Awards & Prizes
I Wanna Be a Producer!" Leopold Bloom's stick-in-your-brain song may also be the mantra of those who invested in Mel Brooks's The Producers, the big winner in the Drama Desk (a record 11), Outer Critics Circle (8) and Antoinette Perry awards (a record 12, see box).
The "Springtime for Hitler" juggernaut swept up Drama Desk laurels for Nathan Lane and Gary Beach (best actor and best featured actor, musical), Cady Huffman (best featured actress, musical), Susan Stroman (winning two, as best director and best choreographer), Robin Wagner and William Ivey Long (best set and best costume design, respectively) and, of course, Mel Brooks, who accepted three awards, for best book (co-written with Thomas Meehan)best lyrics and best musical.
Actor/director Simon McBurney received a Drama Desk nod in the unique theatrical experience category for Mnemonic--a production that also earned awards for Paul Anderson in lighting design and Christopher Shuff in sound design. Special awards went to Reba McEntire for her work in Annie Get Your Gun and Sean Campion and Conleth Hill for Stones in His Pockets.
Other winners included Richard Easton and Jack O'Brien (best actor and director for The Invention of Love), Viola Davis and Charles Brown (best featured actress and featured actor for King Hedley II), Maria Schaffel (best actress, musical, for Jane Eyre) and MaryLouise Parker (best actress for Proof). David Auburn's drama, mounted by Manhattan Theatre Club, also hooked the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Drama Desk for best play.
Proof was also in the pudding at the Outer Critics Circle-the organization of out-of-town writers on New York theatre-winning the outstanding Broadway play award. In fact, winners mostly matched the Drama Desk recipients, with a few notable exceptions and additions: key the Farley and Brian Flemming's Bat Boy:
The Musical won in the Off-Broadway musical category, August Wilson's Jitney won outstanding Off-Broadway play, Robert Sean Leonard received the featured actor award for The Invention of Love and Andre de Shields took home an award as outstanding featured actor in the musical The Full Monty.
Downtown denizens attended the Village Voice Obie Awards, honoring the Off- and Off-Off-Broadway performance spectrum. References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot earned Jose Rivera a playwriting citation and John Ortiz a performance award. Other honored performers include Bette Bourne (Resident Alien), Brian Murray (The Play About the Baby), Janie Dee (Comic Potential) and Stephanie Berry (The Shanee qua Chronicles). Pamela Gien won a best play award for The Syringa Tree, and Mark Hollmann, Greg Kotis and John Carrafa were recognized for book, lyrics and choreography for Urinetown. Two directors were honored: Craig Lucas for Saved or Destroyed and Michael Greif for Dogeaters. Special citations went to gender illusionist and accompanist Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman (for their spirited Christmas show, Kiki and Herb: Jesus Wept), Ruben Santiago-Hudson for his blues-infused autobiography Lackawanna Blues and Rinds Eckert for his operatic And God Created Great Whales.
Mary-Louise Parker (Proof) and Gary Sinise (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) were winners in the distinguished performance category at the 67th annual Drama League awards. Proof, The Producers and Cuckoo's Nest nabbed the distinguished production awards. Susan Stroman was honored for outstanding achievement in musical theatre, while Jack O'Brien pocketed the Julia Hansen Award for excellence in directing. Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago received a nod for outstanding contribution to the theatre.
The first-ever National Broadway Theatre Awards, presented by the League of American Theatres and Producers to honor touring Broadway shows, recognized Ragtime as best musical. Best play honors went to Barry Humphries for Dame Edna, who also won as best actor in a play. Other winning performers were David Pittu (for Parade), Louise Pitre (for Mamma Mia! …