Neil Patrick Harris, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and All the Way were the big winners at the 80th annual Drama League Awards presented May 16. Harris won the Distinguished Performance Award for his turn as a transgender German punk rocker in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which also triumphed as Distinguished Revival of a Musical. Gentleman’s Guide was chosen for Distinguished Production of a Musical and All the Way for Distinguished Production of a Play. The Glass Menagerie took the prize for Distinguished Revival of a Play.
Recipients of the Special Drama League Awards included Tony winner and singing legend Barbara Cook for distinguished achievement in musical theater; Key Brand Entertainment/Broadway Across America for bringing New York productions to theaters across the country; and Tony winner John Tiffany (Once, The Glass Menegarie) for excellence in directing.
First presented in 1922 and formalized in 1935, the Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honor in America. They are the only major theatergoer awards chosen by audience members — specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. The distinguished performance award first went to the theater icon Katharine Cornell and has since been presented to such stars as Nathan Lane, Christopher Plummer, Liam Neeson, Audra McDonald, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone and Bernadette Peters.