Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston wins big at the 85th Annual Drama League Awards

The star of Network takes home the coveted Distinguished Performance Award...

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Today the Broadway community celebrated The 85th Annual Drama League Awards, gathering at the Marriott Marquis Times Square to find out this year's winners of the five competitive categories and to also honor the previously announced recipients of the special recognition awards. Two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers, (currently represented on the Great White Way by Beetlejuice and soon to be represented by Moulin Rouge! The Musical), was honored with The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing, and the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award went to Taylor Mac, whose leading ladies from his Broadway debut play Gary: A Sequel to Titus AndronicusKristine Nielsen and Julie White, also served as hosts for the ceremony. Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara received The Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award, whilst her current production - Roundabout Theatre Company's Kiss Me, Kate - took home the prize for "Outstanding Revival of a Musical."

The 14-time Tony-nominated Hadestown grabbed the prize for "Outstanding Production of a Musical," whilst The Ferryman was awarded "Outstanding Production of a Play" and last fall's The Waverly Gallery  managed to triumph as "Outstanding Revival of a Play."

The biggest winner of today's ceremony was perhaps Bryan Cranston, however, as the Network star managed to see off competition from 52 of his fellow actors to seize the coveted "Distinguished Performance Award."

Check out some of our photos from today's star-studded event:

Here is a reminder of all the 2019 nominees by category:


Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties
Written by Jen Silverman

Dance Nation
Written by Clare Barron

Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury

The Ferryman - WINNER!!!
Written by Jez Butterworth

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Written by Taylor Mac

The House That Will Not Stand
Written by Marcus Gardley

The Jungle
Written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson

The Lehman Trilogy
Written by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power

Adapted by Lee Hall; Based on the film by Paddy Chayefsky

Paradise Blue
Written by Dominique Morisseau

Teenage Dick
Written by Mike Lew

To Kill A Mockingbird
Written by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the novel by Harper Lee

What The Constitution Means To Me
Written by Heidi Shreck



Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations
Book by Dominique Morisseau; Music and Lyrics from The Legendary Motown Catalog

Book by Scott Brown and Anthony King; Music by Eddie Perfect; Lyrics by Eddie Perfect

Be More Chill
Book by Joe Tracz; Music and Lyrics by Joe Iconis

The Cher Show
Book by Rick Elice; Music by Various Artists

Hadestown - WINNER!!!
Music, Lyrics and Book by Anais Mitchell

Head Over Heels
Songs by The Go-Go's; Conceived by Jeff Whitty; Original Book by Jeff Whitty; Book adapted by James Magruder; Based on 'The Arcadia' by Sir Philip Sidney

The Hello Girls
Music and Lyrics by Peter Mills; Book by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel

King Kong
Written by Jack Thorne; Score Composed and Produced by Marius de Vries; Songs by Eddie Perfect

The Prom
by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin; Music by Matthew Sklar; Lyrics by Chad Beguelin

Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
Book, Music and Lyrics by Andrew R. Butler

by Robert Horn; Music by David Yazbek; Lyrics by David Yazbek



All My Sons
Written by Arthur Miller

Boesman and Lena
Written by Athol Fugard

Burn This
Written by Lanford Wilson

By The Way, Meet Vera Stark
Written by Lynn Nottage

Choir Boy
Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney

King Lear
Written by William Shakespeare

Torch Song
Written by Harvey Fierstein

Twelfth Night
Written by William Shakespeare

The Waverly Gallery - WINNER!!!
Written by Kenneth Lonergan



Carmen Jones
Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy's adaptation of Prosper Merimee's Carmen; Music by Georges Bizet

Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish
Book by Joseph Stein; Music by Jerry Bock; Lyrics By Sheldon Harnick

Kiss Me, Kate - WINNER!!!
Book by Sam Spewack and Bella Spewack; Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Oscar Hammerstein; Music by Richard Rodgers; Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein

Ordinary Days
Music and Lyrics by Adam Gwon

Smokey Joe's Café
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller



(One winner is selected from this category. The recipient can only receive the award once during his or her career)

Brooks AshmanskasThe Prom
Annette BeningAll My Sons
Quincy Tyler BernstineOur Lady of 121st Street
Stephanie J. BlockThe Cher Show
Eboni BoothDance Nation
Alex BrightmanBeetlejuice
Josh CharlesStraight White Men
Paddy ConsidineThe Ferryman
Jordan E. CooperAin't No Mo'
Bryan CranstonNetwork - WINNER!!!
Jeff DanielsTo Kill A Mockingbird
Jessica Frances DukesBy The Way, Meet Vera Stark
André De ShieldsHadestown
Adam DriverBurn This
Edie FalcoThe True
Santino FontanaTootsie
Harriett D. FoyThe House That Will Not Stand
Lynda GravattThe House That Will Not Stand and The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd
Amber GrayHadestown
Jake GyllenhaalSea Wall/A Life
Ammar Haj AhmadThe Jungle
Ethan HawkeTrue West
Marin IrelandBlue Ridge and Summer and Smoke
Zainab JahBoesman and Lena
Nikki M. JamesTwelfth Night
Celia Keenan-BolgerTo Kill A Mockingbird
Leslie KritzerBeetlejuice
Beth LeavelThe Prom
Tracy LettsAll My Sons
Elaine MayThe Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeerBernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie MetcalfHillary and Clinton
Bonnie MilliganHead Over Heels
Gregg MozgalaTeenage Dick
Kelli O'HaraKiss Me, Kate
Jeremy PopeAin't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations and Choir Boy
Carey MulliganGirls and Boys
Anika Noni RoseCarmen Jones
Debra Jo RuppThe Cake
Stacey SargeantRags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
Heidi SchreckWhat The Constitution Means To Me
Steven SkybellFiddler on the Roof in Yiddish
Keith Randolph SmithParadise Blue
Ali StrokerOklahoma!
Michael StuhlbargSocrates
Ephraim SykesAin't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations
Ben TurnerThe Jungle
Ana VillafañeCollective Rage: A Play in Five Betties
Phoebe Waller-BridgeFleabag
Kerry WashingtonAmerican Son
Julie WhiteGary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth WilsonKing Lear
BD WongThe Great Leap

NOTE: The Drama League also wished to acknowledge the previous recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award who appeared in New York productions this season. As the Award can only be won once in a performer's lifetime, they are ineligible this season. Their exemplary work, however, is recognized and applauded:

Stockard ChanningApologia
Glenn CloseMother of the Maid
Glenda JacksonKing Lear
Cherry JonesThe Lifespan of a Fact
Nathan LaneGary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
John LithgowHillary and Clinton
Stephen ReaCyprus Avenue

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, Ben Platt, and Glenda Jackson.

(Photos by Tom Millward)


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