World Premiere Musical's Dave Earns 7 Helen Hayes Nominations

February 05, 2019

Arena Stage's world premiere production of Dave, a musical adaptation of the 1993 White House comedy flick, has earned seven nominations from the Helen Hayes Awards, which honors the best in Washington, D.C.-area theater. The 2019 Helen Hayes Awards ceremony will be held at the music venue Anthem on May 13.

Drew Gehling, the original star of Broadway's Waitress, earned a Hayes nom for his leading turn in the title role of Dave. The musical also received nominations for co-stars Bryonha Marie Parham and Douglas Sills and director Tina Landau. Co-creators Tom Kitt (music), Nell Benjamin (book/lyrics) and the late Thomas Meehan (book) were honored with a joint nomination in the Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation category. The show also earned a top-prize nom for Outstanding Production in a Musical—Hayes and a nod for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical—Hayes.

Other Broadway-alum acting nominees include Kiss Me, Kate-bound, Corbin Bleu for Anything Goes at Arena Stage, Ephraim Sykes for the Broadway-bound, Ain't Too Proud at The Kennedy Center and Carrie Compere for The Color Purple at The Kennedy Center.

Veanne Cox (An American in Paris) earned a nomination for The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare Theatre Company, with Eugene Lee (American Son) nominated for Two Trains Running at Arena Stage and Nancy Anderson (Sunset Boulevard) hat-tipped for Billy Elliot at Signature Theatre.

Natascia Diaz (Man of La Mancha) and Steffanie Leigh (War Paint) earned nominations for their performances in Passion at Signature Theatre.

For a full list of 2019, Helen Hayes Award, nominees, click here.