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‘Book of Mormon’ wins big at Drama Desk Awards

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NEW YORK — The profane show "The Book of Mormon" snagged five Drama Desk Awards on Monday night, adding to its pre-Tony Award critical haul and making it the musical to beat when the biggest prizes in theater are handed out next month.

The Drama Desk, an organization of theater journalists and critics, called "The Book of Mormon" the season's best musical and gave it awards for best lyrics, music, director and orchestrations.

The show, by the creators of "South Park" and "Avenue Q," has already been declared the best musical by the Outer Critics Circle and the New York Drama Critics' Circle. It has nabbed a leading 14 Tony Award nominations.

The musical, by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, follows the travails of two Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda to try to convert locals. Casey Nicholaw and Parker directed.

The Drama Desk also honored the Cole Porter romp "Anything Goes" with five awards, including best musical revival, set design, sound design and Sutton Foster as outstanding actress.

The awards for outstanding acting in a play went to Bobby Cannavale in "The Motherf---- With the Hat" and Frances McDormand for "Good People." In the musical category, the lead male acting award went to Norbert Leo Butz from "Catch Me If You Can."

In the featured acting play categories, Brian Bedford in "The Importance of Being Earnest" and Edie Falco of "The House of Blue Leaves" won, while John Larroquette in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and Laura Benanti from "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" won in the musical categories.

The best revival of a play award went to Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart," which also won outstanding director honors for Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe. John Leguizamo's fifth one-man show "Ghetto Klown" was awarded outstanding solo performance.

The awards, which honor both Broadway and off-Broadway productions, were presented during a ceremony hosted by Harvey Fierstein at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The ceremony will be aired in June on the cable channel Ovation.

Online: http://dramadesk.com