Musicals Wicked and Assassins claimed a combined 10 prizes on Sunday at the 49th Drama Desk Awards, which are often an indicator of the results of Broadway theater's Tony Awards, presented in June. Wicked, which tells the back story of the witches from The Wizard of Oz, won six awards from its 11 nominations, including best new musical, best director (Joe Mantello), best book (Winnie Holzman), and best lyrics (Stephen Schwartz). Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, a darkly comic study of presidential assassins, successful and attempted, captured four awards, including best revival of a musical. Donna Murphy of Wonderful Town was named best actress in a musical over Wicked costars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, among others. Hugh Jackman of The Boy From Oz was named outstanding actor in a musical.
I Am My Own Wife, the 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by out writer Doug Wright, was named best new play, while its star, Jefferson Mays, was honored for outstanding solo performance as German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. The award for best revival of a play went to the Lincoln Center production of Shakespeare's Henry IV, with the best actor prize going to its Falstaff, Kevin Kline. Phylicia Rashad of Raisin in the Sun and Viola Davis of Intimate Apparel shared best actress honors, while Audra McDonald was cited as top featured actress for Raisin. Ned Beatty won the featured actor prize for his acclaimed portrayal of Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Beatty--who drew some negative reaction for questioning the casting of his costars in an interview--was not nominated for a Tony. The awards, which also consider off-Broadway shows, were determined by a vote of more than 140 theater critics, reporters, and editors.
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