"Xanadu," "Young Frankenstein" nab N.Y. stage awards

Mon May 12, 2008 5:51pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pulitzer Prize-winning play "August: Osage County" and musicals "Young Frankenstein" and "Xanadu" nabbed the top Outer Critics Circle awards on Monday ahead of U.S. theater's top honors, the Tonys.

Anna D. Shapiro, who directed "August: Osage County," picked up the award for outstanding director of a play and the production's Deanna Dunagan won outstanding actress in a play.

The play, which won author Tracy Lett the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for drama, tells the story of the Westons, a large extended clan that comes together at their Oklahoma homestead when the alcoholic patriarch disappears. It opened on Broadway in December after a hit run in Chicago.

"Xanadu," based on the 1980 movie flop of the same name starring Olivia Newton John, and Mel Brooks's "Young Frankenstein" tied for the outstanding new musical award, beating "A Catered Affair" and "Cry-Baby The Musical."

The Outer Critics Circle is made up of journalists covering New York theater for U.S. and foreign media. They voted for 23 awards, to be presented on May 22, which are sometimes an early indication of how the Tonys will go on June 15.

Tony nominations are due to be announced on Tuesday.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" picked up four Outer Critics Circle awards -- outstanding revival of a musical, outstanding director of a musical for Bartlett Sher, outstanding actor in a musical for Paulo Szot and outstanding featured actor in a musical for Danny Burstein.

The outstanding actress in a musical award was won by Patti LuPone for "Gypsy" and the outstanding revival of a play award went to "The Homecoming."

Among the Hollywood stars awarded for their stage work in New York were Oscar winner Kevin Kline, who picked up the award for outstanding actor in a play for his leading role in "Cyrano de Bergerac" opposite Jennifer Garner.

Academy Award-nominated James Earl Jones won outstanding featured actor in a play for his performance in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Emmy-winning actress Laurie Metcalf won outstanding featured actress in a play for "November," and Oscar-nominated Laurence Fishburne picked up outstanding solo performance prize for "Thurgood."

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bill Trott)

 
<p>A scene from the musical "Young Frankenstein". Pulitzer Prize-winning play "August: Osage County" and musicals "Young Frankenstein" and "Xanadu" nabbed the top Outer Critics Circle awards on Monday ahead of U.S. theater's top honors, the Tonys. REUTERS/Handout</p>