Dance on Broadway
Amber Gray and the Broadway cast of Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy DKC/O&M

Last night's Tony Awards, (aka James Corden's three-hour attempt to persuade TV-streaming-binge-watchers to put down the remote and see some live theater, for gosh sake) had a bit of everything: wisdom from celebrated actors, cheeky laughs, political quips, historical victories and, our favorite, incredible performances. Unsurprisingly, Tony frontrunner Hadestown took home eight awards, including Best Musical, Best Direction for a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

Relive the night with some of our favorite moments from Broadway's big night, in order of appearance.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Training
Broadway Dance Lab's Choreography Intensive. Photo by Whitney Browne

"Go to your choreographers" is the command, and ten 20-somethings sort themselves into two groups at either side of a studio at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in midtown Manhattan. On one side they become three students gossiping in a schoolroom as another enters alone; on the other, it's a guy sauntering into a club where three women are drinking at a table.

Emma Russo, 25, is in charge there, setting up a romance; across the space, Alexia Acebo, 22, is summoning a popularity contest. Both are working to the same jazzy instrumental version of "Pennies From Heaven."

Bouncing back and forth between the two story lines is Broadway choreographer (and Tony nominee) Josh Prince, asking questions, making suggestions, offering encouragement—half mentor, half mother hen.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancers Trending
Peck transferred his choreographic talents from the ballet stage to Broadway for Carousel. Photo by Julieta Cervantes, Courtesy DKC/O&M.

Could Justin Peck be any busier? In the midst of pulling triple duty at New York City Ballet—as a soloist, resident choreographer and a member of its interim artistic team—he also managed to choreograph a Broadway show. Then, last month, on his first try, he won a Tony Award for best choreography for the revival of Carousel.

The morning after the ceremony, he shared an exuberant Instagram post: As he exited the stage after winning, he ran into the Carousel sailors backstage as they were entering to perform "Blow High, Blow Low" for the telecast. He wrote: "None of them knew we had just been awarded the Tony, and I stood in front of them holding the award, speechless. They erupted in excitement and we exchanged a beautiful moment of embraces, cheers, and happiness. Certainly the highlight of the night for me!" Recently, via email, we caught up with the peripatetic Mr. Peck.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance on Broadway
In rehearsal for Dreamgirls. Photo Courtesy DM Archives.

Broadway musicals have been on my mind for more than half a century. I discovered them in grade school, not in a theater but electronically. On the radio, every weeknight an otherwise boring local station would play a cast album in its entirety; on television, periodically Ed Sullivan's Sunday night variety show would feature an excerpt from the latest hit—numbers from Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, Camelot, Flower Drum Song.

But theater lives in the here and now, and I was in middle school when I attended my first Broadway musical, Gypsy—based, of all things, on the early life of the famed burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee. I didn't know who Jerome Robbins was, but I recognized genius when I saw it—kids morphing into adults as a dance number progresses, hilarious stripping routines, a pas de deux giving concrete shape to the romantic yearnings of an ugly duckling. It proved the birth of a lifelong habit, indulged for the last 18 years in the pages of this magazine. But all long runs eventually end, and it's time to say good-bye to the "On Broadway" column. It's not the last of our Broadway coverage—there's too much great work being created and performed, and you can count on hearing from me in print and online.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy DKC/O&M

You could call it island-hopping, but it's not exactly a vacation. After choreographing last season's Come From Away, and winning a Tony nomination, Kelly Devine zipped from frosty Newfoundland to the Caribbean beach resort that is the setting for Escape to Margaritaville.

In the fall, she was shuttling between them, before they start this month: flying to Toronto to prepare a new Canadian production of Come From Away, then jetting back to Chicago for the final stop of Margaritaville's four-city pre-Broadway tryout.

"These two shows could not be more different from each other," Devine says with a dash of understatement. Come From Away is about the small Newfoundland town where airliners grounded by the 9/11 attacks dumped thousands of unexpected visitors; Escape to Margaritaville, at the Marquis Theatre, is a comic island romance concocted from the beachcomber songbook of Jimmy Buffett.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancers Trending
Joan Marcus

Conscientious theatergoers may be familiar with The School for Scandal, The School for Wives and School of Rock. But how many are also aware of the school of Fosse?

The 1999 musical, a posthumous exploration of the choreographic career of Bob Fosse, ran for 1,093 performances, winning four Tonys and 10 nominations; employing 32 dancers; and, completely unintentionally, nurturing a generation of Broadway choreographers. You may have heard of them: Andy Blankenbuehler and Sergio Trujillo danced in the original cast, Josh Rhodes was a swing, and Christopher Gattelli replaced Trujillo when he landed choreography jobs in Massachusetts and Canada. Blankenbuehler remembers that when Trujillo left, "It was as if he was graduating."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Host Kevin Spacey channeled Fred Astaire for the 2017 Tony Awards opening number. Image via the Los Angeles Times.

The 2017 Tony Awards were last night, and despite it being a highly competitive Broadway season, things went more or less as predicted. Andy Blankenbuehler took home yet another Tony for Best Choreography after the cast of Bandstand showed everyone exactly why he deserved it (and, of course, the award was announced during a commercial break). Ben Platt broke everyone's hearts with his live performance of "Waving Through a Window" before going on to take Best Actor in a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen. Bette Midler didn't sing but did finally get a Tony Award for acting (and refused to let anyone rush her long-awaited acceptance speech). Josh Groban and the cast of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 went all in for the final performance of the night. Dear Evan Hansen took home Best New Musical, while Come From Away, which was neck-in-neck for the big prize, got Best Direction of a Musical.

What we really, really weren't expecting: host Kevin Spacey singing and dancing through the first ten minutes of the ceremony.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Dear Evan Hansen. Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy DKC/O&M.

It's that time of year again. The Tony Awards are this weekend, and frankly, we can't decide on which performance we're most excited to see—Andy Blankenbuehler's swing-infused Bandstand choreography? Whatever the kooky-cool Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812 cast has up their old-fashioned sleeves (and, by default, Josh Groban's golden pipes)? Best Actor in a Musical favorites Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) and Andy Karl (Groundhog Day) duking it out? Can the answer just be yes, all of the above?

In contrast to last year's Hamilton-mania, there's a sea of new musicals vying for the top prizes (with no clear front runners except for in a couple of key categories), and most of them are prepping what are sure to be fantastic performances. (Not to worry, Hamilfans: Lin-Manuel Miranda is set to present, and Leslie Odom Jr. is on the performer list.) In a way, the uncertainty is making for an even more exciting buildup to the Tonys than usual. Here are six of our biggest questions going into this year's ceremony.

Keep reading... Show less

Hamilton has made Tony Awards history. Photo by Joan Marcus, Courtesy Hamilton.

The 2016 Tony Award nominees have been announced. And, unsurprisingly, everyone's favorite musical that they've never seen, Hamilton, swept the ballots. In all, the show is up for 13 categories—every single one that involved musical theater, except revivals. And with multiple nominations in some, Hamilton has 16 shots at winning—the most in Broadway history.

June 2016

Even if you can't get tickets to the show, you can read all about the ensemble bringing the historic production to life—and what its runaway success might mean for dance on Broadway—in Dance Magazine's June issue. Go to dancemagazine.com/hamilton to pre-order your copy.

Who is Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler's competition in the Best Choreography category? It's a mix of people that touch on many different styles of dance. There's Savion Glover, who brought true rhythm tap back to Broadway with Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed; Randy Skinner, with classic show tap that Broadway thrives on, in Dames at Sea; Hofesh Shechter's humanistic modern dance moves for Fiddler on the Roof; and Sergio Trujillo's authentic Cuban dances in On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. If anything, it's wonderful to see so many corners of the dance world meet on Broadway.

Here is the full list of musical nominees:

Best Musical

Bright Star

Hamilton

School of Rock - The Musical

Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Waitress

Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple

Fiddler on the Roof

She Loves Me

Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical

Steve Martin for Bright Star

Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton

Julian Fellowes for School of Rock - The Musical

George C. Wolfe for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Bright Star (Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Lyrics: Edie Brickell)

Hamilton (Music and lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda)

School of Rock - The Musical (Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics: Glenn Slater)

Waitress (Music and lyrics: Sara Bareilles)

Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Alex Brightman for School of Rock - The Musical

Danny Burstein for Fiddler on the Roof

Zachary Levi for She Loves Me

Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton

Leslie Odom, Jr. for Hamilton

Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Laura Benanti for She Loves Me

Carmen Cusack for Bright Star

Cynthia Erivo for The Color Purple

Jessie Mueller for Waitress

Phillipa Soo for Hamilton

Best Performance By an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Daveed Diggs for Hamilton

Brandon Victor Dixon for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Christopher Fitzgerald for Waitress

Jonathan Groff for Hamilton

Christopher Jackson for Hamilton

Best Performance By an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danielle Brooks for The Color Purple

Renée Ellse Goldsberry for Hamilton

Jane Krakowski for She Loves Me

Jennifer Simard for Disaster!

Adrienne Warren for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Es Devlin and Finn Ross for American Psycho

David Korins for Hamilton

Santo Loquasto for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

David Rockwell for She Loves Me

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes for Tuck Everlasting

Jeff Mahshle for She Loves Me

Ann Roth for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Paul Tazewell for Hamilton

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Howell Binkley for Hamilton

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Ben Stanton for Spring Awakening

Justin Townsend for American Psycho

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden for Spring Awakening

John Doyle for The Color Purple

Scott Ellis for She Loves Me

Thomas Kall for Hamilton

George C. Wolfe for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton

Savion Glover for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Hofesh Shechter for Fiddler on the Roof

Randy Skinner for Dames at Sea

Sergio Trujillo for On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan

Best Orchestrations

August Eriksmoen for Bright Star

Larry Hochman for She Loves Me

Alex Lacamoire for Hamilton

Daryl Waters for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

 

See the full list of musical and play nominees here. James Corden of "The Late Late Show" will host this year's Tony Awards, airing on CBS on June 12 at 8/7 central.

Get more Dance Magazine.

mailbox

Get Dance Magazine in your inbox