'Hamilton,' 'Between Riverside and Crazy' Continue Winning Streak at Lortel Awards
The Public Theater dominated the honors for the off-Broadway season's finest, winning a total of 12 for its productions at Sunday night's ceremony.
In what is starting to become a familiar pattern, Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop historical musical, Hamilton, and Stephen Adly Guirgis' gritty urban tragicomedy, Between Riverside and Crazy, took top prizes at the Lucille Lortel Awards, honoring the best of New York's off-Broadway theater season.
As writer-composer-lyricist and star of Hamilton, a vibrant retelling of the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton and the birth of American independence, Miranda took the prize for outstanding musical as well as lead actor in a musical.
Having set a new high with 12 Lortel nominations, the Public Theater production won a record-setting 10 awards in all. It garnered kudos for lead actress Phillipa Soo, featured actor Daveed Diggs, featured actress Renee Elise Goldsberry, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and for costume, lighting and sound design.
The show wrapped its sold-out premiere run at the Public earlier this month and is about to transfer to Broadway, starting performances July 13 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. That move will make Hamilton eligible in the 2016 Tony Awards race.
Guirgis' play was first produced last summer by the Atlantic Theatre Company and then presented by Second Stage in a return engagement earlier this year. The story of a retired African-American cop risking eviction from his Upper West Side Manhattan apartment after a drawn-out lawsuit against the police force, Riverside won for outstanding play; lead actor in a play, Stephen McKinley Henderson; and featured actress in a play, Liza Colon-Zayas.
Hamilton and Riverside both had won top prizes earlier last week from the New York Drama Critics Circle, while Guirgis also was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in April.
The 30th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards were presented Sunday night at the NYU Skirball Center, hosted by Anna Chlumsky and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Other top prizes went, for outstanding revival, to Fiasco Theater's pared-down, low-tech staging of Into the Woods, presented by Roundabout Theatre Company; and for outstanding solo show, to writer-performer Cush Jumbo's Josephine and I, about Josephine Baker, which added one more win to the Public Theater's whopping haul for the night.
Among acting awards, outstanding lead actress in a play went to Tonya Pinkins for Rasheeda Speaking from the New Group; and featured actor in a play to Jacob Ming-Trent for Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), also at the Public.
As previously announced, this year's lifetime achievement award was presented to playwright Terrence McNally, currently represented on Broadway by the theater-biz comedy It's Only a Play and by his Tony-nominated book for the musical, The Visit.