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Snubs and Surprises at the 2015 Drama Desk Awards Nominations

Beau Salant ‘18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo in Hamilton. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo in Hamilton. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com

The 60th Annual Drama Desk Awards, one of the most significant precursors to the Tony Awards in the theater industry, unveiled their nominations on April 23, 2015. Hamilton led the nomination tally with 13 bids. This is a feat that will definitely not be repeated on Tuesday morning when the Tony Award nominations are announced, as Hamilton is not eligible as it has yet to open on Broadway (the Drama Desk considers both Broadway and off-Broadway performances for their awards). Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed musical about American founding father Alexander Hamilton is making the move to Broadway this Summer, making it eligible for next year’s Tony Awards. A similar thing happened to Fun Home, which opened off-Broadway last season before moving to Broadway this year. It was nominated by the Drama Desk last year (making it ineligible this year) but is contending at this year’s Tony’s.

The Broadway production that received the most nominations is An American in Paris, the stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film. It received 12 nods, three more than Something Rotten!, likely its strongest competition for these awards, which received nine. Other productions to receive a significant number of nominations include The Visit, the final John Kander and Fred Ebb musical starring Chita Rivera, which scored an impressive seven nominations, and the acclaimed Broadway transfer of the British play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which received six.

Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher in On the Twentieth Century. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com.
Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher in On the Twentieth Century. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com.

The acclaimed but ill-fated remounting of Side Show, which closed due to poor sales in January, got the last laugh today when it received more nominations than any other musical revival this year, with five bids. Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of On the Twentieth Century follows with four.

While many acclaimed shows received many deserving nominations, Broadway fans and critics will likely remember this year’s set of Drama Desk Award nominations due to the people who did not get nominated rather than the ones who did. Yes, this year’s slate of nominees contain many shocking omissions that caused jaws to hit the floor when they were announced.

Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe in The King and I. Photo Credit: Broadway.com.
Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe in The King and I. Photo Credit: Broadway.com.

Most notably, the Lincoln Center’s revival of the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The King and I came close to being shut out, receiving only two nominations for Best Revival of a Musical and for sound design. The production, which received some of if not the best reviews of the season, was widely expected to lead the nomination tally, including bids for Best Director for Bartlett Sher, Best Actor for Ken Watanabe and Best Featured Actress for Ruthie Ann Miles. However, its most shocking snub, and probably the most shocking snub of the day, is for lead actress Kelli O’Hara. Widely considered one of the reigning queens of Broadway, O’Hara received some of the best reviews of her career for her performance as Anna Leonowens and was widely considered a frontrunner to win the award. She may still get the last laugh and take home the Tony Award in June, but this does not bode well for her chances.

Other notable snubs include Peter Gallagher for his highly praised performance in On the Twentieth Century (his co-stars Kristin Chenoweth and Andy Karl both received nominations), Rob McClure and Tony Danza for Honeymoon in Vegas (which received five nominations overall, including for Featured Actress for Nancy Opel), Bill Nighy for Skylight (which was also snubbed for Best Revival of a Play), Emily Padgett and David St. Louis for Side Show (despite co-star Erin Davie getting a bid) and Constellations, which was completely shut out, not receiving nominations for Best Play or for its leads Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson.

Will the Drama Desk nominations be an omen of the Tony nominations to come this Tuesday? Or will the Tony’s go their own way and show the Drama Desks who’s boss?

Below is the list of nominees for the 60th Annual Drama Desk Awards:

Outstanding Play

You Got Older

Airline Highway

The City of Conversation

Between Riverside and Crazy

My Manãna Comes

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Let the Right One In

Outstanding Musical

An American in Paris

Hamilton

Fly by Night

Pretty Filthy

Something Rotten!

The Visit

Outstanding Revival of a Play

The Elephant Man

Fashions for Men

Ghosts

The Iceman Cometh

Tamburlaine the Great

The Wayside Motor Inn

Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue

Into the Woods

The King and I

On the Town

On the Twentieth Century

Pageant

Side Show

Outstanding Actor in a Play

Reed Birney, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard

Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy

Ben Miles, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two

Bill Pullman, Sticks and Bones

Alexander Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Outstanding Actress in a Play

Brooke Bloom, You Got Older

Kathleen Chalfant, A Walk in the Woods

Kristin Griffith, The Fatal Weakness

Jan Maxwell, The City of Conversation

Helen Mirren, The Audience

Carey Mulligan, Skylight

Tonya Pinkins, Rasheeda Speaking

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!

Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris

Jeremy Kushnier, Atomic

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Matthew Morrison, Finding Neverland

Ryan Silverman, Side Show 

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Kate Baldwin, John & Jen

Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century

Leanne Cope, An American in Paris

Erin Davie, Side Show

Lisa Howard, It Shoulda Been You

Chita Rivera, The Visit

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Murray Abraham, It’s Only a Play

Reed Birney, You Got Older

Todd Freeman, Airline Highway

Jonathan Hadary, Rocket to the Moon

Jason Butler Harner, The Village Bike

Jonathan Hogan, Pocatello

José Joaquin Perez, My Mañana Comes

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You

Beth Dixon, The City of Conversation

Julie Halston, You Can’t Take It with You

Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, To the Bone

Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two

Julie White, Airline Highway

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Christian Borle, Something Rotten!

Peter Friedman, Fly by Night

Josh Grisetti, It Shoulda Been You

Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century

Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!

Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Carolee Carmello, Finding Neverland

Tyne Daly, It Shoulda Been You

Elizabeth A. Davis, Allegro

Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

Luba Mason, Pretty Filthy

Nancy Opel, Honeymoon in Vegas

Elizabeth Stanley, On the Town

Outstanding Director of a Play

Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two

Anne Kauffman, You Got Older

Lila Neugebauer, The Wayside Motor Inn

Austin Pendleton, Between Riverside and Crazy

Joe Tantalo, Deliverance

John Tiffany, Let the Right One In

Outstanding Director of a Musical

Carolyn Cantor, Fly by Night

Bill Condon, Side Show

John Doyle, The Visit

Thomas Kail, Hamilton

Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!

Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Outstanding Choreography

Joshua Bergasse, On the Town

Warren Carlyle, On the Twentieth Century

Steven Hoggett, The Last Ship

Austin McCormick, Rococo Rouge

Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!

Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Outstanding Music

Jason Robert Brown, Honeymoon in Vegas

Michael Friedman, The Fortress of Solitude

John Kander, The Visit

Dave Malloy, Ghost Quartet

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Sting, The Last Ship

Outstanding Lyrics

Jason Robert Brown, Honeymoon in Vegas

Fred Ebb, The Visit

Michael Friedman, The Fortress of Solitude

Karey Kirkpatrick & Wayne Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Outstanding Book of a Musical

Hunter Bell & Lee Overtree, Found

Karey Kirkpatrick & John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!

Craig Lucas, An American in Paris

Terence McNally, The Visit

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, & Michael Mitnick, Fly by Night

Outstanding Orchestrations

Christopher Austin, An American in Paris

Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Allegro

Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!

Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton

Rob Mathes, The Last Ship

Don Sebesky, Larry Blank, Jason Robert Brown, & Charlie Rosen, Honeymoon in Vegas

Outstanding Music in a Play

Cesar Alvarez, An Octoroon

Danny Blackburn & Bryce Hodgson, Deliverance

Sean Cronin, Kill Me Like You Mean It

Bongi Duma, Generations

Freddi Price, The Pigeoning

Arthur Solari & Jane Shaw, Tamburlaine the Great

Outstanding Set Design

Bob Crowley, An American in Paris

Christine Jones, Let the Right One In

David Korins, Hamilton

Mimi Lien, An Octoroon

Scott Pask, The Visit

Daniel Zimmerman, Fashions for Men

Outstanding Costume Design

Bob Crowley, An American in Paris

Bob Crowley, The Audience

Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two

Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

Andrea Varga, The Fatal Weakness

Catherine Zuber, Gigi

For the complete list of Drama Desk Award nominations visit: http://dramadeskawards.com/2015-nominations/

 

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