2019 Drama Desk Awards nominations shocker: Broadway is snubbed in a slew of races

The current revival of “Oklahoma!” scored the most Drama Desk love with a whopping 12 nominations. Not far behind was the stage adaptation of “Tootsie” with 11. Bu even with those tallies, Broadway shows were shut out in several top categories, including includes Lead Actor in a Play. That Tony Awards race may be stacked, but the Drama Desk nominating committee spurned big names like Bryan Cranston and Jeff Daniels and cited only Off-Broadway performances.

The vehicles for those two stars (“Network” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” respectively) similarly couldn’t crack the Best Play lineup. Despite a stellar year for new plays on Broadway, the only Tony eligible productions the Drama Desk voters invited to the party were Jez Butterworth’s Irish epic “The Ferryman” and Heidi Schreck’s acclaimed auto-drama “What the Constitution Means to Me” (which transferred from Off-Broadway within the same season).

Big names on Broadway were shut out of Lead Actress in a Play as well. They tossed aside Annette Bening (“All My Sons”) and the revered Glenda Jackson (“King Lear”) in favor of critical darlings Midori Francis (“Usual Girls”) and Zainab Jah (“Boseman and Lena”) from smaller theatres. Jackson’s “Lear” co-star Ruth Wilson is one of the few A-Listers to make the cut for her dual featured roles of Cordelia and The Fool, and looks like a serious Tony challenger.

If you were hoping for Tony tea leaves in the fluid Play Revival race, this group didn’t clear up much. Kenneth Lonnergan’s “The Waverly Gallery” is the only Tony eligible Broadway revival in this lineup. As spring revivals draw so-so reviews, this acclaimed drama is an increasingly strong contender for the Tony despite its early closing. The Drama Desk filled out the category with celebrated Off-Broadway runs, including two Signature Theatre productions and the National Asian American Theatre Company’s version of “Henry VI.”

Favorite Off-Broadway productions for the Drama Desk voters were Ars Nova’s “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future” (9 nominations) and Pulitzer Prize winner “Fairview” (7 nominations).

This awards body honors theatrical work presented of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway during the 2018-2019 season. To that end, current Broadway productions in contention at the Tonys which had previously been considered for their previous Off-Broadway runs were only eligible for new material and elements. This ruled out “Choir Boy,” “Hadestown,” and “Torch Song” in the top categories.

Where shows had both an Off-Broadway and Broadway production within the same season the two were considered jointly. Among those so eligible: “Be More Chill,” “The New One,” “Oklahoma!,” and “What the Constitution Means to Me.”

The 64th Annual Drama Desk Awards will take place on June 2nd at Town Hall and will be hosted by Michael Urie. Read the full list of nominations below.

SEE Look at how close that Tonys race is! ‘Oklahoma!’ and ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ in close combat for Best Musical Revival

Best Play
“Fairview,” by Jackie Sibblies Drury, Soho Rep
“The Ferryman”, by Jez Butterworth
“Lewiston/Clarkston,” by Samuel D. Hunter, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
“Usual Girls,” by Ming Peiffer, Roundabout Theatre Company
“What the Constitution Means to Me,” by Heidi Schreck, New York Theatre Workshop and Broadway

Best Musical
“Be More Chill”
“The Hello Girls,” Prospect Theater Company
“The Prom”
“Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future,” Ars Nova
“Tootsie”

Best Revival of a Play
“Fabulation, or the Re-Education” of Undine, Signature Theatre
“Henry VI: Shakespeare’s Trilogy in Two Parts,” National Asian American Theatre Company
“Our Lady of 121st Street,” Signature Theatre
“Summer and Smoke,” Classic Stage Company/Transport Group
“The Waverly Gallery”
“Uncle Vanya,” Hunter Theater Project

Best Revival of a Musical
“Carmen Jones,” Classic Stage Company
“Fiddler on the Roof,” National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and Off-Broadway
“Kiss Me, Kate,” Roundabout Theatre Company
“Merrily We Roll Along,” Fiasco Theater/Roundabout Theatre Company
“Oklahoma!,” Bard Summerscape/St. Ann’s Warehouse and Broadway

Best Actor in a Play
Jeff Biehl, “Life Sucks”
Edmund Donovan, “Lewiston/Clarkston”
Raúl Esparza, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”
Russell Harvard, “I Was Most Alive With You”
Jay O. Sanders, “Uncle Vanya”

Best Actress in a Play
Midori Francis, “Usual Girls”
Zainab Jah, “Boesman and Lena”
Elaine May, “The Waverly Gallery”
Laurie Metcalf, “Hillary and Clinton”
Heidi Schreck, “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best Actor in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, “The Prom”
Andrew R. Butler, “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future”
Damon Daunno, “Oklahoma!”
Santino Fontana, “Tootsie”
Steven Skybell, “Fiddler on the Roof”

Best Actress in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, “The Cher Show”
Beth Leavel, “The Prom”
Rebecca Naomi Jones, “Oklahoma!”
Anika Noni Rose, “Carmen Jones”
Stacey Sargeant, “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future”

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Charles Browning, “Fairview”
Arnie Burton, “Lewiston/Clarkston”
Hampton Fluker, “All My Sons”
Tom Glynn-Carney, “The Ferryman”
Brandon Uranowitz, “Burn This”

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Harriett D. Foy, “The House That Will Not Stand”
Megan Hill, “Eddie and Dave”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “To Kill A Mockingbird”
Ruth Wilson, “King Lear”
Alison Wright, “Othello”

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Corbin Bleu, “Kiss Me, Kate”
André De Shields, “Hadestown”
Sydney James Harcourt, “Girl from the North Country”
George Salazar, “Be More Chill”
Patrick Vaill, “Oklahoma!”

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Stephanie Hsu, “Be More Chill”
Leslie Kritzer, “Beetlejuice”
Soara-Joye Ross, “Carmen Jones”
Sarah Stiles, “Tootsie”
Ali Stroker, “Oklahoma!”
Mary Testa, “Oklahoma!”

Best Director of a Play
Sarah Benson, “Fairview”
Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, “The Jungle”
Sam Mendes, “The Ferryman”
Tyne Rafaeli, “Usual Girls”
Taylor Reynolds, “Plano”
Jeff Wise, “Life Sucks”

Best Director of a Musical
Noah Brody, “Merrily We Roll Along”
Rachel Chavkin, “Hadestown”
Scott Ellis, “Tootsie”
Daniel Fish, “Oklahoma!”
Joel Grey, “Fiddler on the Roof”

Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, “Choir Boy”
Warren Carlyle, “Kiss Me Kate”
Denis Jones, “Tootsie”
Lorin Latarro, “Twelfth Night”
Rick and Jeff Kuperman, “Alice by Heart”
David Neumann, “Hadestown”

Best Music
Andrew R. Butler, “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future”
Joe Iconis, “Be More Chill”
Peter Mills, “The Hello Girls”
Mark Sonnenblick, “Midnight at the Never Get”
Shaina Taub, “Twelfth Night”
David Yazbek, “Tootsie”

Best Lyrics
Chad Beguelin, “The Prom”
Andrew R. Butler, “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future”
Joe Iconis, “Be More Chill”
Peter Mills, “The Hello Girls”
David Yazbek, “Tootsie”

Best Book of a Musical
Scott Brown and Anthony King, “Beetlejuice”
Andrew R. Butler, ‘Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future”
Robert Horn, ‘Tootsie”
Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, “The Prom”
Dominique Morisseau, “Ain’t Too Proud”

Best Orchestrations
Larry Blank, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Simon Hale, “Girl from the North Country”
Daniel Kluger, Oklahoma!”
Charlie Rosen, Be More Chill”
Daryl Waters, “The Cher Show”

Best Music in a Play
Paul Castles and Jongbin Jung, Wild Goose Dreams
Justin Ellington, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Justin Ellington, The House That Will Not Stand
Nick Powell, The Lehman Trilogy
Jason Michael Webb and Fitz Patton, Choir Boy

SEE Tonys predictions smackdown: Will ‘Hadestown,’ ‘Tootsie’ or ‘Be More Chill’ win Best Musical? [WATCH]

Best Set Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, The Jungle”
Es Devlin, “Girls & Boys”
Maruti Evans, “The Peculiar Patriot”
Mimi Lien, Fairview”
Matt Saunders, “Daddy”

Best Set Design for a Musical
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown
Laura Jellinek, Oklahoma!
Laura Jellinek, Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
David Korins, Beetlejuice
Rae Smith, Girl from the North Country

Best Costume Design for a Play
Dede M. Ayite, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark”
Dede M. Ayite, “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka”
Ásta Bennie Hostetter, “Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie”
Toni-Leslie James, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”
Nicole Slaven, “Henry VI: Shakespeare’s Trilogy in Two Parts”

Best Costume Design for a Musical
William Ivey Long, “Beetlejuice”
William Ivey Long, “Tootsie”
Bobby Frederick Tilly II, “Be More Chill”
Michael Krass, “Hadestown”
Bob Mackie, “The Cher Show”
Paloma Young, “Alice by Heart”

Best Lighting Design for a Play
Amith Chandrashaker, “Boesman and Lena”
Amith Chandrashaker, “Fairview”
Jiyoun Chang, “Slave Play”
Jon Clark, “The Jungle”
Simon Cleveland, “Spaceman”
Yi Zhao, “The House That Will Not Stand”

Best Lighting Design for a Musical
Adam Honoré, “Carmen Jones”
Bradley King, “Hadestown”
Jamie Roderick, “Midnight at the Never Get”
Barbara Samuels, “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future”
Scott Zielinski, “Oklahoma!”

Best Projection Design
Peter England, “King Kong”
Katherine Freer, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark”
Luke Halls, “The Lehman Trilogy”
Alex Basco Koch, “Be More Chill”
Peter Nigrini, “Beetlejuice”
Joshua Thorson, ‘Oklahoma!”

Best Sound Design in a Play
Tyler Kieffer, “Plano”
Fitz Patton, “Choir Boy”
Nick Powell, “The Ferryman”
Jane Shaw, “I Was Most Alive with You”
Mikaal Sulaiman, “Fairview”

Best Sound Design in a Musical
Simon Baker, “Girl from the North Country”
Drew Levy, “Oklahoma!”
Brian Ronan, “Tootsie”
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, “Hadestown”
Mikaal Sulaiman, “Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future”

Best Wig and Hair Design
Campbell Young Associates, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Cookie Jordan, ‘Eddie and Dave”
Paul Huntley, “Tootsie”
Charles G. LaPointe,”Beetlejuice”
Charles G. LaPointe, “The Cher Show”

Best Solo Performance
Mike Birbiglia, “The New One”
Carey Mulligan, “Girls & Boys”
Liza Jessie Peterson, “The Peculiar Patriot”, National Black Theatre/Hi-Arts
Erin Treadway, “Spaceman,” Loading Dock Theatre
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”

Unique Theatrical Experience
All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, Theater Latté Da/Laura Little Theatrical Productions/The Sheen Center
Love’s Labor’s Lost, Shake & Bake
The B-Side: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,” The Wooster Group
What to Send Up When It Goes Down, The Movement Theatre Company

Best Fight Choreography
U. Jonathan Toppo, “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”
Claire Warden, “Daddy”
Claire Warden, “Slave Play”

Best Puppet Design
Michael Curry, “Beetlejuice”
Sonny Tilders, “King Kong”
Tschabalala Self, “Daddy”

PREDICT Tony Awards nominations now and change them till April 30

Be sure to make your Tony predictions today so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on April 30. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Tonys taking place right now in our theater forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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