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Awards Season Heats Up

May 17th, 2011

Photo: Alistair Muir
  • If I were a betting man (and I am if you get me near a church-picnic bingo table), I’d say the Outer Critics Circle just laid out a rock solid slate to mark off on your Tony pool ballot. Announced yesterday, the organization’s awards in major categories went to War Horse (Best Play),  The Book of Mormon (Best Musical), Mark Rylance (Best Actor in a Play), Josh Gad (Best Actor in a Musical) and Sutton Foster (Best Actress in a Musical). The only wrinkle for us prediction junkies was their choice for Best Actress in a Play: a tie between Nina Arianda and Frances McDormand. It’s hard to guess which number will be called when you’ve got two great draws in the irresistible “star is born” newcomer and the beloved Hollywood star-power vet.  My favorite win, though, was Laura Benanti’s well-deserved trophy for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the much-maligned Women on the Verge of a Nervouse Breakdown; just thinking back to her hysterical turn makes me want to climb up on my folding chair and shout, “Bingo!”

Continue reading after the jump for the Obie Award winners and video of a surprise Broadway wedding proposal…

  • For you Off-Broadway aficionados, last night saw the presentation of the prestigious and ever-bohemian Obie Awards (with no prescribed categories, no announced nominees and therefore no competition, they’re like the Montessori School of theater citations.) The Best New American play went to the wrestling drama (wait, you mean professional wrestling isn’t real) The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Christopher Diaz. Other notable winners include a directing citation to Peter and the Starcatcher‘s Alex Timbers and Roger Rees, a special design award to the team of Sleep No More and, among a list of 10 honorees for acting, F. Murray Abraham for not just one show but “sustained excellence of performance.” While the awards themselves (proudly) have no predictive value to Tony watchers, the presenters list looks like it was created by a Tony campaign PR agent on a bender–with the likes of Broadway nominees like Andrew Rannells (The Book of
    Darren Ritchie. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

    Darren Ritchie. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

    Mormon), Nina Arianda (Born Yesterday), Patina Miller (Sister Act) and the cast of How to Succeed.

  • And finally, who needs an award when you win the heart of your leading man? Wonderland’s Alice, Janet Dacal, got a little more than a standing ovation at Sunday’s curtain call; she got her White Knight, Darren Ritchie, down on one knee proposing marriage in front of the cast, crew and a thousand cooing audience members. Unfortunately, it was the show’s closing performance so, if you’re in a position to do so, why not skip the toaster or gravy ladle on their wedding register and get these two talented performers a juicy new role instead.

    Be prepared to swoon; here is the proposal:

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