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For Release: Thursday, April 27, 2006 10:30 AM (EDT)






NEW YORK, APRIL 27, 2006 – Nominations for the 51 st Annual Drama Desk Awards were announced today at The New York Friars Club by theater notables Marvin Hamlisch and Donna McKechnie, who revealed the nominees for the 2005/2006 theater season in front of a crowd of theater professionals at the press conference this morning. They were joined for the announcement by Drama Desk President William Wolf; Robert R. Blume, Executive Producer of the Drama Desk Awards and Randie Levine-Miller, Director of Special Events for the Drama Desk and a member of the New York Friars Club Board of Governors.

The 2005/2006 Drama Desk Nominating Committee deliberated monthly throughout the year, culminating in a marathon weekend session at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, which ended Monday afternoon, April 24. The nominating committee included: Chairperson Barbara Siegel, and; Drama Desk President William Wolf,; Michael Buckley, Playbill On-Line; Christopher Byrne, Gay City News; Matthew Murray, and Stage Directions magazine; Andrew Propst, American Theater Web and XM Satellite Radio; and Richard Ridge, Broadway Beat TV.

The annual awards honor excellence in theater for Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway during the season. Leading the slate of distinguished nominees is The Drowsy Chaperone, which received 14 nominations.Grey Gardensfollowed with 12 nominations, and two shows received 9 nominations each—See What I Wanna See andSweeney Todd. The Wedding SingerandJersey Boyseach received 8 nominations.(Complete lists follow.)

During the nomination announcement ceremony, the Drama Desk revealed that the casts of two shows would receive special ensemble awards for acting—Stuff Happens and Awake and Sing! Because of the ensemble awards, individual cast members for these shows were not eligible for acting awards in the competitive categories.

The Drama Desk maintained its tradition of acknowledging excellence in the theater and announced that it will also present special awards to: The BMI—Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, The York Theatre Company and to Sh-K-Boom and its label Ghostlight Records. The York Theatre Company produced this year’s Thrill Me, nominated for Outstanding Music. Sh-K-Boom produced recordings of this year’s nominated shows, The Drowsy Chaperone, Songs from an Unmade Bed and George M. Cohan Tonight!

Finally, the Drama Desk announced a special, lifetime achievement award to playwright Horton Foote. Foote’s two plays produced in this season—The Trip to Bountiful and The Traveling Lady—both received nominations for Outstanding Revival of a Play.


The 51 st ANNUAL DRAMA DESK AWARDS will be presented on Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 9:00 PM, at the LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center, 100 Amsterdam Avenue.

For the third consecutive year, Harvey Fierstein will host the ceremony, and for the fourth year in a row, the awards ceremony will be webcast by

The Drama Desk Awards will be taped for television and subsequently broadcast nationwide as a two-hour special on PBS stations. In New York, the program will be shown on Thirteen/WNET on Monday, May 29 at 3:00 PM and on NYC-25 TV on Tuesday May 30 and Thursday, June 1 at 10:00 PM.

A limited number of tickets for the Drama Desk Awards are available to the public by calling (212) 352-3101 or visiting the website at


The following awards were voted by the nominating committee and will be presented by the Drama Desk at its awards ceremony:

 Outstanding Ensemble Performances :

The cast of Stuff Happens

The cast of Awake and Sing! 

Special Awards :  

Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater. For 2005/2006, these awards are presented:  

  • To the BMI—Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop for nurturing, developing and promoting new talent for the musical theater.  
  • To The York Theatre Company for its vital contributions to theater by developing and presenting new musicals.  
  • To Sh-K-Boom and its label Ghostlight Records for dedication to the preservation of musical theater through cast recordings.

The Drama Desk will also present the following special award:

  • A lifetime achievement award to Horton Foote for his bountiful body of work that sensitively explores the human condition.

 Following are the nominations for the competitive categories. Winners will be selected by the voting membership of the Drama Desk:

Outstanding Play :  

  • Alan Bennett, The History Boys
  • David Hare, Stuff Happens
  • Warren Leight, No Foreigners Beyond this Point
  • Martin McDonagh, The Lieutenant of Inishmore
  • Terrence McNally, Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams
  • Craig Wright, The Pavilion

Outstanding Musical :

  • The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Grey Gardens
  • Jersey Boys
  • See What I Wanna See
  • Thrill Me
  • The Wedding Singer

 Outstanding Revival of a Play :

  •  Awake and Sing!
  • The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
  • Philadelphia , Here I Come!
  • Soldier’s Wife
  • The Traveling Lady
  • The Trip to Bountiful

 Outstanding Revival of a Musical :  

  • Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
  • The Pajama Game
  • Sweeney Todd

 Outstanding Actor in a Play :

  •  Vince Gatton, Candy & Dorothy
  • John Glover, The Paris Letter
  • Richard Griffiths, The History Boys
  • Zeljko Ivanek, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
  • Nathan Lane , Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams
  • Brían F. O’Byrne, Shining City

 Outstanding Actress in a Play :

  •  Margaret Colin, Defiance
  • Cherry Jones, Faith Healer
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, Abigail’s Party
  • Jan Maxwell, Entertaining Mr. Sloane
  • Lois Smith, The Trip to Bountiful
  • Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed

 Outstanding Actor in a Musical :  

  • Michael Cerveris, Sweeney Todd
  • Harry Connick, Jr., The Pajama Game
  • Marc Kudisch, See What I Wanna See
  • Stephen Lynch, The Wedding Singer
  • Bob Martin, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • John Lloyd Young, Jersey Boys

 Outstanding Actress in a Musical :  

  • Nancy Anderson, Fanny Hill
  • Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens
  • Sutton Foster, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Patti LuPone, Sweeney Todd
  • Idina Menzel, See What I Wanna See
  • Kelli O’Hara, The Pajama Game

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play :  

  • Devon Abner, The Trip to Bountiful
  • Samuel Barnett, The History Boys
  • Dominic Cooper, The History Boys
  • Jason Butler Harner, The Paris Letter
  • Stephen Campbell Moore, The History Boys
  • David Pittu, Celebration/The Room

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play :

  •  Frances de la Tour, The History Boys
  • Lisa Emery, Abigail’s Party
  • Judith Hawking, Soldier’s Wife
  • Michele Pawk, The Paris Letter
  • Lynn Redgrave, The Constant Wife
  • Marian Seldes, Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams

 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical :  

  • Jim Dale, The Threepenny Opera
  • Alexander Gemignani, Sweeney Todd
  • Christian Hoff, Jersey Boys
  • Eddie Korbich, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • John McMartin, Grey Gardens
  • Daniel Reichard, Jersey Boys

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical :

  • Carolee Carmello, Lestat
  • Leslie Kritzer, The Great American Trailer Park Musical
  • Beth Leavel, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Mary Louise Wilson, Grey Gardens
  • Amy Spanger, The Wedding Singer
  • Mary Testa, See What I Wanna See

 Outstanding Director of a Play :  

  • Alan Ayckbourn, Private Fears in Public Places
  • Gisela Cardenas, Agamemnon
  • Nicholas Hytner, The History Boys
  • Daniel Sullivan, Stuff Happens
  • Robert Wilson, Peer Gynt
  • Jerry Zaks, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

Outstanding Director of a Musical :

  •  John Doyle, Sweeney Todd
  • Michael Greif, Grey Gardens
  • Kathleen Marshall, The Pajama Game
  • Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys
  • Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Daniele Finzi Pasca, Rain

 Outstanding Choreography :

  •  Rob Ashford, The Wedding Singer
  • Angela Chang, Golden Dragon Acrobats
  • Graciela Daniele, Bernarda Alba
  • Kathleen Marshall, The Pajama Game
  • Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Sergio Trujillo, Jersey Boys  

Outstanding Music :

  •  Stephen Dolginoff, Thrill Me
  • Scott Frankel, Grey Gardens
  • Michael John LaChiusa, See What I Wanna See
  • Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Peter Mills, ThePursuit of Persephone
  • Matthew Sklar, The Wedding Singer

 Outstanding Lyrics :

  •  Chad Beguelin, The Wedding Singer
  • Mark Campbell, Songs from an Unmade Bed
  • Ryan Cunningham, I Love You Because
  • Michael Korie, Grey Gardens
  • Michael John LaChiusa, See What I Wanna See
  • Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, The Drowsy Chaperone

 Outstanding Book of a Musical :

  •  Rick Elice & Marshall Brickman, Jersey Boys
  • Bob Martin & Don McKellar, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Doug Wright, Grey Gardens

 Outstanding Orchestrations :

  •  Larry Blank, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Bruce Coughlin, Grey Gardens
  • Bruce Coughlin, See What I Wanna See
  • Daniel Feyer & Peter Mills, The Pursuit of Persephone
  • Sarah Travis, Sweeney Todd
  • Danny Troob & Dick Lieb, The Pajama Game

 Outstanding Set Design of a Play :

  •  Roger Hanna, Walking Down Broadway
  • Eugene Lee, The Ruby Sunrise
  • Derek McLane, Abigail’s Party
  • Robert Wilson, Peer Gynt
  • Michael Yeargan, Awake and Sing!
  • Michael Yeargan, Seascape

 Outstanding Set Design of a Musical :

  •  Michael Bottari & Ronald Case, Fanny Hill
  • John Doyle, Sweeney Todd
  • David Gallo, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Thomas Lynch, See What I Wanna See
  • Allen Moyer, Grey Gardens
  • Scott Pask, The Wedding Singer

Outstanding Costume Design :

  •  Gregg Barnes, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Eric Becker, Abigail’s Party
  • Gale Gregory, The Wedding Singer
  • William Ivey Long, Grey Gardens
  • Jacques Reynaud, Peer Gynt
  • Anita Yavich, The Wooden Breeks

 Outstanding Lighting Design :  

  • Christopher Akerlind, Awake and Sing!
  • Richard G. Jones, Sweeney Todd
  • Traci Klainer, The Asphalt Kiss
  • Martin Labrecque, Rain
  • John McKernon, The Trip to Bountiful
  • Robert Wilson, Peer Gynt

 Outstanding Sound Design :

  •  Acme Sound Partners, The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Acme Sound Partners, See What I Wanna See
  • Steve Canyon Kennedy, Jersey Boys
  • Dan Moses Schreier, Sweeney Todd
  • Brian Ronan, Grey Gardens
  • Brian Ronan, The Pajama Game

 Outstanding Solo Performance :

  •  Judy Gold, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother
  • Marga Gomez, Los Big Names
  • Jon Peterson, George M. Cohan Tonight!
  • Antony Sher, Primo
  • Janis Stevens, Vivien
  • Michael Winther, Songs from an Unmade Bed

 Unique Theatrical Experience :

  •  Christine Jorgensen Reveals
  • The Frog Bride
  • Golden Dragon Acrobats
  • Peer Gynt
  • Rain
  • The Stones


The Drowsy Chaperone 14

Grey Gardens 12

See What I Wanna See 9

Sweeney Todd 9

Jersey Boys 8

The Wedding Singer 8

The History Boys 7

The Pajama Game 7

Peer Gynt 5

Abigail’s Party 4

The Trip to Bountiful 4

Awake and Sing! 3

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial 3

Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams 3

The Paris Letter 3

Rain 3

The Trip to Bountiful 3

Fanny Hill 2

Golden Dragon Acrobats 2

The Pursuit of Persephone 2

Soldier’s Wife 2

Songs from an Unmade Bed 2

Stuff Happens 2

Thrill Me 2


Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows that opened in the Drama Desk 2005/2006 year, and which the nominating committee was able to see by the cutoff deadline of April 23, 2006, were eligible for awards. The Drama Desk nominating committee considered more than 500 shows in determining this year’s slate of nominees.

Disney's Tarzan, officially opening May 10, 2006, did not invite Drama Desk nominators to see it at a preview before the April 23 deadline. Therefore, the Drama Desk will consider Tarzan in the 2006/2007 season. Well and Bridge and Tunnel were considered in previous seasons, though some design elements of their Broadway transfers were deemed eligible. The Lieutenant of Inishmore, which opened first Off Broadway in this season, was considered for its Off Broadway production.

 The Drama Desk Board of Directors oversees the nomination process and is composed of: William Wolf, President; Leslie (Hoban) Blake, Vice President; Charles Wright, Treasurer and Second Vice President; Joyce Hauser, Secretary; and Members-at-Large: Michael Bracken, David Kaufman, Ellis Nassour, Sam Norkin, Barbara Siegel and Elyse Sommer.

Drama Desk nominees will receive their official nomination certificates at a cocktail reception on Tuesday, May 2, 4:00 to 7:00 PM, at Arté Cafe, 106 West 73 rd Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.


The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics’ organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition between Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions.

The organization hosts panels throughout the year, to which the public is invited to promote understanding and appreciation of the professional theater. Last year four public seminars featured leading theater personalities. In addition to honoring creative artists and stage productions in multiple categories, the Drama Desk annually presents scholarships to two worthy seniors in the Drama Department of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts who are planning careers in the theater.

The Drama Desk Awards enlists personal sketches from this year’s nominated performers and creative talent for its Art*Kive program, started four years ago by Art*Kive creator Sarah Galvin. This annual program—unique to the Drama Desk Awards—invites the nominees to render a sketch that is relevant to the role or stage production that helped them achieve their nomination. The sketches will be displayed at the awards ceremony.

To find out more about the organization and this year’s awards show, visit


Robert R. Blume is Executive Producer of the 51st Annual Drama Desk Awards. Lauren Class Schneider is Producer and Jeff Kalpak is Director. The show is being written by Terry Berliner. Associate Producers are Corine Dana Cohen, Jackie Barlia-Florin and Les Schecter, who is also Director of Publicity. Elias EL-Hage is General Manager. Randie Levine-Miller is Director of Special Events for the Drama Desk. For television, Terry Rohnke is Production Consultant and Roy A. Somlyo is Consulting Producer.

The 51st Annual Drama Desk Awards ceremony is made possible by the following individuals and companies:

Friends of the Drama Desk: Jack and Susan Rudin; David S. Stone, Esq., Boies Schiller and Flexner LLP/New Jersey Office ; Lynn & Lewis Pell; Richard I. Kandel; Ted Snowden; Jackie Barlia-Florin.

Contributors:; Lawrence Fraiberg; The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation c/o Enid Nemy; The Dorothy Loudon Foundation c/o Lionel Larner; Roy Furman; Chase Mishkin.

Scholarship Contributors: Jack and Susan Rudin; The Smart Family Foundation; Jamie deRoy & friends;; Daryl Roth Productions; Stewart F. Lane.

In-Kind Sponsors: TheNew York Times; Shadow Box Design Management; Variety; Federico Salon; PBandJ Partners; EGSound; 4Wall Entertainment Lighting.

Additional Sponsors: International Barter Network; Manhattan Bride Magazine; Back Stage; Wine Spectator Magazine.

Reception, Food & Beverage Sponsorships :The Trump Restaurants in the Trump Tower; John’s Pizzeria of Times Square (established 1929); Arté Cafe; The NY Friars Club; Original Soupman; Grey Goose Vodka; Bolla Wines; Tony’s DiNapoli Restaurant; Laurence Scott Events. Transportation: Gray Line/ New York Sightseeing.

Click here to download the full press release in Microsoft Word format.

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Click Here for 2005 Nominations Information

Click Here for 2004 Nominations Information

Click here for 2003 Nominations Information


Press Contacts :

LS Public Relations

Les Schecter (Tel: 212/586-2600)


Matthew P. Donoghue (Tel: 646/228-4448)


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