Hairspray was the show of the year at the Tony Awards, held at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, but La Bohème won two out of three design categories. The Baz Luhrmann revival of Puccini's opera won for set designer Catherine Martin and lighting designer Nigel Levings. The third design winner was William Ivey Long for his costumes for Hairspray. As always, the Tony Awards choose not to recognize sound design.

The same scenario played out at the Drama Desk Awards, given out May 18, with Martin and Levings again winning, along with Long. Also, the Drama Desk Awards do honor sound design; the award went to Acme Sound Partners, for its work on La Bohème. In addition, the Drama Desk Awards feature a category titled Outstanding Set Design for a Play, which went to John Lee Beatty for his work on the Lincoln Center Theatre revival of Dinner at Eight.