In a repeat of last year, two Off Broadway titles have stolen the spotlight from Broadway fare at the New York Drama Critics Circle, with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s buzzmagnet musical “Hamilton” and Stephen Adly Guirgis’ recent Pulitzer Prize winner “Between Riverside and Crazy” landing the organization’s awards for musical and play, respectively.
Special NYDCC citations went to Ars Nova — the Off Broadway producing organization that has nurtured critically praised shows such as “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” “Jacuzzi” and “Small Mouth Sounds” — and to designer Bob Crowley, the prolific stage designer currently up for four Tonys for his work in “An American in Paris,” “Skylight” and “The Audience.”
Off Broadway dominated at NYDCC last year, too, with musical “Fun Home” and play “The Night Alive” taking the honors. The critical love for “Fun Home,” which won a whole slew of awards-season attention in 2014, helped spur the show to its current Broadway incarnation, which snagged 12 Tony nods.
Like “Fun Home,” “Hamilton” also will make its way to Broadway, having already lined up a transfer to the Richard Rodgers Theater this summer. Both “Hamilton” and “Fun Home” originated at Off Broadway’s Public Theater; “Between Riverside and Crazy” initially bowed at the Atlantic Theater Company prior to a run at Second Stage.
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NYDCC sometimes hands out an additional award for British play in the event that an American play claims the best play award (or for American play, should a U.K. entry win), but the group opted to forgo that award this year. Last year, Broadway outing “All the Way,” which starred Bryan Cranston as LBJ, took the secondary play prize.
NYDCC encompasses about 25 critics who write regularly about theater in New York or national outlets. The 2015 awards were announced on Twitter by NYDCC president (and critic for Time Out New York) Adam Feldman.