It's almost time for the 2014 Tony Awards! This year's nominees for Best Choreography are Casey Nicholaw forAladdin, Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine for Rocky, Warren Carlyle for After Midnight and Susan Stroman forBullets Over Broadway. It's going to be a close call -- all of the nominees are fantastic!
Casey Nicholaw has been nominated for 6 Tonys and won the 2011 Best Director award for The Book of Mormon.Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Group, calls Nicholaw a "natural" choice for the direction and choreography of the musical comedy stage version ofAladdin. "He's a guy who looks at a show for its entertainment value, who thinks: 'How charming? How much fun is it going to be?'" Apparently the answer is "very," as Aladdin is resoundingly regarded as a blast. You can watch some highlights here.
A scene from "Aladdin," at the New Amsterdam Theater.
Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Steven Hogget was previously nominated for a Tony for his work on Once in 2012. This is Kelly Devine’s first nomination. The pair split the choreography for Rocky, with Hoggett tackling the boxing sequences and Devine taking on the numbers without fighting. “Devine, of Rock of Ages fame, has a knack for high-energy sequences that pop with sass and pyrotechnic kicks and turns. Hoggett, whose diverse projects include Peter and the Starcatcher, crafts phrases built largely on pedestrian movements that evolve into transcendent gestures,” writes Lauren Kay at TDF Stages. Watch clips from the show here.
Warren Carlyle is nominated for Best Direction as well as Best Choreography this year, both for his work on After Midnight. The play is a recreation of and tribute to the Duke Ellington era of Harlem's legendary Cotton Club. The cast includes among others Desmond Richardson, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jared Grimes and Dulé Hill. So you know the dancing is amazing! "It's all about Broadway's dancers. The very best are here. I wanted to be surrounded by dancers who are so much better than I am so I could absorb it all. I've achieved that in spades," says Carlyle. Interestingly, Carlyle worked as Susan Stroman's assistant in the 90's. "I was inspired by her, and still am. She's generous beyond belief. She taught me everything I know. She's the master. If there's one person who changed my life, it's Susan," he says in this Theater Mania article. Check out some of the amazing dancing in After Midnight here .
Susan Stroman is a Broadway icon. She’s been nominated for 14 Tony awards and won 5. Bullets Over Broadway, based on the Woody Allen movie of the same name, is about 1920’s New York, theater, and gangsters. “I adore Bullets over Broadway,” says Stroman. “The story is about how much you would compromise for your art…For all of us in theater, [this] rings true. Besides the theme about compromise, there’s another theme we all relate to: are you in love with the artist or the [person]? The fact that it takes place in the 20’s in great for me. I get to tap into the dance styles of the time and everything about New York City at that time. Everything about the city was very exciting and dangerous, and the choreography taps into all of it.” Watch highlights of Stroman’s choreography in Bullets Over Broadway here.
The 68th Tony Awards ceremony takes place in NYC on Sunday, June 8 and will be broadcast on CBS. Hugh Jackman is hosting -- and dancing! -- and performers include Alan Cumming, Neil Patrick Harris, Fantasia, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Idina Menzel and Sting. Vote for your favorites with this New York Times ballot.
Neil Patrick Harris was nominated for best actor in a musical for
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which received eight nominations,
including for best musical revival.