The big news about the Drama Desk nominations announced yesterday was that 9 to 5, Dolly Parton's new musical based on the popular 1980 movie, is up for 15 awards. That's a new record in nods for these New York theatre awards, which are less important than the Tonys but still quite prestigious. The previous DD record - 14 nominations - was first reached by Ragtime, then matched by The Producers, Hairspray and, most recently, everyone's favourite Canadian musical that could, The Drowsy Chaperone. The biggest surprise in the nominations, however, was that 9 to 5 is competing with a new Canadian-written show for best musical: The Story of My Life. This two-person "tuner", you may recall, ran for five performances in February, setting a new record itself - for least successful CanCon on Broadway. But The Story of My Life's extremely short run and the disappointing reviews didn't stop it from picking up four nominations from the critics and journalists who vote on the Drama Desks. Neil Bartram is up for both best music and best lyrics, while Brian Hill is up for best book of a musical. I don't think these ex pats have any chance up against the big hitters behind 9 to 5, Billy Elliott and Shrek: The Musical, but this is surely a case where it really is an honour just to be nominated. And it's a good sign that haven't heard the last of Bartram and Hill yet.
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