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'Follies' and 'Death Takes a Holiday' Top Drama Desk Nominations

'Follies' and 'Death Takes a Holiday' Top Drama Desk Nominations
Photo Source: Joan Marcus
"Follies" and "Death Takes a Holiday" received the most nominations for the 57th annual Drama Desk Awards, which were announced by Broadway stars Donna Murphy and Brian d'Arcy James at a press conference at Feinstein's at Loews Regency on Friday. Both performers are previous Drama Desk winners. Murphy will be featured in a revival of "Into the Woods" at the Delacorte Theatre this summer and d'Arcy James is currently starring on NBC's "Smash."

Unlike the Tony Awards, the Drama Desks consider productions from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway equally in each of its multiple categories. "Follies," the hit revival of the 1971 Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical about a reunion of showgirls which will soon open in Los Angeles, and "Death Takes a Holiday," a Roundabout Theatre Company production which played Off-Broadway last summer, received 10 nominations each.

The Drama Desk is an organization of New York-based theater writers, critics, and editors. The Drama Desk board, which makes eligibility decisions for the awards, authorized the increase in the number of nominees from a maximum of six to seven in certain categories. The board also decided that music and lyrics from another media and which are appearing on Broadway or Off Broadway for the first time are eligible. This ruling applied to the score of "Once," which was heard in the film version. Some of the songs in "Newsies The Musical" were in the movie, but most of the tunes were written for the stage version. "Other Desert Cities," "Peter and the Starcatcher," "Clybourne Park," and "Venus in Fur" were considered in earlier seasons for their Off-Broadway productions, but new elements in their transfers to Broadway were eligible this season. These include the performances of Judith Light in "Other Desert Cities" and Hugh Dancy in "Venus in Fur."

The nominations were chosen by the Drama Desk nominating committee which was composed of chairman Barbara Siegel (,; Suzanna Bowling (Times Square Chronicles); Lawrence Harbinson (Smith and Kraus, Inc.); Mark Peikert (Back Stage); Richard Ridge (Broadway Beat TV/; and Frank Verlizzo (Fraver Design).

The awards will be voted on by the general membership and will be presented on June 3 in a ceremony at Manhattan's Town Hall. A complete list of nominations and special awards is below.

Outstanding Play
David Henry Hwang, "Chinglish"
Dan LeFranc, "The Big Meal"
Members of the Plastic Theatre, "Unnatural Acts"
Itamar Moses, "Completeness"
Lynn Nottage, "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark"
Nina Raine, "Tribes"
Nicky Silver, "The Lyons"

Outstanding Musical
"Bonnie & Clyde"
"Death Takes a Holiday"
"Leap of Faith"
"Newsies The Musical"
"Nice Work If You Can Get It"
"Queen of the Mist"

Outstanding Revival of a Play
"A Little Journey"
"Death of a Salesman"
"Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque"
"Gore Vidal's The Best Man"
"Lost in Yonkers"
"Richard III"

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
"Jesus Christ Superstar"
"The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
"The Threepenny Opera"

Outstanding Actor in a Play
James Corden, "One Man, Two Guvnors"
Hugh Dancy, "Venus in Fur"
Claybourne Elder, "One Arm"
Santino Fontana, "Sons of the Prophet"
Joseph Franchini, "The Navigator"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Death of a Salesman"
Kevin Spacey, "Richard III"

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Tracie Bennett, "End of the Rainbow"
Sanaa Lathan, "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark"
Linda Lavin, "The Lyons"
Jennifer Lim, "Chinglish"
Kim Martin-Cotten, "A Moon for the Misbegotten"
Carey Mulligan, "Through a Glass Darkly"
Joely Richardson, "Side Effects"

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Danny Burstein, "Follies"
Kevin Earley, "Death Takes a Holiday"
Raul Esparza, "Leap of Faith"
Jeremy Jordan, "Newsies The Musical"
Norm Lewis, "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
Ricky Martin, "Evita"

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Miche Braden, "The DeviI's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith"
Jan Maxwell, "Follies"
Audra McDonald, "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
Kelli O'Hara, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Bernadette Peters, "Follies"
Molly Ranson, "Carrie"

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Bill Camp, "Death of a Salesman"
Jim Dale, "The Road to Mecca"
Tom Edden, "One Man, Two Guvnors"
Bill Irwin, "King Lear"
Jefferson Mays, "Blood and Gifts"
Will Rogers, "Unnatural Acts"
Morgan Spector, "Russian Transport"

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Stephanie J. Block, "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark"
Anna Camp, "All New People"
Kimberly Hebert Gregory, "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark"
Lisa Joyce, "The Ugly One"
Joaquina Kalukango, "Hurt Village"
Angela Lansbury, "Gore Vidal's The Best Man"
Judith Light, "Other Desert Cities"

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Phillip Boykin, "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
Matt Cavenaugh, "Death Takes a Holiday"
Michael Cerveris, "Evita"
Michael McGrath, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Patrick Page, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark"
Andrew Samonsky, "Queen of the Mist"

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Judy Kaye, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Marin Mazzie, "Carrie"
Jessie Mueller, "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever"
Elaine Paige, "Follies"
Sarah Sokolovic, "The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World"
Melissa van der Schyff, "Bonnie & Clyde"

Outstanding Director of a Play
Jo Bonney, "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark"
David Cromer, "Tribes"
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, "These Seven Sicknesses"
Sam Mendes, "Richard III"
Mike Nichols, "Death of a Salesman"
Tony Speciale, "Unnatural Acts"

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Christopher Ashley, "Leap of Faith"
Jack Cummings III, "Queen of the Mist"
Doug Hughes, "Death Takes a Holiday"
Kathleen Marshall, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Eric Schaeffer, "Follies"
John Tiffany, "Once"

Outstanding Choreography
Rob Ashford, "Evita"
Warren Carlyle, "Follies"
Breandan de Gallal, "Noctu"
Christopher Gattelli, "Newsies The Musical"
Kathleen Marshall, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Sergio Trujillo, "Leap of Faith"

Outstanding Music
Glen Hansard and Marketa lrqlova, "Once"
Michael John LaChiusa, "Queen of the Mist"
Alan Menken, "Leap of Faith"
Alan Menken, "Newsies The Musical"
Frank Wildhorn, "Bonnie & Clyde"
Maury Yeston, "Death Takes a Holiday"

Outstanding Lyrics
Don Black, "Bonnie & Clyde"
Jack Feldman, "Newsies The Musical"
Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen, "The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World"
Glen Hansard and Marketa lrqlova, "Once"
Michael John LaChiusa, "Queen of the Mist"
Maury Yeston, "Death Takes a Holiday"

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Douglas Carter Beane, "Lysistrata Jones"
Janus Cercone and Warren Leight, "Leap of Faith"
Joe DiPietro, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Joy Gregory, "The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World"
Michael John LaChiusa, "Queen of the Mist"
Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone, "Death Takes a Holiday"

Outstanding Music in a Play
Mark Bennett, "An Iliad"
Mark Bennett, "Richard III"
Tom Kitt, "All's Well That Ends Well"
Gina Leishman, "Septimus and Clarissa"
Grant Olding, "One Man, Two Guvnors"
Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik, "Carson McCullers Talks About Love"

Outstanding Revue
"Newsical the Musical: End of the World Edition"
"The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman"

Outstanding Set Design
Jon Driscoll, Rob Howell and Paul Kieve, "Ghost The Musical"
David Gallo, "The Mountaintop"
Roger Hanna, "A Little Journey"
David Korins, "Assistance"
David Korins, "Chinglish"
Derek McLane, "Follies"

Outstanding Costume Design
Gregg Barnes, "Follies"
ESosa, "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark"
William Ivey Long, "Lucky Guy"
Jessica Pabst, "She Kills Monsters"
Martin Pakledinaz, "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Catherine Zuber, "Death Takes a Holiday"

Outstanding Lighting Design
Kevin Adams, "Carrie"
Neil Austin, "Evita"
David Lander, "One Arm"
Brian MacDevitt, "Death of a Salesman"
Kenneth Posner, "Death Takes a Holiday"
Paul Pyant, "Richard III"

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
Jonathan Deans, "Carrie"
Clive Goodwin, "Once"
Kai Harada, "Follies"
Steve Canyon Kennedy, "Jesus Christ Superstar"
Jon Weston, "Death Takes a Holiday"

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Quentin Chiappetta/mediaNoise, "The Navigator"
Gregory Clarke, "Misterman"
Gareth Fry, "Richard III"
John Gromada, "Gore Vidal's The Best Man"
Stowe Nelson, "Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War"
Shane Rettig, "She Kills Monsters"

Outstanding Solo Performance
Baba Brinkman, "The Rap Guide to Evolution"
Suli Holum, "Chimera"
Jeff Key, "The Eyes of Babylon"
Cillian Murphy, "Misterman"
Denis O'Hare, "An Iliad"
Stephen Spinella, "An Iliad"

Unique Theatrical Experience

"Give Me Your Hand"
"Gob Squad's Kitchen (You've Never Had It So Good)"
"The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill, Vol. 1: Early Plays/Lost Plays"
"The Ryan Case 1873"

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
The cast of "Sweet and Sad": Jon DeVries, Shuler Hensley, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, and J. Smith-Cameron.

Special Awards
To Mary Testa: For over three decades, she has dazzled audiences with consistently outstanding work, including her tour-de-force performance in this season's "Queen of the Mist."

To Nick Westrate: His versatility in "Unnatural Acts," "Love's Labor's Lost," and "Galileo" was a highlight of the season.

To New Victory Theatre: For providing enchanting, sophisticated children's theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.

To Stephen Karam, the newly created Sam Norkin Off Broadway Award: The profoundly moving "Sons of the Prophet" confirmed his status as one of the most promising playwrights of his generation.

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