Laura Benanti to Host New York’s Drama Desk Awards (Instead of the Tonys)

The Drama Desk has tapped Laura Benanti, the Broadway fave (“Gypsy”) whose TV credits include “Go On” and “The Sound of Music Live,” to host the org’s 59th annual awards ceremony.

Benanti lands the Drama Desk gig after a tongue-in-cheek Twitter campaign to host the 2014 Tonys with “[title of show]” performer-creator Susan Blackwell. That job instead went to Hugh Jackman.

The Drama Desk Awards, presented by the titular nonprofit legit development organization, is one of a crush of theater kudos handed out in advance of the Tonys, with other honors around town including the Lortels, the Drama League, the Obies and the New York Drama Critics Circle. The Drama Desk is Gotham’s lone legit kudofest that does not divide competition between Broadway and Off Broadway, considering all productions eligible for the same awards.

The Drama Desk nominations announcement is set for April 25, a few days before the Tony noms go wide April 29. Presented by TheaterMania and produced by Joey Parnes Prods., the Drama Desk ceremony is set for June 1 at midtown venue Town Hall.

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