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The 2018 Drama Desk Awards Winners are Here

Category Broadway

|by David Sheward |


‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Harry Potter’ win big at the 2018 Drama Desk Awards

SpongeBob SquarePants, the family musical based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series about a friendly sponge and his underwater pals, was the big winner at the 63rd annual Drama Desk Awards, winning six accolades including Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Director of a Musical for Tina Landau. The awards, presented by the Drama Desk, a group of New York-based theater critics, editors and reporters, were presented June 3 in a ceremony hosted by Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar, Ugly Betty) at Town Hall in Manhattan. Also winning for SpongeBob were Ethan Slater who plays the title role as Outstanding Actor in a Musical and Gavin Lee as his crabby neighbor Squidward who won for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.

Henry Hadden-Paton, Lauren Ambrose and Allan Corduner in 'My Fair Lady' (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Henry Hadden-Paton, Lauren Ambrose and Allan Corduner in 'My Fair Lady' (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Unlike the Broadway-only Tony Awards, the Drama Desks include both on and Off-Broadway shows in all of its categories. All of the DD nominees for Outstanding Play were from Off-Broadway, and the winner was Joshua Harmon’s Admissions, which played Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Desperate Measures, another Off-Broadway production, won for Outstanding Music (David Friedman) and Lyrics (Peter Kellogg). This Wild West take on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure played the York Theater Company earlier this season and has transferred to a commercial run at New World Stages. Multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winner Tina Fey took the Outstanding Book of a Musical Award for her adaptation of her screenplay of Mean Girls.

Lincoln Center Theater also won the Outstanding Revival of a Musical category for its staging of the classic My Fair Lady now playing at LCT’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. Tony Kushner’s two-part Angels in America was named Outstanding Revival of a Play. Additional Angels winners included Andrew Garfield, who plays reluctant gay prophet Prior Walter (Outstanding Actor in a Play) and Nathan Lane for his scalding portrayal of closeted power broker Roy Cohn (Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play). This is Lane’s fifth Drama Desk Award. He has previously won for The Lisbon Traviata, Guys and Dolls, Love, Valour, Compassion, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way on to the Forum. Glenda Jackson, making her return to Broadway after a 30-year absence, won the Outstanding Actress in a Play prize for Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women. Jamie Brewer of Amy and the Orphans, which played Roundabout Theater Company’s Off-Broadway Laura Pels Theater, was named Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play. Brewer, who has appeared on American Horror Story, has Down Syndrome. “Thank you for showing what people with disabilities can do,” she said in her acceptance speech.

Another two-part show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, won five DDs including Outstanding Director of a Play for John Tiffany and four design awards, the most for any non-musical production. Carousel also took home five awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Jessie Mueller), and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Lindsay Mendez). Mendez and fellow nominee Alexander Gemignani performed “When the Children Are Asleep” from their show. Entertainment was also provided by cast members from nominated shows Miss You Like Hell and KPOP. Host Michael Urie regaled the audience with quips from Twitter and introduced the ceremony with a film parodying productions from the season.

Presenters included Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Gavin Creel, Jenn Collela, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bill Irwin, Mary Testa, Andy Karl, Orfeh and Saycon Sengbloh.

A complete list of 2018 Drama Desk winners follows:

Outstanding Musical
SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Play
Admissions, by Joshua Harmon

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
My Fair Lady

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Angels in America

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Andrew Garfield, Angels in America

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Jessie Mueller, Carousel

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Lyrics
Peter Kellogg, Desperate Measures

Outstanding Music
David Friedman, Desperate Measures

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Tina Fey, Mean Girls

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Tina Landau, SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Director of a Play
John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Lindsay Mendez, Carousel

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Jamie Brewer, Amy and the Orphans

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Nathan Lane, Angels in America

The LaDuca Award for Outstanding Choreography
Justin Peck, Carousel

Outstanding Fight Choreography
Steve Rankin, Carousel

Outstanding Music in a Play
Imogen Heap, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Outstanding Orchestrations
Jonathan Tunick, Carousel

Outstanding Projection Design
Finn Ross and Ash J. Woodward, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants

The Hudson Scenic Studio Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, Three Tall Women

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Jules Fisher, Peggy Eisenhauer, Once on This Island

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Neil Austin, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Kai Harada, The Band's Visit

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Gareth Fry, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Outstanding Wig and Hair
Charles G. LaPointe, SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Catherine Zuber, My Fair Lady

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and the King

Outstanding Solo Performance
Billy Crudup, Harry Clarke

The Chase Award for Unique Theatrical Experience
Derren Brown: Secret

Outstanding Puppet Design
Michael Curry, Frozen

Special Awards
Outstanding Ensemble: School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (Presented to Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Zainab Jah, Nike Kadri, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole, and Myra Lucretia Taylor)

Sam Norkin Award: Juan Castano (Oedipus El Rey, A Parallelogram, Transfers)

Sean Carvajal and Edi Gathegi (Jesus Hopped the A Train)

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