'Billy Elliot' dominates Drama Desk Awards

"Ruined" named outstanding play

"Billy Elliot" thoroughly trounced "9 to 5" at the Drama Desk Awards, winning in every category for which it was eligible, including best musical, for a total 10 prizes.

The awards -- presented Sunday in Manhattan by the Drama Desk, an organization of New York-based critics, reviewers, and editors -- cover Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off-Broadway in all of its multiple categories. "9 to 5," which had received 15 nominations, the most of any show in Drama Desk history, only won one award, for outstanding performance by an actress in a musical (Allison Janney).

"Ruined," which is extended off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre, won outstanding play. Lynn Nottage's work about women surviving a civil war in the Congo already had won the Pulitzer Prize and top awards from the Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics' Circle. "The Norman Conquests" was named outstanding revival of a play, and its director, Matthew Warchus, was hailed as top dramatic helmer. The six-member cast won a special award for ensemble performance, as did the cast of "The Cripple of Inishmaan," presented by Atlantic Theater Company, which also won a special award.

Special awards also were presented to Liza Minnelli, Forbidden Broadway and TADA! Youth Theatre.

"Hair" won for outstanding musical revival, and Angela Lansbury was named as outstanding featured actress in a play for her comic turn as Madame Arcati in "Blithe Spirit."

A complete list of winners follows:

Play: "Ruined" by Lynn Nottage
Musical: "Billy Elliot: The Musical"
Revival of a Play: "The Norman Conquests"
Revival of a Musical: "Hair"
Music in a Play: Dominic Kanza ("Ruined")
Actor in a Play: Geoffrey Rush ("Exit the King")
Actress in a Play: Janet McTeer ("Mary Stuart")
Actor in a Musical: Brian d'Arcy James ("Shrek The Musical")
Actress in a Musical: Allison Janney ("9 to 5")
Featured Actor in a Play: Pablo Schreiber ("Reasons to Be Pretty") off Broadway
Featured Actress in a Play: Angela Lansbury ("Blithe Spirit")
Featured Actor in a Musical: Gregory Jbara ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Featured Actress in a Musical: Haydn Gwynne ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Director of a Play: Matthew Warchus ("The Norman Conquests")
Director of a Musical: Stephen Daldry ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Choreography: Peter Darling ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Music: Elton John ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim ("Road Show")
Book of a Musical: Lee Hall ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Orchestrations: Martin Koch ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Set Design of a Play: David Korins ("Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them")
Set Design of a Musical: Tim Hatley ("Shrek The Musical")
Costume Design: Tim Hatley ("Shrek The Musical")
Lighting Design in a Play: David Hersey ("Equus")
Sound Design: Paul Arditti ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Solo Performance: Lorenzo Pisoni ("Humor Abuse")
Lighting Design in a Musical: Rick Fisher ("Billy Elliot: The Musical")
Unique Theatrical Experience: "Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words"
Ensemble Performances: The cast of "The Norman Conquests," the cast of "The Cripple of Inishmaan"
Special Awards: Liza Minnelli; Atlantic Theatre Company; Forbidden Broadway; TADA! Youth Theatre