The winners came from town and country in design categories of this year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards, which honor achievement in the New York Theatre. Set designer Anthony Ward and lighting designer David Hersey won for their work on the Royal National Theatre revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Ward designed the costumes for that production as well, but lost to former couturier and current TV personality Isaac Mizrahi, for his over-the-top dresses for the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of The Women.
Ward beat out John Lee Beatty, for the Lincoln Center Theatre Company revival of Morning’s At Seven; Allen Moyer, for the Roundabout Theatre production of The Dazzle; and Douglas Stein, for the Joseph Papp Public Theatre production of 36 Views. Hersey’s competition included Donald Holder, for the Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, James F. Ingalls, for the Broadway revival of The Elephant Man; and David Weiner for 36 Views. Losing to Mizrahi were Santo Loquasto, for The Elephant Man; Martin Pakledinaz, for Thoroughly Modern Millie; and Ward, for Oklahoma!
The Outer Critics Circle does not give an award for sound design.
Among the productions, Oklahoma! was the big winner, with five awards, including outstanding revival of a musical, outstanding choreography (Susan Stroman), and featured actor in a musical (Shuler Hensley) in addition to the two design nods.
There were a few surprises in the list. Edward Albee’s controversial comedy The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, won in the Broadway play category, with Mercedes Ruehl of that production, taking the award for actress in a play. John Lithgow, star of the struggling Sweet Smell of Success, won for actor in a musical. Both stars of the Broadway production Fortune’s Fool, were cited—Alan Bates for actor in a play, and Frank Langella for featured actor. Falling into the no-surprise category was Elaine Stritch’s win in the solo performance category.
The awards will be handed out May 23rd, at Sardi’s Restaurant.
A complete list of winners follows:
Outstanding Broadway Play: The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?
Outstanding Broadway Musical: Urinetown
Outstanding Off-Broadway Play: The Dazzle
Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical: tick, tick...BOOM!
Outstanding Revival of a Play: Morning's at Seven
Outstanding Revival of a Musical: Oklahoma!
Outstanding Actor in a Play: Alan Bates, Fortune's Fool
Outstanding Actress in a Play: Mercedes Ruehl, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?
Outstanding Actor in a Musical: John Lithgow, Sweet Smell of Success
Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Sutton Foster, Thoroughly Modern Millie
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Frank Langella, Fortune's Fool
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Katie Finneran, Noises Off
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Shuler Hensley, Oklahoma!
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Spencer Kayden, Urinetown
Outstanding Solo Performance: Elaine Stritch, Elaine Stritch at Liberty
Outstanding Director of a Play: Mary Zimmerman, Metamorphoses
Outstanding Director of a Musical: John Rando, Urinetown
Outstanding Choreography: Susan Stroman, Oklahoma!
Outstanding Set Design: Anthony Ward, Oklahoma!
Outstanding Costume Design: Isaac Mizrahi, The Women
Outstanding Lighting Design: David Hersey, Oklahoma!
John Gassner Award: Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog
Special Achievement Award: Mos Def and Jeffrey Wright, Topdog/Underdog