- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Tumblr
Rajiv Joseph's blood-soaked drama Guards at the Taj, about two sentries at the site of the soon-to-be-unveiled Taj Mahal in 17th century India, was the big winner Sunday night at the 31st Annual Lucille Lortel Awards, the top honors for off-Broadway theater.
The Atlantic Theater Company production, directed by Amy Morton and starring Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed, was named best play, in addition to taking prizes for best scenic design, lighting and sound.
Also faring well was Roundabout Theatre Company's staging of the Mississippi bluegrass fairy tale, The Robber Bridegroom, which took trophies for best revival, lead actor Steven Pasquale (pictured above) and featured actress Leslie Kritzer.
Without Hamilton in the mix to dominate (Lin-Manuel Miranda's monster hit took top honors last year for its original off-Broadway run), musical plaudits were spread among three shows, including The Robber Bridegroom.
The Soho Rep/Ars Nova collaboration, Futurity, a folk-infused Civil War-set reflection on artificial intelligence, was named best musical; and Southern Comfort, another bluegrass/country musical, this one about the dying patriarch of a makeshift transgender family, scored lead actress in a musical for Annette O'Toole and featured actor for Jeffrey Kuhn.
Performance honors for plays went to lead actress Phylicia Rashad and featured actress Alana Arenas for Head of Passes; to lead actor Timothee Chalamet for Prodigal Son; and featured actor Matt McGrath for The Legend of Georgia McBride, which also won for costumes.
Julie Taymor's production for the Public Theater of George Brant's Grounded, which starred Anne Hathaway as a pregnant drone pilot stationed in the Nevada desert, won for best solo play.
A play that has bounced to Broadway since its premiere and is widely considered a Tony Awards frontrunner, Stephen Karam's The Humans, had led the field with six Lortel nominations but came away empty-handed. However, another Broadway transfer and Tony contender, Danai Gurira's Eclipsed, scored a directing award for Liesl Tommy, one of three nominees for the Liberian war drama.
The Lortel awards ceremony was held at NYU Skirball Center and was hosted by Zachary Levi, who is currently appearing on Broadway in the musical revival, She Loves Me. "Last year, Hamilton took home ten awards … Tonight, anyone can win. Literally, anyone else!" he joked onstage.
Michael Shannon, Danielle Brooks, Cynthia Erivo, Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Ana Villafane, Anna Chlumsky, Jefferson Mays, Carol Kane and Molly Ringwald were on hand to present the night's honors, which included the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Laura Linney to Signature Theatre Company founder James Houghton.
Norm Lewis paid tribute to this year's Playwrights' Sidewalk inductee Suzan-Lori Parks, who laughed, "You know you've made it when your name is on the ground before you're in the ground!"
See the full list of winners below.
Ashley Lee contributed to this report.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day