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“Passion” scores 7 Drama Desk nominations!!!

The Tony Awards nominations will be announced today, and Broadway always gets a financial boost in the process. But another vastly important New York theatre honor announced its contenders yesterday, and this celebrates a broader spectrum which includes not only Broadway—but off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway as well. And one of the big collectors of nominations for the 2013 Drama Desk Awards was the recently-closed, Classic Stage Company, off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Passion”—scoring seven nods. But it should have been eight! I’m always ecstatic when a show that I’m so fond of gets its proper kudos—but where the hell is Judy Kuhn’s nomination for re-imagining the role of Fosca! No disparagement to any of the other fine Best Actress in a Musical nominees, but how ironic that the original Broadway Fosca, Donna Murphy(she took the Tony and the Drama Desk for the role in 1994)received DD recognition for her performance in the mostly critically derided Central Park revival of Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”(again, no knock on Ms. Murphy’s performance—she received raves)! Anyway—we love you Judy! Sorry that you were unjustly overlooked. Now for the good news. “Passion” received nominations for Outstanding Revival of a Musical and also Outstanding Director of a Musical for the maverick John Doyle. Technical nods were given to Jane Cox for her Outstanding Lighting Design and Dan Moses Schreier for his Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical. And then, of course, the performances that were recognized. You can read right here on this blog what I cited as a star-making performance for Ryan Silverman as Giorgio—and he is among the field of Outstanding Actors in a Musical. Bronchitis-afflicted Melissa Errico missed a bunch of curtain calls towards the end of “Passion”‘s run(including the performance I attended), but that didn’t prevent her role as Clara from being remembered as being among the Outstanding Featured Actresses in a Musical. And Stephen Bogardus gets a shot at a Drama Desk too, for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his take on Fosca’s protective cousin, Colonel Ricci. Btw, this may have been an even better “Passion” than the original Broadway production in 1994. So, despite Kuhn’s unfortunate snub, this is a very passionate response for a Sondheim revival that I hope many of you got to experience. Congratulations to all of this year’s Drama Desk nominees!

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