The Drama League wants to be where the boys are. The org’s annual awards ceremony gave “Jersey Boys” the trophy for tuner and U.K. import “The History Boys” the laurels for play.
“Awake and Sing!” and “Sweeney Todd” took the titles for play revival and musical revival, respectively, and Christine Ebersole nabbed the acting award for her widely praised perf in the Off Broadway tuner “Grey Gardens.”
In the League race, which also includes Off Broadway candidates, both “Boys” topped Rialto offerings that look likely to be Tony contenders. “Jersey Boys,” based on the life and music of the Four Seasons, beat out “The Color Purple,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and “The Wedding Singer,” while Alan Bennett’s “The History Boys” bested “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” and “Rabbit Hole.”
Helmer John Doyle’s pared-down “Sweeney” trumped sure-bet Tony rival “The Pajama Game,” while “Awake and Sing!,” the Lincoln Center Theater revival of the Clifford Odets play, was the head of the class among Broadway offerings “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” “Faith Healer” and “Three Days of Rain.”
Ebersole was among a pool of 74 acting nominees, including Julia Roberts, David Schwimmer, Cynthia Nixon, Lois Smith, and Harry Connick, Jr.
“Jersey Boys” helmer Des McAnuff was given a previously announced special award for directing. Marian Seldes and Patti LuPone received body-of-work achievement honors.
Awards were announced at a luncheon hosted by Alan Cumming (“The Threepenny Opera”) May 5.