'South Pacific' wins 5 prizes


"August: Osage County," Tracy Letts' tale of a dysfunctional Oklahoma family, was chosen best play of the New York theater season, and "Passing Strange" was named best musical in awards given by the organization of theater journalists.

"South Pacific" also received prizes for actor-musical, Paolo Szot; director-musical, Bartlett Sher; sets-musical, Michael Yeargan, and sound design, Scott Lehrer.

The revival of "Gypsy" picked up three musical performance awards - for its star, Patti LuPone, as well as for two of its featured or supporting players, Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti.

The revival-play award went to the farce "Boeing-Boeing." One of its leading men, Mark Rylance, who portrays a hapless visitor to Paris, won the actor-play prize.

Deanna Dunagan, who plays the cantankerous matriarch in "August: Osage County," received the actress-play award and the production's director, Anna D. Shapiro, also won.

Other featured performer winners were Linda Lavin in Paul Rudnick's comedy "The New Century" and Conleth Hill in Conor McPherson's "The Seafarer."

Stew, who stars in "Passing Strange," also won for lyrics and for the show's music, which he co-wrote with Heidi Rodewald. Douglas Carter Beane's book for the musical "Xanadu" also was honored.

The prize for solo performance went to Laurence Fishburne for his portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in "Thurgood," while "The 39 Steps" took the award for unique theatrical experience.

Rob Ashford won the choreography prize for "Cry-Baby," while Katrina Lindsay received the costume-design award for "Les Liaison Dangereuses." "Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening" was named best revue.

The Drama Desk, which was founded in 1949, honors both Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

The awards show took place at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center.

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