Outer Critic Circle Nominations Announced

COMMEMORATING THE 2021-22
BROADWAY & OFF-BROADWAY SEASON

ANNOUNCING THE NOMINEES FOR THE 71ST ANNUAL
OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS

Broadway’s The Lehman Trilogy leads the pack with nine nominations, followed by Off-Broadway musicals Harmony and Kimberly Akimbo with eight nods each

Johanna Day, David Morse, Mary-Louise Parker, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson To Receive Special Achievement Awards

Nominees for the John Gassner Award for New American Playwrights are Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Sanaz ToossiSylvia KhouryDave Harris and Keenan Scott II

(NEW YORK, NY – Tuesday, April 26, 2022) The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, are pleased to announce the nominees for the 71st Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2021-2022 Broadway and Off-Broadway season.

Leading the pack with the most honors of the season is the Broadway play The Lehman Trilogy with nine nominations, followed by the Off-Broadway musicals Harmony and Kimberly Akimbo which earned eight nods each. The most recognized Broadway musicals of the season are MJ the Musical and Paradise Square, with seven nominations each.

Nominees for the annual John Gassner Award — for a new American play, preferably by a new playwright — are Erika Dickerson-Despenza for Cullud WattahSanaz Toossi for EnglishSylvia Khoury for Selling Kabul, Dave Harris for Tambo and Bones, and Keenan Scott II for Thoughts of a Colored Man.

Returning to an in-person ceremony this spring after the 2020 virtual honors, the Outer Critics Circle Award winners will be announced on Monday, May 16, with a ceremony honoring the award recipients on Thursday, May 26 at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

Special Achievement Awards will be presented to How I Learned to Drive stars Johanna Day, David Morse, and Mary-Louise Parker, as well as Lackawanna Blues star Ruben Santiago-Hudson, to mark their outstanding returns to roles they originated two decades ago.

Additionally, the Outer Critics Circle presents commendations to two groups whose contributions to the 2021-22 season were immeasurable: the Standbys, Understudies, and Swings, as well as the Covid-19 Safety Officers.

“In the spring of 2020, we gathered on Zoom to determine that year’s slate of Outer Critics Circle Awards recipients, not knowing when or if we’d ever have the chance to do it again,” said Outer Critics Circle President David Gordon. “We are very grateful to have been able to see more than 100 productions for this year’s consideration, and even more appreciative of all the work that it took to bring live performance back to New York City safely. Every single person involved in the 2021-2022 theater season, from onstage and backstage to front of house, should be immensely proud of this accomplishment.”

The 2021-2022 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations

(Click here for the list of the winners)

Outstanding New Broadway Musical
MJ the Musical
Mr. Saturday Night
Mrs. Doubtfire
Paradise Square
Six

Outstanding New Broadway Play
Birthday Candles
Clyde’s
Skeleton Crew
The Lehman Trilogy
The Minutes

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
Black No More
Harmony
Intimate Apparel
Kimberly Akimbo
Little Girl Blue

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Morning Sun
On Sugarland
Prayer for the French Republic
Sanctuary City
The Chinese Lady

John Gassner Award (presented to a new American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Cullud Wattah by Erika Dickerson-Despenza
English by Sanaz Toossi
Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury
Tambo and Bones by Dave Harris
Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II

Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Assassins
Caroline, or Change
Company
The Music Man
The Streets of New York

Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
How I Learned to Drive
Take Me Out
A Touch of the Poet
Trouble in Mind

Patti LuPone and Katrina Lenk in Company on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Justin Cooley, Kimberly Akimbo
Myles Frost, MJ the Musical
Rob McClure, Mrs. Doubtfire
Jaquel Spivey, A Strange Loop
Chip Zien, Harmony

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kearstin Piper Brown, Intimate Apparel
Victoria Clark, Kimberly Akimbo
Sharon D Clarke, Caroline, or Change
Carmen Cusack, Flying Over Sunset
Joaquina Kalukango, Paradise Square

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Quentin Earl Darrington, MJ the Musical
Matt Doyle, Company
Steven Pasquale, Assassins
A.J. Shively, Paradise Square
Will Swenson, Assassins

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Shoshana Bean, Mr. Saturday Night
Jenn Colella, Suffs
Judy Kuhn, Assassins
Patti LuPone, Company
Bonnie Milligan, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Patrick J. Adams, Take Me Out
Simon Russell Beale, The Lehman Trilogy
Adam Godley, The Lehman Trilogy
Adrian Lester, The Lehman Trilogy
Sam Rockwell, American Buffalo

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Betsy Aidem, Prayer for the French Republic
Stephanie Berry, On Sugarland
Edie Falco, Morning Sun
LaChanze, Trouble in Mind
Debra Messing, Birthday Candles

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Chuck Cooper, Trouble in Mind
Brandon J. Dirden, Skeleton Crew
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Take Me Out
Michael Oberholtzer, Take Me Out
Austin Pendleton, The Minutes

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Chanté Adams, Skeleton Crew
Uzo Aduba, Clyde’s
Francis Benhamou, Prayer for the French Republic
Phylicia Rashad, Skeleton Crew
Nancy Robinette, Prayer for the French Republic

Outstanding Solo Performance
Alex Edelman, Just For Us
Jenn Murray, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing
Arturo Luís Soria, Ni Mi Madre
Kristina Wong, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord

Outstanding Director of a Play
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Scott Ellis, Take Me Out
Sam Mendes, The Lehman Trilogy
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Skeleton Crew
Anna D. Shapiro, The Minutes

Victoria Clark in Atlantic Theater Company’s Kimberly Akimbo. Photo by Ahron R. Foster.

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Warren Carlyle, Harmony
Moisés Kaufman, Paradise Square
Jessica Stone, Kimberly Akimbo
Christopher Wheeldon, MJ the Musical
Jerry Zaks, Mrs. Doubtfire

Outstanding Choreography
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Warren Carlyle, Harmony
Warren Carlyle, The Music Man
Bill T. Jones, Alex Sanchez, Garrett Coleman, and Jason Oremus, Paradise Square
Christopher Wheeldon and Rich + Tone Talauega, MJ the Musical

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel, Mr. Saturday Night
Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, Mrs. Doubtfire
David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimberly Akimbo
Lynn Nottage, Intimate Apparel
Bruce Sussman, Harmony

Outstanding Score
Jason Howland, Nathan Tysen, and Masi Asare, Paradise Square
Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Doubtfire
Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, Harmony
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Six
Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Orchestrations
John Clancy, Kimberly Akimbo
David Holcenberg and Jason Michael Webb, MJ the Musical
Greg Jarrett, Assassins
Jason Howland, Paradise Square
Doug Walter, Harmony

Outstanding Scenic Design (Play or Musical)
Beowulf Boritt, Flying Over Sunset
Es Devlin, The Lehman Trilogy
Scott Pask, American Buffalo
Adam Rigg, The Skin of Our Teeth
David Zinn, The Minutes

Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical)
Jane Greenwood, Plaza Suite
Santo Loquasto, The Music Man
Gabriella Slade, Six
Emilio Sosa, Trouble in Mind
Catherine Zuber, Mrs. Doubtfire

Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)
Jon Clark, The Lehman Trilogy
Natasha Katz, MJ the Musical
Bradley King, Flying Over Sunset
Brian MacDevitt, The Minutes
Jen Schreiver, Lackawanna Blues

Outstanding Sound Design (Play or Musical)
Nick Powell and Dominic Bilkey, The Lehman Trilogy
André Pluess, The Minutes
Ben and Max Ringham, Blindness
Dan Moses Schreier, Harmony
Matt Stine, Assassins

Outstanding Video/Projection Design (Play or Musical)
59 Productions and Benjamin Pearcy, Flying Over Sunset
Stefania Bulbarella and Alex Basco Koch, Space Dogs
Shawn Duan, Letters of Suresh
Luke Halls, The Lehman Trilogy
Jeff Sugg, Mr. Saturday Night

David Morse and Mary-Louise Parker in How I Learned to Drive at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Photo by Jeremy Daniel (2022)

Special Achievement Awards are presented to:
Johanna Day, David Morse, Mary-Louise Parker, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson for reprising their outstanding performances in How I Learned to Drive and Lackawanna Blues two decades later. All had been eligible in previous seasons.

Outer Critics Circle Commendations are presented to:

· The Standbys, Understudies, and Swings of the theatrical community who step up to perform, often on hours’ notice, to keep their shows running.

· To the Covid Safety Supervisors, Managers, and Compliance Officers who put themselves in harm’s way eight times a week to keep the curtains up.

This season’s fully eligible Broadway productions included Pass OverSixLackawanna BluesChicken & BiscuitsThoughts of a Colored Man, The Lehman TrilogyCaroline, or Change, Diana, Trouble in Mind, Clyde’s, Mrs. Doubtfire, Company, Flying Over Sunset, Skeleton Crew, MJ the Musical, The Music Man, Plaza Suite, Paradise Square, Take Me Out, Birthday Candles, The Little Prince, American Buffalo, The Minutes, How I Learned to Drive, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Funny Girl, The Skin of Our Teeth, Mr. Saturday Night, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.

After consideration in previous seasons, only new elements of the following productions were eligible for awards: Girl from the North CountryIs This A RoomDana H.HangmenA Strange Loop.

By mutual agreement with the production, owing to Covid-19-related delays, the Broadway revival of Macbeth will be considered for awards during the 2022-2023 season.

The following return engagements were not eligible for awards: Springsteen on BroadwayWaitressAmerican UtopiaFreestyle Love SupremeSlave PlayBeetlejuice.

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current president David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Simon Saltzman, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David RobertsHarry Haun, Cynthia Allen, Richard Ridge, Janice Simpson, and Stanley L. Cohen.

Productions with Multiple Nominations
The Lehman Trilogy – 9
Harmony – 8
Kimberly Akimbo – 8
MJ the Musical – 7
Paradise Square – 7
Assassins – 6
Mrs. Doubtfire – 6
The Minutes – 6
Skeleton Crew – 5
Take Me Out – 5
Flying Over Sunset – 4
How I Learned to Drive – 4 (including special awards)
Mr. Saturday Night – 4
Prayer for the French Republic – 4
Trouble in Mind – 4
Company – 3
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf – 3
Intimate Apparel – 3
Six – 3
The Music Man – 3
Birthday Candles – 2
American Buffalo – 2
Caroline, or Change – 2
Clyde’s – 2
Lackawanna Blues – 2 (including special award)
Morning Sun – 2
On Sugarland – 2

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