On Sunday, Brooke Shields and Brian d’Arcy James hosted the 57th annual Drama Desk Awards at New York’s Town Hall. Presenters included Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, Bernadette Peters, Doug Wright, Rick Elice, Maury Yeston, William Finn, Roger Rees, Alex Timbers, Peggy Eisenhauer, Jonathan Tunick, Oskar Eustis, Jenny Gersten, Martha Plimpton, John Larroquette, and Julie Halston.
The musical Once was the big winner, earning four awards, including Outstanding Musical, Director (John Tiffany), Lyrics (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) and Orchestrations (Martin Lowe). Not far behind were Nice Work If You Can Get It and Follies with three trophies each. Nice Work brought wins for Michael McGrath (Featured Actor), Judy Kaye (Featured Actress), and Joe DiPietro (Book of a Musical), while Follies received awards for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Danny Burstein) and Outstanding Costume Design (Gregg Barnes).
Other musicals picking up accolades were Porgy and Bess (Outstanding Actress in a Musical to Audra McDonald, and Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical to Acme Sound Partners), Newsies (Outstanding Choreography to Christopher Gattelli and Outstanding Music to Alan Menken), as well as The Best Is Yet to Come (Outstanding Revue) and Ghost (Outstanding Set Design to Jon Driscoll, Rob Howell and Paul Kieve). Mary Testa, who starred in the Off-Broadway musical Queen of the Mist, was presented with a Special Award.
Last night, Ava Astaire and Patricia Watt hosted the 30th annual Astaire Awards at NYU’s Skirball Center. The evening featured performances from Steppin’ Out, Newsies and a selection of dances in tribute to Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. The presenters included dancers Chita Rivera, Karen Ziemba, and Lee Roy Reams and choreographers Susan Stroman, Josh Bergasse, and Rob Ashford.
Leslie Odom Jr. was named Best Male Dancer for his performance in Leap of Faith, Lisa Nicole Wilkerson took honors as Best Female Dancer for her role in Porgy and Bess, and Ron Brown received the Best Choreographer trophy for his work on Porgy and Bess. Special honorees included Hugh Jackman, Ricky Martin, Matthew Broderick and Liza Minnelli, who received the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award from Mikhail Baryshnikov.