Three awards go to current Tony contender

Current Tony contender “Once” and much-lauded play “Sons of the Prophet” took the top prizes at the Off Broadway-centric Lucille Lortel Awards.

Prior to its spring opening on the Rialto, “Once” had bowed in the fall at Off Broadway’s New York Theater Workshop in a run that qualified the musical for the Lortels. Also in the running for 11 Tonys, “Once” scored the Lortel for musical as well as the choreography trophy for Steven Hoggett and a lighting design laurel for Natasha Katz, who shared her kudo with David Weiner for his work on Bergman adaptation “Through a Glass Darkly” at the Atlantic Theater.

Stephen Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet,” which played the Roundabout Theater Company’s Off Broadway space in the fall, took the prize for play as well as the lead actor kudo for Santino Fontana. Show’s well-received Gotham stint initially stirred talk of a Broadway run, but such a move has not yet materialized.

Classic Stage Company’s production of “The Cherry Orchard,” toplined by Dianne Wiest and John Turturro, won for revival while Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s Homer adaptation “An Iliad,” another show that played New York Theater Workshop, scored for solo show.

Sam Gold snagged the directing Lortel for “The Big Meal.” He was also nommed for helming the Roundabout’s “Look Back in Anger,” which won a featured actor prize for Adam Driver (“Girls”).

Lynn Nottage’s “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” which premed at Second Stage, took home a pair of honors, nabbing the lead actress award for Sanaa Lathan and the costume design laurel for ESosa.

Featured actress kudo went to Tonya Pinkins for Kristen Greenidge’s “Milk Like Sugar” at Playwrights Horizons. Design nods went to set designer Lauren Helpern for Amy Herzog’s “4,000 Miles” at Lincoln Center Theater and sound designers Matt Tierney and Ben Williams for “The Select (The Sun Also Rises),” the Elevator Repair Service show that played NYTW.

Another glowingly received Off Broadway play, Nina Raine’s “Tribes,” came away empty handed despite racking up six Lortel noms.

Winners are voted on by a pool of reps drawn from legit orgs such as the Off Broadway League, Actors’ Equity, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the Lucille Lortel Foundation and other theater pros and journos.

The 27th annual Lortel Awards, for which only Off Broadway productions are eligible, were handed out Sunday in a ceremony hosted by Mario Cantone and helmed by Michael Heitzman. Show was produced by the Off Broadway League’s Lortel Awards Producing and Administration Committee, by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation and with support from the Theater Development Fund.

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