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9 to 5

Dolly Parton's musical adaptation of the popular movie.

9 to 5, Shrek Lead 2009 Drama Desk Nominations

9 to 5, Shrek Lead 2009 Drama Desk Nominations
Jeffry Denman, Stephen Bogardus and ensemble
in White Christmas

The Broadway musicals 9 to 5 and Shrek topped the list of nominees for the 2009 Drama Desk Awards, drawing 15 and 12 nods, respectively. The nominations were announced on April 27 at the New York Friars Club by Faith Prince and Jim Dale. The Drama Desk Awards ceremony will be held on May 17 at F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center, hosted by Harvey Fierstein.

The Drama Desk, an organization of professional theater critics, writers and editors, bestows awards with Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions competing in the same categories. In fact, only one of the six Outstanding Play nominees, Reasons to be Pretty, was produced on Broadway. Special ensemble awards for acting were awarded to the casts of The Norman Conquests and The Cripple of Inishmaan, and special awards were announced for Liza Minnelli, Forbidden Broadway, the Atlantic Theater Company and TADA! Youth Theater.

A complete list of nominees follows:



Outstanding Play
Annie Baker, Body Awareness
Gina Gionfriddo, Becky Shaw
Neil LaBute, Reasons to be Pretty
Lynn Nottage, Ruined
Michael Weller, Fifty Words
Craig Wright, Lady

Outstanding Musical
9 to 5
Billy Elliot
Liza's at the Palace....
Shrek The Musical
The Story of My Life


Outstanding Revival of a Play
Blithe Spirit
Exit the King
Mary Stuart
The Cripple of Inishmaan
The Norman Conquests
Waiting for Godot

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Enter Laughing The Musical
Pal Joey
West Side Story 

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Simon Russell Beale,The Winter's Tale
Reed Birney, Blasted
Raúl Esparza, Speed-The-Plow
Bill Irwin, Waiting for Godot
Daniel Radcliffe, Equus
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Thomas Sadoski, Reasons to be Pretty

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Ruined
Jane Fonda, 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage
Elizabeth Marvel, Fifty Words
Jan Maxwell, Scenes From an Execution
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
James Barbour, A Tale of Two Cities
Daniel Breaker, Shrek the Musical
Brian d'Arcy James, Shrek the Musical
Josh Grisetti, Enter Laughing The Musical
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!
Will Swenson, Hair

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, 9 to 5
Stockard Channing, Pal Joey
Sutton Foster, Shrek the Musical
Megan Hilty, 9 to 5
Allison Janney, 9 to 5
Karen Murphy, My Vaudeville Man!

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Brian d'Arcy James, Port Authority
Jeremy Davidson, Back Back Back
Peter Friedman, Body Awareness
Ethan Hawke, The Winter's Tale
Pablo Schreiber, Reasons to be Pretty Off-Broadway
Jeremy Shamos, Animals Out of Paper

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Rebecca Hall, The Cherry Orchard
Zoe Kazan, The Seagull
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit
Andrea Martin, Exit the King
Carey Mulligan, The Seagull
Condola Rashad, Ruined

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Hunter Foster, Happiness
Demond Green, The Toxic Avenger
Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot
Marc Kudisch, 9 to 5
Bryce Ryness, Hair
Christopher Sieber, Shrek the Musical

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Farah Alvin, The Marvelous Wonderettes
Christina Bianco, Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Nancy Opel, The Toxic Avenger
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey

Outstanding Director of a Play
Sarah Benson, Blasted
Michael Blakemore, Blithe Spirit
Garry Hynes, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Terry Kinney, Reasons to be Pretty
Matthew Warchus, The Norman Conquests
Kate Whoriskey, Ruined

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Walter Bobbie, White Christmas
Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot
Joe Mantello, 9 to 5
Jason Moore, Shrek the Musical
Diane Paulus, Hair
Stuart Ross, Enter Laughing The Musical
Outstanding Choreography
Karole Armitage, Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5
Peter Darling, Billy Elliot
Bill T. Jones, Fela!
Randy Skinner, White Christmas
Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Shonn Wiley, My Vaudeville Man!

Outstanding Music
Neil Bartram, The Story of My Life
Zina Goldrich, Dear Edwina
Elton John, Billy Elliot
Dolly Parton, 9 to 5
Stephen Sondheim, Road Show
Jeanine Tesori, Shrek the Musical

Outstanding Lyrics
Neil Bartram, The Story of My Life
Jason Robert Brown, 13
Marcy Heisler, Dear Edwina
David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek the Musical
Dolly Parton, 9 to 5
Stephen Sondheim, Road Show

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis, This Beautiful City
Joe DiPietro, The Toxic Avenger
Lee Hall, Billy Elliot
Brian Hill, The Story of My Life
David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek the Musical
Patricia Resnick, 9 to 5


Outstanding Orchestrations
Larry Blank, White Christmas
Bruce Coughlin, 9 to 5
Aaron Johnson and Antibalas, Fela!
Edward B. Kessel, A Tale of Two Cities
Martin Koch, Billy Elliot
Danny Troob, Shrek The Musical

Outstanding Music in a Play
Mark Bennett, The Cherry Orchard
Mark Bennett, The Winter's Tale
Dominic Kanza, Ruined
DJ Rekha, Rafta, Rafta...
Richard Woodbury, Desire Under the Elms
Gary Yershon, The Norman Conquests

Outstanding Set Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Rob Howell, The Norman Conquests
David Korins, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
Derek McLane, 33 Variations
Neil Patel, Fifty Words
Walt Spangler, Desire Under the Elms

Outstanding Set Design of a Musical
Tim Hatley, Shrek The Musical
Anna Louizos, White Christmas
Thomas Lynch, Happiness
Scott Pask, 9 to 5
Scott Pask, Hair
Basil Twist, Arias With a Twist

Outstanding Costume Design
Tim Hatley, Shrek The Musical
Rob Howell, The Norman Conquests
William Ivey Long, 9 to 5
Michael McDonald, Hair
Martin Pakledinaz, Blithe Spirit
Carrie Robbins, White Christmas

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Play
Marcus Doshi, Hamlet Theatre for a New Audience
David Hersey, Equus
Ben Kato, Washing Machine
R. Lee Kennedy, Bury the Dead
Paul Pyant, The Winter's Tale
Hugh Vanstone, Mary Stuart

Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical
Kevin Adams, Hair
Jules Fisher and Kenneth Posner, 9 to 5
Rick Fisher, Billy Elliot
Jason Lyons, Clay
Sinéad McKenna, Improbable Frequency
Richard Pilbrow, A Tale of Two Cities

Outstanding Sound Design
Acme Sound Partners, White Christmas
Paul Arditti, Billy Elliot
Gregory Clarke, Equus
John Gromada, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont As Told by Himself
André J. Pluess, 33 Variations
John H. Shivers, 9 to 5

Outstanding Solo Performance
Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk With Me
Frank Blocker, Southern Gothic Novel
Michael Laurence, Krapp, 39
Lorenzo Pisoni, Humor Abuse
Matt Sax, Clay
Campbell Scott, The Atheist

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
Absinthe 2008 Edition
Arias With a Twist
Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words
Soul of Shaolin

The Drama Desk news release included explanations for several omissions, including Next to Normal. The show was considered last season in its off-Broadway premiere, and only new elements in the Broadway transfer could be considered, including, presumably, the lead performance of J. Robert Spencer. According to the release, “The producers, who requested that we consider the Broadway transfer only as an entirely new show, refused to invite nominators until it was too late for any new elements to be evaluated.”

All elements in both productions of shows that transferred to Broadway in the same season were eligible, which led to the nomination of Pablo Schreiber in the off-Broadway production of Reasons to be Pretty. [title of show] was considered in a previous season in its off-Broadway premiere.

In the case of the young stars of Billy Elliot, the Drama Desk release explained, “Only one actor playing Billy in Billy Elliot was seen by all nominators, who were not invited to see the other two for consideration unless the Drama Desk Executive Board agreed to classify all three separate performances as one unit for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. The Board rejected that request, as well as a request that as an alternative no actor playing Billy be considered.

Productions with multiple nominations:

9 to 5 - 15
Shrek the Musical - 12
Billy Elliot
- 10
Hair - 8
White Christmas
- 6
- 5
The Norman Conquests - 5
Blithe Spirit
- 4
Exit the King - 4
Fela! - 4
Reasons to be Pretty
- 4
The Story of My Life - 4
The Winter's Tale
- 4
33 Variations - 3
A Tale of Two Cities - 3
Enter Laughing The Musical
- 3
- 3
Fifty Words - 3
Mary Stuart - 3
Pal Joey - 3
The Toxic Avenger - 3
Arias With a Twist
- 2
- 2
Body Awareness - 2
- 2
Dear Edwina
- 2
Desire Under the Elms - 2
Happiness - 2
My Vaudeville Man!
- 2
Road Show
- 2
The Cherry Orchard
- 2
The Cripple of Inishmaan
- 2
The Seagull
- 2
Waiting for Godot
- 2
West Side Story - 2

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