John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt, about a nun who suspects a priest of molesting children, extended its prize-winning streak Sunday night with five Drama Desk Awards. The awards, presented by a group of theater critics and reporters, are closely watched as an indication of Broadway's biggest prize presented in June, the Tony awards. Light in the Piazza, written by out playwright Craig Lucas, also won five awards, though Best New Musical went to Monty Python's Spamalot, directed by Mike Nichols and based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Doubt won Best New Play as well as acting awards for its stars (Brian F. O'Byrne and out actress Cherry Jones), supporting actress (Adriane Lenox), and director (Doug Hughes). Light in the Piazza, the story of a mother and daughter visiting Italy in the 1950s, saw its star, Victoria Clark, win for Best Actress in a Musical; it also won for Best Music, Orchestrations, Set Design, and Lighting Design. Norbert Leo Butz won the award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a comic tale of two con artists on the French Riviera.
Gay Falsettos creator William Finn's Broadway underdog The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a low-budget show that transferred from off-Broadway, won Best Director of a Musical for James Lapine as well as Best Book of a Musical. Spamalot, which heads the field for the Tony Awards with 14 nominations, won three Drama Desk awards. In addition to winning Best New musical, it won for Best Costume Design, and Eric Idle won the award for Best Lyrics. (Reuters)