Just four days after prevailing with the Outer Critics Circle, “The Book of Mormon” and “War Horse” were named the best new musical and play of the season at the 77th annual Drama League Awards. Revivals of the tuner “Anything Goes” and the drama “The Normal Heart” were also honored during Friday’s luncheon hosted by Kathleen Turner. All four of these productions are contending at the upcoming Tony Awards.
The League is unique among the theater kudos in that it hands out only one award for distinguished performance. Last year, Alfred Molina won this prize for “Red” but went on to lose the Best Actor Tony to Denzel Washington (“Fences”). Two years ago, Geoffrey Rush took home this award several weeks before prevailing at the Tonys for his performance in “Exit the King.”This year, 61 actors along with the casts of “Hello Again” and “Sleep No More” contended for the single performance prize — the winner was Mark Rylance for both “La Bete” and his Tony-nominated turn in “Jerusalem.”
Three theater vets were feted for their accomplishments: Whoopi Goldberg for her “unique contribution to the theater, Liza Minnelli for distinguished achievement in musical theater, and Susan Stroman for excellence in directing.