NEW YORK - Hairspray was chosen best musical of the New York theater season and Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg was named best play in awards given Sunday by the Drama Desk, an organization of theater journalists and critics.
Hairspray, based on the campy John Waters film about a teen-age Baltimore girl's obsession with a television dance show, took 10 Drama Desk honors. Its star, Harvey Fierstein, tied with Antonio Banderas of Nine for the leading-actor-in-a-musical award.
Hairspray also received prizes for its female lead, Marissa Jaret Winokur; feature-actor-musical, Dick Latessa; director-musical, Jack O'Brien; book-musical, Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan; music, Marc Shaiman; lyrics, Shaiman and Scott Whitman; costumes, William Ivey Long; and orchestrations, Harold Wheeler.
The 10 Drama Desk awards for Hairspray are second only to the 11 awards won two seasons ago by the smash musical The Producers.
The top acting awards in the play category went to Vanessa Redgrave, who plays the drug-addled Mary Tyrone in the revival of Long Day's Journey into Night, and Eddie Izzard, who portrays the father of a brain-damaged child in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
Featured acting awards went to Redgrave's sister, Lynn, for her performance in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, and Denis O'Hare, who plays the business manager of a gay baseball player in Take Me Out.
The featured actress-in-a-musical prize was won by Jane Krakowski of Nine.
Chosen as the best play and musical revivals were Long Day's Journey into Night and Nine.
Twyla Tharp won a Drama Desk prize for her choreography in Movin' Out, a dance musical set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War that uses the music of Billy Joel.
The Drama Desk, founded in 1949, honors Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
Hairspray also recently received nominations for 13 Tony Awards, winners of which will be announced June 8 beginning at 8 p.m. on CBS (WJZ-Channel 13). Hairspray will launch its national tour at the Mechanic Theatre in September.
The New York Times News Service contributed to this article.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun