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For Release: Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 11:00 p.m. (EDT)

 WICKED HEADS LIST OF 2003/2004 DRAMA DESK AWARDS WINNERS WITH SIX AWARDS, FOLLOWED BY ASSASSINS WITH FOUR

AND HENRY IV – LCT WITH THREE

 WICKED AND I AM MY OWN WIFE VOTED OUTSTANDING NEW MUSICAL AND PLAY; ASSASSINS AND HENRY IV (LCT)

HONORED AS OUTSTANDING REVIVALS

HUGH JACKMAN (THE BOY FROM OZ ) , AND DONNA MURPHY (WONDERFUL TOWN) NAMED LEAD PERFORMERS IN A MUSICAL

VIOLA DAVIS (INTIMATE APPAREL) AND PHYLICIA RASHAD (A RAISIN IN THE SUN) TIE AS OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY;

KEVIN KLINE (HENRY IV – LCT) VOTED OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

 New York, NY, May 16, 2004 – Wicked, the hit Broadway musical that tells the untold story of the witches of Oz, won six awards, including one for Outstanding New Musical, when the Drama Desk, an organization of professional journalists, writers, critics and editors who regularly cover all areas of New York theatre, presented its 49 th Annual Drama Desk Awardsfor the 2003/2004 theatre season.

The next big winners of the evening were the revival of Assassins, the jaunty and jarring musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman about the American presidential assassin, won four Drama Desk Awards including one as Outstanding Musical Revival; and the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, which won three Drama Desk Awards, including one as Outstanding Revival of a Play and a second to its star Kevin Kline as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play.

Productions that won two awards each were: The Boy From Oz, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for its star, Hugh Jackman; Wonderful Town, including Donna Murphy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical; A Raisin in the Sun, including Phylicia Rashad, who shared the award for Outstanding Actress in a Play with Viola Davis, star of Intimate Apparel; and I Am My Own Wife, including Outstanding New Play. (When Rashad and Davis tied for their award, it marked the second year in a row that a Drama Desk award category ended in an exact tie; last year Antonio Banderas (Nine) and Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray) shared the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical Award.)

Other Drama Desk acting awards were given to Ned Beatty (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play; Audra McDonald (A Raisin in the Sun) for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play; Raul Esparza (Taboo) for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical; and Isabel Keating (The Boy from Oz) for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.

Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife) received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, and Toxic Audio in Loud Mouth won for Unique Theatrical Experience.

Outstanding Director Awards were presented to Jack O’Brien (Henry IV – LCT) and Joe Mantello (Wicked). Kathleen Marshall won the Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Choreographer for her work on WonderfulTown . Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) won for Outstanding Music, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) received an award for outstanding lyrics, Winnie Holzman (Wicked) won for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and Michael Starobin (Assassins) was honored for his Orchestrations.

Drama Desk Awards in Set Design were presented to: John Lee Beatty (Twentieth Century) and Eugene Lee (Wicked); Susan Hilferty (Wicked), costume design; Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Assassins), lighting design; and Dan Moses Schreier (Assassins), sound design.

Special Drama Desk Awards were presented to: Dakin Matthews for his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, as well as to The Flea Theater and the Classical Theater of Harlem .

During the awards show, the Drama Desk also presented Drama Desk 2004 Scholarship Awards, co-sponsored by The Smart Family Foundation, TheaterMania.com, Jamie deRoy & friends, and Daryl Roth Productions to Chloe Patellis and Joseph Elrose, two drama majors at F.H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. The scholarships are given annually to promising students in the school’s Drama Department who are planning to pursue careers in the theatre.

The 49 th Annual Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Harvey Fierstein, were held in the Concert Hall at F.H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Presenters at tonight’s Drama Desk Awards show included: Patrick Cassidy, Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Combs, Tovah Feldshuh, Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman, Shirley Jones, John Lithgow, Audra McDonald, Michael McKean, Idina Menzel, Alfred Molina, Bebe Neuwirth, Christopher Plummer, Phylicia Rashad, Rod from Avenue Q, Jai Rodriguez, John Tartaglia and Leslie Uggams.

The Drama Desk Awards were webcast with live streaming video from 9:00 PM to its conclusion by TheaterMania.com with David Finkle and Michael Portantiere as commentators and Jim Caruso and Rex Reed as hosts.

The Drama Desk Awards ceremony was videotaped and will be broadcast on NYC TV Channel 74, New York City’s official television network, on Wednesday, May 19, at 9:00 PM; Saturday, May 22, at 4:00 PM; and Sunday, May 23, at 8:00 PM. The awards show will also be broadcast on Channel 36 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 25, at 9 PM (PCT).

Robert R. Blume is Executive Producer of the 49 th Annual Drama Desk Awards. TheaterMania.com is Associate Presenter. Lauren Class Schneider is producer and Jeff Kalpak, the director. Jeff Dobbins and Liz Nagengast are the writers. Associate Producers are Sarah Galvin, Corine Dana Cohen, Jae French and Les Schecter. Felicia M. Lopes is General Manager. Stuart F. Margulies (SFM Management Ltd.) Is the Drama Desk Awards accountant. Roy A. Somlyo is Executive Consultant to the Drama Desk Awards

Elizabeth Gerst , Director of Program Development for NYC TV, will be the executive producer of the broadcast; David Lazecko, NYC TV’s Director of Technical Operations, will oversee and coordinate video production.

The Drama Desk Awards has enlisted personal sketches from this year’s nominated performers and creative talent for its Art*Kive program created three years ago by Associate Producer Sarah Galvin. This annual program -- unique to the Drama Desk Awards -- invites the nominees to render a sketch that is relevant to the role or stage production that helped them achieve their nomination. The sketches were displayed at the awards ceremony.

The Drama Desk, which presented its first awards in 1955, is the only theater organization whose award nominations honor Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and not-for-profit theater productions equally in multiple categories. The Drama Desk membership includes over 140 voting theater critics, reporters and editors.

Major sponsors for the awards ceremony included: The New York Times; TheatreMania.com; GSD Productions, Inc.; Michelob Ultra; Variety; and Hit Show Club. Drama Desk Benefactors: David S. Stone, Esq., Boies Schiller and Flexner, LLP/NJ office; Lynn and Lewis Pell; Ron B. Shapiro; Richard I. Kandel; Lawrence Fraiberg; The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation; Sony Corporation of America; and Jamie deRoy.

Additional Sponsors: International Barter Network; VisionMix Creative Services; Colin Lively Salon; Edward Lake/1-800-LAWYERS; and Manhattan Bride Magazine. Reception Sponsors: St. John Boutique/Gotham Magazine; Compass Restaurant & Bar; and The New York Friars Club. Food and beverages donated by: Link Restaurant; Cademartori’s Imports of Italy ; Boston Market and The Wine Spectator Magazine. Transportation provided by: Excalibur Extravaganza Limousine Company and Gray Line NY Sightseeing.

Members of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee include: Barbara Siegel, TheaterMania.com and Siegel Entertainment Syndicate, chairperson; William Wolf, Wolfentertainmentguide.com, Drama Desk President; Andy Buck, Playbill; Arlene Epstein Nassau Herald; David Finkle, TheaterMania.com; Edward Karam, The Guardian (UK); and Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV.

The Board of Directors of the Drama Desk is composed of: William Wolf, President; Leslie (Hoban) Blake, Vice President; Charles Wright, Treasurer and Second Vice President; Ellis Nassour, Secretary; and Members-at-Large: Michael Bracken, David Kaufman, Sam Norkin, Barbara Siegel, and Elyse Sommer.

Click Here for a full list of Winners!

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Press Contact:

Les Schecter/Matthew Donohue

L.S. Public Relations, Inc.
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Tel: 212/586-2600

E-mail: lester.schecter@verizon.net
or
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NYC TV Contact:

Elizabeth Gerst/NYC TV
Tel: 212/669-7011

Email: elizabeth.gerst@doitt.nyc.gov

www.nyc.gov/tv

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