"If I pronounce anything wrong, tell me. Girls from Flushing are not the arbiters of pronunciation." — Fran Drescher, April 25, 2014

The Drama Desk Awards nominations were announced this morning, read by recent Oscar-winning composers Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, as well as actress Fran Drescher, who is currently starring in the Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.

The Drama Desks are a major event in the theater season, the highest profile awards given out short of the Tonys (and since they encompass off-Broadway productions, they tend to give a more complete sense of what was important on the stage), but that's not what's important right now. What's important right now is that Fran Drescher's reading of the nominees was a tour-de-force, show-stopping performance that ranks as the most compelling live theater of the season. 

It's almost unbelievable. The laugh! The asides! The part where she wanted to read the winners of the categories because she's apparently unsure of how the awards process works! I haven't seen Cinderella with its current cast (Drescher as the wicked stepmother and Carly Rae Jepsen as Cinderella, obviously), but I can't imagine anything involved in that production was as compelling as watching Drescher puzzle over how to pronounce "Machinal."  

Here, by the way, are the 2014 Drama Desk nominations. (Off-Broadway productions are in italics.) Feel free to compare them to The Wire's Tony Awards predictions in both musicals and plays

Outstanding Play
The Explorers Club
Core Values
The Night Alive
Regular Singing

All the Way
Outside Mullingar

Outstanding Musical
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Fun Home
Love's Labour's Lost
The Bridges of Madison County

Outstanding Revival of a Play
I Remember Mama
London Wall
No Man's Land
Of Mice and Men
The Cripple of Inishmaan
The Model Apartment
Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Globe Production)

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Hamish Linklater, The Comedy of Errors
Ian McKellen, No Man's Land
David Morse, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin
Chris O'Dowd, Of Mice and Men
Daniel Radcliffe, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Denzel Washington, A Raisin in the Sun

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Barbara Andres, I Remember Mama
Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Laurie Metcalf, Domesticated
J. Smith-Cameron, Juno and the Paycock
Harriet Walter, Julius Caesar

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Adam Jacobs, Aladdin
Andy Karl, Rocky
Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Steven Pasquale, The Bridges of Madison County
Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Sutton Foster, Violet
Idina Menzel, If/Then
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Kelli O'Hara, The Bridges of Madison County
Margo Seibert, Tamar of the River
Barrett Wilbert Weed, Heathers: The Musical

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, Casa Valentina
Chuck Cooper, Choir Boy
Peter Maloney, Outside Mullingar
Bobby Moreno, Year of the Rooster
Bill Pullman, The Jacksonian
Brian J. Smith, The Glass Menagerie

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Betty Buckley, The Old Friends
Julia Coffey, London Wall

Diane Davis, The Model Apartment
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie
Jan Maxwell, The Castle
Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Cabaret
Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical
Joshua Henry, Violet
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Rory O'Malley, Nobody Loves You
Bobby Steggert, Big Fish

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, Little Miss Sunshine
Anika Larsen, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Laura Osnes, The Threepenny Opera

Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder