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Awards Nominees & Winners

2015 Drama Desk Award Winner Standouts

Broadway Black

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The 2015 Drama Desk Award winners were announced recently, and among the crop are some deserving and talented actors.  The awards are presented annually to recognize excellence in New York theatre productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway, and are considered a significant theater distinction, second only to the Tony Awards. This year’s awards ceremony yielded big wins for three actors who are no stranger to Broadway Black.

k todd freemanK. Todd Freeman was awarded Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Airline Highway, in which he plays Sissy Nana, a den mother of sorts to a group of ragtag characters of the Hummingbird Hotel; his performance was described as having “vibrant comic panache” by the New York Times (and he’s also nominated for his second Tony Award this year for the same role; his first nomination was for The Song Jacob Zulu).

renee eliseNext, Renee Elise Goldsberry won Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for Hamilton.  Portraying the role of Angelica, Alexander Hamilton’s intellectual soulmate, and the eldest of the three Schuyler sisters.  New York Daily News says the musical “could’ve been another ho-hum bio, but like the illegitimate orphan-turned-power player it celebrates, the robustly original, infectiously entertaining new musical “Hamilton” beats the odds and far exceeds expectations.”

ThompsonJohnDouglasFinally, John Douglas Thompson was recognized with a special award which recognizes excellence and significant contributions to the theatre.  This season, Thompson was in Tamburlaine the Great and The Iceman Cometh, and was noted for “his commanding presence, classical expertise, and vocal prowess,” according to the Drama Desk Awards.  The New York Times calls Thompson “one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation.”

A huge congrats to all the nominees and winners including costume designer Paul Tazewell for Hamilton, whose remarkable roles run the gamut of dramatic expression, and whose work is being recognized by peers and critics alike. Read the entire list of winners below.

(**Winners are in bold and starred) 

Outstanding Play
Clare Barron, You Got Older
Lisa D’Amour, Airline Highway
Anthony Giardina, The City of Conversation
Stephen Adly Guirgis, Between Riverside and Crazy
Elizabeth Irwin, My Manãna Comes
**Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Jack Thorne, Let the Right One In

Outstanding Musical
An American in Paris
**Hamilton
Fly By Night
Pretty Filthy
Something Rotten!
The Visit

Outstanding Revival of a Play
**The Elephant Man
Fashions for Men
Ghosts
The Iceman Cometh
Tamburlaine the Great
The Wayside Motor Inn

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Into the Woods
**The King and I
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
Pageant
Side Show

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Bill Pullman, Sticks and Bones
**Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Brooke Bloom, You Got Older
Kathleen Chalfant, A Walk in the Woods
Kristin Griffith, The Fatal Weakness
Jan Maxwell, The City of Conversation
**Helen Mirren, The Audience
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Tonya Pinkins, Rasheeda Speaking

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
**Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Jeremy Kushnier, Atomic
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Matthew Morrison, Finding Neverland
Ryan Silverman, Side Show 

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, John & Jen
**Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Erin Davie, Side Show
Lisa Howard, It Shoulda Been You
Chita Rivera, The Visit

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
F. Murray Abraham, It’s Only a Play
Reed Birney, You Got Older
**K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Jonathan Hadary, Rocket to the Moon
Jason Butler Harner, The Village Bike
Jonathan Hogan, Pocatello
José Joaquin Perez, My Mañana Comes

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
**Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You

Beth Dixon, The City of Conversation
Julie Halston, You Can’t Take It with You
Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, To the Bone
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Julie White, Airline Highway

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
**Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Peter Friedman, Fly By Night
Josh Grisetti, It Shoulda Been You
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Carolee Carmello, Finding Neverland
Tyne Daly, It Shoulda Been You
Elizabeth A. Davis, Allegro
**Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Luba Mason, Pretty Filthy
Nancy Opel, Honeymoon in Vegas
Elizabeth Stanley, On the Town

Outstanding Director of a Play
**Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Anne Kauffman, You Got Older
Lila Neugebauer, The Wayside Motor Inn
Austin Pendleton, Between Riverside and Crazy
Joe Tantalo, Deliverance
John Tiffany, Let the Right One In

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Carolyn Cantor, Fly By Night
Bill Condon, Side Show
John Doyle, The Visit
**Thomas Kail, Hamilton
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Outstanding Choreography
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Warren Carlyle, On the Twentieth Century
Steven Hoggett, The Last Ship
Austin McCormick, Rococo Rouge
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten
**Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Outstanding Music
Jason Robert Brown, Honeymoon in Vegas
Michael Friedman, The Fortress of Solitude
John Kander, The Visit
Dave Malloy, Ghost Quartet
**Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Sting, The Last Ship

Outstanding Lyrics
Jason Robert Brown, Honeymoon in Vegas
Fred Ebb, The Visit
Michael Friedman, The Fortress of Solitude
Karey Kirkpatrick & Wayne Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!
**Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Hunter Bell & Lee Overtree, Found
Karey Kirkpatrick & John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!
Craig Lucas, An American in Paris
Terrence McNally, The Visit
**Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, & Michael Mitnick, Fly By Night

Outstanding Orchestrations
**Christopher Austin, An American in Paris
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Allegro
Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Rob Mathes, The Last Ship
Don Sebesky, Larry Blank, Jason Robert Brown, & Charlie Rosen, Honeymoon in Vegas

Outstanding Music in a Play
Cesar Alvarez, An Octoroon
Danny Blackburn & Bryce Hodgson, Deliverance
Sean Cronin, Kill Me Like You Mean It
Bongi Duma, Generations
Freddi Price, The Pigeoning
**Arthur Solari & Jane Shaw, Tamburlaine the Great

Outstanding Revue
Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging!
**Just Jim Dale
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion
Lonesome Traveler

Outstanding Set Design
**Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
Christine Jones, Let The Right One In
David Korins, Hamilton
Mimi Lien, An Octoroon
Scott Pask, The Visit
Daniel Zimmerman, Fashions for Men

Outstanding Costume Design
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
Bob Crowley, The Audience
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
Andrea Varga, The Fatal Weakness
**Catherine Zuber, Gigi

Outstanding Lighting Design
Howell Binkley, Hamilton
**Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Paule Constable & David Plater, Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2
Maruti Evans, Deliverance
Natasha Katz, The Iceman Cometh
Ben Stanton, Our Lady of Kibeho

Outstanding Projection Design
59 Productions, An American in Paris
Roger Hanna & Price Johnston, Donogoo
Darrel Maloney, Found
Peter Nigrini, Our Lady of Kibeho
**Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Austin Switser, Big Love

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Side Show
Scott Lehrer, The King & I
Scott Lehrer & Drew Levy, Honeymoon in Vegas
Brian Ronan, The Last Ship
**Nevin Steinberg, Hamilton
Jon Weston, An American in Paris

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Nathan Davis, The Other Mozart
Ien Denio, Deliverance
**Ian Dickinson (for Autograph), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Gareth Fry, Let the Right One In
John Gromada, Lives of the Saints
Matt Tierney, Our Lady of Kibeho

Outstanding Solo Performance
Christina Bianco, Application Pending
Jonny Donahoe, Every Brilliant Thing
Tom Dugan, Wiesenthal
Mona Golabek, The Pianist of Willesden Lane
Joely Richardson, The Belle of Amherst
**Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Unique Theatrical Experience
Catch Me!
Everybody Gets Cake
The Human Symphony
**Queen of the Night
Rap Guide to Religion

Special Awards:

The ensemble of the actors in the Off Broadway production of A. R. Gurney’s The Wayside Motor Inn: Kelly AuCoin, Jon DeVries, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Rebecca Henderson, Marc Kudisch, Jenn Lyon, Lizbeth Mackay, David McElwee, Ismenia Mendes, and Will Pullen.

Playwright Bess Wohl, awarded the Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award

Actor John Douglas Thompson

Off Broadway’s Ensemble Studio Theatre

“Hamilton” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler

 

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Awards Nominees & Winners

Collecting Our Things: Black Excellence Dominates the 2017 Oscars

Broadway Black

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If you weren’t lucky enough to get snuck in through the side door at the 89th Academy Awards Ceremony, I’ll give you the Broadway Black rundown. With Moonlight taking the big Oscar of the night, it seems The Academy heard us loud and clear when we demanded they give us our things, and I’m glad.

Watch highlight videos below! #TourBusGary, Viola, Mahershala, & Moonlights acceptances speeches, and more!

Although I do have some complaints I’d like to file regarding Ms. Taraji P. Henson and Mr. Denzel Washington, but that’s for another time.

The night began with Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as Juan in Moonlight. Mahershala celebrated many firsts on Oscar night: his first nomination and his first win. While many laud Ali for being the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, his acceptance speech focused on his mentors, education, and his new baby girl.

“I want to thank my teachers, my professors. I had so many wonderful teachers, and one of the things they told me was…it’s not about you, it’s about these characters. You’re in service to these stories and these characters.”

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Image: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times

Moonlight celebrated Mahershala’s win and later took home Best Picture (after a perplexing mix-up with La La Land – see blow) and Best Adapted Screenplay. The creators and cast of Moonlight echoed Mahershala’s message of representation. In their acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins pledged to defend those who don’t fit the mold:

“All you people out there, who feel like there’s no mirror for you or your life is not reflected. We have your back and for the next four years, we will not leave you alone. We will not forget you.”

Image: Kevin Winter/Getty

Jenkins’ words echoed the community and perseverance that Moonlight celebrates. His victory for his second feature film alone is a testament to the spirit of perseverance. His first feature film, the highly acclaimed Medicine for Melancholy, premiered in 2008. Jenkins speaks openly of the discouragement he felt in this eight-year gap, where, at times, he thought his career was at an end. But just like Jenkins couldn’t dodge that Best Picture Oscar, he couldn’t dodge his calling, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Another highlight in that same speech came from McCraney, who is the playwright of In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue of which the film is based. He said:

“This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming who don’t see themselves, we’re trying to show you you and us. Thank you, thank you. This is for you.”

Further celebrating a night of untold stories, NASA’s Katherine Johnson joined the Hidden Figures cast on stage. With the grace of a thousand Dianas, Viola Davis accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Rose in Fences. Her performance, which earned her a Tony for Best Actress in 2010, resonated with women and defined resilience to men.

We know Viola from Broadway and How to Get Away With Murder, but tonight she made history as the first Black actor to take home an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar for acting. Her role in Fences gives glory to the ordinary, and her speech showed her pride in that fact.

Now, about that Best Picture Oscar. Still can’t believe this actually happened. There are no words to describe what the conflicting feelings of confusion & joy bottled and shaken up, on the brink of explosion, actually feels like but here it is in video form:

As I cheered along, I thought of the power of ordinariness in Black communities. The legacy of Blackness exudes strength and resilience, but we should remember that excellence isn’t isolated to any tax bracket.

Audiences found power in Viola Davis’ Rose because August Wilson did not see powerful and ordinary as mutually exclusive. It is vital, especially today, that the Fences and Hidden Figures and Moonlights empower us.

These films tell the story of those perceived as ordinary, simply because the people looking had a singular point of view. So, yes, tonight was for Viola and her staple in history, for Mahershala and Moonlight collecting their things, and even for Denzel and Ruth Negga, no matter what The Academy says.

But even more, tonight was for the ordinary people who are, in fact, excellent and Broadway Black.

View the full list of winners at Oscar.

& the funniest moment of the night that we just can’t seem to get over. Watch #TourBusGary become a meme right in front of your eyes:

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Awards Nominees & Winners

Danielle Brooks visits Jimmy Kimmel Live

Broadway Black

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When you see an image of Danielle Brooks on your feed, steaming her own skirt, in a flirty,  transparent blouse, pointed-toe, bubblegum colored pumps, with a caption that reads, “I’ll be steamin’ hot on Jimmy Kimmel Live,” it’s a good day! Danielle’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live aired on the night of June 30, on ABC. She demonstrated the scene when she embraced “Mama O” (Oprah), and shared stories about filming the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, while performing nightly as “Sofia” in the Tony Award-winning show, The Color Purple.

It’s Danielle‘s superwoman cape, of course, that allows her to transport from Broadway to LA to Litchfield and back! One minute she’s on the East Coast roaring, “You told Harpo to beat me,” and the next she’s on the West Coast telling Jimmy Kimmel about a terrifying train ride with hysterical OITNB fans.
Orange is the New Black, where she plays “Tasha ‘Taystee’ Jefferson,” evinces season four’s monumental launch into raising awareness about several social justice issues, including the highly extremely relevant movement of Black Lives Matter.
Danielle has dedicated her life to performing in projects with meaning and purpose, and here at Broadway Black, we couldn’t be more proud. In fact, when she detailed (on JKL) the story of her proud parents capturing a selfie with Oprah on Tony night– thanks to Danielle’s talent and commitment–I wondered how many (non-Blacks) would even know about certain issues in the Black community without Broadway Black stars  like her.
She is everywhere making a difference.
I turn on Netflix, boom, she’s there, giving a stellar performance as a fed up inmate fighting for justice. I ride the NY  train and see her in a sassy soldier uniform, on the cover of someone’s Ebony magazine. Or plastered on an ad in her burnt orange jumper.
In the same manner, I hit the TV switch, and Danielle is on my screen, in a late show interview. Or securing the streets in an animation film. I shop in the mall and see her as the face of an exclusive Lane Bryant collection.
I catch the morning ABC news… and she’s there.
Wait! Do I sound like I’m fangirling?
Well, it’s kind of hard not to when Danielle’s respective performances and platforms represent everything that you stand for. She is an advocate for the thick girls, and opens conversations about being confident in your skin/body. She is onstage showcasing strong womanhood and Black unity, and on screen uncovering absurdities in corrupt systems, revealing racial injustice.
I’ve said before that she has the power inside to evoke change in this country. Consequently, on JKL, the largest topic was Oprah and Danielle’s relationship because they are like-minded. I would stay tuned for more groundbreaking news with Danielle Brooks as the headline if I were you.
Check out a final clip of Danielle Brooks on Jimmy Kimmel Live below.

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Twitter: @BroadwayBlack

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