Idina Menzel, Casey Nicholaw & NEA to be honored at 2018 Drama League Awards

The 84th Annual Drama League Awards will take place on Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.

Idina Menzel & Casey Nicholaw

The Drama League has revealed the three recipients of this year's special recognition categories, who will all be honored at The 84th Annual Drama League Awards on Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York CIty.

Tony Award winner Idina Menzel will receive The Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award. Ms. Menzel is a true Broadway favorite, having won a Tony Award in 2004 for originating the role of Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked and also earning Tony Award nominations for her performances as Elizabeth in If/Then in 2014 and as Maureen Johnson in Rent in 1996. She also appeared on the Great White Way as Amneris in Aida from 2001 to 2002. Off-Broadway, she earned Drama Desk Award nominations for her roles in Manhattan Theatre Club's The Wild Party in 2000 and in the Public Theater's See What I Wanna See in 2006, as well as appearing in The Vagina Monologues at the Westside Theatre. She is set to return to off-Broadway this season to star in Roundabout Theatre Company's Skintight, written by Joshua Harmon and directed by Daniel Aukin, at the Laura Pels Theatre from May 31 through to August 26, 2018. In addition, Ms. Menzel is globally known for lending her voice to Elsa in Disney's animated classic Frozen and the Oscar-nominated hit "Let It Go," along with her TV role as Shelby Corcoran on "Glee" and her film role as Nancy Tremaine in "Enchanted". She also reprised her role of Maureen Johnson for the 2005 film adaptation of "Rent".

Skintight Tickets are available now for performances from May 31 through to August 26, 2018.

Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw is set to receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing. Mr. Nicholaw is an acclaimed choreographer and director, who earned a Tony Award for "Best Direction of a Musical" for his efforts on The Book of Mormon. Over the course of his career, he has received a plethora of Tony Award nominations in both direction and choreography categories, beginning in 2005 with Monty Python's Spamalot and including The Drowsy Chaperone, Disney's Aladdin, and, most recently, Something Rotten! in 2015. His other Broadway credits include Tuck EverlastingElfAll About Me, and To Be Or Not To Be, alongside his earlier eight credits as a Broadway performer. He also directed and choreographed the current West End premiere of Dreamgirls and is currently represented on the Great White Way by the Broadway premiere of Mean Girls.

Mean Girls Tickets are available now for performances through to September 23, 2018.

Finally, the National Endowment for the Arts will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award, which will be accepted by Jane Chu, Chairman of the NEA on the organisation's behalf. The NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. In 2016, the NEA received a special Tony Award for its “unwavering commitment in paving the road” between Broadway and cities throughout the United States.

The special recognition prizes are presented alongside the following five competitive awards:

- Outstanding Play
- Outstanding Revival of a Play
- Outstanding Musical
- Outstanding Revival of a Musical
- Distinguished Performance Award

The nominees will be announced at Sardi's restaurant on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 11am.

The Drama League Awards were first awarded back in 1922 and were formalised as such in 1935, becoming the oldest theatrical honors in the United States. They remain the only major theatergoer awards chosen together by both industry professionals and audience members — specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

Recipients of the coveted "Distinguished Performance Award" over the years has included a roster of theatre legends such as Audra McDonald, Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Glenn Close, Liev Schreiber, Sir John Gielgud, Harvey Fierstein, Cherry Jones, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Julie Harris, Helen Hayes, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, Sir Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, Nathan Lane, Chita Rivera, Neil Patrick Harris, Christopher Plummer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Ben Platt.