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Geoffrey Rush: King of the Season, Plus Theatre Award Wrap-up

Geoffrey Rush Now that the Tony Awards are over and the 2008-09 New York theatre season has drawn to a close, I thought it would be fun to list all the winners and nominees of all the many theatre awards in the acting categories and see how they matched up and who came out on top. The winner of winners is Geoffrey Rush for his stunning performance of existential angst and hiliarious clowning in Exit the King. Rush won five awards--the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Theatre World Awards. The runner-up would be Brian D'Arcy James who was nominated for a Tony and won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle for Shrek, as well as Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Port Authority. The three Billy Elliots did well, taking the Tony and Astaire awards, plus special citations from the Outer Critics and Theatre World. The cast of Norman Conquests and Angela Lansbury were also award darlings.   

I got the idea for the list from the Best Play volumes I used to read as a stagestruck kid. In some of the volumes from the early 1960s, the editors would compile lists of all the award-winning performances. They don't do that anymore, and the current Best Play volumes don't even list the nominees of the Drama Desks, Outer Critics or Astaires. So as far as I know, this is the only place you will see a compilation like this. Winners are in upper case and nominees are in lower case. CD stands for Clarence Derwent Award (Equity's prize for promising newcomers), DD stands for Drama Desk (on and Off-Broadway), DL for Drama League, LL for Lucille Lortel Awards (Off-Broadway only), NYDCC for New York Drama Critic Circle (normally they only award playwrights, but there were special awards for actors this season), OCC for Outer Critics Circle (on and Off-Broadway in acting categories), RS for Richard Seff Award (Equity's award for outstanding character actors), TW for Theatre World (for on or Off-Broadway debuts). The Astaire Awards are for outstanding dancing and the Obies are for Off and Off-Off-Broadway. Where the different groups did not agree on which category to place an actor, I made my own judgment (For example, Nancy Opel in The Toxic Avenger was a leading actress to the Outer Critics and a featured actress to the Drama Desk. I chose featured for simplicity's sake). Enjoy.   

Outstanding Actor in a Play:
Simon Russell Beale, The Winter’s Tale (dd)
Reed Birney, Blasted (dd)
Christian Camargo, Hamlet (OBIE)
Kevin T. Carroll, sustained excellence (OBIE)
Chad L. Coleman, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (TW)
Jeff Daniels, God of Carnage (tony)
Ned Eisenberg, Othello (ll)
Raul Esparza, Speed–the-Plow (dd, occ, tony)
James Gandolfini, God of Carnage (tony)
Bill Irwin, Waiting for Godot (dd, occ)
Brian d’Arcy James, Port Authority (dd, ll)
Nathan Lane, Waiting for Godot (occ) 
Daniel Radcliffe (Equus) (dd)
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King (DD, DL, OCC, TONY, TW)
Thomas Sadoksi, Reasons to Be Pretty (dd, occ, tony)
James Sugg, Chekhov Lizardbrain (OBIE)
John Douglas Thompson, Othello (LL, OBIE)

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Ellen Burstyn, The Little Flower of East Orange (ll)
Hope Davis, God of Carnage (tony)
Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Ruined (dd, LL, OBIE, occ)
Jane Fonda, 33 Variations (dd, tony)
Carla Gugino, Desire Under the Elms (occ)
Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage (dd, OCC, TONY)
Carmen M. Herlihy, crooked (ll)
Birgit Huppuch, Telephone (OBIE)
Elizabeth Marvel, Fifty Words (dd)
Jan Maxwell, Scenes from an Execution (dd)
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart (DD, occ, tony)
Kellie Overbey, The Savannah Disputation (ll)
Annie Parisse, Becky Shaw (ll)
Harriet Walter, Mary Stuart (occ, tony)

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish, Billy Elliot (ASTAIRE, TONY, OCC, TW)
James Barbour, A Tale of Two Cities (dd, occ)
Matt Cavenaugh, West Side Story (occ)
Gavin Creel, Hair (tony)
Jeffrey Denman, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (astaire)
Josh Grisetti, Enter Laughing, The Musical (dd, ll, occ, TW)
Brian d’Arcy James, Shrek The Musical (DD, OCC, tony)

Constantine Maroulis, Rock of Ages (tony)
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela! A New Musical (dd, ll, OBIE)
David Pittu, What’s That Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling (occ)
Matthew Risch, Pal Joey (astaire)
J. Robert Spencer, Next to Normal (tony)
Will Swenson, Hair (dd, tony)

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, 9 to 5 (dd)
Stockard Channing, Pal Joey (dd, tony)
Sutton Foster, Shrek The Musical (dd, OCC, tony)
Megan Hilty, 9 to 5 (dd, occ)
Allison Janney, 9 to 5 (DD, tony)
Leslie Kritzer, Rooms A Rock Romance (occ)
Karen Murphy, My Vaudeville Man (dd)
Alice Ripley, Next to Normal (TONY)
Josefina Scaglione, West Side Story (OCC, tony, TW)

Note: Alice Ripley was nominated last season for DD and OCC awards during Next to Normal’s Off-Broadway run

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Utkarsh Ambudkar, Animals Out of Paper (ll)
Francois Battiste, The Good Negro (ll, OBIE)
Jeremy Davidson, Back Back Back (dd)
Peter Friedman, Body Awareness (dd)
John Glover, Waiting for Godot (tony)
Zach Grenier, 33 Variations (occ, tony)
Jonathan Groff, Prayer for My Enemy and The Singing Forest (OBIE)
Colin Hanks, 33 Variations (TW)
Ethan Hawke, The Winter’s Tale (dd)
John Benjamin Hickey, Mary Stuart (occ)
Russell Gebert Jones, Ruined (OBIE, occ)
Stephen Magnan, The Norman Conquests (tony, ensemble DD, OCC, NYDCC, TW)
John McMartin, Saturn Returns (ll)
Aaron Monaghan, The Cripple of Inishmaan (LL, OBIE, ensemble DD)
Patrick Page, A Man for All Seasons (occ)
David Pearse, The Cripple of Inishmaan (OCC, ensemble DD)
Paul Ritter, The Norman Conquests (tony, ensemble DD, OCC, NYDCC, TW)
Roger Robinson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (RS, TONY)
Thomas Sadoski, Becky Shaw (ll)
Pablo Schreiber, Reasons to Be Pretty, Off-Broadway (DD)
Jeremy Shamos, Animals Out of Paper (dd)

Angela lansbury Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Ruined (CD, OBIE)
Annika Boras, Chair (ll)
Lynn Cohen, Chasing Manet (RS)
Kerry Condon, The Cripple of Inishmaan (LL, ensemble DD)
Lisa Emery, Distracted (ll)
Hallie Foote, Dividing the Estate (tony)
Jennifer Grace, Our Town (TW)
Mamie Gummer, Uncle Vanya (ll)
Rebecca Hall, The Cherry Orchard (dd)
Jessica Hynes, The Norman Conquests (tony, ensemble DD, OCC, NYDCC, TW)
Marin Ireland, Reasons to Be Pretty (tony, TW)
Zoe Kazan, The Seagull (dd)
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit (DD, OCC, NYDCC, TONY)
Andrea Martin, Exit the King (dd, occ)
Carey Mulligan, The Seagull (dd)
Kristin Nielsen, Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them (occ)
Susan Louise O’Connor, Blithe Spirit (occ, TW)
Condola Rashad, Ruined (dd, occ, TW)
Amanda Root, The Norman Conquests (tony, ensemble DD, OCC, NYDCC, TW)
Juliet Rylance, Othello (ll)

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
David Bologna, Billy Elliot (astaire, tony)
Daniel Breaker, Shrek (dd, occ)
Frank Dolce, Billy Elliot (astaire)
Hunter Foster, Happiness (dd)
Demond Green, The Toxic Avenger (dd)
Aaron Simon Gross, 13 (occ)
Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot (DD, OCC, TONY)
Marc Kudisch, 9 to 5 (dd, tony)
Bryce Ryness, Hair (dd)
Christopher Sieber, Shrek (dd, occ, tony)
Aaron Tveit, Next to Normal (CD)
Wesley Taylor, Rock of Ages (occ, TW)

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Farah Alvin, The Marvelous Wonderettes (dd)
Christina Bianco, Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab (dd)
Jennifer Damiano, Next to Normal (tony)
Kathy Fitzgerald, 9 to 5 (occ)
Karen Giovanni, Guys and Dolls (astaire)
Pia Glenn, You’re Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush (ASTAIRE) 
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot (DD, OCC, tony, TW)
Karen Olivo, West Side Story (astaire, dd, occ, TONY)
Nancy Opel, The Toxic Avenger (dd, occ)
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey (dd, occ, tony)
Angel Reed, Katherine Tokarz, Savannah Wise, Rock of Ages (astaire)
Carole Shelley, Billy Elliot (occ, tony)

Solo Performance
Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk with Me (dd, occ)
Frank Blocker, Southern Gothic Novel (dd)
Mike Burstyn, Lansky (occ)
Mike Daisey, If You See Something, Say Something (occ)
Michael Laurence, Krapp, 39 (dd)
Lorenzo Pisoni, Humor Abuse (DD, OBIE, OCC)
Matt Sax, Clay (dd, occ)
Campell Scott, The Atheist (dd)

(Photos: Getty Images)

--David Sheward

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You forgot to mention Constantine Maroulis (Best Leading Actor in a Musical) with 1 Tony nom and 1 Drama League nom.

You've also made an error. Will Swenson was not nominated for Best Actor in A Musical but for Featured Actor in A Musical (for Hair). You mixed up with Constantine Maroulis who was nominated for Best or Outstanding Actor in A Musical for Rock of Ages. I hope you will take note of this correct facts and incorporate to the above list to reflect accuracy, since as you've said, this is the only place for such a compilation of information. You've otherwise, done a commendable job. Thanks.

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