News & Views from the Drama Desk

For Release:  May 20 at 11:30 PM



Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) Named Outstanding Actor in a Play
And Eve Best (A Moon for the Misbegotten) Wins Award as
Outstanding Actress in a Play

Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade) and Donna Murphy(Love/Musik)
Tie for Outstanding Actress in a Musical Award;

Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking) Wins Outstanding Solo Award

Click HERE for the full Press Release in Microsoft Word format.

New York, NY, May 20, 2007the Coast of Utopia, Tom Stoppard’s epic trilogy of 19th century Russia, won seven awards, including Outstanding Drama, to head the list of 2006/2007 Drama Desk Award winners at the 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Kristin Chenoweth, held tonight at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. Spring Awakening, a rock musical based on the 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind about sexually anguished teenagers coming of age, followed with four Awards, including Outstanding Musical.

Company, a musical by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth about love, marriage and sex in the big city, won three Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and Journey’s End, the Broadway revival of R.C. Sherriff's 1929 war play, also won three Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play.

Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) won the Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play for his vivid and memorable portrayal of Richard Nixon, and British actress Eve Best (A Moon for the Misbegotten) captured the Drama Desk trophy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play.

Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade) and Donna Murphy (LoveMusik) tied for the award in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical category, and Raul Esparza (Company) was voted Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical by the Drama Desk voters. Vanessa Redgrave won the Outstanding Solo Performance award for her tour de force performance in The Year of Magical Thinking.
Boyd Gaines (Journey’s End) and Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia) captured the Drama Desk Awards as Outstanding Featured Actor and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, respectively. Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins) and Debra Monk (Curtains) won the Drama Desk Awards as Outstanding Feature Actor and Featured Actress in a Musical for their performances.
The Drama Desk Awards for staging went to Jack O’Brien (The Coast of Utopia) as Outstanding Director of a Play, and to Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) as Outstanding Director of a Musical. Andy Blankenbuehler was honored for Outstanding Choreography for his work on the electric Off Broadway urban musical In the Heights.

Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater won the Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics awards for their creative contributions to Spring Awakening and Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone (Curtains) were winners of the Outstanding Book of a Musical award. Mark Bennett (The Coast of Utopia) won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music for a Play.There was a tie in the Outstanding Orchestrations category between, Mary Mitchell Campbell (Company) and Jonathan Tunick ((LoveMusik).

In the design categories, Bob Crowley and Scott Pask (The Coast of Utopia)won for Outstanding Set Design of a Play, and Bob Crowley won his second Drama Desk Award of the night for his Outstanding Set Design of a Musical for his creative contributions to Mary Poppins.

The Outstanding Costume Design award was presented to Catherine Zuber (The Coast of Utopia). Kenneth Posner, Brian MacDevitt and Natasha Katz (The Coast of Utopia) won for Outstanding Lighting Design and Gregory Clarke (Journey’s End) was honored for his Outstanding Sound Design.

The Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience was won by Edward Scissorhands Outstanding Ensemble Drama Desk Awards, voted on by the Drama Desk Nominating Committee, was presented to the casts of In the Heights and Lebensraum.
In addition, the ceremony featured live performances from current-season Broadway and Off Broadway musicals, including: Jason Danieley (introduced by David Hyde Pierce) performed “I Miss the Music” from Curtains; Silvia Garcias Da Ves, Michael Feigenbaum, Ido Kagen, Yael Mahler, Eva Boucherite, Aka Jean Claude Themiele and Hila Yaffe  did a musical number from Be; Lea Michele, Remy Zaken, Phoebe Strole, Lauren Pritchard  and Lilli Cooper (introduced by Stephen Spinella) performed “Mama Who Bore Me” from Spring Awakening;  and Raul Esparza (introduced by Barbara Walsh) sang “Marry Me A Little” from Company.

Barry Levitt is Musical Director and also played piano. Other musicians in the Drama Desk Band were Anthony Pannicioti (percussion), Jon Burr (bass) and Robert Magnuson (woodwinds). The announcer was Les Marshak.

The 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards was videotaped and will be broadcast as a two-hour special on NYC TV Channel 25 on Thursday, May 24 at 8:00 PM and Saturday, May 26  at 10:00 PM,as well as on Thirteen/WNET on Sunday, May 27, at 12:30 PM. The television special will also be broadcast on many PBS stations across the United States starting in June. The Drama Desk Awards were webcast with live streaming video from 9:00 PM to its conclusion by and, for the first time, was broadcast live in its entirety on XM Satellite Radio’s Theater Channel 28.

The 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards is presented by Executive Producer Robert R. Blume in association with Shining Stars™ and Class Schneider is producer and Jeff Kalpak, director.  Peter Flynn is the writer. Associate Producers are Les Schecter, Corine Dana Cohen, Matthew P. Donoghue, Jacki Barlia Florin and Margot Astrachan. Elias EL-Hage is General Manager.  Randie Levine-Miller is Special Events Director for the Drama Desk. Stuart F. Margulies (SFM Management Ltd.)  is the Drama Desk Awards accountant. Roy A. Somlyo is Consulting Producer.

For NYC TV Channel 25, Arick Wierson, William Fitzgerald and Trevor Scotland are Executive Producers. Steve Vigilante is Technical Director.

For, Ed Highfield is the webcast producerand Brian Scott Lipton is the Editor in Chief. Michael Portantiere is Senior Editor.

For XM Satellite Radio, John von Soosten is Producer/Host and Andy Propst is Co-Host.

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

This year, the Drama Desk Awards has added Abrams Gentile Entertainment and Russ Berrie, Inc., creators of Shining Stars,™ as major sponsors of the awards show. Shining Stars™ is also a proud sponsor to the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, which “brightens the lives of seriously ill children worldwide.”

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 funding for the 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards was provided by David S. Stone, Esq. /Boies, Schiller and Flexner LLP; Jack and Susan Rudin; Richard I. Kandel; Ted Snowdon; The Smart Family Foundation; Production Resource Group (PRG); Sound Associates, Inc.; Abrams Gentile Entertainment; Russ Berrie Company; Jackie Barlia-Florin; The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation, and The Dorothy Loudon Foundation/Executive Director, Lionel Larner.

Receptions were sponsored by Arte Café, Russian Tea Room, China Grill, and the NY Friars Club. Additional food and beverages were provided by Grey Goose Vodka, Peroni Beer, Tony’s Di Napoli, Hawaiian Tropic Restaurant. and  Wines by Lubov Galleries. In-kind and media sponsors included Hit Show Club, Federico Salon, Variety and ARRIVE Magazine (on Amtrak). SoftwarePronto is the Manager/Hostof the official Drama Desk website ( Transportation was provided by Gray Line NY Sightseeing.  

The 2006–2007 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of Barbara Siegel,,; chairperson; Glenda Frank, Plays International,; Tony Philips, New York Press; Andrew Propst, American Theater Web, XM Satellite Radio; Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV; and William Wolf,, President of the Drama Desk.

The Board of Directors of the Drama Desk is composed of William Wolf, President;,  Leslie (Hoban) Blake, Vice President, WFUV FM,,; Charles Wright, Treasurer and Second Vice President, A&E Television Networks, Best Plays International Yearbook;  Joyce Hauser, Secretary,; and Board Members-at-large Michael Bracken, WFUV FM;  David Kaufman, Free Lance;  Ellis Nassour,, Playbill; Sam Norkin, Past President, Theater Artist; Barbara Siegel,,;  and Elyse Sommer, Chief Critic and Editor,


L.S. Public Relations:  
Les Schecter,           917/854-3286
Matthew Donoghue
, 646/228-4448

Outstanding Play:                                                              The Coast of Utopia by Tom Stoppard
Outstanding Musical:                                                       Spring Awakening
Outstanding Revival of a Play:                                          Journey’s End   by R.C. Sherriff
Outstanding Revival of a Musical:                                  Company by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth
Outstanding Actor in a Play:                                           Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Outstanding Actress in a Play:                                      Eve Best (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical:                                   Raul Esparza (Company)
Outstanding Actress in a Musical:                    TIE     Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade) and
Donna Murphy (LoveMusik)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play:                             Boyd Gaines (Journey’s End)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play:                         Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical:                       Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical:                   Debra Monk (Curtains)
Outstanding Director of a Play:                                         Jack O’Brien (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Director of a Musical:                                   Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening)
Outstanding Choreography:                                              Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights)
Outstanding Music:                                                             Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening)
Outstanding Lyrics:                                                             Steven Sater (Spring Awakening)
Outstanding Book of a Musical                                         Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone (Curtains)
Outstanding Music for a Play                                            Mark Bennett (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Orchestrations:                              TIE          Mary Mitchell Campbell (Company) and
                                                                                        Jonathan Tunick (LoveMusik)
Outstanding Set Design of a Play:                                   Bob Crowley and Scott Pask (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Set Design of a Musical:                             Bob Crowley (Mary Poppins)
Outstanding Costume Design:                                         Catherine Zuber (The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Lighting Design:                                           Kenneth Posner, Brian MacDevitt, Natasha Katz
(The Coast of Utopia)
Outstanding Sound Design:                                           Gregory Clarke (Journey’s End)
Outstanding Solo Performance:                                    Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Unique Theatrical Experience:                                      Edward Scissorhands
In addition, the following non-competitive awards were presented:
Outstanding Ensemble Performances:                      The cast of In The Heights
The cast of Lebensraum

To John Kander and Fred Ebb for 42 years of excellence in advancing the art of musical theater.

To Austin Pendleton – actor, director, playwright, teacher – A Renaissance man of the American theater.

To Transport Group for its breadth of vision and its presentation of challenging production.

To National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene for preserving for 92 consecutive seasons the cultural legacy of Yiddish speaking theater of America.

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The 56th Drama Desk Awards is
presented by
Blume Media Group

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