The 58th Annual Obie Awards ceremony, presented by the Village Voice, was held last evening at Webster Hall. Jessica Hecht and Jeremy Shamos, current costars in Broadway's The Assembled Parties, hosted the event.
Lisa D'Amour's dark comedy Detroit and Julia Jercho's Grimly Handsome both received the award for Best New American Play after a tie vote among the judges. Playwriting awards were presented to Annie Baker for The Flick and Ayad Akhtar for Disgraced, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Eisa Davis (The Call, Luck of the Irish) and Matthew Maher (The Flick, Golden Child) were honored with acting awards for Sustained Excellence. Acting awards were also presented to Brandon J. Dirden for The Piano Lesson, Shuler Hensley for The Whale, and Paul Thureen for Blood Play. David Byrne and Fatboy Slim followed up their Sunday night Drama Desk Award with an Obie for their music and lyrics for the Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love, now at the Public Theater. The cast of Here Lies Love also performed a medley from the show at the awards ceremony.
Awards for direction were given to Lear deBessonet for The Good Person of Szechuan, John Rando for All In The Timing, Ruben Santiago-Hudson for The Piano Lesson, and Eric Ting for We Are Proud To Present A Presentation… Laura Jellinek and Clint Ramos earned awards for Sustained Excellence of Set Design while Special Citations were awarded to David Levine and Marsha Ginsberg for Habit, Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, and Nature Theater of Oklahoma for Life and Times: Episodes 1-4.
The downtown theater company Clubbed Thumb was presented with the $1,000 Ross Wetzsteon Award along with Fulcrum Theater and Half Straddle who also received $1,000 grants.
The evening's presenters included Bobby Cannavale (The Big Knife),Tracee Chimo (Bad Jews), Cyndi Lauper (Kinky Boots), Judith Light (The Assembled Parties), Krysta Rodriguez (NBC's Smash), Duncan Sheik (The Caucasian Chalk Circle), Courtney B. Vance (Lucky Guy), and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, who presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to prior Obie Award winners Lois Smith and Frances Sternhagen.