Providing some balm for its wounds, “A Catered Affair” took the 74th annual Drama League Award for new musical, at the end of a week in which the Harvey Fierstein-John Bucchino tuner was unexpectedly shut out of top categories by Tony nominators.
Continuing its kudos trail, Tracy Letts’ “August: Osage County” won for new play, while revival categories went to Lincoln Center Theater’s “South Pacific” and the current production of “Macbeth” toplined by Patrick Stewart.
Patti LuPone won the event’s single performance award, for her role as Rose in the Arthur Laurents-helmed revival of “Gypsy.”
The Drama League, a legit artist and audience development org, considers both Broadway and Off Broadway offerings in its production and performance categories. “Affair” not only beat out Rialto entries “Cry-Baby,” “Passing Strange,” “Xanadu” and “Young Frankenstein,” but also shows from off the Main Stem including “The Adding Machine,” “Next to Normal” and “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island.”
Broadway tuner “In the Heights,” which cleaned up in the Tony noms, was not eligible for League kudos this year because it was considered last season for its Off Broadway run.
“August,” “South Pacific” and “Macbeth” are all Tony contenders in their respective categories.
Every year, some 75 thesps are nominated for the League’s performance award, but only one wins the prize, which an actor may win only once in his or her career. This season, LuPone was selected from a list that included Tony nominees Amy Morton (“August”), Paulo Szot (“South Pacific”), Tom Wopat (“Affair”), Laurence Fishburne (“Thurgood”) and Stew (“Passing Strange”).
Awards luncheon was hosted Friday at the Marriot Marquis Hotel by “Affair” book writer and thesp Fierstein. Special honors were presented to music director Paul Gemignani, helmer Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”) and downtown theater stalwart Ellen Stewart, founder of experimental troupe La MaMa E.T.C.
And the winners are:
Distinguished Production of a Play: “August: Osage County”
Distinguished Production of a Musical: “A Catered Affair”
Distinguished Revival of a Play: “Macbeth”
Distinguished Revival of a Musical: “South Pacific”
Distinguished Performance Award: Patti LuPone, “Gypsy”