Bob Avian Memoir, DANCING MAN, Will be Released This Spring
Tony and Olivier Award-winning Bob Avian's dazzling life story, Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer's Journey, is a memoir told in three acts. Written by Bob Avian and Tom Santopietro, Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer's Journey will be published by the University Press of Mississippi on March 16, 2020.
Act I of the story reveals the origins of one of Broadway's legendary choreographers who danced for Jerome Robbins in West Side Story and appeared onstage with stars like Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl and Mary Martin in Hello, Dolly!, all before the age of thirty.
Act II includes teaching Katharine Hepburn how to sing and dance in Coco and working with Stephen Sondheim and Bob Avian's close friend Michael Bennett helping to choreograph the original productions of Company and Follies. During this time, Avian won Tony Awards as the co-choreographer of A Chorus Line and Ballroom, followed by producing the spectacular Tony Award-winning Dreamgirls.
For a triumphant Act III, devised all the musical staging for the blockbusters Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard, choreographed Julie Andrews's return to the New York stage, and directed the hit revival A Chorus Line on Broadway. He worked with the biggest names on Broadway, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carol Burnett, Neil Simon, Patti LuPone, Jennifer Holliday, Jonathan Pryce, Elaine Stritch, Marvin Hamlisch and Glenn Close.
Candid, witty, sometimes shocking, and always entertaining, here is the ultimate up-close and personal insider's view from a front row seat at the creation of the biggest, brightest, and best Broadway musicals of the past fifty years.
"When I read Bob's autobiography I was astonished by the breadth of his life on stage. I don't think there's anyone who has done as much in every aspect of our field. It's mind-blowing. His demeanor is a model for all directors and choreographers. Not only is he supremely talented, he has the wisdom of the great creators in our business. His life in the theater was a page-turner, and his knowledge makes me think I haven't even touched the surface. I have even more respect and admiration for my dear friend. What a life. What a talent."
"Bob Avian is far more than a Dancing Man-he is one of the savviest, most intuitive, inventive and no bullshit talents the musical theater has ever produced. Bob danced in every type of show from burlesque to West Side Story and learned from many of the giant choreographers of the twentieth century. He was also an integral part of the reinvention of the American musical in the 1970s, working with Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, and Michael Bennett on legendary shows such as Company, Follies, and A Chorus Line, as well as producing the smash hit musical Dreamgirls. It was my great fortune to have had Bob begin his solo choreography career with the London premiere production of Follies followed by Miss Saigon. This wonderfully honest and candid autobiography gives the reader a unique, unvarnished place in the many rooms where it happened, as magic was created-and sometimes not! For anyone starting out in the musical theater, this really is how shows come together, and Bob Avian is certainly a key figure in that magical world."
Bob Avian is an award-winning Broadway choreographer known for his work on A Chorus Line, Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard. He began his career on Broadway as a dancer in such classic shows as West Side Story, Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly! He also served as an original producer of Dreamgirls in 1981 and directed the Broadway and London revivals of A Chorus Line in 2006 and 2013
Tom Santopietro is an author and Broadway theater manager. His books include the best-selling The Sound of Music Story and the New York Times Editor's Choice Considering Doris Day. Over the past thirty years, he has managed more than two dozen Broadway shows.
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