Good People, Jerusalem and The Book of Mormon were named winners of the 76th annual New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, which were chosen by the 24-member organization on May 9. David Lindsay-Abaire’s drama took the Best Play prize, with Jez Butterworth’s play named Best Foreign Play and Mormon named Best Musical. The awards will be presented on May 16 at a cocktail reception at Angus McIndoe Restaurant.
In addition to the three major awards, special citations were awarded to the Broadway revival of The Normal Heart, Mark Rylance for his dual performances in La Bête and Jerusalem and for the direction, design and puppetry of War Horse.
According to an account on the organization’s web site, the choice of Good People came only after four rounds of voting. On the first ballot, no single play received more than five of the 24 total votes. On the third weighted ballot, Good People and Jerusalem each received 23 points and Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities had 22 points. Since no play reached the necessary 37 points, a fourth ballot reduced the field to the third ballot’s top four vote-getters, including The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Good People won with 34 points, with Other Desert Cities in second place with 30 points. Jersusalem was then named Best Foreign Play on the third ballot. The Book of Mormon won Best Musical on the first ballot.
Tony watchers will be paying close attention to the preferences of the Drama Critics’ Circle (to see how each critic voted on each ballot, go to www.dramacritics.org) because they are the only non-industry writers who are Tony voters. The Tony administrators eliminated so-called “first night list” journalists from the Tony voting ranks last season, but later re-instated members of the Drama Critics’ Circle.
The award for Best Play carries a cash prize of $2,500. A cash award of $1,000 goes to the winner for Best Foreign Play. The prizes are made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation.