A production of Jesus Christ Superstar that began its journey at Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival has earned two nominations for Drama Desk Awards on Broadway.
A hit at the Stratford festival in 2011 before heading to La Jolla in San Diego and New York, the production is in the running for best musical revival and best sound design.
Directed by Broadway veteran and Stratford outgoing artistic director Des McAnuff, it stars Canadians Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene and Paul Nolan as Jesus and American-born Josh Young as Judas.
In the revival category, it is competing for the Drama Desk Award against Evita, Follies, Porgy and Bess, the Threepenny Opera and Carrie, the new production of an '80s musical once considered one of Broadway’s biggest flops.
Canadian rapper and playwright Baba Brinkman is a contender for outstanding solo performance for The Rap Guide to Evolution, a hip-hop exploration of modern biology that is playing off-Broadway.
The Drama Desk Awards, given by a group of New York critics, editors and publishers, honours Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions.
Two dark musicals leads the nominations with 10 apiece — Follies, a Stephen Sondheim revival about couples looking back at their mistakes and Death Takes a Holiday, in which Death takes human form and falls in love.
Philip Seymour Hoffman has netted a nomination for his turn in Death of a Salesman and Kevin Spacey has been recognized for his Richard III.
Among well-known leading ladies, Carey Mulligan is nominated for Through a Glass Darkly, Bernadette Peters for Follies and Audra Ann McDonald, who stars in TV’s Private Practice, is up for best actress in a musical in Porgy and Bess.
The nominees for outstanding play:
- David Henry Hwang, Chinglish.
- Dan LeFranc, The Big Meal.
- Members of the Plastic Theatre, Unnatural Acts.
- Itamar Moses, Completeness.
- Lynn Nottage, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.
- Nina Raine, Tribes.
- Nicky Silver, The Lyons.
The winners of the Drama Desk Awards are to be named June 3 in New York. Nominations for theTonys – New York’s most prestigious theatre award – will be released next Tuesday.