Stoppard sweeps the board at US Critics Circle Awards

Judd Hollander

Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia was the big winner at the 2007 Outer Critics Circle Awards in the US, presented annually by critics for newspapers, radio and television stations and theatrical publications in America and abroad.

Utopia took home six awards, the most of any show, winning in the categories of Outstanding New Broadway Play, Director of a Play (Jack O’Brien), Set Design (Bob Crowley and Scott Pask), Costume Design (Catherine Zuber), Lighting Design (Brian MacDevitt/Kenneth Posner/Natasha Katz) and for Featured Actress in a Play (Martha Plimpton).

Utopia was also nominated in three other categories: Billy Crudup for Outstanding Featured Actor, Brian F O’Byrne for Lead Actor and Jennifer Ehle for Lead Actress. Crudup lost out to Boyd Gaines in the revival of RC Sherriff’s World War I drama, Journey’s End (which also won Outstanding Revival of a Play), while O’Byrne lost to Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon and Eve Best in A Moon for the Misbegotten triumphed over Ehle.

Utopia’s closest competition was from the musical Spring Awakening, which won three awards – Outstanding New Musical, Outstanding Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway) and Outstanding Director of a Musical (Michael Mayer). Awakening beat such shows as Mary Poppins, which received 11 nominations but was shut out when the winners were announced.

In winning the director category, Mayer edged out John Doyle (for Company – which did win Outstanding Revival of a Musical) and Richard Eyre & Matthew Bourne (Mary Poppins). Also going home empty-handed were Coram Boy, which received four nominations, and The Pirate Queen (two nominations).

The awards will be presented at a ceremony on May 24 at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York.

The full winners are as follows:

  • Outstanding New Broadway Play – The Coast of Utopia
  • Outstanding New Broadway Musical – Spring Awakening
  • Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play – Indian Blood
  • Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical – In the Heights
  • Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off Broadway) – Spring Awakening
  • Outstanding Revival of a Play – Journey’s End
  • Outstanding Revival of a Musical – Company
  • Outstanding Director of a Play (Lucille Lortel Award) – Jack O’Brien (The Coast of Utopia)
  • Outstanding Director of a Musical – Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening)
  • Outstanding Choreography – Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights)
  • Outstanding Set Design – Bob Crowley & Scott Pask (The Coast of Utopia)
  • Outstanding Costume Design – Catherine Zuber (The Coast of Utopia)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design – Brian MacDevitt/Kenneth Posner/Natasha Katz (The Coast of Utopia)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Play – Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Play – Eve Best (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical – Raúl Esparza (Company)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical – Donna Murphy (LoveMusik)
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play – Boyd Gaines (Journey’s End)
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia)
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical – David Pittu (LoveMusik)
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical – Karen Ziemba (Curtains)
  • Outstanding Solo Performance – Nilaja Sun (No Child…)
  • John Gassner Award (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright) – Nilaja Sun (No Child…)
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