Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Broadway: Chita Rivera Awards: If You’re a “Fosse/Verdon” Fan, You Shoulda Been There as Dance Wins Went to “Hadestown,” “Cher Show,” and even “King Kong”


For as long as I’ve known her, Patty Watt, daughter of late great theater critic Douglas Watt, has been honoring Broadway performers. Leading up to the Tony Awards, Patty recently produced the star studded Chita Rivera Awards, named for the 86 year old legend.

The nominees and winners are below. Presenters included the great Chita herself, as well as Chita Rivera, Andy Blankenbuehler, Savion Glover, Marilu Henner, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ethan Slater, Mary Testa and Richard Thomas.

The evening’s hosts were the immortal Ben Vereen, and Ann Reinking, who “Fosse/Verdon” fans will know succeeded Gwen Verdon as Bob Fosse’s muse and wife.

More awards: dancer, choreographer and theater director Graciela Daniele received the third annual Lifetime Achievement Award, and Flody Suarez, Jeffrey Seller, and Cher (producers of “The Cher Show” on Broadway) were honored with the Ambassador for the Arts Award honoring their contribution to the convergence of theater, film, and television. George C. Wolfe (who is a genius, no kidding, for staging hits and the unstageable– aka “Gary”) was presented with the SDC Director Award for exemplary collaboration with choreographers on Broadway and Carol Paumgarten received the Vanguard Award for her outstanding contribution to the international dance community, having founded Steps on Broadway Dance Studio 40 years ago.

Congrats to Patty! She’s done it again.




Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show:

Winner: David Neumann, Hadestown

Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me Kate

Denis Jones, Tootsie

Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations


Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show:

Winner: Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations  

Corbin Bleu, Kiss Me Kate

Rick Faugno, Kiss Me Kate

James T. Lane, Kiss Me Kate

Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations


Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show: (tie)

Winners: Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, The Cher Show; Gabrielle Hamilton, Oklahoma!

Amber Gray, Hadestown

Leslie Kritzer, Beetlejuice

Angie Schworer, The Prom

Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show:

Winner: King Kong

Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations


Kiss Me Kate

The Cher Show

The Prom



Outstanding Choreography

Winner: Rick and Jeff Kuperman, Alice By Heart

Joshua Bergasse, Smokey Joe’s Cafe

Raja Feather Kelly, If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka

Lorin Latarro, Merrily We Roll Along

Shea Sullivan, Neurosis, A Musical That Gets in Your Head


Outstanding Male Dancer

Winner: Wesley Taylor, Alice By Heart

Brennan Caldwell, Neurosis, A Musical That Gets in Your Head

Zachary Downer, Alice By Heart

Brendan Henderson, Cleopatra

Jelani Remy, Smokey Joe’s Cafe


Outstanding Female Dancer

Winner: Irina Dvorovenko, The Beast in the Jungle

Emma Degerstedt, Smokey Joe’s Cafe

Mia Dilena, Alice By Heart

Dionne D. Figgins, Smokey Joe’s Cafe

Naomi Kakuk, The Beast in the Jungle


Outstanding Ensemble

Winner: Smokey Joe’s Café, Steven Baruch, Mark Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel

Alice By Heart, MCC Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, Playwrights Horizons

Twelfth Night, The Public Theater




Theatrical Release

Isn’t It Romantic – (Release date, February 13, 2019, Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth) Choreographer: Christopher Gattelli; Assistant Choreographer, Jon Rua

***Mary Poppins Returns – (Release date, December 19, 2018, Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda) 

Choreographers: Rob Marshall & John DeLuca; Co-Choreographer, Joey Pizzi; Associate Choreographer, Tara Nichole Hughes, Assistant Choreographer: Marlon Pelayo***

Shine – (Release date, October 6, 2018, Alysia Reiner, David Zayas)

Director of Choreography: Anderson Cruz, Choreographers, Charlie Garcia, Osmar Perrones, Grisselle Ponce

Swimming with Men – (Release date, December 7, 2018, Rob Brydon, Rupert Graves) Choreographer: Caroline Pope


The Nutcracker and The Far Realms – (Release date, November 2, 2018, Misty Copeland)

Choreographer: Liam Scarlett


Ballet Now – (Release date, July 20, 2018; Tiler Peck)

Director: Steven Cantor

Bathtubs Over Broadway – (Release date, November 30, 2018; Tribeca Film Festival Award Winner prior and other festivals, Chita Rivera, Martin Short, etc.)

Director: Dava Whisenent

Hot to Trot – (Release date, NY, August 24, 2018, nationwide rollout to follow)

Director: Gail Freedman

If The Dancer Dances – (Release date, July 24, 2018, Dance on Camera Festival)

Director, Maia Weschler

***Moving Stories, Lives Transformed By Dance – (Release Date, August 11, 2018, Battery Dance Festival, MoMa) 

Director: Rob Fruchtman, Wilderness Films, Producer***

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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