The Tony-nominated Broadway play “Oslo” made it a hat-trick, winning the award for best play from the New York Drama Critics Circle after snagging the same honor from the Lortels the night before and from the Outer Critics Circle earlier in the morning.
The well-received Off Broadway musical “The Band’s Visit” notched the organization’s 2017 honor for best musical, with special citations going to Paula Vogel — the Pulitzer winner (“How I Learned to Drive”) whose Broadway debut, “Indecent,” is also up for a Tony — as well as to Taylor Mac and to the director and ensemble cast of the Tony nominated revival of August Wilson’s “Jitney.”
“Oslo,” J.T. Roger’s surprisingly engrossing chronicle of the back-channel diplomacy that led to the Oslo Accords, seems to have taken the lead in the Tony race for new play, pulling ahead of a competitive field (which includes Pulitzer winner “Sweat,” buzzy “A Doll’s House, Part 2” and the well-received Vogel play) by scoring a trio of early awards in rapid succession. For the musical award, the NYDCC looked to Off Broadway, where David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’ “Band’s Visit,” based on the 2007 Israeli film about a group of Egyptian musicians who accidentally end up in a small town in Israel, played earlier this year in an Atlantic Theater Company production. (Producers hope to bring “Band’s Visit,” which also did well at the Lortels, to Broadway.)
Vogel earned her citation for her long career as both a playwright and a mentor, while Mac took one for his ambitious “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.” The cast of “Jitney” — one of whom, John Douglas Thompson, is up for an acting Tony — scored a citation for its ensemble work in the Wilson revival, sharing the honor with director Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
NYDCC’s best play award comes with a cash prize of $2,500. All honors will be handed out in a private cocktail reception May 18.