Sunday Special: Celebrating Broadway's High-Stepping Dance Musicals

By: Oct. 12, 2014
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Dance musicals have long celebrated the talents of great ensemble casts showcasing steps by some of the Great White Way's most revered choreographers, such as Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett, Christopher Gattelli, Michael Smuin, Kathleen Marshall and more.

In celebration of this season's ON THE TOWN, we've collected 10 of our favorite dance musicals. From classics like ANYTHING GOES, 42ND STREET, A CHORUS LINE and WEST SIDE STORY to modern marvels such as NEWSIES and STRICTLY BALLROOM, the way choreography is used to tell a story continues to evolve and inspire.

Scroll down to learn more, and be sure to tell us your favorite dance musical in the comments below!



On The Town

Major Productions: Broadway (1944-1946); West End (1963); Broadway Revival (1971-1972); Broadway Revival (1998); City Center Encores! (2008); Broadway Revival (2014)
Creative Team: Music by Leonard Bernstein; Book and Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Directed by George Abbott; Choreographed by Jerome Robbins
Prominent Cast Members: John Battles, Cris Alexander, Nancy Walker, Sono Osato, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Donna McKechnie, Bernadette Peters, Lea Delaria, Mary Testa, Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Clyde Alves, Alysha Umphress, Elizabeth Stanley, Jackie Hoffman



Strictly Ballroom

Major Productions: National Institute of Dramatic Art (1984); Film (1992); Sydney, Australia (2014)
Creative Team: Music by Elliott Wheeler; Book by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce; Directed by Baz Luhrmann; Choreographed by John "Cha Cha" O'Connell
Prominent Cast Members: Thomas Lacey, Phoebe Panaretos



West Side Story

(Won 2 Tony Awards, including 'Best Choreography')
Major Productions: Broadway (1957); West End (1958-1961); Broadway Revival (1980); Broadway Revival (2009-2011)
Creative Team: Music by Leonard Bernstein; Libretto by Aurthur Laurents; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Directed and Choreographed by Jerome Robbins
Prominent Cast Members: Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence, Chita Rivera, David Winters, Josie de Guzman, Debbie Allen, Matt Cavenaugh, Josefina Scaglione, Karen Olivo



A Chorus Line

(Won the Pulitzer Prize, 1 Olivier Award and 9 Tony Awards, Including 'Best Musical' and 'Best Choreography')
Major Productions: Broadway (1975-1990); West End (1976-1979); Broadway Revival (2006-2008); West End Revival (2013)
Creative Team: Music by Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics by Edward Kleban; Book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante; Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett; Choreographed by Bob Avian
Prominent Cast Members: Donna McKechnie, Sammy Williams, Kelly Bishop, Priscilla Lopez, Robert LuPone, Charlotte d'Amboise, Mario Lopez, Leigh Zimmerman



42nd Street

(Won 1 Olivier Award and 2 Tony Awards, Including 'Best Musical' and 'Best Choreography')
Major Productions: Broadway (1980-1989); West End (1984); Broadway Revival (2001-2005)
Creative Team: Music by Harry Warren; Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble; Lyrics by Al Dubin; Directed and Choreographed by Gower Champion
Prominent Cast Members: Lee Roy Reams, Wanda Richert, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Cumpsty, Christine Ebersole, Kate Levering, Mary Testa



Footloose

(Nominated for 4 Tony Awards, including 'Best Choreography')
Major Productions: Broadway (1998-2000)
Creative Team: Music by Tom Snow; Lyrics by Dean Pitchford; Stage Adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie; Directed by Walter Bobbie; Choreographed by A.C. Ciulla
Prominent Cast Members: Jeremy Kushnier, Dee Hoty, Hunter Foster, Stephen Lee Anderson



Cats
(Won 2 Olivier Awards and 7 Tony Awards, including 'Best Musical')
Productions: West End (1981-2006); Broadway (1982-2000); West End Revival (2014); International Productions (1983-present)
Creative Team: Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lyrics by T.S. Eliot; Directed by Trevor Nunn; Choreographed by Gillian Lynne (Broadway)
Prominent Cast Members: Elaine Paige, Betty Buckley, Nicole Scherzinger (2014 revival), Sir John Mills, Sarah Brightman, Ken Page



Can-Can

(Won 2 Tony Awards, including 'Best Choreography')
Productions: Broadway (1953-55); West End (1954); Broadway Revival (1981); West End Revival (1988-89); City Center Encores! (2004); Paper Mill Playhouse (2014)
Creative Team: Book by Abe Burrows; Music by Cole Porter; Lyrics by Cole Porter
Prominent Cast Members: Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon, Donna McKechnie, Kate Baldwin, Patti LuPone, Charlotte D'Amboise, Ron Holgate, Hans Conried



Newsies

(Nominated for 8 Tony Awards, winning 'Best Choreography' and 'Best Original Score')
Productions: Paper Mill Playhouse (2011); Broadway (2012-14)
Creative Team: Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Jack Feldman; Book by Harvey Fierstein; Based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White; Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli
Prominent Cast Members: Jeremy Jordan, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Kara Lindsay, Capathia Jenkins



Anything Goes

(Won a total of 6 Tony Awards and an Oliver Award)
Productions: Broadway (1934-35); West End (1935); Off-Broadway (1962); Broadway Revival (1987-89); Broadway Revival (2011-2012)
Creative Team: Music by Cole Porter; Lyrics by Cole Porter; Original book by P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse; Revised book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman; Choreographed by Robert Alton (Original Broadway Production); Choreographed by Michael Smuin (1987 Broadway Revival); Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall (2011 Revival)
Prominent Cast Members: Ethel Merman, Patti LuPone, Sutton Foster, Stephanie J. Block, Elaine Paige, Leslie Uggams, Victor Moore, Joel Grey, Laura Osnes, Howard McGillin, John Barrowman, Sally Ann Triplett




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