‘Affair’ tops Drama Desk nominations

Fierstein-Bucchino musical nabs 12 nods

“A Catered Affair” was one to remember for the Drama Desk, which nommed the Broadway tuner for an even dozen awards.

“Affair” topped the list of nominations for the legit org’s annual round of kudos, which consider both Broadway and Off Broadway fare in the same categories. “Affair” earned mentions for tuner, music (John Bucchino), lyrics (Bucchino), book (Harvey Fierstein), director (John Doyle) and lead actress (Faith Prince), among others.

Also scoring well were “Adding Machine,” with nine noms for the Off Broadway tuner that’s been garnering its own share of awards attention, as well as Rialto offerings “South Pacific” and “Young Frankenstein,” taking eight each.

Claiming seven, Pulitzer Prize winner (and general trophy fave among nonmusicals) “August: Osage County” led the pack of straight plays.

With six-slot categories that mix Main Stem and Off Broadway productions, the Drama Desk noms are an irregular bellwether for Tony mentions, although the actual laurels can often line up with Tony picks. Last season, leading winners “Spring Awakening” and “The Coast of Utopia” went on to sweep the Tonys.

Along with “Affair” and “Adding,” competish for top musical prize includes Broadway fare “Passing Strange” and “Xanadu” plus Off Broadway offerings “The Glorious Ones” and “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island.” Left off the list was “Young Frankenstein,” which racked up its tally of noms for thesps (Christopher Fitzgerald, Shuler Hensley, Andrea Martin), choreography (Susan Stroman) and others.

“In the Heights,” a prominent element in the Tony mix, was largely ineligible due to the musical’s Off Broadway run last season, and one last-minute musical entry, “Glory Days,” will be considered next season because of its late start date.

Play category is dominated by Off Broadway shows, with “August” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll” the only Rialto productions alongside nominees “Intimate Exchanges,” “Horizon,” “From Up Here,” as well as Primary Stages’ Broadway-bound staging of “Dividing the Estate.”

After a crowded, highly competitive season for Broadway plays, “The Seafarer” (with one thesping mention for Conleth Hill), “November,” “The Farnsworth Invention” and “Is He Dead?” were generally left out in the cold by the Desk nominations. Recently opened tuner “Cry-Baby” received one for Rob Ashford’s choreography.

For tuner revival, “South Pacific,” “Sunday in the Park With George” and “Gypsy” will vie for the honor with Off Broadway’s “Black Nativity” and “Take Me Along.” “Sunday” took seven noms total, “Gypsy” four.

As the season’s play revival race continues to shape up, the Drama Desk nominated “Boeing-Boeing,” “Macbeth” and “The Country Girl,” leaving out several Rialto hopefuls including yet-to-open “Top Girls” and “The Homecoming” (which did score a mention for ensemble performance, along with Keen Company’s Off Broadway staging of “The Dining Room”). Off Broadway contenders are “Dining Room,” “Happy Days” and “The Return of the Prodigal.”

In addition to the Drama Desk’s slate of acting and design awards, special kudos will go to scribe Edward Albee, actor James Earl Jones (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”) and Off Broadway venues 59E59 Theaters and Playwrights Horizons.

Nominations, announced Monday morning at the New York Friars Club by Bebe Neuwirth and Len Cariou, are selected by a committee of legit journos from a variety of outlets. Awards will be handed out at a Gotham ceremony May 18.

And the nominees for the 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards are:

Play:
Alan Ayckbourn, “Intimate Exchanges”
Rinde Eckert, “Horizon”
Liz Flahive, “From Up Here”
Horton Foote, “Dividing the Estate”
Tracy Letts, “August: Osage County”
Tom Stoppard, “Rock ‘n’ Roll”

Musical:
“A Catered Affair”
“Adding Machine “
“Passing Strange”
“The Glorious Ones “
“The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island”
“Xanadu ”

Revival of a Play:
“Boeing-Boeing”
“Happy Days”
“Macbeth”
“The Country Girl”
“The Dining Room”
“The Return of the Prodigal”

Revival of a Musical:
“Black Nativity”
“Gypsy”
“South Pacific”
“Sunday in the Park with George”
“Take Me Along”

Revue:
“Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening”
“Fugitive Songs”
“Make Me a Song”

Actor in a Play:
Bill Champion, “Intimate Exchanges”
Kevin Kline, “Cyrano de Bergerac”
Bill Pullman, “Peter and Jerry”
Mark Rylance, “Boeing-Boeing”
Tobias Segal, “From Up Here”
Rufus Sewell, “Rock ‘n’ Roll”

Actress in a Play:
Sinead Cusack, “Rock ‘n’ Roll”
Deanna Dunagan, “August: Osage County”
Frances McDormand, “The Country Girl”
Amy Morton, “August: Osage County”
Fiona Shaw, “Happy Days”
Julie White, “From Up Here”

Actor in a Musical:
Daniel Breaker, “Passing Strange”
André De Shields, “Black Nativity”
Daniel Evans, “Sunday in the Park with George”
Cheyenne Jackson, “Xanadu”
Matthew Morrison, “10 Million Miles”
Paulo Szot, “South Pacific”

Actress in a Musical:
Sierra Boggess, “The Little Mermaid”
Patti LuPone, “Gypsy”
Kelli O’Hara, “South Pacific”
Faith Prince, “A Catered Affair”
Alice Ripley, “Next to Normal”
Jenna Russell, “Sunday in the Park with George”

Featured Actor in a Play:
John Cullum, “The Conscientious Objector”
Conleth Hill, “The Seafarer”
Francis Jue, “Yellow Face”
Arian Moayed, “Masked”
Jeff Perry, “August: Osage County”
Michael T. Weiss, “Scarcity”

Featured Actress in a Play:
Elizabeth Ashley, “Dividing the Estate”
Johanna Day, “Peter and Jerry”
Zoe Kazan, “100 Saints You Should Know”
Linda Lavin, “The New Century”
Rondi Reed, “August: Osage County”
Marisa Tomei, “Top Girls”

Featured Actor in a Musical:
Danny Burstein, “South Pacific”
Christopher Fitzgerald, “Young Frankenstein”
Boyd Gaines, “Gypsy”
Shuler Hensley, “Young Frankenstein”
Bobby Steggert, “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island”
Tom Wopat, “A Catered Affair”

Featured Actress in a Musical:
Laura Benanti, “Gypsy”
Leslie Kritzer, “A Catered Affair”
Andrea Martin, “Young Frankenstein”
Mary Testa, “Xanadu”
Amy Warren, “Adding Machine”
Mare Winningham, “10 Million Miles”

Director of a Play:
David Schweizer, “Horizon”
Anna D. Shapiro, “August: Osage County”
Leigh Silverman, “From Up Here”
Jonathan Silverstein, “The Dining Room”
Matthew Warchus, “Boeing-Boeing”
Deborah Warner, “Happy Days”

Director of a Musical:
Christopher Ashley, “Xanadu”
Sam Buntrock, “Sunday in the Park with George”
David Cromer, “Adding Machine”
John Doyle, “A Catered Affair”
Bob McGrath, “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island”
Bartlett Sher, “South Pacific”

Choreography:
Karole Armitage, “Passing Strange”
Rob Ashford, “Cry-Baby The Musical”
Shana Carroll and Gypsy Snider, “Traces”
Dan Knechtges, “Xanadu”
Peter Pucci, “Queens Boulevard (the musical)”
Susan Stroman, “Young Frankenstein”

Music:
John Bucchino, “A Catered Affair”
Stephen Flaherty, “The Glorious Ones”
Tom Kitt, “Next to Normal”
Mark Mulcahy, “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island “
Joshua Schmidt, “Adding Machine”
Stew and Heidi Rodewald, “Passing Strange”

Lyrics:
Lynn Ahrens, “The Glorious Ones”
Mel Brooks, “Young Frankenstein”
John Bucchino, “A Catered Affair”
Ben Katchor, “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island”
Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt, “Adding Machine”
Stew, “Passing Strange”

Book of a Musical:
Douglas Carter Beane, “Xanadu”
Harvey Fierstein, “A Catered Affair”
Ben Katchor, “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island”
Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt, “Adding Machine”
Stew, “Passing Strange”
Eric H. Weinberger, “Wanda’s World”

Orchestra
tions:

Doug Besterman, “Young Frankenstein”
Jason Carr, “Sunday in the Park with George”
Michael Starobin, “The Glorious Ones”
Stew and Heidi Rodewald, “Passing Strange”
Jonathan Tunick, “A Catered Affair”
Tim Weil, “10 Million Miles”

Set Design of a Play:
Beowulf Boritt, “Spain”
Scott Bradley, “Eurydice”
David Korins, “Hunting and Gathering”
Santo Loquasto, “Trumpery”
Scott Pask, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”
Clint Ramos, “The Return of the Prodigal”

Set Design of a Musical:
David Gallo, “A Catered Affair”
Takeshi Kata, “Adding Machine”
Derek McLane, “10 Million Miles”
George Tsypin, “The Little Mermaid”
Robin Wagner, “Young Frankenstein”
Michael Yeargan, “South Pacific”

Costume Design:
Mara Blumenfeld, “The Glorious Ones”
Michael Bottari and Ronald Case, Jessica Jahn, “Die Mommie Die!”
Ann Hould-Ward, “A Catered Affair”
Ana Kuzmanic, “August: Osage County”
Katrina Lindsay, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”
William Ivey Long, “Young Frankenstein”

Lighting Design:
Kevin Adams, “The 39 Steps”
Ken Billington, “Sunday in the Park with George”
Maruti Evans, “Slaughterhouse-Five”
Donald Holder, “South Pacific”
Natasha Katz, “The Little Mermaid”
Keith Parham, “Adding Machine”

Sound Design:
Adam Cork, “Macbeth”
Jorge Cousineau, “Opus”
Joseph Fosco, “The Conversation”
Scott Lehrer, “South Pacific”
Mic Pool, “The 39 Steps”
Tony Smolenski IV, “Adding Machine”

Solo Performance:
Kris Andersson, “Dixie’s Tupperware Party”
Laurence Fishburne, “Thurgood”
Stephen Lang, “Beyond Glory”
April Yvette Thompson, “Liberty City”

Projection and Video Design:
Paul Barritt, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”
Timothy Bird and The Knifedge Creative Network, “Sunday in the Park with George”
Zachary Borovay, “A Catered Affair”
Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg, “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island”
Lorna Heavey, “Macbeth”
Tal Yarden, “The Misanthrope”

Unique Theatrical Experience:
“Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”
“Cut to the Chase”
“Fabrik – The Legend of M. Rabinowitz”
“The 39 Steps”
“Traces”

Ensemble Performances
“The Dining Room”
“The Homecoming”

Special Awards

Edward Albee in his 80th year, “whose provocative plays, including this season’s “Peter and Jerry”, enrich the American theater.”

James Earl Jones, a “commanding force on the stage for nearly half a century.”

59E59 Theaters, whose “imaginative curatorial vision has created a stimulating environment to nurture a diverse range of artists.”

Playwrights Horizons for “ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work.”

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