On the opening night of Kiss Me, Kate (now Tony-nominated for Best Revival of a Musical), you might expect Scott Ellis to release a sigh of relief. But the director was busy preparing for his morning tech rehearsal for the original musical Tootsie, which earned 11 Tony nominations, including one for Ellis.
Tootsie marks Ellis’ ninth Tony Award nomination, but his directing career actually came after years of performing. He made his Broadway debut as the replacement for Doody in the original production of Grease! before appearing in Musical Chairs and The Rink. He made his Broadway directorial debut with She Loves Me in 1993—and even took to re-imagining his own work when he revived it again in 2016, earning Tony nominations both times.
Yet it was the play The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby that impacted Ellis the most.
Ellis spoke of his earliest theatrical experience, the musical theatre song he’ll never get sick of, and his quote to live by in the video above.