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‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Racks Up 12 Nominations for Drama Desk Awards

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” cleaned up in the nominations for the annual Drama Desk Awards, making off with an even dozen nods.

Among the season’s Broadway musicals, “Gentleman’s Guide” led a pack that also included “The Bridges of Madison County” (nine), “Aladdin” (seven), “Rocky” (seven), “Beatiful” and “Bullets Over Broadway” (six apiece). Off Broadway tuner “Fun Home” ranked high with eight noms.

Among plays, Bryan Cranston starrer “All the Way” topped the list with five nods, followed by the Off Broadway staging of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (four) that was Julie Taymor’s return to the New York stage following “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

The Drama Desks are just one of New York’s annual round of legit awards leading up to the Tonys. As with all such nominations — including the recently announced lists from the Outer Critics Circle and from the Drama League — the Drama Desks are an unreliable predictor of Tony love. Still, legiters scrutinize them like tea leaves, especially this season, when the Broadway season’s awards race seems to have no clear frontrunner.

With “Gentleman’s Guide” also dominating the nominations from the Outer Critics, the tuner seems to have amassed strong awards momentum from critics, at least.  The show competes for the musical kudo alongside fellow Rialto titles “Aladdin,” “Beautiful,” “Rocky” and “The Bridges of Madison County,” plus Off Broadway’s “Fun Home” and “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” both produced by the Public Theater.

That list leaves out “If/Then,” the latest tuner from the creators of “Next to Normal,” and “After Midnight,” the Cotton Club revue that scored notably strong reviews when it opened in the fall. The latter, however, was nominated for outstand revue.

The Drama Desks’ play category is dominated by Off Broadway, with the Main Stem’s “All the Way” (by Robert Shenkkan) and John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar” part of a list that also includes Bruce Norris’ “Domesticated,” Richard Nelson’s “Regular Singing” and Nell Benjamin’s “The Explorers Club,” among others

The lead actor in a play trophy is a starry category, with Cranston competing against Ian McKellen (“No Man’s Land”), Chris O’Dowd (“Of Mice and Men”), Daniel Radcliffe (“The Cripple of Inishmaan”) and Denzel Washington (“A Raisin in the Sun”).  Neil Patrick Harris (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) is among the nominees for lead musical actor, and the lead actress in a tuner race came down to Sutton Foster (“Violet”), Idina Menzel (“If/Then”), Jessie Mueller (“Beautiful”) and Kelli O’Hara (“Bridges”), alongside Off Broadway’s Margo Seibert (“Tamar of the River”) and Barrett Wilbert Weed (“Heathers”).

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” for which topliner Audra McDonald  is nominated for an acting trophy, has been notably classified as a play by the Drama Desks after both the Outer Critics and the Drama Leagues called the Billie Holiday bio a musical. Producers of the production are likely to push for the show to be deemed a play by the Tonys as well, since both the race for lead actress in a musical is an unusually competitive ones.

Each year the Drama Desk — an org made up of legit critics, writers and scholars — also gives out special awards. This year that list includes the ensemble casts of “The Open House” and “The Realistic Joneses,” two plays by Will Eno, plus downtown org Soho Rep, actress Veanne Cox and director Ed Sylvanus Iskander.

The Drama Desk awards will be handed out in a June 1 ceremony at midtown venue Town Hall.

Here is a complete list of the nominations:


Outstanding Play

Nell Benjamin, The Explorers Club Steven Levenson, Core Values
Conor McPherson, The Night Alive Richard Nelson, Regular Singing
Bruce Norris, Domesticated
Robert Schenkkan, All the Way
John Patrick Shanley, Outside Mullingar

Outstanding Musical

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Aladdin
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Fun Home

Love’s Labour’s Lost

The Bridges of Madison County

Outstanding Revival of a Play

I Remember Mama London Wall
No Man’s Land
Of Mice and Men
The Cripple of Inishmaan The Model Apartment Twelfth Night*

*Shakespeare’s Globe Production

Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Hedwig and the Angry Inch Les Misérables

Outstanding Actor in a Play

Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Hamish Linklater, The Comedy of Errors
Ian McKellen, No Man’s Land
David Morse, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin Chris O’Dowd, Of Mice and Men
Daniel Radcliffe, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Denzel Washington, A Raisin in the Sun

Outstanding Actress in a Play

Barbara Andres, I Remember Mama
Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill Laurie Metcalf, Domesticated
J. Smith-Cameron, Juno and the Paycock
Harriet Walter, Julius Caesar

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Adam Jacobs, Aladdin
Andy Karl, Rocky
Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Steven Pasquale, The Bridges of Madison County Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Sutton Foster, Violet
Idina Menzel, If/Then
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Kelli O’Hara, The Bridges of Madison County Margo Seibert, Tamar of the River
Barrett Wilbert Weed, Heathers: The Musical

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Reed Birney, Casa Valentina Chuck Cooper, Choir Boy
Peter Maloney, Outside Mullingar Bobby Moreno, Year of the Rooster Bill Pullman, The Jacksonian

Brian J. Smith, The Glass Menagerie

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Betty Buckley, The Old Friends
Julia Coffey, London Wall
Diane Davis, The Model Apartment
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie Jan Maxwell, The Castle

Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Danny Burstein, Cabaret
Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical Joshua Henry, Violet
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Rory O’Malley, Nobody Loves You
Bobby Steggert, Big Fish

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Stephanie J. Block, Little Miss Sunshine
Anika Larsen, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Laura Osnes, The Threepenny Opera
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Outstanding Director of a Play

Joe Calarco, A Christmas Carol Tim Carroll, Twelfth Night Thomas Kail, Family Furniture Bill Rauch, All the Way

Anna D. Shapiro, Domesticated
Julie Taymor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Outstanding Director of a Musical

Sam Gold, Fun Home
Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Bartlett Sher, The Bridges of Madison County
Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical Alex Timbers, Rocky
Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Outstanding Choreography

Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Steven Hoggett, Kelly Devine, Rocky
Danny Mefford, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin
Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical Sonya Tayeh, Kung Fu

Outstanding Music

Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County Andrew Lippa, Big Fish
Steven Lutvak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Alan Menken, Aladdin

Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe, Heathers: The Musical Jeanine Tesori, Fun Home

Outstanding Lyrics

Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Chad Beguelin, Aladdin
Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County
Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Michael Friedman, Love’s Labour’s Lost
Michael Korie, Far from Heaven
Lisa Kron, Fun Home

Outstanding Book of a Musical

Chad Beguelin, Aladdin
Robert L. Freedman, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Joe Kinosian, Murder for Two
Lisa Kron, Fun Home
Douglas McGrath, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Marsha Norman, The Bridges of Madison County

Outstanding Orchestrations

Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County John Clancy, Fun Home
Larry Hochman, Big Fish
Steve Sidwell, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Michael Starobin, If/Then

Jonathan Tunick, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Outstanding Music in a Play

Lewis Flinn, The Tribute Artist
Elliot Goldenthal, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Rob Kearns, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle Tom Kochan, Almost, Maine
Nico Muhly, The Glass Menagerie
Duncan Sheik, A Man’s a Man

Outstanding Revue

After Midnight
I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Musik from the Weimar and Beyond Le Jazz Hot: How the French Saved Jazz
Til Divorce Do Us Part
What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined

Outstanding Set Design

Christopher Barreca, Rocky
Alexander Dodge, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Richard Hoover, Small Engine Repair
Santo Loquasto, Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical
Ian MacNeil, A Doll’s House
Donyale Werle, The Explorers Club

Outstanding Costume Design

Constance Hoffman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream William Ivey Long, Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical Zane Pihlstrom, Nutcracker Rouge
Loren Shaw, The Mysteries
Jenny Tiramani, Twelfth Night
David C. Woolard, The Heir Apparent

Outstanding Lighting Design

Christopher Akerlind, Rocky Jane Cox, Machinal
David Lander, The Civil War Peter Mumford, King Lear Brian Tovar, Tamar of the River Japhy Weideman, Macbeth

Outstanding Projection Design

Robert Massicotte and Alexis Laurence, Cirkopolis Sven Ortel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Aaron Rhyne, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Shawn Sagady, All the Way

Austin Switser, Sontag: Reborn Ben Rubin, Arguendo

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical

Kai Harada, Fun Home
Peter Hylenski, Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical
Peter Hylenski, Rocky
Brian Ronan, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Dan Moses Schreier, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Jon Weston, The Bridges of Madison County

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play

M.L. Dogg, The Open House
Katie Down, The Golden Dragon
Paul James Prendergast, All the Way Dan Moses Schreier, Act One Christopher Shutt, Love and Information Matt Tierney, Machinal

Outstanding Solo Performance

David Barlow, This is My Office
Jim Brochu, Character Man
Hannah Cabell, Grounded
Debra Jo Rupp, Becoming Dr. Ruth
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned John Douglas Thompson, Satchmo at the Waldorf

Unique Theatrical Experience

Charlatan Cirkopolis
Mother Africa Nothing to Hide Nutcracker Rouge

The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O’Neill Vol. 2


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