Friday, June 20, 2008

Out in Film: Jerry Mitchell

Idol worship: Jerry Mitchell, actor/dancer/ director/choreographer.

- He began his career as a dancer in such Broadway productions as Brigadoon, On Your Toes and The Will Rogers Follies.

- After assisting dance legend Jerome Robbins, he became a choreographer in his own right with You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He received Tony and/or Drama Desk nominations for The Full Monty, The Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray, Never Gonna Dance and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, finally winning both prizes for the 2004 revival of La Cage aux Folles.

- Directing was next on his agenda, and he got his chance with the hit Legally Blonde - The Musical. In connection with that show, he can currently be seen on the MTV reality series that is conducting The Search for Elle Woods, and was recently part of another TV talent show, Step It Up and Dance.

- Film work as a choreographer has included the classic tango scene from Scent of a Woman, as well as such other movies as In & Out, The Object of My Affection, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Camp (yes, it's "Turkey Lurkey Time").

- During his chorus boy days, he created the now legendary Broadway Bares annual burlesque shows to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Now celebrating its 18th year, this year's edition, titled Wonderland, will be presented this Sunday. Also new: his book, Backstage Pass: Broadway Bares,all about the show's creation and evolution over the years.

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