The Broadway musical “Billy Elliot” continued to dominate the New York theater awards season by winning 10 Drama Desk Awards on Sunday night, including outstanding musical, director, choreography and featured actor (Gregory Jbara, as Billy’s father) and actress (Hadyn Gwynne, as his ballet teacher).
The show picked up 15 Tony Award nominations on May 5 and won seven awards from the Outer Critics Circle last Monday. However, one of its chief competitors in the Tonys, the new musical “Next to Normal,” was not eligible for Drama Desk or Outer Critics Circle awards because it ran Off Broadway last season. The Tonys are on June 7.
Other Drama Desk recipients were Brian d’Arcy James for actor in a musical, playing the title role in “Shrek The Musical,” and Allison Janney for actress in a musical as Violet Newstead in “9 to 5.” (“Billy Elliot,” “Shrek,” and “9 to 5” are all based on movies.)
Meanwhile, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Ruined” won best play; “The Norman Conquests” won best play revival; and “Hair” won best musical revival.
Top acting honors in the play categories recognized performances of two very complicated royals: Geoffrey Rush for “Exit the King” and Janet McTeer in “Mary Stuart.” A complete list of the Drama Desk Award winners can be found below.
Outstanding Play: “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage
Outstanding Musical: “Billy Elliot”
Outstanding Revival of a Play: “The Norman Conquests”
Outstanding Revival of a Musical: “Hair”
Outstanding Music in a Play: Dominic Kanza (“Ruined”)
Outstanding Actor in a Play: Geoffrey Rush (“Exit the King”)
Outstanding Actress in a Play: Janet McTeer (“Mary Stuart”)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Brian d’Arcy James (“Shrek The Musical”)
Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Allison Janney (“9 to 5″)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Pablo Schreiber (“reasons to be pretty,” Off Broadway)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Angela Lansbury (“Blithe Spirit”)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Gregory Jbara (“Billy Elliot”)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Haydn Gwynne (“Billy Elliot”l)
Outstanding Director of a Play: Matthew Warchus (“The Norman Conquests”)
Outstanding Director of a Musical: Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot”)
Outstanding Choreography: Peter Darling (“Billy Elliot”)
Outstanding Music: Elton John (“Billy Elliot”)
Outstanding Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim (“Road Show”)
Outstanding Book of a Musical Lee Hall (“Billy Elliot”)
Outstanding Orchestrations: Martin Koch (“Billy Elliot”)
Outstanding Set Design of a Play: David Korins (“Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them”)
Outstanding Set Design of a Musical: Tim Hatley (“Shrek The Musical”)
Outstanding Costume Design: Tim Hatley (“Shrek The Musical”)
Outstanding Lighting Design in a Play: David Hersey (“Equus”)
Outstanding Sound Design: Paul Arditti (“Billy Elliot”)
Outstanding Solo Performance: Lorenzo Pisoni (“Humor Abuse”)
Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical: Rick Fisher (“Billy Elliot”)
Unique Theatrical Experience: “Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words”
In addition, the following non-competitive awards were presented:
- Outstanding Ensemble Performances: The cast of “The Norman Conquests” The cast of “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
- To Liza Minnelli, a beloved American musical theater icon, for her enduring career of sustained excellence, and her glorious performance in “Liza’s at the Palace…”
- To “Forbidden Broadway” at the end of its nearly three decade run and the creators, casts and designers who made it an unparalleled New York institution cherished for its satire and celebration of Broadway.
- To the Atlantic Theater Company and artistic director Neil Pepe for exceptional craftsmanship, dedication to excellence and productions that engage, inspire and enlighten.
- To TADA! Youth Theater for providing an invaluable contribution to the future of the theater. The company makes outstanding training and experience accessible and affordable to young people and mounts productions remarkable for their quality and professionalism.