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Drama Desk praises ‘Book of Mormon’

Broadway musical nabs 12 award nominations

Drama Desk nominators turned up the awards heat on Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon,” tapping the musical for a dozen noms.

Revival “Anything Goes” was another a hot property, scoring 10. Among plays, “The Merchant of Venice” picked up seven, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” six.

In the round of legit-award nominations announced prior to the Tony noms, theater folks are often tempted to treat the noms as tea leaves for Tony love. But while such mentions can give a broad picture of what tends to fare well with nominators, a number of factors make comparisons questionable. Drama Desks, for instance, consider Broadway and Off Broadway productions together in the same categories, whereas Tonys draw noms only from the Rialto. Three shows eligible for Tony bids — “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” “Brief Encounter” and “The Scottsboro Boys” — weren’t eligible for Drama Desk noms because they were considered last season in their Off Broadway incarnations. In addition, the cast of “The Normal Heart,” including Joe Mantello and Ellen Barkin, wasn’t eligible for individual thesping noms because all of them together scored one of the special awards for ensemble performance. (Off Broadway tuner “In Transit” also takes home an ensemble honor.)

In the race for new musical, “Mormon” competes with fellow Broadway productions “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Sister Act,” alongside Off Broadway shows “In Transit,” “See Rock City and Other Destinations” and “The Kid.” Among plays, Main Stem outings “Bengal Tiger,” “Good People,” “War Horse” and “The Motherfucker With the Hat” share the category with “A Bright New Boise,” “A Small Fire” and Broadway-bound “Other Desert Cities.”

Thesping categories include Al Pacino (“Merchant”), Geoffrey Rush (for the Brooklyn stint of “Diary of a Madman”), Frances McDormand (“Good People”) and Daniel Radcliffe and John Laroquette (both of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”).

The haul for “Mormon” included noms for tuner, helmer, music, lyrics, book, choreography, actor (Andrew Rannells), featured actor (Rory O’Malley) and featured actress Nikki M. James.

“Anything Goes” competes for top musical revival with its only other Tony-eligible rival, “How to Succeed,” and Off Broadway’s “Hello Again.” Play revival contenders include “Merchant,” “Normal Heart,” “Born Yesterday,” “The House of Blue Leaves,” “The Importance of Being Earnest” and Off Broadway’s “Three Sisters.”

Drama Desk, an org made up of legit critics and writers, also announced the recipients of its special laurels, including playwright A.R. Gurney, thesp Reed Birney, New Group a.d. Scott Elliott, Off Broadway’s Pearl Theater Company and the creative team of “War Horse.”

Ceremony for the 56th annual Drama Desk Awards is set for May 23. Event will be filmed in HD for a 90-minute spec to air six times on the Ovation cable net.

The Drama Desk nominees

Outstanding Play
Jon Robin Baitz, “Other Desert Cities”
Adam Bock, “A Small Fire”
Stephen Adly Guirgis, “The Motherf**ker With the Hat”
Samuel D. Hunter, “A Bright New Boise”
Rajiv Joseph, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
David Lindsay-Abaire, “Good People”
Nick Stafford, “War Horse”

Outstanding Musical
“In Transit”
“Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical”
“See Rock City & Other Destinations”
“Sister Act”
The Book of Mormon
“The Kid”

Outstanding Revival of a Play
“Born Yesterday”
“The House of Blue Leaves”
“The Importance of Being Earnest”
“The Merchant of Venice”
“The Normal Heart”
“Three Sisters”

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
“Anything Goes”
Hello Again
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Charles Busch, ” The Divine Sister”
Bobby Cannavale, ” The Motherf**ker With the Hat”
Al Pacino, ” The Merchant of Venice”
Geoffrey Rush, ” The Diary of a Madman”
Mark Rylance, ” Jerusalem”
Michael Shannon, ” Mistakes Were Made”
Paul Sparks, ” Dusk Rings a Bell”

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Nina Arianda, ” Born Yesterday
Stockard Channing, ” Other Desert Cities
Frances McDormand, ” Good People
Laurie Metcalf, ” The Other Place
Michele Pawk, ” A Small Fire
Lily Rabe, ” The Merchant of Venice”

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, “Catch Me if You Can”
Colin Donnell, “Anything Goes”
Daniel Radcliffe, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
Andrew Rannells, “The Book of Mormon”
Tony Sheldon, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert:The Musical”
Christopher Sieber, “The Kid”

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Sutton Foster, “Anything Goes”
Beth Leavel, “Baby It’s You!”
Patina Miller, “Sister Act”
Donna Murphy, “The People in the Picture”
Sherie Rene Scott, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Brian Bedford, “The Importance of Being Earnest”
Christian Borle, “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Boyd Gaines, “The Grand Manner”
Logan Marshall-Green, “The Hallway Trilogy”
Zachary Quinto, “Angels in America”
Tom Riley, “Arcadia”
Yul Vázquez, “The Motherf**ker With the Hat”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Lisa Emery, “The Collection & A Kind of Alaska”
Edie Falco, “The House of Blue Leaves
Julie Halston, “The Divine Sister”
Sarah Nina Hayon, “A Bright New Boise”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Linda Lavin, “Other Desert Cities”
Judith Light, “Lombardi”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Adam Godley, “Anything Goes”
John Larroquette, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
Brian Stokes Mitchell, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Rory O’Malley, “The Book of Mormon”
Bob Stillman, “Hello Again”
Tom Wopat, “Catch Me if You Can”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Laura Benanti, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”
Kerry Butler, “Catch Me if You Can”
Victoria Clark, “Sister Act”
Jill Eikenberry, “The Kid”
Nikki M. James, “The Book of Mormon”
Patti LuPone, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Laura Osnes, “Anything Goes”

Outstanding Director of a Play
Trip Cullman, “A Small Fire”
Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, “The Normal Heart”
Moisés Kaufman, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
Davis McCallum, “A Bright New Boise”
Daniel Sullivan, “The Merchant of Venice”
Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, “Baby Universe”

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Rob Ashford, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
Joe Calarco, “In Transit”
Jack Cummings III, “Hello Again”
Jack Cummings III, “See Rock City & Other Destinations”
Kathleen Marshall, “Anything Goes”
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, “The Book of Mormon”

Outstanding Choreography
Rob Ashford, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, “Beautiful Burnout”
Steven Hoggett, “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Kathleen Marshall, “Anything Goes”
Casey Nicholaw, “The Book of Mormon”
Siudy, “Between Worlds”

Outstanding Music
Brad Alexander, “See Rock City & Other Destinations”
Alan Menken, “Sister Act”
Trey Parker, “Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, “The Book of Mormon”
Marc Shaiman, “Catch Me if You Can”
Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, “The People in the Picture”
David Yazbek, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”

Outstanding Lyrics
Rick Crom, “Newsical The Musical — Full Spin Ahead”
Jack Lechner, “The Kid”
Adam Mathias, “See Rock City & Other Destinations”
Trey Parker, “Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, “The Book of Mormon”
Glenn Slater, “Sister Act”
Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, “Catch Me if You Can”

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth, “In Transit”
Iris Rainer Dart, “The People in the Picture”
Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical”
Adam Mathias, “See Rock City & Other Destinations”
Trey Parker, “Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, “The Book of Mormon”
Michael Zam, “The Kid”

Outstanding Orchestrations
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, “Hello Again”
Bruce Coughlin, “The Burnt Part Boys”
Simon Hale, “Jim Abbott and David Yazbek, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, “The Book of Mormon”
Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank, “Catch Me if You Can”
Lynne Shankel, “The Extraordinary Ordinary”

Outstanding Music in a Play
Wayne Barker, “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Kathryn Bostic, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
Lars Petter Hagen, “Baby Universe”
Alan John, “The Diary of a Madman”
Tom Kitt, “The Winter’s Tale”
Dan Moses Schreier, “The Merchant of Venice”

Outstanding Revue
“Fyvush Finkel Live!”
“Newsical The Musical — Full Spin Ahead”
“Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway”

Outstanding Set Design
Rachel Hauck, ” Orange, ” Hat & Grace”
David Korins and Zachary Borovay (projection design), ” Lombardi”
Derek McLane, ” Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
Derek McLane, ” Anything Goes”
Tony Straiges, ” Treasure Island”
Mark Wendland, ” The Merchant of Venice”

Outstanding Costume Design
Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, ” Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical”
Desmond Heeley, ” The Importance of Being Earnest”
Ann Hould-Ward, ” A Free Man of Color”
Martin Pakledinaz, ” Anything Goes”
Ann Roth, ” The Book of Mormon”
Paloma Young, ” Peter and the Starcatcher”

Outstanding Lighting Design
Jean Kalman, “John Gabriel Borkman”
R. Lee Kennedy, “See Rock City & Other Destinations”
David Lander, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
Laura Mroczkowski, “Spy Garbo”
Ben Stanton, “The Whipping Man”
David Weiner, “A Small Fire

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Lindsay Jones, “The Burnt Part Boys”
Michael Rasbury, “Hello Again”
Brian Ronan, “Anything Goes”
Brian Ronan, “The Book of Mormon”
Jon Weston, “In Transit”

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Acme Sound Partners, “The Merchant of Venice”
Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
Ian Dickinson, “John Gabriel Borkman”
Brett Jarvis, “Baby Universe”
Bray Poor, “Wings”
Eric Shimelonis, “The Hallway Trilogy”

Outstanding Solo Performance
Daniel Beaty, “Through the Night”
Mike Birbiglia, “Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend”
Juliette Jeffers, “Batman and Robin in the Boogie Down”
John Leguizamo, “Ghetto Klown”
Colin Quinn, “Colin Quinn Long Story Short”
Joanna Tope, “The Promise”

Unique Theatrical Experience
“Being Harold Pinter”
“Circus Incognitus”
“Play Dead”
“Room 17B”
“Sleep No More”

Outstanding Ensemble Performances
“In Transit”
“The Normal Heart”

Special Awards
A.R. Gurney for his enduring, keenly observed portraits of American life over a prolific four-decade-long career.
To Reed Birney for his versatile and finely nuanced performances over the past thirty-five years, and for his exceptional work this season in Tigers Be Still, A Small Fire and The Dream of the Burning Boy.
To The New Group and Artistic Director Scott Elliott for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.
To The Pearl Theatre Company for notable productions of classic plays and nurturing a stalwart resident company of actors.
To the creative team of “War Horse” for thrilling stagecraft: Paule Constable, Marianne Elliott, 59 Productions, Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Company, Tom Morris, Rae Smith, Christopher Shutt, Toby Sedgwick, Adrian Sutton and John Tams.

12 – “The Book of Mormon”
10 – “Anything Goes”
7 – “The Merchant of Venice”
6 – “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”
6 – “Catch Me if You Can”
6 – “See Rock City & Other Destinations”
6 – “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”
5 – “Hello Again”
5 – “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
5 – “Peter and the Starcatcher”
5 – “Sister Act”
5 – “The Kid”
4 – “A Small Fire”
4 – “In Transit”
4 – “Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical”
3 – “A Bright New Boise”
3 – “Baby Universe”
3 – “Other Desert Cities”
3 – “The Importance of Being Earnest”
3 – “The Motherf**ker With the Hat”
3 – “The People in the Picture”
2 – “Born Yesterday”
2 – “Good People”
2 – “John Gabriel Borkman”
2 – “Lombardi”
2 – “Newsical The Musical — Full Spin Ahead”
2 – “The Burnt Part Boys”
2 – “The Diary of a Madman”
2 – “The Divine Sister”
2 – “The Hallway Trilogy”
2 – “The House of Blue Leaves”
2 – “The Normal Heart”

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