NEW YORK — Donald Margulies’ “Dinner With Friends” and the musical “James Joyce’s The Dead” took home the top prizes at the Lucille Lortel Awards, which honor achievement in Off Broadway theater.
Margulies’ “Dinner” was named best play and “The Dead,” adapted by Richard Nelson from Joyce’s story and featuring music by Shaun Davey, was named best musical. Latter show has since moved to Broadway’s Belasco Theater after its Off Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons, which means it is also eligible for Tony Awards.
The Lincoln Center Theater musical “Contact” took two nods: Susan Stroman won the directing prize (the awards do not bestow separate nods for direction of plays and musicals), and star Boyd Gaines won the male performance award. “Contact,” too, has since moved to Broadway.
Eileen Heckart won a pair of awards, for outstanding female performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery” and a special award for her body of work.
The Drama Dept.’s revival of George Kelly’s 1922 comedy “The Torch Bearers” won the revival prize, while the creative team that worked on the musical “The Wild Party” swept the design awards. David Gallo’s work on the Manhattan Theater Club musical took the set design prize. Kenneth Posner won the lighting nod for his work on “Wild Party” and the Roundabout Theater Co.’s “Give Me Your Answer, Do!” Martin Pakledinaz took the costume prize for “Wild Party” and Theater for a New Audience’s revival of Harley Granville Barker’s “Waste.”
A special award will also be given to Jason Robards, for lifetime achievement, and Manhattan Theater Club’s Barry Grove will receive the Edith Oliver Award, honoring his presidency of the League of Off Broadway Theaters and Producers, which presents the awards. In addition, playwrights Charles Busch and Israel Horovitz will receive stars on the Playwrights Sidewalk in front of the Lucille Lortel Theater.
The awards, voted by a committee of theater critics and industry professionals, will be presented May 1 at a ceremony at the Lucille Lortel Theater, followed by a gala reception. Ceremony will be hosted by Joy Behar and Jesse L. Martin.
Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Actors’ Fund of America. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 575-0263.