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Drama League Picks ‘Kinky Boots,’ ‘Vanya and Sonia’

"Pippin," "Virginia Woolf" and Nathan Lane also are among the award winners

The Drama League contributed its two cents to the 2012-13 awards season discussion, tapping tuner “Kinky Boots” and new play “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” to take home the org’s annual kudos.

Revivals “Pippin” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” also nabbed trophies, while Nathan Lane scored the League’s one annual thesping award for his perf in “The Nance.”

Both “Kinky Boots” and “Vanya and Sonia” are also nominees in tight races for the Tony Awards, and while a laurel from another org doesn’t always make for a reliable bellwether, it does give some indication of what at least one seg of legiters is thinking in advance of the big night. The Drama League nominates both Broadway and Off Broadway titles for the org’s awards, but this year the winners triumphed over a pack of nominees that also included their major Tony competish.

“Kinky” scored the Drama League in a category that included “Matilda,” the Brit hit and critical fave that’s vying with “Kinky” for the Tony for new musical, the only category that consistently influences ticket sales. Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia” finds itself in a pool of new play contenders that each seem to have a viable shot at the gold. The show scores the Drama League over fellow Tony competitors “Lucky Guy,” “The Assembled Parties” and “The Testament of Mary,” among others.

The Drama League is the second org to endorse “Vanya and Sonia” following the New York Drama Critics Circle, which hands out awards voted on by local legit critics (many of whom are also Tony voters). NYDCC gave its tuner kudo to “Matilda.”

Both “Pippin” and “Virginia Woolf” also scored League laurels over some of their respective Tony competition. Lane, meanwhile, snagged the acting award from among a list of some 60 nominees.

Special awards went to the previously announced recipients Bernadette Peters, “Kinky Boots” helmer Jerry Mitchell and Madison Square Garden Entertainment and the Rockettes. Kudos were handed out at a long luncheon ceremony hosted by David Hyde Pierce, one of the stars of “Vanya and Sonia,” and “Smash” thesp Debra Messing.

And the winners of the 79th annual Drama League Awards are:

DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A PLAY

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

DISTINGUISHED REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

“Pippin”

DISTINGUISHED REVIVAL OF A PLAY

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE AWARD

Nathan Lane, “The Nance

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL THEATER

Bernadette Peters

UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION TO THE THEATER

Madison Square Garden Entertainment and the Rockettes

FOUNDERS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN DIRECTING

Jerry Mitchell

 

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