Nominations for the 53rdAnnual Drama Desk Awards were announced this morning at the New York Friars Club by Bebe Neuwirth and Len Cariou, multi-award winning stage, screen, and television stars. They were joined for the announcement by William Wolf, Drama Desk president, Barbara Siegel, chairperson of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee, Robert Blume, executive producer of the Drama Desk Awards, and Randie Levine-Miller, director of Special Events for the Drama Desk.

In keeping with the Drama Desk's unique mission, the nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway during the 2007/2008 season in the same competitive categories. Final deliberations took place at the Travel Inn, New York City.

The 2007/2008 Nominating Committee for the Drama Desk Awards is composed of: Barbara Siegel (TalkinBroadway.com and TheaterMania.com), Chairperson; Dan Bacalzo (TheaterMania.com); Robert Cashill (New York Theater News and Live Design); Celia Ipiotis (Eye on the Arts);Gerard Raymond (Back Stage and The Advocate), and Richard Ridge (Broadwaybeat.com).

Leading the slate of distinguished nominees is A Catered Affair with twelve nominations, followed by Adding Machine with nine, South Pacific and Young Frankenstein, each with eight, August:Osage County, Passing Strange, Sunday in the Park with George and The Slug Bearers of KayrolIsland, tied at seven, and Xanadu with six. (See complete list.)

The 53rd Annual Drama Desk Awards will be held Sunday, May 18, 2008, in the LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. The awards show will be webcast for the sixth year in a row by TheaterMania.com. It will also be broadcast live on satellite radio’s XM – 28 On Broadway for the second consecutive year.

Drama Desk nominees will receive their official nomination certificates at a cocktail reception on Thursday, May 1, 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Arte Café, 106 West 73rd Street, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue.

In the Heights, which was distinguished with multiple nominations and awards last season, was considered only for new elements in the current Broadway production. Glory Days did not commence performances before the Drama Desk cut-off date and it will therefore be eligible next season.

The Drama Desk maintains its tradition of acknowledging excellence in the theater by announcing special awards to: Edward Albee, James Earl Jones, 59E59 Theatres, and Playwrights Horizons.

This year the Nominating Committee recognized the creative use of digital technology and its integral part of theater artistry with a category for Outstanding Projection and Video Design.

Special Awards:

Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theatre. For 2007/2008, these awards are:

  • To Edward Albee in his 80th year, whose provocative plays, including this season's Peter and Jerry, enrich the American theatre.
  • To James Earl Jones, a commanding force on the stage for nearly half a century.
  • To 59E59 Theatres whose imaginative curatorial vision has created a stimulating environment to nurture a diverse range of artists.
  • To Playwrights Horizons for ongoing support to generations of theatre artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work.

Following are the nominations for the design categories:

Outstanding Set Design of a Play:
Beowulf Boritt, Spain
Scott Bradley, Eurydice
David Korins, Hunting and Gathering
Santo Loquasto, Trumpery
Scott Pask, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Clint Ramos, The Return of the Prodigal

Outstanding Set Design of a Musical:
David Gallo, A Catered Affair
Takeshi Kata, Adding Machine
Derek McLane, 10 Million Miles
George Tsypin, The Little Mermaid
Robin Wagner, Young Frankenstein
Michael Yeargan, South Pacific

Outstanding Costume Design:
Mara Blumenfeld, The Glorious Ones
Michael Bottari and Ronald Case, Jessica Jahn, Die Mommie Die!
Ann Hould-Ward, A Catered Affair
Ana Kuzmanic, August: Osage County
Katrina Lindsay, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
William Ivey Long, Young Frankenstein

Outstanding Lighting Design:
Kevin Adams, The 39 Steps
Ken Billington, Sunday in the Park with George
Maruti Evans, Slaughterhouse-Five
Donald Holder, South Pacific
Natasha Katz, The Little Mermaid
Keith Parham, Adding Machine

Outstanding Sound Design:
Adam Cork, Macbeth
Jorge Cousineau, Opus
Joseph Fosco, The Conversation
Scott Lehrer, South Pacific
Mic Pool, The 39 Steps
Tony Smolenski IV, Adding Machine

Outstanding Projection and Video Design:
Paul Barritt, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Timothy Bird and The Knifedge Creative Network, Sunday in the Park with George
Zachary Borovay, A Catered Affair
Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Lorna Heavey, Macbeth
Tal Yarden, The Misanthrope

Unique Theatrical Experience:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Cut to the Chase
Fabrik
The 39 Steps
Traces