Goldberg, Mitchell and Rhea Set for July Fire Island Dance Festival

News   Goldberg, Mitchell and Rhea Set for July Fire Island Dance Festival
Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg and comedian Caroline Rhea will host the 14th annual Fire Island Dance Festival, featuring a world premiere piece from Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, July 19 and 20.

Goldberg, who is also set to host the 2008 Tony Awards, joins Rhea for the annual event that will feature world premiere and repertory performances from 11 dance companies.

Tony-winning choreographer and director Mitchell will premiere a new piece he has created for Rasta Thomas' innovative company Bad Boys of Dance.

Also set to participate are Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Jermaine Browne, Parsons Dance, Jason Samuels Smith, Jacoby & Pronk, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works and Ellis Wood Dance.

Jerry Mitchell made his Broadway directorial debut in 2007 with the musical Legally Blonde, which he also choreographed. Mitchell is a 2005 Tony Award winner for Best Choreography for La Cage aux Folles. He has received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for choreographing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray, The Full Monty and Never Gonna Dance. For Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Mitchell conceived and often directs and choreographs the annual "Broadway Bares" fundraiser. Mitchell can currently be seen on Bravo's "Step It Up & Dance" and the forthcoming MTV reality series "Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods," which premieres June 2.

An Academy Award-winning actress, Whoopi Goldberg has appeared on Broadway in Whoopi, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (which she co-produced). She was also a producer of Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie. She currently serves as a co-host of the daytime talk show "The View." Rhea is known as the original host of "The Biggest Loser." Her screen appearances include "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," "To Be Fat Like Me," "The Drew Carey Show," "The Perfect Man" and "Man on the Moon." Rhea frequently featured Broadway performances on her 2002 talk show.

The Fire Island Dance Festival offers a 5 and 7 PM performance on July 19 (hosted by Goldberg) and a 5 PM performance on July 20 (hosted by Rhea). The Festival is held in Fire Island Pines, and the backdrop is the Great South Bay. For tickets and sponsorship information phone (212) 840-0770 ext. 268 or visit


Founded in 1991, Dancers Responding to AIDS (a fundraising program of BC/EFA) has raised over 100 million dollars to support programs including emergency financial assistance for rent subsidies, health insurance, food and basic necessities for individuals and families coping with AIDS.

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