a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

You can read them below, but I must say there are a lot of surprises. No Oscar WinnerThe Humans 1 Lupita Nyong’o, for “Eclipsed” for instance, is the real shocker. No Jeff Daniels(again) for “Blackbird” nor Michelle Williams either. I thought all these people were shoo-ins. Also no “Eclipsed” for Best Play. In fact, no nominations for “Blackbird” anywhere.Eclipsed 3

I guess they were just avoiding stars this year. Only Saycon Sengbloh(pictured above far right) was nominated for Outstanding Featured actress in a play for her mother earth role in”Eclipsed.” But none of her other co-stars. Although Danai Gurira got a special  non-competitive award all her own of her. Which I guess in is an honor in an off itself.

“The Humans” scored in every category imaginable, including Best Play and Best Director and also a best ensemble award outright. I think this means that “The Humans” will sweep the board outright at the Tonys, which are coming up next.

That piece of over-praised piffle,I’m sorry to say, “She Loves Me” got more nominations than anything else this year.

And “Bright Star” got nominated for Carmen Cusack for Outstanding Actress in a MusicalCarmen Cusack 1 as did her two featured leading men, A.J. Shively and   Paul Alexander Nolan also scored. As did Steve Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s rockin’ bluegrass music and the very original orchestrations, but it was NOT nominated for Outstanding New Musical.

The Drama Desks, and also Outer Critics Circle, are particularly important this year, as last year they both gave all their major awards to mega-phenomenon “Hamilton” because it was eligible for Off Broadway then due to its’ run at the Public Theater downtown.”Hamilton” will undoubtedly sweep the Tony Awards, which are just for Broadway alone. Whereas the Drama Desks are noted for treating Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway equally. Which is what makes them so interesting and unique.

So whatever award the Outstanding Musicals reap this year, they will be noted in their ads and everywhere. Which is a good thing for “Shuffle Along”, “School of Rock” and “Waitress” not to mention the superlative “First Daughter’s Suite” which was at the Public.Waitress 1

Strangely, my fave so far “Bright Star” was not nominated for Best New Musical though it did land seven nominations toto. And “Shuffle Along” who chose not to be eligible for the Tony this year, because, persumably, of the crush of good new musicals, DID get nominated by the Drama Desk for Best New Musical. Go figure.

“American Psycho” did very well, but again, no best musical nod. Although Benjamin Walker’s cut-and-ripped psycho did land Best Actor in a Musical, but the was the only actor so noted. AMerican Psycho 2

Here they are folks. Read ’em and weep.

2016 Drama Desk Award Nominations
 
Outstanding Play
The Christians, Playwrights Horizons
The Humans, Roundabout Theatre Company
John, Signature Theatre
King Charles III
The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater
 
Outstanding Musical
First Daughter Suite, Public Theater
Daddy Long Legs
School of Rock
Shuffle Along
Waitress
Outstanding Revival of a Play
Cloud Nine, Atlantic Theater Company
Death of a Salesman, New Yiddish Rep
Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse at St. Ann’s Warehouse
Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Roundabout Theatre Company
A View from the Bridge
Women Without Men, Mint Theater Company
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
The Golden Bride, National Yiddish Theatre Folkesbiene
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company
Spring Awakening
Outstanding Actor in a Play
Andrew Garman, The Christians, Playwrights Horizons
Avi Hoffman, Death of a Salesman
Frank Langella, The Father, Manhattan Theatre Club
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge
 
Outstanding Actress in a Play
Georgia Engel, John, Signature Theatre
Mamie Gummer, Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Undeground
Marin Ireland, Ironbound, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/Women’s Project Theater
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Nicola Walker, A View from the Bridge

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Robert Creighton, Cagney, York Theatre Company
Michael C. Hall, Lazarus, New York Theatre Workshop
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Benjamin Walker, American Psycho
 
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Annette O’Toole, Southern Comfort, Public Theater
 
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Bill Camp, The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off, Roundabout Theatre Company
Matt McGrath, The Legend of Georgia McBride, MCC Theater
Richard Thomas, Incident at Vichy, Signature Theatre
Michael Shannon, Long’s Day Journey Into Night
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Brooke Bloom, Cloud Nine
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Kellie Overbey, Women Without Men
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed, Public Theater
Jeanine Serralles, Gloria, Vineyard Theatre
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Nicholas Barasch, She Loves Me
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Baylee Littrell, Disaster!
Paul Alexander Nolan, Bright Star
A.J. Shively, Bright Star
 
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Alison Fraser, First Daughter Suite
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen, Second Stage
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Mary Testa, First Daughter Suite
Outstanding Director of a Play
Rachel Chavkin, The Royale
Sam Gold, John
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Jenn Thompson, Women Without Men
Ivo van Hove, A View from the Bridge
Outstanding Director of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Rupert Goold, American Psycho
Bartlett Sher, Fiddler on the Roof
Bryna Wasserman, Motl Didner, The Golden Bride
Outstanding Choreography
Joshua Bergasse, Cagney
Spencer Liff, Spring Awakening
Lynne Page, American Psycho
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Music
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite,
Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock
The Lobbyists, SeaWife, Naked Angels
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star
 
Outstanding Lyrics
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen
Glenn Slater, School of Rock
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite
 
Outstanding Orchestrations
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company
Joseph Joubert/Catherine Jayes, The Color Purple
Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock
Michael Starobin/Bruce Coughlin, First Daughter Suite
 
Outstanding Music in a Play
Billie Joe Armstrong, These Paper Bullets!, Atlantic Theatre Company
Estelle Bajou, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, One Year Lease Theater Company
Shaun Davey, Pericles, Theatre for a New Audience
Philip Glass, The Crucible
Tom Kitt, Cymbeline, New York Shakespeare Festival
 
Outstanding Set Design for a Play
Riccardo Hernandez, Red Speedo, New York Theatre Workshop
Mimi Lien, John
G. W. Mercier, Head of Passes, Public Theater
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Derek McLane, Fully Committed
 
Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
Es Devlin, American Psycho
Emily Orling, Matt Saunders, Eric Farber, Futurity, Soho Rep/Ars Nova
David Rockwell, She Loves Me
Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!
Martha Hally, Women Without Men
Constance Hoffman, Pericles
William Ivey Long, Shows for Days, Lincoln Center Theater
Anita Yavich, The Legend of Georgia McBride
Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Jane Greenwood, Bright Star
Katrina Lindsay, American Psycho
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Alejo Vietti, Allegiance
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Neil Austin, Hughie
Mark Barton, John
Bradley King, Empanada Loca, Labyrinth Theater Company
Tyler Micoleau, Antlia Pneumatica, Playwrights Horizons
Justin Townsend, The Humans
 
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Jane Cox, The Color Purple
Jake DeGroot, SeaWife,
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho
Jules Fisher/Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along
Outstanding Projection Design
Nicholas Hussong, These Paper Bullets!
Darrel Maloney, Tappin’ Thru Life
Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen
Finn Ross, American Psycho
Tal Yarden, Lazarus
 
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Fitz Patton, An Act of God
Fitz Patton, The Humans
Miles Polaski, Fulfillment, The Flea Theatre
Bray Poor, John
Ryan Rumery, Empanada Loca
 
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Mick Potter, School of Rock
Brian Ronan, Lazarus
Nevin Steinberg, Bright Star
Dan Moses Schreier, American Psycho
Scott Lehrer, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Wig and Hair
David Brian Brown, She Loves Me
Jason Hayes, The Legend of Georgia McBride
Robert-Charles Vallance, Women Without Men
Charles G. LaPointe, The School for Scandal, Red Bull Theater
Mia M. Neal, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Solo Performance
Simon Callow, Tuesdays at Tesco’s, 59E59
Kathleen Chalfant, Rose, Nora’s Playhouse
James Lecesne, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Empanada Loca
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fully Committed
Unique Theatrical Experience
ADA/AVA, Manual Cinema/3LD/The Tank/
Antigona – Soledad Barrio/Noche Flamenca
That Physics Show
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
YOUARENOWHERE – 3LD/The Tank
Special Awards
 
The Humans – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble
Cassie Beck, Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed, and Sarah Steele spend a very special Thanksgiving Day together in Stephen Karam’s play, reminding us that home is indeed where The Humans are.
The Royale – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble
The heavyweight cast of McKinley Belcher III, Khris Davis, Montego Glover, John Lavelle, and Clarke Peters gels as a unit in bringing Marco Ramirez’s story, inspired by Jack Johnson, to unforgettable life, offering a trenchant statement on racism in America.
Sheldon Harnick – Special Drama Desk Award
New productions of Fiddler on the RoofRothschild and Sons, and She Loves Me this season remind us that this veteran lyricist’s takes on faith, family and community are as resonant as ever.
Camp Broadway – Special Drama Desk Award
For more than 20 years, this indispensable organization has introduced young people to the magic of theater. Camp Broadway plays a crucial role in creating tomorrow’s audiences.
Danai Gurira – Sam Norkin Award
Whether writing about women in wartime Liberia in Eclipsed or about an affluent immigrant family from Zimbabwe struggling with assimilation in Familiar, Danai Gurira demonstrates great insight, range, and depth, bringing a fresh new voice to American theater.
64 shows with nominations
33 shows with multiple nominations
31 shows with single nominations
Shows with multiple nominations
She Loves Me – 9
American Psycho – 8
Bright Star – 7
The Color Purple, First Daughter Suite, John, Shuffle Along – 6
School of Rock, Waitress, Women Without Men – 5
The Humans, Spring Awakening, A View from the Bridge – 4
Dear Evan Hansen, Empanada Loca, Fiddler on the Roof, King Charles III, Lazarus, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, These Paper Bullets! – 3
Cagney, The Christians, Cloud Nine, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, Fully Committed, The Golden Bride, Hughie, Noises Off, Pericles, The Royale, SeaWife – 2
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