Thoroughly Modern Millie has garnered 12 Drama Desk Award nominations, the most of any show this season. The nominations were announced April 29 at 10 AM at a press conference at the Friar's Club in Manhattan. Polly Bergen and John Stamos, stars of the Broadway revival Cabaret, read the nominations.
The strong support of Millie and Success should be welcome news for the producers of those high profile musicals. Both shows fared less than well with New York critics.
As usual, the Drama Desk nominations held some surprises. The Signature Theatre Company production of Lee Blessing's Thief River was nominated alongside ballyhooed Broadway mountings of Edward Albee's The Goat and Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog. And Dallas Roberts, an actor in the nearly forgotten New York Theatre Workshop mounting of Adam Rapp's Nocturne, will compete for best actor laurels against Broadway heavyweights Alan Bates, Liam Neeson, Bill Pullman, Alan Rickman and Jeffrey Wright.
The Spitfire Grill, which came and went at Playwrights Horizons with little fanfare, received two nominations, and Franny's Way at the same theatre netted spots in three categories. One of the more surprising categories was Outstanding Solo Performance, which contained expected nominees like Elaine Stritch and Simon Callow for The Mystery of Charles Dickens, but left out Bea Arthur, Barbara Cook and John Leguizamo—all of whom brought major solo outings to Broadway this season. Nominated instead were the quirky Off-Broadway shows Are You Dave Gorman?, Charles Nelson Reilly's Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly, Reno's Rebel Without a Pause and T. Ryder Smith for Underneath the Lintel.
As Urinetown opened Off-Broadway in the spring of 2001 and was thus considered for the 2001 Drama Desk Awards, the Broadway production was not eligible for this year's prizes.
Here are the 2001 Drama Desk Award nominations:
The Last Five Years
Sweet Smell of Success
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Into the Woods
Alan Bates, Fortune's Fool
Liam Neeson, The Crucible
Bill Pullman, The Goat
Alan Rickman, Private Lives
Dallas Roberts, Nocturne
Jeffrey Wright, Topdog/Underdog
Robin Barlett, Everett Beekin
Lindsay Duncan, Private Lives
Anna Paquin, The Glory of Living
Sarah Jessica Parker, Wonder of the World
Mercedes Ruehl, The Goat
Meryl Streep, The Seagull
Laura Benanti, Into the Woods
Sutton Foster, Thoroughly Modern Millie
Garrett Long, Spitfire Grill
Louise Pitre, Mamma Mia!
Sherie Rene Scott, The Last Five Years
Vanessa Williams, Into the Woods
FEATURED ACTOR (MUSICAL):
Justin Bohon, Oklahoma!
Norbert Leo Butz, Thou Shalt Not
Jerry Dixon, tick, tick...BOOM!
Gregg Edelman, Into the Woods
Shuler Hensley, Oklahoma!
Marc Kudisch, Thoroughly Modern Millie
FEATURED ACTRESS (MUSICAL):
Liz Callaway, The Spitfire Grill
Harriet Harris, Thoroughly Modern Millie
Judy Kaye, Mamma Mia!
Andrea Martin, Oklahoma!
Karen Mason, Mamma Mia!
Kerry O'Malley, Into the Woods
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY:
Howard Davies, Private Lives
Richard Eyre, The Crucible
Carl Forsman, The Voice of the Turtle
Neil LaBute, The Shape of Things
Bartlett Sher, Cymbeline (Theater for a New Audience)
Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL:
Nicholas Hytner, Sweet Smell of Success
James Lapine, Into the Woods
Michael Mayer, Thoroughly Modern Millie
Trevor Nunn, Oklahoma!
Scott Schwartz, tick, tick…BOOM!
George C. Wolfe, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL:
John Guare, Sweet Smell of Success
John Lahr, Elaine Stritch Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
Jonathan Larson, David Auburn tick, tick…BOOM!
Richard Morris, Dick Scanlan Thoroughly Modern Millie
Jason Robert Brown, The Last 5 Years
Craig Carnelia, Sweet Smell of Success
Jonathan Larson, tick, tick…BOOM!
Kevin Murphy, Reefer Madness
Dick Scanlan, Thoroughly Modern Millie
Ben Schatz, Dragapella Starring The Kinsey Sicks
Doug Besterman, Ralph Burns Thoroughly Modern Millie
Jason Robert Brown, The Last 5 Years
Jonathan Tunick, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
OUTSTANDING MUSIC IN A PLAY:
Crispin Cioe, True Love
Nona Hendryx, Blue
Peter John Still, Cymbeline (Theatre for a New Audience)
Willy Schwarz, Metamorphoses
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN OF A PLAY:
John Lee Beatty, Morning's at Seven
Michael Brown, World of Mirth
David Gallo, Wonder of the World
Tim Hatley, Private Lives
Derek McLane, The Women
Douglas Stein, Ruppert Bohle 36 Views
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN OF A MUSICAL:
Beowulf Boritt, The Last 5 Years
Bob Crowley, Sweet Smell of Success
David Gallo, Thoroughly Modern Millie
Douglas W. Schmidt, Into the Woods
Anthony Ward, Oklahoma!
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN:
Jenny Beaven, Private Lives
Bob Crowley, Sweet Smell of Success
Susan Hilferty, Into the Woods
Dick Magnanti, Reefer Madness
Isaac Mizrahi, The Women
Martin Pakledinaz, Thoroughly Modern Millie
OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN:
Frances Aronson, Psych
TJ Gerckens, Metamorphoses
David Hersey, Oklahoma!
Natasha Katz, Sweet Smell of Success
Peter Mumford, Private Lives
Kenneth Posner, Monster
OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN:
John Collins, Geoff Abbas, Jim Dawson To You, The Birdie!
Mark Huang, Cressida Among the Greeks
Scott Lehrer, Franny's Way
Dan Moses Schreier, Into the Woods
Matthew Spiro, 36 Views
David Van Tieghem, The Glory of Living
OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE:
Simon Callow, The Mystery of Charles Dickens
Dave Gorman, Are You Dave Gorman?
Charles Nelson Reilly, Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly
Reno, Rebel Without a Pause
T. Ryder Smith, Underneath the Lintel
Elaine Stritch, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
Paul Huntley, hair and wig designer, for Lifetime Achievement
Billy Rosenfield, record producer, for his contributions to the preservation of musical theatre recordings
The Mint Theatre Company for presenting and preserving little-known classics
The Worth Street Theater Company for its Stage Door Canteen shows for workers at Ground Zero
Shows that received two or more nominations follow:
Thoroughly Modern Millie: 12
Sweet Smell of Success: 11
Into the Woods: 9
Private Lives: 7
tick, tick...BOOM!: 7
Elaine Stritch at Liberty: 6
The Last Five Years: 5
The Crucible: 4
Franny's Way: 3
The Goat: 3
Mamma Mia!: 3
Morning's at Seven: 3
Spitfire Grill: 3
Fortune's Fool: 2
The Glory of Living: 2
Noise's Off: 2
The Seagull: 2
The Drama Desk Awards ceremony will be held 9 PM May 19 at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. Rue McClanahan will host.
This year's nominating committee includes Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, committee chairman; David Finkle of Theatermania.com and The Village Voice; Susan Haskins of "Theater Talk"; Harry Haun of Playbill Magazine; Edward Karam of The Times of London; David Sheward of Back Stage; and Barbara Siegel of Theatermania.com and Siegel Entertainment Syndicate. Sheward is the longtime president of the Drama Desk, an organization of theatre editors, reporters and critics which was formed in 1949. Unlike many theatre award-giving bodies, the Drama Desk considers all New York theatre productions equally, frequently nominating Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway artists in the same category.
The awards ceremony will be produced by Lauren Class Schneider and directed by Jeff Kalpak. The telecast will be presented by Robert R. Blume and TheatreSport, Ltd. Sarah Galvin, Les Schecter and Jae French are associate producers and Randie Levine Miller is executive director for Drama Desk.
For more information on the Drama Desk Organization, click dramadesk.org.