Kathleen Marshall, for Kiss Me, Kate
The artistic director for City Center Encores!, choreographer Kathleen Marshall's Broadway credits include 1776, and Swinging on a Star which earned her a Drama Desk nomination. Off-Broadway she has worked on As Thousands Cheer and Violet, in addition to City Center Encores! productions of Babes in Arms, Li'l Abner, The Boys from Syracuse, DuBarry Was a Lady and Call Me Madam, and national tours of Sunset Boulevard and Music of the Night.
Susan Stroman, for Contact
Susan Stroman, for The Music Man
Director and choreographer Susan Stroman is a quadruple Tony nominee this season, having earned nods as both director and choreographer for Contact and The Music Man. A partial list of her numerous award-winning credits includes Crazy For You the Royal National Theatre production of Oklahoma! and Showboat as well as Big, Steel Pier and Picnic. She choreographs Madison Square Garden's A Christmas Carol and has earned Tony, Olivier, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Astaire and Irene Sharaff awards for her inventive, prop-heavy, detail-oriented work.
Lynne Taylor-Corbett, for Swing!
Choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett has choreographed Broadway's Titanic and Chess. Her credits also include the feature films "Footloose" and "My Blue Heaven," as well as projects with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet. As a director, Taylor Corbett's credits include Mona Rogers in Person, Theda Bara and The Frontier Rabbi as well as OB's Opal at George Street Playhouse and Funny Business at Kennedy Center.
Analysis: A double nomination helps anyone, but the popular vote also favors Stroman, who brought the theatre both Contact and The Music Man this year. While Marshall's Kiss Me, Kate and Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Swing offer strong competition, this category is really a case of Stroman vs. Stroman, with the ground breaking Contact decidedly having the edge.
-- By Murdoch McBride