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Originally published Friday, May 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

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Critics' Circle names 'Matilda' top musical

The New York Drama Critics' Circle has voted "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" as best play and "Matilda: The Musical" as best musical.

AP Drama Writer

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NEW YORK —

The New York Drama Critics' Circle has voted "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" as best play and "Matilda: The Musical" as best musical.

The circle on Friday also handed out special citations to the New York City Center's "Encore!" concert series, to the Soho Rep for a stellar season and to John Lee Beatty for career excellence in scenic design.

Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia" beat out "The Assembled Parties" for best play honor on the fourth ballot. The group chose not to pick a best foreign play recipient. "Matilda" sailed to victory on the first musical ballot.

The Circle is composed of 26 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines, wire services and websites based in the New York metropolitan area. The Associated Press is a member. Awards have been handed out since 1936, making them the nation's second-oldest theater awards, after the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

This year's awards will be presented at a private ceremony on May 13.

"Matilda" has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including best musical, and "Vanya and Sonia" for six, including best play.

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Online: http://www.dramacritics.org

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