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The 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards Are Presented at The Town Hall
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The 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards Are Presented at The Town Hall

- Special Events: Backstage with the Playwrights

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The 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards
Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk President
Nominating Committee Chairperson, Barbara Siegel

The Town Hall

Executive Producer: TheaterMania and Gretchen Shugart
Co-Executive Producers: Robert R. Blume and David S. Stone
Assoc. Producer: Renee McCurry
Producer: Joey Parnes Productions,
S.D. Wagner and John Johnson
Bill Rosenfield, Writer
Jack Cummings III, Director
Public Relations; Keith Sherman & Associates
Scenic Consultant: Dane Laffrey
Sound Designer: Drew Levy
Music Director: Todd Ellison
Lighting Designer: Anthony Pearson
Production Stage Manager: Joshua Halperin
Assoc. Producer: John Issendorf

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 1, 2014

(Read Reviews of Many of the 2013-2014 Nominated Shows)

(Click Here To See a List of 2014 Drama Desk Nominees and Winners)

(Click Here to Watch a Video of the June 1 Awards Show)

The 2014 Drama Desk Awards were once again the culmination of a series of Spring Events, including the announcements of The Drama Desk nominations for 2013-2014, at 54 Below on April 25, 2014, and the Nominees Reception at the JW Marriott Essex House on May 7, 2014. (See photos below) Once again, guests filed directly into The Town Hall, saving celebrations for the Post-Show Party at The Liberty Theater on 42nd Street. Tonight’s entire 59th Annual Drama Desk Awards event was webcast, powered by Livestream - Click here to watch. The Host of the 59th Drama Desk Awards was Laura Benanti, who won a 2009 Drama Desk Award for her role in a revival of Gypsy, and she also had an award-nominated role in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, among many appearances about town in the past several years. She managed quick costume changes and comic self-promotion routines for the audience’s multitude of producers. Tonight’s opening act was the ensemble of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, who sang their own “A Gentleman's Guide to The Drama Desk Rules” in British music hall style, a huge hit with the crowd.

Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk President, greeted the packed crowd and paid tribute to the tireless Nominating Committee and its Chair, Barbara Siegel. Numerous celebrities were seen in the audience, like Neil Patrick Harris and Bryan Cranston, who also made their way to the stage for Awards and later to the After-Party. There were musical performances, as well, from Fun Home: “Ring of Keys”, performed by Sydney Lucas; What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined: “Selections from the Bacharach Catalogue”, performed by Kyle Riabko; Beautiful – The Carole King Musical: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”, performed by Jessie Mueuller; The Bridges of Madison County: “It All Fades Away”, performed by Steven Pasquale; and Violet: “Let It Sing”, performed by Joshua Henry.

Each year, a Drama Desk Special Award is presented to an Outstanding Ensemble Performance, and this year honors went to the ensembles of The Open House and The Realistic Joneses, as a tribute to their playwright, Will Eno, who accepted with his renowned wit and candor. Also, Special Awards are annually presented, “to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater”. The Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award was given to Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, for directorial excellence in this year’s The Golden Dragon and Mysteries. Veanne Cox received a Special Award for her superb characterizations, particularly comedic flair, in this season’s The Old Friends and The Most Deserving. Soho Rep also won a Special Award for “four decades of artistic distinction, innovative production, and provocative play selection”.

As for the 2014 Drama Desk Awards, in 29 different categories, Click here for nominees and winners. Outstanding Play went to Robert Schenkkan, for All the Way, Outstanding Revival of a Play to Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe production), Outstanding Musical to A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Outstanding Revival of a Musical to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Outstanding Actor in a Play to Bryan Cranston, for All the Way, Outstanding Actress in a Play to Audra McDonald, for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Outstanding Actor in a Musical to Neil Patrick Harris, for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Outstanding Actress in a Musical to Jessie Mueller, for Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.

Kudos to The Drama Desk, and kudos to all the organizers, the nominees, and, of course, the winners.

Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk President
at 54 Below Announcement of 2014 Award Nominees
Courtesy of Russ Weatherford

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, and Fran Drescher
Announce the 2014 Drama Desk Award Nominees
Courtesy of Russ Weatherford

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at