Home Theater Bette Midler Accepts Outer Critics Award for “Hello Dolly”: “This is the...

Most of the stars who won awards from the Outer Critics Circle Awards showed up on Thursday afternoon for the annual pre-theater dinner at Sardi’s. Bette Midler came, and accepted her award for Best Actress in a Musical– “Hello, Dolly!”– with class and aplomb. She said: “This is the hardest job I’ve ever had in my whole life. You people on Broadway are nuts. I’ve never encountered people who worked so hard and still are kind of cheerful about it.” She joked: “I mean, I’m riding all the way to the bank…[but] I’ve never had to work this hard.”

Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon, each of whom won for “The Little Foxes,” came on time and stayed through the whole two hour event. Andy Karl, star of “Groundhog Day,” picked up his award, and joked about his notoriously torn ACL. Ruben Santiago Hudson was there for Best Revival of a Play, which he directed– August Wilson’s “Jitney.” Designers, directors, creative people galore all managed to get themselves to Sardi’s. “Come From Away” picked up Best New Musical and “Oslo” was Best Play.

Broadway stars Danny Burstein, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Katie Finneran presented the awards. They proved to be entertaining and glib hosts.

Two award winners, however, skipped the proceedings. Danny DeVito didn’t show, claiming a scheduling problem. But the most egregious absentee was Kevin Kline, who won Best Actor for “Present Laughter.” After calling several times to say when he was coming, he didn’t come at all. You may recall that Kline snubbed his opening night party several weeks ago. All night there was a sigh that said “Kline” at an empty table.

DeVito, making his Broadway debut, didn’t make many friends by his absence. “Hollywood stars don’t take Broadway seriously,” sniffed one OCC nominator.

Despite the “Hello, Dolly!” $40 million box office and the officiousness of producer Scott Rudin, the show did well with the OCC. Gavin Creel won Best Featured Actor and the show picked up some creative awards. Midler got high marks for coming in quietly, hanging out at the back wearing a brightly flowered scarf on her head, for having clearly worked on her speech.

She joked about working “nearly every night– let’s not go there.” She also said: “It hurts. I have acid reflux! Oh my god. The clothes are so tight! …The truth is I’m having a ball. I’m enjoying myself. I’m working with people who are so so skilled and talented…It’s been a really steep learning curve for me. I guess I don’t mind standing up in front of you because you’ve already reviwed the show and I don’t give a shit! But I must say it was time for me come and do this.”

Outer Critics Circle

2016-2017 Awards

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
*Oslo

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
*Come From Away

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
*If I Forget

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
*The Band’s Visit

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

*Irene Sankoff & David Hein Come From Away

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

*David Yazbek The Band’s Visit

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

*Jitney

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

*Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

*Rebecca Taichman Indecent

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
*Christopher Ashley Come From Away

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER

*Warren Carlyle Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

*Mimi Lien Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

*Catherine Zuber War Paint

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

*Bradley King Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

*Aaron Rhyne Anastasia

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
(Play or Musical)

*Gareth Owen Come From Away

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS

*Larry Hochman Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

*Kevin Kline Present Laughter

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

*Laura Linney The Little Foxes

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

*Andy Karl Groundhog Day

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

*Bette Midler Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

*Danny DeVito The Price

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

*Cynthia Nixon The Little Foxes

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

*Gavin Creel Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

*Jenn Colella Come From Away

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE

*Simon McBurney The Encounter

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

*Bess Wohl Small Mouth Sounds

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