Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Seventh Annual David Desk Awards

Shuffle Along got shafted at the Tonys,
but wins big at the David Desks.
Credit: Juliana Cervantes

Once again it's time for the annual David Desk Awards in which I select my personal favorites of all the on, Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater I've seen this season. This time I have lined up with the more conventional New York theater awards such as the Tonys, the Obies, the Drama Desks and the Outer Critics. Like many of these, Hamilton was eligible for the Davids last season for its Off-Broadway run and so is off my list (I know, it's going to kill them at the box office.) The one production which many of the more mainstream awards ignored was the Roundabout Theatre Comany's revival of The Robber Bridegroom which did get some recognition from the Lortels, but was snubbed by the Drama Desks. Shuffle Along was totally blanked at the Tonys on Sunday night, a victim of the Hamilton tidal wave. But it wins big at the Davids.

I have tried to limit the number of citations in each category to six, the old limit for the Drama Desks. (This year they stuck mostly to five.) But there were a few where I expanded it to seven. I also included Jennifer Simard for Disaster! even though she was in the Off-Broadway production two seasons ago. She gave the funniest performance on Broadway this season and deserves as much recognition as possible.

Jennifer Simard in Disaster!
Credit: Jeremy Daniel
Barbecue (Robert O’Hara)
The Christians (Lucas Hnath)
Eclipsed (Danai Gurira)
Gloria (Branden Jacobs-Jenkins)
Hir (Taylor Mac)
The Humans (Stephen Karam)
King Charles III (Mike Bartlett)

Dear Evan Hansen
First Daughter Suite
Shuffle Along

Play Revival
Cloud Nine
The Crucible
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
A View from the Bridge
Women Without Men

Musical Revival
The Color Purple
Dames at Sea
Fiddler on the Roof
The Robber Bridegroom
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening

Actor (Play)
Timothee Chalamet, Prodigal Son
Khris Davis, The Royale
Ed Harris, Buried Child
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge
Ben Whishaw, The Crucible

Actress (Play)
Marin Ireland, Ironbound
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Kristine Nielsen, Hir
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Phylicia Rashad, Head of Passes

Actor (Musical)
Alex Brightman, School of Rock
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Steven Pasquale, The Robber Bridegroom
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Benjamin Walker, American Psycho

Actress (Musical)
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Sandra Mae Frank, Spring Awakening
Audra McDonald, Shuffle Along
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Ahna O’Reilly, The Robber Bridegroom

Featured Actor (Play)
Ciaran Hinds, The Crucible
Larry Powell, The Christians
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Paul Sparks, Buried Child
C.J. Wilson, Hold On to Me Darling

Featured Actress (Play)
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Cassie Beck, The Humans
Brooke Bloom, Cloud Nine
Emily Donahoe, The Christians
Kellie Overbey, Women Without Men
Jeanine Serrales, Gloria

Featured Actor (Musical)
Fred Applegate, Tuck Everlasting
Chuck Cooper, Amazing Grace
Daniel N. Durant, Spring Awakening
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
George Takei, Allegiance

Featured Actress (Musical)
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Rachel Bay Jones, First Daughter Suite, Dear Evan Hansen
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Leslie Kritzer, The Robber Bridegroom
Lesli Margherita, Dames at Sea
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!

Director (Play)
Rachel Chavkin, The Royale
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Les Waters, The Christians
Ivo van Hove, The Crucible
Ivo van Hove, A View from the Bridge

Director (Musical)
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen
Diane Paulus, Waitress
Alex Timbers, The Robber Bridegroom

Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

Sara Baraeilles, Waitress
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

Martha Clarke, Angel Reapers
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

Set Design
Beowulf Boritt, Therese Raquin
Mimi Lein, John 
David Korins, Misery
G.W. Mercier, Head of Passes
David Rockwell, She Loves Me
David Zinn, The Humans

Costume Design
Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!
Emily Rebholz, The Robber Bridegroom
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along
Paul Tazewell, Barbecue

Lighting Design
Christopher Akerlind, Angel Reapers
Jake DeGroat, Jeff Croiter, The Robber Bridegroom
Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Austin R. Smith, The Royale
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Jan Versweyveld, The Crucible
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Sound Design
Broken Chord, Eclipsed
Tom Gibbons, A View from the Bridge
Bray Poor, 10 Out of 12
Kyle Vegter, Ben Kauffman, Ada/Ava

Projection Design
Darrel Maloney, Allegiance
Peter Nigrini, Invisible Thread
Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen
Finn Ross, American Psycho
Tal Yarden, The Crucible

Music in a Play
Philip Glass, The Crucible
Tom Kitt, Cymbeline
Kyle Vegter, Ben Kauffman, Ada/Ava

Unique Theatrical Experience

Special Citation

Lucas Hnath for The Christians and Red Speedo


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