The New York Drama Critics’ Circle today named Stephen Karam’s The Humans as best play and Shuffle Along, or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed as best musical of the 2015-2016 season. The winners were chosen during the organization’s 81st annual meeting, with the awards to be bestowed May 17. Hamilton, widely expected to win the Tony Award for Best Musical on June 12, won the Critics’ Circle award last year and was not in the running.
After a brief discussion, the group voted not to make an award for Best Foreign Play, an option when the Best Play is by an American. Special citations were voted to Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater; actress Lois Smith, who appeared this season in the off-Broadway productions of John and Marjorie Prime; and the director/designer team of Ivo van Hove and Jan Versweyveld, who were repped on Broadway this season by the Arthur Miller revivals A View From The Bridge and The Crucible, as well by Lazarus, the David Bowie musical presented by off-Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop.
Shuffle Along, with book and direction by George C. Wolfe, music by Eubie Blake, lyrics by Noble Sissle, and original book by F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles, is playing at the Music Box Theatre, where it had its world premiere April 28 and came away earlier this week with 10 Tony nominations.