The Theatre World Awards -- now in their 66th year -- go to performers deemed outstanding in their New York stage debuts over the last year. Among this year's honorees are four Tony Award contenders -- lead actor in a musical nominee Sahr Ngaujah ("Fela!") and featured play performers Jon Michael Hill ("Superior Donuts"), Scarlett Johansson ("A View From the Bridge") and Eddie Redmayne ("Red"). The other Broadway newcomers chosen were Chris Chalk ("Fences") and Stephanie Umoh ("Ragtime").
Capturing the committee's attention for their work off-Broadway were Nina Arianda ("Venus in Fur"), Bill Heck ("The Orphans' Home Cycle"), Keira Keeley ("The Glass Menagerie"), Andrea Riseborough ("The Pride"), Heidi Schreck ("Circle Mirror Transformation") and Michael Urie ("The Temperamentals").
The winners will be feted June 8 at New World Stages. By tradition, six men and six women are chosen for this honor by a collection of theater journos. This year, the committee included David Cote (Time Out New York, NY1), Joe Dziemianowicz (New York Daily News), Peter Filichia (Newark Star-Ledger, Theatermania.com), Harry Haun (Playbill), Matthew Murray (Talkin' Broadway), Frank Scheck (Hollywood Reporter) and Linda Winer (Newsday).
Among last year's honorees were two eventual Tony Award winners: lead actor in a musical trio David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish ("Billy Elliot") and lead actor in a play champ Geoffrey Rush ("Exit the King").
Photo: Theatre World award. Credit: Theatre World