Arts & Culture

Jews at the Drama Desk Awards

How did Members of the Tribe fare? Read More

By / June 7, 2016
Danny Burstein (center) and the cast of 'Fiddler on the Roof.'

Danny Burstein (center) and the cast of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’

Sunday night was the 61st annual Drama Desk Awards. The award show is a bit to the Tonys what the Golden Globes are to the Oscars: part predictor, part alternative.

Unlike the Tonys, the Drama Desk Awards can nominate off-Broadway shows… Which means that Hamilton swept last year. So what happens to an award show without the Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster in it? It turns out that Jews had a pretty good theatre season!

While Fiddler on the Roof and the Folksbiene’s The Golden Bride (Di Goldene Kale) both lost Best Revival of a Musical, they lost to She Loves Me, a show by the same songwriting team as Fiddler, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock (She Loves Me also took Best Orchestrations and Set Design, and Fiddler‘s Bartlett Sher tied for Best Director of a Musical).

Best Actor in a Musical went to Danny Burstein for his turn as Tevye in Fiddler (it really is an amazing performance, and a wonderful revival).

Jewish songwriter Benj Pasek was one of the recipients for Outstanding Lyrics, for Dear Evan Hansen, a musical set to move to Broadway for next season (could he and co-writer Justin Paul get Tonys next year?).

Revival of a Play went to Arthur Miller tragedy A View from the Bridge (its director Ivo van Hove won as well). It wasn’t the only Miller play on Broadway this season, and Philip Glass won Outstanding Music in a Play for his score of The Crucible.

Sheldon Harnick, who is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Tony this coming Sunday, also took home a special Drama Desk in honor of his fantastic season, with three of his shows running successful revivals or revamps (the third was Rothschild & Sons). He announced that he shares his award with the late Jerry Bock.

Shoutout to the other Jewish nominees, including Avi Hoffman for his leading turn in Death of a Salesman in Yiddish, and the directors of The Golden Bride, Bryna Wasserman and Motl Didner (that’s right, a season in which two Yiddish-language productions were nominated).

You can see the full list of winners and nominees here.

The Tonys, alas, are on yuntiff, but on to them this Sunday anyway!

Photo credit: Joan Marcus