Author Archives: The Cooper Company

Dell Howlett Choreographed World Premiere of Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre!

“In a full-circle, overdue moment, the words “Hi, I’m Billy Strayhorn,” are at last being said on a Pittsburgh stage. Conjuring the late jazz genius is Darius de Haas, kicking off a tour-de-force performance and immediately opening the floodgates of song, dance and history in the exuberant, celebratory Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For... The dance breaks between scenes, or as integral to the musical moment, feature performers… sparking to the fluidity and beauty of choreography by Dell Howlett.” – OnStage Pittsburgh

The Museum of Broadway Adds Costumes Worn by Lea Michele and Ben Platt, Plus More Exclusive Artifacts!

“Guests visiting the Museum of Broadway can now view new artifacts including the “Don’t Rain On My Parade” costume worn by Lea Michele in Funny Girl and a suit worn by Ben Platt in the 2023 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of a Musical Parade, both designed by Tony Award-winning designer Susan Hilferty. Additional items going on display include a costume worn by Chilina Kennedy in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (2014) designed by Alejo Vietti, props used in Once Upon a One More Time (2023), and a locket from the original Broadway production of Les Misérables (1987) donated by Randy Graff, who originated the role of Fantine in this production.

Additionally, the Museum of Broadway has some exciting programming planned for the month of October…” – BroadwayWorld

Smash the Musical, Choreographed by Josh Bergasse, To Hold Industry Readings in September!

“SMASH, the TV series about the making of a fictional Broadway musical, takes an early step toward becoming a real-life Broadway musical on Sept. 22, with a pair of industry readings led by Tony nominees Robyn Hurder and Kerry Butler, and directed by Susan Stroman. Although Stroman often works as a director-choreographer (“New York, New York,” “Contact”), for “Smash” she’s serving solely as the director with choreography by Josh Bergasse, who won an Emmy for his choreography for the series… The two upcoming readings of “Smash” will be performed at music stands. Choreography and staging will be developed in a six-week workshop scheduled for February, ahead of a Broadway opening targeting the 2024-25 season. No out-of-town tryout is currently planned.” – Variety

Sara Mearns Stars in “Diamonds” at the New York City Ballet’s 75th Anniversary Opening Night!

“Russell Janzen and Sara Mearns danced with impeccable, understated grandeur in the “Diamonds” pas de deux… After they walked toward each other, meeting at the center of the stage with slow and steady steps, their bodies continued in a pattern of sweeping together and apart. They shaped movement — difficult balances and changes of direction with tricky partnering — with patience and ease, even as decorum slipped into sudden and surprising bursts of feeling. When Janzen finally dropped to a knee beside her and kissed her hand, she looked down at him in surprise — as if the action really was a surprise. Nothing felt premeditated, not even their tearful mid-show bow. “Jewels” may be referred to as a story-less ballet, but that has never seemed entirely true. Mearns and Janzen’s performance felt like proof that it’s not. There are unspoken stories in each ballet — streams of them — in which the dancers are not characters but heightened versions of themselves, using a language embroidered with steps, musicality and Balanchine’s way of highlighting precisely etched, unaffected dancing.” – The New York Times

The Heart of Rock and Roll, Choreographed by Lorin Latarro, to Open on Broadway This Season!

“BroadwayWorld has learned that The Heart of Rock and Roll will open on Broadway this season, per a casting notice. The production is expected to start rehearsals in mid-February with opening planned for April. The production will feature choreography by Lorin Latarro, who worked on a previous production at the Old Globe in San Diego in 2018.” – BroadwayWorld

Josh Bergasse to Direct and Choreograph World Premiere of Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker at New York City Center and Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre!

SUGAR HILL: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker, a re-imagining of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker inspired by jazz icons Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, has announced the dates for its world premiere. The ballet will have its world premiere at New York City Center November 14-26 before transferring to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre December 19-30... SUGAR HILL will feature direction and choreography by Emmy winner and Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nominee Joshua Bergasse.” – Playbill

Museum of Broadway Extends CHICAGO the Musical Exhibit Due to Popular Demand!

“ALL THAT JAZZ: The Legacy of Chicago the Musical, has been extended through October 30 at Museum of Broadway due to popular demand. Created exclusively for the Museum of Broadway, the exhibit is a retrospective ofCHICAGO’s almost 27 years on Broadway with a special focus on the iconic production photography and ad campaigns throughout the years. Guests can get a closer look at artifacts, stunning costumes, and even feel like they’re a part of the show in an exclusive photo activation. Entrance to the special exhibit is included in any ticket purchased to the Museum of Broadway.” – BroadwayWorld

Sara Mearns Featured in Pointe Magazine’s “3 Dancers Who Debuted Major Principal Roles Outside Their Home Company” Article!

“Gigs and guest appearances are usually opportunities to show off your strengths or a signature role. But why not take a risk? Debuting a role outside of one’s home company can be a huge career benefit: It allows you to work with a director who may see you differently, or prepare you for a challenge at home, or expose you to repertoire your own company is unlikely to stage.” – Pointe Magazine

The Prince of Egypt, Directed by Scott Schwartz and Choreographed by Sean Cheesman, will be Released on BroadwayHD November 15th!

“The filmed West End stage musical The Prince of Egypt will be released on BroadwayHD on November 15, and available to buy or rent on digital from December 5. The theatrical version of the DreamWorks animated film, The Prince of Egypt was filmed live at London’s Dominion Theatre before its run ended in January 2022. The Prince of Egypt is directed by Scott Schwartz, with choreography by Sean Cheesman.” – Theatermania

Sara Mearns to Moderate Conversation with Alexei Ratmansky and Marina Harss at the 92nd Street Y!

“The 92nd Street Y, New York presents Alexei Ratmansky — one of the most celebrated ballet choreographers of our time — and acclaimed dance critic Marina Harss for a conversation about Harss’ long-awaited new biography, The Boy from Kyiv, moderated by New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns. The conversation is in person in 92NY’s newly renovated Buttenwieser Hall at the Arnhold Center on Monday, October 2 at 7:30 pm ET, as well as online. Hear Ratmansky, Harss and Mearns — recent star of Ratmansky’s Romeo & Juliet — discuss his remarkable life and career, the enlightening new biography, the unique relationship between dancer and choreographer, stories that didn’t make it into the book, and more.” – BroadwayWorld