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'Billy' Dances Atop the Drama Desk

'Billy' Dances Atop the Drama Desk
Billy Elliot totally trounced 9 to 5 at the Drama Desk Awards, winning in every category for which it was eligible, including best musical for a total of ten prizes.

The awards, presented by the Drama Desk, an organization of New York-based critics, reviewers, and editors, cover Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway in all of its multiple categories and were presented May 17 at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art in Manhattan. 9 to 5, which had received 15 nominations, the most of any show in Drama Desk history, only won one citation—outstanding performance by an actress in a musical, for Allison Janney.

Ruined, currently extended Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre, won outstanding play. Lynn Nottage's play about women surviving a civil war in the Congo has already won the Pulitzer Prize, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle awards. The Norman Conquests was named outstanding revival of a play, and its director Matthew Warchus was hailed as top dramatic helmer. The six-member cast won a special award for ensemble performance, as did the cast of The Cripple of Inishmaan, presented by Atlantic Theater Company, which also won a special award. Special awards were also presented to Liza Minnelli (Liza's at the Palace), Forbidden Broadway, and TADA! Youth Theatre.

Hair won for outstanding musical revival and Angela Lansbury won as outstanding featured actress in a play for her comic turn as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit.

A complete list of winners follows:  

Play: Ruined by Lynn Nottage

Musical: Billy Elliot: The Musical

Revival of a Play: The Norman Conquests

Revival of a Musical: Hair

Music in a Play: Dominic Kanza (Ruined)

Actor in a Play: Geoffrey Rush (Exit the King)

Actress in a Play: Janet McTeer (Mary Stuart)

Actor in a Musical: Brian d'Arcy James (Shrek The Musical)

Actress in a Musical: Allison Janney (9 to 5)

Featured Actor in a Play: Pablo Schreiber (Reasons to Be Pretty) off Broadway

Featured Actress in a Play: Angela Lansbury (Blithe Spirit)

Featured Actor in a Musical: Gregory Jbara (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Featured Actress in a Musical: Haydn Gwynne (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Director of a Play: Matthew Warchus (The Norman Conquests)

Director of a Musical: Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Choreography: Peter Darling (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Music: Elton John (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim (Road Show)

Book of a Musical: Lee Hall (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Orchestrations: Martin Koch (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Set Design of a Play: David Korins (Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them)

Set Design of a Musical: Tim Hatley (Shrek The Musical)

Costume Design: Tim Hatley (Shrek The Musical)

Lighting Design in a Play: David Hersey (Equus)

Sound Design: Paul Arditti (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Solo Performance: Lorenzo Pisoni (Humor Abuse)

Lighting Design in a Musical: Rick Fisher (Billy Elliot: The Musical)

Unique Theatrical Experience: Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words

Ensemble Performances: The cast of The Norman Conquests

The cast of The Cripple of Inishmaan

Special Awards: Liza Minnelli; Atlantic Theatre Company; Forbidden Broadway; TADA! Youth Theatre

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