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LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

Beth Leavel (Drama Desk Nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone)

HONOR ROLE(S)

By David Lefkowitz

The Drama Desk  has selected April 22 as its cut-off date...

With just a hint of spring in the air, thoughts have already turned to the end of the theater season, what with numerous awards organizations announcing their deadlines, ceremonies and schedules. The latest is The Drama Desk , which has selected April 22 as its cut-off date for Broadway and off-Broadway shows to open and still be considered for this year's honors.

On April 26, Drama Desk members will gather at the New York Friars Club to announce the 2006-07 nominees, who'll be feted at a cocktail party May 1 at Arte Café on the upper West Side.

The finale comes May 20 at Lincoln Center's LaGuardia Concert Hall, when The Drama Desk  holds its 52nd annual awards ceremony.

Last season's winners included The History Boys, The Drowsy Chaperone, revivals of Awake and Sing! and Sweeney Todd and an ensemble honor for Stuff Happens.

Founded in 1955 to complement the Broadway-only Tonys, the  strove to cover "all New York theater productions...celebrating creative stage achievements wherever they were presented." Originally called The Vernon Rice Awards (for the New York Post theater critic), the organization changed its moniker to "Drama Desk" in 1964. It's currently overseen by executive producer Robert R. Blume  and president William Wolf.