The Night Alive, All the Way, and Fun Home were named the best of the 2013-14 theater season by the New York Drama Critics Circle in the group’s annual meeting on May 5. The Night Alive, Conor McPherson’s play about lonely drifters in Dublin and presented Off-Broadway by the Atlantic Theatre Company, was chosen as Best Play. Having awarded a work by a British author with their top prize, the group voted All the Way, Robert Schenkkan’s drama about President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s efforts to pass Civil Rights legislation now playing at the Neil Simon Theatre, as Best American Play.
Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel and featuring book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, was named Best Musical. The show played a limited run at the Public Theater and was also named Outstanding Musical by the Lortel Awards. A Broadway production of the musical is now reportedly in the works. Special NYDCC citations for the Shakespeare’s Globe productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III and Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Plays were also awarded.
The voting was held at the group’s 79th annual meeting at the offices of Time Out New York. Adam Feldman, theater critic for Time Out, has served as president since 2005. Competition was very close with both Night Alive and All the Way narrowly achieving victory after four rounds of voting. Domesticated, All the Way, and The Open House were the runners-up for Best Play. Fun Home took the top place for Best Musical on the third round of balloting with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder finishing second and After Midnight taking third.
The awards will be presented on May 16 in a cocktail-party celebration at Studio 54. The award for Best Play includes a cash prize of $2,500 from the estate of Lucille Lortel, the late producer and theater owner.
The Circle is comprised of 22 drama critics writing for newspapers, magazines, wire services and websites based in New York. First presented in 1935, the NYDCC Awards are the country’s second-oldest theater accolade after the Pulitzer Prize.