I had a grand time at the 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards presented by TheaterMania.com at Town Hall on Sunday, May 19, 2013, with Jeanne Sakata and her husband, Tim Patterson. The pair had flown in from LA to celebrate Joel de la Fuente, the star of Sakata’s one-man show Hold These Truths, directed by Lisa Rothe and produced Off-Broadway by the Epic Theatre Ensemble last Fall, who had been nominated in the category of “Outstanding Solo Performance”. Jeanne Sakata’s critically-acclaimed play Hold These Truths, starring 2013 Drama Desk Award Nominee Joel de la Fuente, is set for the 10th Annual soloNOVA Arts Festival at Culture Project, 6/4, 6/10 and 6/11
Founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York, Drama Desk began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics’ organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.
The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards ceremony streamed live on Theatermania.com, with co-hosting duties shared by Billy Army, Audrey Lynn Weston, Todd Susman and Marilyn Sokol from the cast of Old Jews Telling Jokes. The show opened with Hands on a Hardbody (Music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green, Lyrics by Amanda Green).
This year’s presenters included: Stephanie J. Block, Celia Keenan Bolger, Daniel Breaker, Danny Burstein, David Byrne, Charlotte d’Amboise, Jim Dale, John Glover, Cynthia Henson, Paul Huntley, Steve Karam, Lisa Kron, Beth Leavel, Martin Lowe, Terrence Mann, Joe Mantello, Jan Maxwell, Audra McDonald, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Donna Murphy, Denis O’Hare, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Michele Pawk, Tonya Pinkins, Alex Timbers, Tommy Tune, and William Wolf.
Here Lies Love, Starring Jose Llana and Ruthie Ann Miles, Extends at The Public through July 28, 2013
Other featured songs from Drama Desk nominated shows included “Pretty Funny” performed by Dogfight‘s Lindsay Mendez (Music and lyrics by Benji Pasek and Justin Paul); “He Wanted A Girl” performed by Giant‘s Katie Thompson (Music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa); and “God Draws Straight” performed by Renee Albulario, Joshua Dela Cruz and Kelvin Moon Loh (Music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Lyrics by David Byrne).
Marie-France Arcilla, Joe Cassidy, Donna Lynne Champlin, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Nehal Joshi, and Kenita R. Miller, the cast of Working: A Musical, performed “All The Livelong Day (I Hear America Singing)”(Music by Stephen Schwartz, Lyrics by Walt Whitman), and were presented with a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance from Lin-Manuel Miranda.
After the awards ceremony and show at Town Hall, Jeanne, Tim and I met up with Joel and his family at the after party at the Liberty Theatre. Here are my photo highlights of the night. Congrats to all of the winners.
Christopher Durang, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Outstanding Revival of a Play
Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue
Outstanding Actor in a Play
Tracy Letts, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Outstanding Actress in a Play
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Laura Osnes, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Richard Kind, The Big Knife
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Bertie Carvel, Matilda
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Andrea Martin, Pippin
Outstanding Director of a Play
Pam MacKinnon, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Outstanding Director of a Musical
Diane Paulus, Pippin
Chet Walker and Gypsy Snider, Pippin
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love
Tim Minchin, Matilda
Outstanding Book of a Musical
Dennis Kelly, Matilda
Danny Troob, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Outstanding Music in a Play
Glen Kelly, The Nance
Outstanding Set Design
Rob Howell, Matilda
Outstanding Costume Design
William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Outstanding Lighting Design
Justin Townsend, Here Lies Love
Daniel Winters, The Man Who Laughs
Outstanding Projection Design
Peter Nigrini, Here Lies Love
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical (3-WAY TIE)
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Hands on a Hardbody
Scott Lehrer and Drew Levy, Chaplin: The Musical
Tony Meola, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Mel Mercier, The Testament of Mary
Outstanding Solo Performance
Michael Urie, Buyer & Cellar
Unique Theatrical Experience
Cirque du Soleil: Totem
Special Awards – Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater. For 2012-2013, these awards are:
The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Executive Director and Producer: for a decade of creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form.
Wakka Wakka (Gabrielle Brechner, Kirjan Waage, and Gwendolyn Warnock): for sophisticated puppet theater, as represented by this season’s SAGA, that explores with wit, imagination, and insight serious issues of our times.
Jayne Houdyshell: for her artistry as an exceptionally versatile and distinctive Broadway and Off-Broadway performer.
Samuel D. Hunter: His empathic and indelible The Whale affirms his arrival as a distinguished dramatist who depicts the human condition.
Maruti Evans, the Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award: for his ingenious lighting designs, reflecting an exquisite and bold theatrical aesthetic. This season’s The Pilo Family Circus and Tiny Dynamite confirm his incandescent creativity.
About Drama Desk
The 2012-2013 Board of Directors of the Drama Desk is composed of: Isa Goldberg (Broadwaychannel.com, Theaterlife.com) President, Leslie (Hoban) Blake (Theater Critic/City ARTS-Downtown; Co-Host/TWO on the AISLE, MNN) Vice President, Charles Wright (A+E Networks; Editorial Board, Best Plays Theater Year Book) Treasurer & 2nd Vice President, Richard Ridge (BroadwayWorld.com Backstage with Richard Ridge) Secretary, Arlene Epstein (South Shore Record/Herald Community Newspapers & LIHerald.com), Elysa Gardner (USA Today critic/reporter; New York Drama Critics Circle), Randy Gener (American Theatre; New York Theater Wire), John Istel (Freelance Editor and Arts Journalist; Managing Editor, Drama Desk website), David Kaufman (Author and Freelance), William Wolf (wolfentertainmentguide.com; Adjunct professor, NYU), and Lauren Yarger (Reflections in the Light; BroadwayWorld.com).
The 2012-2013 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of: Barbara Siegel, Chairperson (TalkinBroadway.com and freelance); David Kaufman (author and freelance), Samuel L. Leiter (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center), Martha Wade Steketee (urbanexcavations.com; editor and contributor, Chance Magazine), Adrian Wattenmaker (Theater Faculty, Brooklyn College; Director, School of Creative and Performing Arts), and James Wilson (Professor of Theatre, CUNY; co-editor of Journal of American Drama and Theatre).
About Joey Parnes Productions
Led by Joey Parnes, a veteran Broadway producer and general manager who served as coordinating producer for the TONY Awards from 2001 to 2008, primarily focuses on producing and general managing plays and musicals for Broadway as well as providing executive producer and general management services for a wide range of theatrical ventures including non-profit theater consulting and working with non-profits on Broadway transfers. Sue Wagner and John Johnson are his associates.
In addition to TheaterMania and Gretchen Shugart, Robert R. Blume and David S. Stone in association with Renee McCurry are Co-Executive Producers of Drama Desk Awards.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. This summer she will appear as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Penwah, July 30-August 1, 2013.
Other articles by Lia Chang:
Lorey Hayes’ Power Play Set for National Black Theatre Festival 7/30-8/1
Ghostlight Records Releases ‘Giant’ Original Cast Album Featuring Kate Baldwin, Brian d’Arcy James, P.J. Griffith, Raul Aranas, Katie Thompson and more
Here Lies Love, Starring Jose Llana and Ruthie Ann Miles, Extends at The Public through July 28, 2013
Two-Time Tony Nominee André De Shields, Nehal Joshi, Akash Chopra and More Set for Mary Zimmerman helmed The Jungle Book at The Goodman, 6/21-8/4 and The Huntington, 9/7-10/6
Christine Toy Johnson, Thom Sesma, Ali Ewoldt, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Telly Leung and More Set for The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
Photos: Working Theater’s World Premiere of Ed Cardona, Jr.’s La Ruta
Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 29 and May 6
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, Nicholas L. Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Grantham Coleman, Jeremy Pope, and Wallace Smith Set for MTC’s World Premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, June 18- July 21, 2013
Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Conrad Ricamora, Kelvin Moon Loh and More Set for World Premiere of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love at The Public, April 2 – May 19, 2013
Keith David, January LaVoy, John Douglas Thompson, Glynn Turman, Lillias White and More Set for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the CTG/Mark Taper Forum, April 24 – June 9, 2013
Ellen Burstyn, Jayne Houdyshell, Elizabeth Marvel, Kristine Nielsen and David Hyde Pierce Set for Drama Desk Panel: “The Art of Storytelling” at Sardi’s on March 22, 2013
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Jennifer Lim, Leigh Silverman, Samuel L. Jackson, Kenny Leon, David Ives, Douglas Carter Beane and More at The Drama Desk & Fordham University Theatre Program’s “Anatomy of a Breakout” Panel
Orville Mendoza is currently appearing as Sergeant Lombardi in Classic Stage Company’s Passion through April 19, 2013
Ann Harada Plays Cinderella’s Stepsister Charlotte in Broadway Premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Broadway Theatre
Photos: Maurice Hines, Jonathan Groff, Mercedes Ellington, Charles Randolph Wright at The Beechman for André De Shields’s I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
Signature’s Off-Broadway Revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, helmed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, runs October 30 -December 9, 2012
Raul Aranas, Kate Baldwin, Brian d’Arcy James, P.J. Griffith, Bobby Steggert and Michele Pawk Set for New York Premiere of GIANT at The Public Theater, October 26-December 2, 2012
Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins Set for Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season
Photos: David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Opening Night at Signature Theatre
Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child
Photos: Q & A with Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, The King in Harbor Lights’ Production of The King and I
Playing Lady Thiang in the Harbor Lights’ Production of The King and I is a dream come true for Christine Toy Johnson
Tony Award Winner Tonya Pinkins Celebrates Ethel Waters at 54 Below on August 27, 2012
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
C.J. Wilson navigates armor and swordplay in Signature Theatre Company’s World Premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Photos and Video: Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas- In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
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