New musical Once was the big winner at the Drama Desk Awards ceremony last night (June 3). It won best musical and three other awards, while Nina Raine’s Tribes won outstanding play, and Follies won best musical revival.
Once opened off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop last December, and moved to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in February. It opened a month later to strong reviews.
It stars Cristin Milioti, who is up for a Tony for her role. She’s a veteran of the stage and has also appeared on television and in movies.
Playing opposite her is Steve Kazee, also Tony nominated with numerous stage, television credits. He also holds an MFA in acting from NYU’s Tisch Graduate Acting Program.
Also winning awards were Once’s John Tiffany for direction, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for lyrics and Martin Lowe for orchestration.
The Broadway musical is based on a 2007 film about an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by music. Over the course of a week, their friendship quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by emotionally charged music.
In other categories, Audra McDonald won best musical actress for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess; Tracie Bennett, best actress in a play for End of the Rainbow; Danny Burstein won best musical actor for Follies and Judith Light, won best featured actress in a play for Other Desert Cities.
Newsies The Musical earned Alan Menken the outstanding music award and Christopher Gattelli the outstanding choreography award.
Brian d’Arcy James and Brooke Shields hosted the 57th annual awards show, where Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions compete in the same category.