Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical is an annual award presented by Drama Desk in recognition of achievements in the theatre among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. For two years, in addition to the award for Outstanding Book, an award was presented to the writers of the Most Promising Book. Recipients of this honor were Melvin Van Peebles for Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death in 1972 and Ron House and Diz White for El Grande de Coco-Cola in 1973.

Drama Desk Award
for Outstanding Book of a Musical
Awarded forOutstanding Book of a Musical
LocationUnited States
Presented byDrama Desk
Currently held byMichael R. Jackson for A Strange Loop (2020)

† – indicates the book won the Tony Award
‡ – indicates the book was also nominated for the Tony Award

Winners and nomineesEdit


Year Writer Production
George Furth Company
Burt Shevelove No, No, Nanette
John Guare and Mel Shapiro Two Gentlemen of Verona
Hugh Wheeler A Little Night Music
Hugh Wheeler Candide
James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante A Chorus Line
Alfred Uhry The Robber Bridegroom
John Weidman Pacific Overtures
Thomas Meehan Annie
Hugh Wheeler Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Year Writer Production
James Lapine Sunday in the Park with George
Harvey Fierstein La Cage aux Folles
Garry Trudeau Doonesbury
Jerry Colker Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down
Rupert Holmes The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Marta Kauffman, Seth Friedman and David Crane Personals
Warren Leight Mayor
L. Arthur Rose, Douglas Furber, Stephen Fry and Mike Ockrent Me and My Girl
Barry Harman Olympus on My Mind
James Lapine Into the Woods


Year Writer Production
Larry Gelbart City of Angels
Marsha Norman The Secret Garden
John Weidman Assassins
George C. Wolfe Jelly's Last Jam
James Lapine Passion
Michael John LaChiusa Hello Again
1995 N/A
Jonathan Larson Rent
Graciela Daniele and Jim Lewis Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Laurence Klavan Bed and Sofa
Tina Landau Floyd Collins
John Weidman Big: the musical
1997 N/A
Terrence McNally Ragtime
Alfred Uhry Parade
William Finn and James Lapine A New Brain


Year Writer Production
Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan The Producers
Kirsten Childs The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming Bat Boy: The Musical
Greg Kotis Urinetown
Terrence McNally The Full Monty
John Lahr and Elaine Stritch Elaine Stritch at Liberty
John Guare Sweet Smell of Success
Jonathan Larson and David Auburn Tick, Tick... BOOM!
Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan Thoroughly Modern Millie
Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan Hairspray
Tim Acito and Alexander Dinelaris Zanna, Don't!
Terrence McNally A Man of No Importance
Jeremy Sams and Didier Van Cauwelaert Amour
Jeff Whitty Avenue Q
Winnie Holzman Wicked
Tony Kushner Caroline, or Change
Rachel Sheinkin The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe Cam Jensen
Kevin Del Aguila Altar Boyz
Mark Harelik The Immigrant
Eric Idle Monty Python's Spamalot
Jeffrey Lane Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Bob Martin and Don McKellar The Drowsy Chaperone
Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman Jersey Boys
Doug Wright Grey Gardens
Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone Curtains
Scott Brown and Anthony King Gutenberg! The Musical!
Julian Fellowes Mary Poppins
Heather Hach Legally Blonde
Steven Sater Spring Awakening
Alfred Uhry LoveMusik
Douglas Carter Beane Xanadu
Harvey Fierstein A Catered Affair
Ben Katchor The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island
Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt Adding Machine
Stew Passing Strange
Eric H. Weinberger Wanda's World
Lee Hall Billy Elliot the Musical
Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis This Beautiful City
Joe DiPietro The Toxic Avenger
Brian Hill The Story of My Life
David Lindsay-Abaire Shrek the Musical
Patricia Resnick 9 to 5


Year Writer Production
Alex Timbers Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Joe DiPietro Memphis
Joe Iconis Bloodsong of Love
Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott Everyday Rapture
David Thompson The Scottsboro Boys
David Zellnik Yank!
Adam Mathias See Rock City and Other Destinations
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth In Transit
Iris Rainer Dart The People in the Picture
Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone The Book of Mormon
Michael Zam The Kid
Joe DiPietro Nice Work If You Can Get It
Douglas Carter Beane Lysistrata Jones
Janus Cercone and Warren Leight Leap of Faith
Joy Gregory The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Michael John LaChiusa Queen of the Mist
Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone Death Takes a Holiday
Dennis Kelly Matilda the Musical
Sybille Pearson Giant
Joseph Robinette A Christmas Story: The Musical
David Rossmer and Steve Rosen The Other Josh Cohen
Jeff Whitty Bring It On: The Musical
Doug Wright Hands on a Hardbody
Robert L. Freedman A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Chad Beguelin Aladdin
Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair Murder for Two
Lisa Kron Fun Home
Douglas McGrath Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Marsha Norman The Bridges of Madison County
Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton
Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree Found
Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell Something Rotten!
Craig Lucas An American in Paris
Terrence McNally The Visit
Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, and Michael Mitnick Fly by Night
John Caird Daddy Long Legs
Michael John LaChiusa First Daughter Suite
Jessie Nelson Waitress
Irene Sankoff and David Hein Come from Away
Terrence McNally Anastasia
Itamar Moses The Band's Visit
Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor Bandstand
Joe Tracz The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Tina Fey Mean Girls
Kyle Jarrow SpongeBob SquarePants
Peter Kellogg Desperate Measures
Hannah Moscovitch Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story
Robert Horn Tootsie
Scott Brown and Anthony King Beetlejuice
Andrew R. Butler Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin The Prom
Dominique Morisseau Ain't Too Proud


Year Writer Production
Michael R. Jackson A Strange Loop
David Henry Hwang Soft Power
Dave Malloy Octet
Lynn Nottage The Secret Life of Bees
Mark Saltzman Romeo & Bernadette
Dick Scanlan The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Multiple winsEdit

Multiple nominationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  • "Drama Desk Award for Book of a Musical". Internet Broadway Database. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21.

External linksEdit