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This file theater image released by The Hartman Group shows the cast during a performance of "Hands on a Hard Body," at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York and featuring songs co-written by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. (AP Photo/The Hartman Group, Chad Batka, File) Copyright 2013, The Associated Press

Drama Desk Award nominations are unveiled

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NEW YORK (AP) — The off-Broadway show "Giant" and the quickly shuttered Broadway musical "Hands on a Hardbody" lead the Drama Desk nomination race this season, with the British import "Matilda," the audience-friendly "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and a revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Passion" close behind.

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"Giant," based on the 1952 Edna Ferber novel of the same name, made its off-Broadway premiere at the Public Theater this winter. "Hands on a Hardbody" is a show with songs co-written by Phish founder Trey Anastasio based on a documentary film. Both earned nine nominations Monday. "Matilda," ''Passion" and "Drood" each captured seven.

Shows with six nominations are "A Christmas Story: The Musical," ''Chaplin: The Musical," ''Pippin" and "The Other Josh Cohen."

The Drama Desk, an organization of theater journalists and critics, honors both Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

The awards will be presented May 19 at The Town Hall.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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