Laura Benanti to return to host 2015 Drama Desk Awards

Tony Award winner Laura Benanti will return to host The 60th Annual Drama Desk Awards on Sunday, 31 May 2015 at 8pm at The Town Hall.

The Nominations Announcement News Conference will take place on Thursday, 23 April 2015 at 2pm at 54 Below.

Gretchen Shugart, Managing Executive Producer of the Drama Desk Awards, released the following statement:

"Laura Benanti was a fantastic host last year - bringing her brand of humor and charm to a wonderful evening. We are excited to welcome her back to Town Hall to lead us in our annual celebration of excellence in New York theater."

Laura herself added:

"Third time's a charm! Oh, wait... I'm hosting this for the second time? Well, I'm sure it will be fine."

Laura Benanti can currently be seen as Jenna in New York Spring Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall. She won the Tony Award for her portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in 'Gypsy', opposite Patti LuPone. She also received a Tony Nomination for her starring role in the Broadway production of 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' at Lincoln Center Theater, where she also starred in Sarah Ruhl's 'In the Next Room' (or 'The Vibrator Play').Her other Broadway roles include her Tony nominated performance in Stephen Sondheim's 'Into the Woods', her Tony nominated turn in 'Swing!' and the revival of 'Nine,' opposite Antonio Banderas. She debuted on Broadway as Maria in 'The Sound of Music,' opposite Richard Chamberlain.

The 2014-2015 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of: Barbara Siegel, Chairperson, (Author and Freelance Critic); Benjamin Coleman (literary associate, Samuel French, Inc.); Adrian Dimanlig ("Interludes,"); Steve Garrin (broadcast producer; sound designer); Mahayana Landowne (theater director; interactive artist); and Steve Marsh (Director, Graduate Studies, Department of Theatre Arts, Stony Brook University).

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics' organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

- by Tom Millward

Laura Benanti