Dogfight, The Whale and The Piano Lesson Are Lortel Award Winners

By Adam Hetrick
05 May 2013

Shuler Hensley in The Whale.
Shuler Hensley in The Whale.
Photo by Joan Marcus

The Benj Pasek-Justin Paul musical Dogfight, as well as Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale were among the new works to take top honors at the May 5 Lucille Lortel Awards.

The acclaimed Second Stage Theatre production of Dogfight, the new musical by Tony Award-nominated songwriters Pasek and Paul (A Christmas Story) and book writer Peter Duchan, earned the Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and Outstanding Choreography for Christopher Gattelli.

The Playwrights Horizons premiere of Hunter's The Whale was awarded the Outstanding Play honor, with Shuler Hensley taking the honor for Outstanding Lead Actor, and Outstanding Costume Design for Jessica Pabst.

The Signature Theatre revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson earned four Lortel Awards including Outstanding Revival.



Actors Aasif Mandvi and Maura Tierney hosted the 7 PM evening, honoring work from the 2012-13 season, that benefited the Actors Fund. Writer and director Michael Heitzman directed the Lortel Awards for the fourth consecutive year.

Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors' Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

The 2013 Lortel Award nominees, winners in bold with an asterisk, follow:

Outstanding Play
Bethany
Produced by Women's Project Theater
Written by Laura Marks

Cock
Produced by Stuart Thompson, Jean Doumanian, Royal Court Theatre, William Berlind, Scott Delman, Dena Hammerstein, Jon B. Platt, Scott Rudin, Ted Snowdon, True Love Productions
Written by Mike Bartlett

Detroit
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Lisa D'Amour

The Flick
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Annie Baker

The Whale*
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Outstanding Musical
Dogfight*
Produced by Second Stage Theatre
Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Book by Peter Duchan

Giant
Produced by The Public Theater in association with The Dallas Theater Center
Book by Sybille Pearson, Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Based on the novel by Edna Ferber

Murder Ballad
Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club
Conceived by and with Book and Lyrics by Julia Jordan
Music and Lyrics by Juliana Nash

The Other Josh Cohen
Produced by Amas Musical Theatre in association with Scandobean Productions, LLC
Book, Music and Lyrics by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen

Skippyjon Jones
Produced by TheatreworksUSA
Book and Lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila
Music by Eli Bolin

Outstanding Revival
All In The Timing
Produced by Primary Stages in association with Jamie deRoy Written by David Ives

My Children! My Africa!
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Athol Fugard

Passion
Produced by Classic Stage Company
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by James Lapine

The Piano Lesson*
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by August Wilson

Talley's Folly
Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company
Written by Lanford Wilson

Outstanding Solo Show
All the Rage*
Produced by piece by piece productions, Rising Phoenix Repertory in association with The Barrow Group
Written and Performed by Martin Moran

Jackie
Produced by Women's Project Theater
Written by Elfriede Jelinek
Performed by Tina Benko

Title and Deed
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Will Eno
Performed by Conor Lovett

Outstanding Director
Sam Gold, The Flick
Anne Kauffman, Belleville
Tina Landau, A Civil War Christmas
James Macdonald, Cock
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, The Piano Lesson*

Outstanding Choreographer
George De La Peña, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Christopher Gattelli, Dogfight*
Kyle Mullins, TRIASSIC PARQ: The Musical
Alex Sanchez, Giant
Doug Varone, Murder Ballad

Outstanding Lead Actor
Danny Burstein, Talley's Folly
Brandon J. Dirden, The Piano Lesson
Daniel Everidge, Falling
Shuler Hensley, The Whale*
Aasif Mandvi, Disgraced

Outstanding Lead Actress
Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Neva
America Ferrera, Bethany
Vanessa Redgrave, The Revisionist
Roslyn Ruff, The Piano Lesson*
Sharon Washington, Wild With Happy

Outstanding Featured Actor
David Wilson Barnes, Don't Go Gentle
Chuck Cooper, The Piano Lesson*
Zach Grenier, Storefront Church
Jake Gyllenhaal, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet
Mark Nelson, My Name Is Asher Lev

Outstanding Featured Actress
Eisa Davis, Luck of the Irish
Annie Funke, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet*
Rebecca Naomi Jones, Murder Ballad
Amanda Quaid, Luck of the Irish
Da'Vine Joy Randolph, What Rhymes with America

Outstanding Scenic Design
Beowulf Boritt, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet
Miriam Buether, Cock
Clint Ramos, Wild With Happy*
Louisa Thompson, Detroit
Mark Wendland, Murder Ballad

Outstanding Costume Design
Toni-Leslie James, A Civil War Christmas
Jessica Pabst, The Whale*
Clint Ramos, Wild With Happy
Emily Rebholz, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Anita Yavich, Golden Child

Outstanding Lighting Design
Jane Cox, The Flick
Rui Rita, The Piano Lesson
Ben Stanton, Belleville
Ben Stanton, Murder Ballad
Scott Zielinski, A Civil War Christmas*

Outstanding Sound Design
Leah Gelpe, Slowgirl*
Bray Poor, The Flick
Shane Rettig, Detroit '67
Jane Shaw, Jackie
Matt Tierney, Detroit

SPECIAL AWARDS

Lifetime Achievement Award
Todd Haimes

Playwrights' Sidewalk Inductee
Neil LaBute

Outstanding Body of Work Award
Theatre Development Fund

Outstanding Alternative Theatrical Experience
Old Hats
Created and performed by Bill Irwin and David Shiner
Music by and featuring Nellie McKay
Produced by Signature Theatre

* For more information, visit LortelAwards.org.

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Diedre Friel, Nick Blaemire, Derek Klena, Lindsay Mendez, Josh Segarra and Annaleigh Ashford
Photo by Joan Marcus