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Saturday, April 30, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

"Piazza" grabs 11 Drama Desk nominations

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — "Monty Python's Spamalot," the cheeky stage version of the British comedy troupe's movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," scored 12 Drama Desk nominations Thursday, honoring the best of the 2004-05 New York theater season.

It was followed by "The Light in the Piazza," which originated at Seattle's Intiman Theatre in 2003. The lushly romantic musical of first love received 11 nominations, including a best-director nod for Intiman's artistic director Bartlett Sher.

"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," the tale of a French Riviera scam, was next with 10.

All three shows were nominated for best musical by the organization of theater journalists and critics, along with "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," "Altar Boyz" and "The Audience."

Best-play nominations went to "Democracy" by Michael Frayn, "Pentecost" by David Edgar, "The Pillowman" by Martin McDonagh, "Sin (A Cardinal Deposed)" by Michael Murphy, and two plays by John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt" and "Sailor's Song."

Two of the leads in "Spamalot," David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria, nabbed nominations for outstanding actor in a musical. They will compete against Mike Burstyn, "On Second Avenue"; Norbert Leo Butz, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"; Matthew Morrison, "The Light in the Piazza"; and Bill Thompson, "God Hates the Irish: The Ballad of Armless Johnny."

Actress in a musical nods went to Christina Applegate, "Sweet Charity"; Victoria Clark, "The Light in the Piazza"; Sutton Foster, "Little Women"; Sherie Rene Scott, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"; and the two leads in "Dessa Rose," LaChanze and Rachel York.

Nominated for best actor in a play were Adam Arkin, "Brooklyn Boy"; John Cullum, "Sin (A Cardinal Deposed)"; Bill Irwin, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"; Brian F. O'Byrne, "Doubt"; Jeremy Piven, "Fat Pig"; and John Turturro, "Souls of Naples."

The best actress in a play nominations went to Veanne Cox, "Last Easter"; Cherry Jones, "Doubt"; Judy Kaye, "Souvenir"; Laura Linney, "Sight Unseen"; Frances Sternhagen, "Echoes of War"; and Kathleen Turner, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

The Drama Desk, which was founded in 1949, honors both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

The awards show, hosted by Harvey Fierstein, will take place on Sunday, May 22, at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center.

Seattle Times staff contributed to this report

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company




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