The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which announces its Oscar nominees Feb. 11, will bestow a special Oscar on choreographer Michael Kidd.
This honorary Oscar comes "as recognition of services to the art of the dance in the art of the screen."
"Michael Kidd is very much alive," Academy spokesperson Andrew Levy told Playbill On-Line, "and he'll be handed the Oscar live. It's not quite a lifetime achievement award because it's given to people who presumably are still active in their careers -- last year was Kirk Douglas, and we've given awards to Paul Newman, Sophia Loren..." Levy couldn't say whether clips of Kidd's work would be shown at the Oscars, but he did say that's how such awards are usually presented.
Kidd choreographed such films as Where's Charley?, The Band Wagon, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Star!, Guys and Dolls and Hello, Dolly!, as well as directing the Danny Kaye film, Merry Andrew. Kidd's Broadway credits include directing and choreographing Destry Rides Again, 1961's Subways Are For Sleeping, and the musical staging of 1966's Breakfast At Tiffany's, which closed in previews.
The 69th annual Academy Awards ceremony, to honor excellence in motion pictures, will take place March 24 in Los Angeles. Theatre people are especially interested in seeing whether Evita, and its stars, Madonna, Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas, will be recognized, thus adding more life to the slowly reviving genre of live-action, movie musicals. --By David Lefkowitz