PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, May 31-June 6: Kenneth Branagh's Macbeth Wickedly Good and Itís Tony Time

By Robert Simonson
06 Jun 2014

Jefferson Mays in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Photo by Joan Marcus

Variety opined, "There’s something magnificently depraved about the vision of Macbeth," on display, but "the best bits in this visceral production are the rousing battle scenes, the gory murders, and the nasty synergy between sex and violence.  And let’s admit it: Branagh’s Macbeth is a bloody beast."


The 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards, honoring shows that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway during the 2013-14 New York theatre season, were presented June 1 at The Town Hall in Manhattan.

The new musical comedy A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder earned seven awards, the most of any production of the season, including Outstanding Musical — perhaps a harbinger of good fortune for the show, which is up for many Tony Awards this weekend.

Robert Schenkkan's All The Way was named Outstanding Play and stage and screen star Bryan Cranston was named Outstanding Actor in a Play for his performance as President Lyndon B. Johnson in that historical drama.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical picked up three Drama Desk Awards, including one for its leading lady, Jessie Mueller

There were ties in two, count 'em, two of the acting categories: Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) were both named Outstanding Actor in a Musical, while Anika Larsen (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and Lauren Worsham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) each picked up Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.


Finally, speaking of All The Way, whatever its fate on Tony night, the production can leave New York in the assurance that it was, at least, a financial success. The play recouped its $3.9 million investment in under four months, producers announced June 5.