‘Billy,’ ‘Shrek’ tops Outer Critics Circle

'Elliot' wins seven prizes at honors

“Billy Elliot” pirouetted off with seven legit awards, including new Broadway musical, from the Outer Critics Circle, while “Shrek the Musical” walked away with four.

“God of Carnage” scored for new Rialto play and recent awards-magnet “Ruined” nabbed the prize for Off Broadway non-tuner.

In general the OCC winners didn’t provide many surprises in the spring kudos race, with “Billy” and “Shrek” among the frontrunners of the Tony noms announced last week.

“Billy” picked up the OCC’s major creative kudos for tuners, including score (Elton John and Lee Hall), director (Stephen Daldry), choreographer (Peter Darling) and thesping awards for supporting actors Haydn Gwynne and Gregory Jbara.

Both those performers are nommed for Tonys, as are the three boys who rotate in the role of “Billy,” who share a previously announced special achievement award from the OCC.

“Shrek” scored acting honors for leads Brian d’Arcy James and Sutton Foster, who shared her award with Josefina Scaglione of “West Side Story.” “Shrek” designer Tim Hatley picked up a pair of laurels for sets and costumes.

In the play categories, Marcia Gay Harden won the lead actress kudo for “God of Carnage,” besting a group of nominees that included her Tony rivals Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter of “Mary Stuart.” The category has shaped up into one of the tightest races at the Tonys.

For lead actor, Geoffrey Rush (“Exit the King”) scored over Tony competish Raul Esparza and Thomas Sadoski. Angela Lansbury, another high-profile thesp on the Rialto, scored for her supporting perf in “Blithe Spirit.”

For revivals, “Hair” nabbed the Broadway tuner award with “The Norman Conquests” scoring for play. Matthew Warchus, helmer of both “Norman” and “Carnage,” won for “Norman.” (The six-actor cast of “Norman” also notched a special ensemble performance kudo.)

Gina Gionfriddo’s Off Broadway hit, “Becky Shaw,” got the John Gassner Award for American plays by new playwrights.

Tony contenders “Next to Normal” and “Dividing the Estate” were not eligible for OCC awards this year, because they had been previously considered for their Off Broadway runs.

Outer Critics Circle membership consists of legit journalists from outlets with readership concentrated outside the Gotham area. Ceremony for the 2009 awards is set for May 21 at Sardi’s.

And the winners are:

NEW BROADWAY PLAY
“God of Carnage”

NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
“Billy Elliot the Musical”

NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
“Ruined”

NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
“The Toxic Avenger”

NEW SCORE (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
“Billy Elliot the Musical”

REVIVAL OF A PLAY (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
“The Norman Conquests”

REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
“Hair”

DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Matthew Warchus – “The Norman Conquests”

DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Stephen Daldry – “Billy Elliot the Musical”

CHOREOGRAPHER
Peter Darling – “Billy Elliot the Musical”

SET DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Tim Hatley – “Shrek the Musical”

COSTUME DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Tim Hatley – “Shrek the Musical”

LIGHTING DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Rick Fisher – “Billy Elliot the Musical”

ACTOR IN A PLAY
Geoffrey Rush – “Exit the King”

ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Marcia Gay Harden – “God of Carnage”

ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Brian d’Arcy James – “Shrek the Musical”

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Sutton Foster – “Shrek the Musical”
Josefina Scaglione – “West Side Story”

FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
David Pearse – “The Cripple of Inishmaan”

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Angela Lansbury – “Blithe Spirit”

FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Gregory Jbara – “Billy Elliot the Musical”

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Haydn Gwynne – “Billy Elliot the Musical”

SOLO PERFORMANCE
Lorenzo Pisoni – “Humor Abuse”

ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
Amelia Bullmore, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miles, Paul Ritter, Amanda Root – Cast of “The Norman Conquests”

JOHN GASSNER AWARD (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Gina Gionfriddo Becky Shaw

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish for their performances in “Billy Elliot the Musical”

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