Yes, the Drama Desk Awards are coming up fast! They are handed out on June 1 next Sunday at Town Hall.
And here are my intrepid predictions! I think critic’s fave “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Valor” (pictured above ^) Will sweep and get the Best Musical Award and all the others in that musical category. Best Music, Best Lyrics, Best Book, Best Orchestrations(the great Jonathan Tunick, natch.)
And in the hardest fought battle Best Actor in a Musical, I think the Drama Desk-ers being all critics are going to also choose actor’s actor Jefferson Mays for his eight(or nine) roles in “A Gentlemen’s Guide…” over the much more famous Neil Patrick Harris in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Though when the Tonys come up the following week, we could see this reversed.
“Hedwig” will get Best Revival of a Musical. And I think “All the Way” though I LOATHED it myself will get Best Play. THREE HOURS OF HAM! I mean, I like ham. But THREE HOURS!?!?
However, I think the Drama Desk-ers will vote for it. Though something less known might surprise here. It could be anything, if it’s not the obvious Tony front-runner.
Best Actor in a Play will PROBABLY be Bryan Cranston in “All the Way” as LBJ. Another Tony front-runner. Chris O’Dowd in “Of Mice and Men” could be the surprise upset here. And this would REALLY be a surprise.
Best Actress in a Play may very well go to Tyne Daly for “Mothers and Sons”. Though with Audra McDonald in this category, too, it could be Audra. Though the Drama Desk-ers, being all critics through and through. and sticklers for detail, may balk at the Five-Time Tony Winner being put in this category though she sings an endless amount of memorable period songs. Audra won the Outer Critics Circle but she was in Best Actress in A Musical there, not Best Actress in a Play.
Best Actress in a Musical will also be Tony front-runner Jessie Mueller for “Beautiful:The Carole King Musical” where she’s amazingly effective as the ugly ducking who becomes a swan/superstar.
Best Revival of a Play will be “Twelfth Night.” It’s no longer running, but that won’t bother the Drama Desk-ers, who don’t take that into consideration, the way the Tony voters do.
Best Revue will be “After Midnight.”
The Drama Desk Awards are the only awards in all of theater, let it be said, that honor Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway equally, on an even playing field.
And the prestige of these awards has increased since the press are no long allowed to vote for the Tony Awards!