Congratulations to all this year’s honorees!

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