Tuesday, May 30

Annaleigh Ashford (‘Sweeney Todd’) takes Distinguished Performance

Winners of the 2023 Drama League Awards were announced on Friday, May 19, 2023, at an in-person ceremony, hosted by Emmy-winning reporter Frank DiLella at The Ziegfeld Ballroom. The Drama League Awards honor both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions from the 2022-2023 theater season.

“Leopoldstadt” asserted itself as the dominant play of the season, picking up the Best Play prize. Tom Stoppard’s drama has been perched atop Gold Derby’s Tony Awards odds since we launched the prediction center. With Tony favorite “Kimberly Akimbo” out of the running for Best Musical (the Drama League already considered that tuner for its Off-Broadway run), “Some Like it Hot” cruised to a win in that category. It prevailed over four of its fellow Tony nominees: “& Juliet,” “New York, New York,” and “Shucked.”

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The Drama League bolstered the Tony prospects of “A Doll’s House” by bestowing it with the Best Revival of a Play prize. But the group threw a curveball into the race for Revival of a Musical. “Into the Woods” scored a win here over its Tony rivals “Camelot,” “Parade,” and “Sweeney Todd.” “Into the Woods” currently sits in third place in our Tony Awards odds for Musical Revival, but perhaps we should rethink its chances. The production also pulled off a surprise Director of a Musical win with the Drama League, with Lear deBessonet prevailing over larger and flashier work. Clearly the Stephen Sondheim musical is a favorite this season.

The Drama League’s most unique prize is their Distinguished Performance Award, which encompasses lead and supporting actors, from both plays and musicals, and of any gender. This year the group awarded Annaleigh Ashford the Distinguished Performance Award for portrayal of Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd.” This coveted honor can only be won once during the career of an actor, so Ashford won’t appear as a nominee here again.

Find the complete list of nominees and winners of the 2023 Drama League awards, below.

Best Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
X – “Leopoldstadt”
“The Bandaged Place”
“Cost of Living”
“Dark Disabled Stories”
“Fat Ham”
“Good Night, Oscar”
“Life of Pi”
“Peter Pan Goes Wrong”
“Prima Facie”
“Public Obscenities”
“Summer, 1976”

Best Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
X – “A Doll’s House”
“Ohio State Murders”
“The Piano Lesson”
“A Raisin in the Sun”
“The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window”
“The Thanksgiving Play”
“Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Blackand White”
“Wolf Play”

Best Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
X – “Some Like It Hot”
“& Juliet”
“A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical”
“Dreaming Zenzile”
“New York, New York”
“White Girl in Danger”
“Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights”

Best Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
X – “Into the Woods”
“Bob Fosse’s Dancin’”
“A Man of No Importance”
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Best Direction of a Play
X – Anne Kauffman, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window”
Jo Bonney, “Cost of Living”
Shayok Misha Chowdhury, “Public Obscenities”
Kenny Leon, “Topdog/Underdog”
Jamie Lloyd, “A Doll’s House”
David Mendizábal, “the bandaged place”
Awoye Timpo,” Elyria and Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White”
Dustin Wills, “Wolf Play

Best Direction of a Musical
X – Lear deBessonet, “Into the Woods”
Lileana Blain-Cruz, “Dreaming Zenzile and White Girl In Danger”
Thomas Kail, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Casey Nicholaw, “Some Like It Hot”
Jack O’Brien, “Shucked”
Bartlett Sher, “Camelot”
Susan Stroman, “New York, New York”

Distinguished Performance Award
X – Annaleigh Ashford, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “Topdog/Underdog”
Hiran Abeysekera, “Life of Pi”
Sara Bareilles, “Into the Woods”
Stephanie Berry, “the bandaged place”
Brittany Bradford, “Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story In Black And White”
Danielle Brooks, “The Piano Lesson”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window”
Marylouise Burke, “Epiphany”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Thanksgiving Play”
Jessica Chastain, “A Doll’s House”
Sharon D Clarke, “Death of a Salesman”
Jodie Comer, “Prima Facie”
Jordan E. Cooper, “Ain’t No Mo’”
Lorna Courtney, “& Juliet”
Micaela Diamond, “Parade”
K. Todd Freeman, “Downstate”
J. Harrison Ghee, “Some Like It Hot”
Josh Groban, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Ryan J. Haddad, “Dark Disabled Stories”
Corey Hawkins, “Topdog/Underdog”
Sean Hayes, “Good Night, Oscar”
Stephen McKinley Henderson, “Between Riverside and Crazy”
Oscar Isaac, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window”
Tarra Conner Jones, White Girl in Danger”
Esco Jouléy, “Wolf Play”
Somi Kakoma, “Dreaming Zenzile”
David Krumholtz, “Leopoldstadt”
Linda Lavin, “You Will Get Sick”
Laura Linney, “Summer, 1976”
Jefferson Mays, “A Christmas Carol”
Patina Miller, “Into the Woods”
Marla Mindelle, “Titanique”
Arian Moayed, “A Doll’s House”
Gargi Mukherjee, “Public Obscenities”
Alex Newell, “Shucked”
Jeremy Pope, “The Collaboration”
Colton Ryan, “New York, New York”
Phillipa Soo, “Camelot”
Marcel Spears, “Fat Ham”
Katy Sullivan, “Cost of Living”
Will Swenson, “A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical”
John Douglas Thompson, “Endgame”
Anna Uzele, “New York, New York”
John David Washington, “The Piano Lesson”
Betsy Wolfe, “& Juliet”
David Zayas, “Cost of Living”

The Drama League also wishes to acknowledge the previous recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award who appeared in Broadway or Off-Broadway productions this season. As the Award can only be won once in a performer’s lifetime, they are ineligible to be nominated; however, their exemplary work is recognized and applauded.

Danny Burstein, “Pictures From Home”
Norbert Leo Butz, “Cornelia Street”
Kathleen Chalfant, “The Year of Magical Thinking”
Neil Patrick Harris, “Peter Pan Goes Wrong”
Nathan Lane, “Pictures From Home”
Audra McDonald, “Ohio State Murders”
Bebe Neuwirth, “The Bedwetter”
Ben Platt, “Parade”

PREDICT the 2023 Tony Awards through June 11

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