2001 TONY AWARDS SPOTLIGHT: Nominees for Best Choreography

News   2001 TONY AWARDS SPOTLIGHT: Nominees for Best Choreography Jerry Mitchell, for The Full Monty
This is Mitchell's first Tony nod, capping a big year for him. In addition to choreographing The Fully Monty, his handiwork was also represented on Broadway by The Rocky Horrow Show. Past credits include the Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and the Paper Mill Playhouse' Follies. He learned his trade at the side of Michael Bennett and Jerome Robbins.

Jerry Mitchell, for The Full Monty
This is Mitchell's first Tony nod, capping a big year for him. In addition to choreographing The Fully Monty, his handiwork was also represented on Broadway by The Rocky Horrow Show. Past credits include the Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and the Paper Mill Playhouse' Follies. He learned his trade at the side of Michael Bennett and Jerome Robbins.

Jim Moore, George Pinney and John Vanderkloff, for Blast!
Since the drum and bugle corp-oriented Blast! is an anomaly on Broadway, it is not surprising that the three men responsible for the musicians' fancy footwork do not possess conventional theatre backgrounds. Moore has danced with the Georgia Ballet and choreographed many drum and bugle corps, while Pinney is a professor of theatre and drama at Indiana University with many college directing credits.

Randy Skinner, for 42nd Street
Skinner has almost made a career out of choreographing 42nd Street. He was dance assistant to original choreographer and director Gower Champion and was responsible for creating much of the dancing in the 1980 production, and has since worked on various international productions.

Susan Stroman, for The Producers
This her third nomination in this category in two years; last year she was recognized for her work in both The Music Man and Contact, winning for the latter effort. She has previously won Tonys for Show Boat and Crazy for You, her break-out musical. Since Contact, she has always directed the pieces she choreographs.

Analysis: Stroman remains the preeminent choreographer on Broadway, her work always applauded and immediately recognizable as that of few of choreographers working today is. Though The Producers is considered more an all-around success story, rather than a Susan Stroman creation—as Contact was—it's unlikely her inventive dancing (particularly the classically Stromanesque old-ladies-with-walkers tap number) will not to be rewarded. Skinner's work is impressive, if a bit monotonous; likewise, people admired Mitchell's subtle work in created interesting dances for men who weren't supposed to be able to dance. But this is The Producers' year. (Blast! is just an oddity, and has already won a Tony Award as Special Theatrical Event.)