Monday, January 21, 2008

Drama Desk

In Allentown last week I got a call from Carolyn Cantor, director of Essential Self Defense. "I'm just calling," she said, dragging out the syllables of "calling" in a way that made me see her smiling as she spoke, "to congratulate you."

"Awesome," i said. "For what?"

Turns out that I along with Lucas and Adam have been given the nod by Drama Desk, the New York Theater Award Committee that concerns itself with Broadway and Off Broadway productions. We have been nominated for an Award for Best Music in a Play. It is much deserved if I do say so myself.

Brother Paul Sparks has also been nominated for best actor for his work in Essential Self Defense, and it is more than well deserved. It is fucking justice. Paul took a beating in some reviews for the artistic choices he made playing Yul, and it is nice to know that his genius was not lost on everyone. Paul is like the Susan Lucci of Drama Desk, astounding the committee year after year with his work and consistently getting nominated, but coming in second to other known stars like Liam Neeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and the like. He takes it all in his stride, but because this year Traci and I will be sitting at the table next to him, I'm inclined to think something special may occur. At the very least he will have fun with his lady Annie, who was also nominated for Best Actress and is up against Meryl Streep. Crazy, right?

Dad says "Well, at the very least you can put it in your resume." True, Dad. I love getting awards, and I hope Essential Self Defense sweeps the categories we've been nominated for. (The brilliant David Korins also got a nod for his set design, as well as a nomination for another show he designed. Jeez.) But even though it's the cool thing to say "It's nice just to be nominated," that is the truth. Two weeks ago I was clearing my drums out of Playwrights Horizons. It was the morning after our last show and already the stage and room felt cold, empty, awaiting new life, but holding no reverberations of the energy we had worked to create night after night. The Drama Desk nomination lets me know that other people were watching and feeling what we were doing, and for one night, some of us will have the chance to celebrate together the great achievement that the play truly was.

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