Michael Bennett

Date of Death: July 02, 1987 (44)

Birth Place: Buffalo, NY, USA

Get Michael Bennett Email Alerts

Be the first to get news, photos, videos & more.

Michael Bennett BIO

Michael Bennett was a renowned American dancer, choreographer, and director, known for his innovative work in musical theater. Born in Buffalo, New York in 1943, Bennett began his career as a performer, dancing in the chorus of Broadway shows such as "Subways Are for Sleeping" and "Here's Love." However, it was his choreography that would make him a legend in the industry.

Bennett's breakthrough came in 1975 with the groundbreaking musical "A Chorus Line," which he conceived, directed, and choreographed. The show, which followed the lives of aspiring dancers auditioning for a Broadway show, was a critical and commercial success, winning nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Choreography for Bennett.

"A Chorus Line" ran for a record-breaking 6,137 performances and became one of the most beloved and influential musicals of all time. Bennett's innovative choreography, which blended contemporary dance with traditional Broadway style, set a new standard for musical theater and inspired generations of choreographers to come.

Bennett continued to make his mark on Broadway with shows such as "Dreamgirls," "Ballroom," and "Nine," for which he won his second Tony Award for Best Direction. He also worked on the film adaptation of "A Chorus Line" and choreographed the iconic opening number of the 1983 Academy Awards.

In addition to his work in theater, Bennett also made a name for himself in television and film. He choreographed the dance sequences in the film "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and directed and choreographed the film adaptation of "A Chorus Line." He also directed and choreographed the television special "Baryshnikov on Broadway" and the HBO special "My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies."

Bennett's talent and influence were recognized throughout the industry, and he received numerous awards and honors for his work. In addition to his two Tony Awards, he received a Drama Desk Award, an Emmy Award, and a Kennedy Center Honor. He was also inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1986.

Sadly, Bennett's life and career were cut short when he passed away from complications of AIDS in 1987 at the age of 44. However, his legacy lives on through the countless performers and choreographers he inspired and the groundbreaking work he created.

In 2018, a documentary about Bennett's life and career titled "Every Little Step" was released, chronicling the creation of the original production of "A Chorus Line" and its impact on the world of musical theater. The film serves as a testament to Bennett's enduring influence and his status as one of the greatest choreographers and directors in Broadway history.

In conclusion, Michael Bennett was a visionary artist whose innovative choreography and direction set the standard for musical theater. His groundbreaking work on "A Chorus Line" and other shows inspired generations of performers and choreographers and cemented his status as a legend in the industry. Though his life was tragically cut short, his legacy lives on through the countless shows and performers he influenced and the enduring impact of his work.

Michael Bennett STAGE CREDITS

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1964
Dancer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1963
Clerk

Dancer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1961
A Delivery Boy

Dancer

Teenager

Michael Bennett Productions

 
[US Tour, 2010]
Choreographer
Director
 
[US Tour, 2008]
Choreographer
Director
 
[Broadway, 2006]
Choreographer
Director
 
[Broadway, 1987]
Choreographer
Director
 
[West End, 1986] [Replacement]
Director[Replacement]
 
[US Tour, 1985]
Choreographer
Director
 
[Off-Broadway, 1983]
Director
 
[US Tour, 1983]
Choreographer
Director
Producer
 
[Broadway, 1981]
Director
Producer
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1978]
Director
Producer
Choreographer
 
[West End, 1976]
Choreographer
Director
 
[US Tour, 1976]
Director
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1975]
Director
Choreographer
 
[Off-Broadway, 1975]
Director
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1974]
Director
 
[Broadway, 1973]
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1973]
Director
Choreographer
 
[US Tour, 1972]
Choreographer
Director
 
[West End, 1972]
Choreographer
 
[US Tour, 1971]
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1971]
Director
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1970]
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1969]
Choreographer
 
[West End, 1969]
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1968]
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1967]
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1966]
Choreographer
 
[Broadway, 1962]
Assistant to the Choreographer

Writing

Conceiver
Bookwriter

Michael Bennett Awards and Nominations

Tony Awards - 1982 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennett, Dreamgirls

Tony Awards - 1982 - Best Musical

Michael Bennett, Dreamgirls

Tony Awards - 1979 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennett, Ballroom

Tony Awards - 1979 - Best Musical

Michael Bennett, Ballroom

Olivier Awards - 1976 - Musical of the Year

Michael Bennett, A Chorus Line

Tony Awards - 1976 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennet, A Chorus Line

Tony Awards - 1974 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennett , Seesaw

Tony Awards - 1972 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennet , Follies

Tony Awards - 1971 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennett, Company

Tony Awards - 1969 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennett, Promises, Promises

Tony Awards - 1968 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennett, Henry, Sweet Henry

Tony Awards - 1967 - Best Choreography

Michael Bennett, A Joyful Noise

Michael Bennett Videos

Michael Bennett News


London Theatre Week - See over 50 Award-Winning Musicals and Plays with Tickets from £15, £25 or £35

London Theatre Week is the West End’s biggest promotion, giving you the chance to see over 50 amazing award-winning musicals and stunning plays with tickets from £15, £25 or £35

Review: 'Every Little Step' Is Perfection In The Argyle Theatre's Production of A CHORUS LINE

What did our critic think of A CHORUS LINE at The Argyle Theatre?

Date Set for The 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony

The 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony will take place on Monday evening, June 10, 2024 beginning at 7:00PM. Hosted annually by well-known theater journalist, Peter Filichia, the historic 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony will be produced by Theatre World Awards, Inc. Board of Directors / Dale Badway.

Maleah Joi Moon, Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon & More Will Reprise Roles in HELL'S KITCHEN on Broadway

AKW Productions has just announced the Broadway premiere of the new musical HELL’S KITCHEN and we have the full list of stars and newcomers!

Review: A CHORUS LINE at Toby's Sings And Dances Its Way Into Your Heart

A CHORUS LINE at Toby’s in Columbia through March 10th, 2024- Staff are warm and helpful, the atmosphere is welcoming and the production is wonderful. If you’re a fan of musical theater, A CHORUS LINE will resonate. It’s a visual and auditory delight, with complex dance numbers and Marvin Hamlisch’s memorable melodies.

Concord Theatricals Launches A CHORUS LINE Licensing Competition For Schools In Under-Resourced Communities

Concord Theatricals is launching A CHORUS LINE Licensing Competition for schools in under-resourced communities nationwide.

OUR BORN-THIS-MONTH FEATURE FOR JANUARY SALUTES... GUESS WHO!

Every month, we take a moment to honor someone among those having a birthday that month who has made a real mark in the entertainment world .  January's birthday salute goes to a sensation on the stages of theatres and cabaret. With a click, you can see who it is and then see how much you know about their by taking our multiple-choice quiz.

Tony-Winning DREAMGIRLS Star Jennifer Holliday To Perform With Denver Gay Men's Chorus In March 2024

Experience the incredible talent of Tony-winning actress Jennifer Holliday as she joins the Denver Gay Men's Chorus for a special performance of 'Neon Lights.' This tribute to Broadway is set to take place in March 2024 and promises to be a showstopper that resonates with audiences for generations.

Exclusive: Oh My Pod U Guys- Jay Armstrong Johnson Is The Prom King

I am joined by Broadway star, Jay Armstrong Johnson, to talk all things Bway! Jay is a true triple threat, from singing incredible scores like Phantom, to dancing Michael Bennett's original choreography in A Chorus Line, to acting the role of Will Olsen on ABC's Quantico. A Texas native, Jay shares his experience as a young artist in the South, and his journey to New York City and working consistently on Broadway.

Broadway Veteran Baayork Lee To Direct WEST SIDE STORY At Starlight In 2024

Starlight is pleased to announce that renowned director, choreographer, and Tony Award recipient Baayork Lee will return to Kansas City's historic stage to direct the classic Broadway musical West Side Story, playing August 20-25, 2024.

FOLLIES To Have Las Vegas Premiere In Spring 2024

Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's FOLLIES will get its Las Vegas premiere in a new production from Metropolis Theatricals in April 2024 at Alliante+Hotel+Spa.

Wake Up With BroadwayWorld December 5th, 2023

Rise and shine, BroadwayWorld! It is December 5, 2023 and it's time to catch up on all of the theatrical happenings you may have missed in the last 24 hours.

Video: Baayork Lee Talks A CHORUS LINE & More With Harvey Brownstone

Baayork Lee: Legendary Broadway Star, Choreographer & Director | Harvey Brownstone Interviews. Baayork Lee's illustrious career in theater, from Broadway performances to directing and choreography, is discussed in this interview with Harvey Brownstone.

Broadway Legend Jennifer Holliday Performs With New West Symphony December 2 & 3

New West Symphony presents a holiday extravaganza featuring Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday in a rare west coast appearance.

Marblehead School Of Ballet To Hold Free Christmas Walk Activities Of Musical Theater And Dance

The Marblehead School of Ballet (MSB) celebrates Christmas Walk with a special theater class and a Spanish dance performance open to the public free-of-charge on Saturday, December 2.  The school is located at 115 Pleasant Street in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Dana Aber Brings One-Woman Musical BAGGAGE AT THE DOOR to AMT Theater

Dana Aber brings her one-woman musical 'Baggage at the Door' Off-Broadway at AMT Theater. Performances begin tonight!

A CHORUS LINE For A New Generation Opens At Cal State Fullerton On November 9

The Cal State Fullerton Department of Theatre and Dance presents the Broadway smash hit “A Chorus Line” beginning November 9 in the Little Theatre on campus. “A Chorus Line” was written by Michael Bennett, music by Marvin Hamlisch, co-directed by Marty Austin Lamar and Courtney Ozovek, with musical direction from Michelle Do.

Telly Leung & More to Star in HAS ANYONE SEEN MY MIND? Industry Readings

Private industry readings of 'Has Anyone Seen My Mind?' by Bill Russell, are scheduled for October 26 & 27.

Dana Aber to Debut One-Woman Musical BAGGAGE AT THE DOOR Off-Broadway at AMT Theater

Get ready for a captivating one-woman musical experience as Dana Aber brings 'Baggage at the Door' to the AMT Theater in November. Don't miss this Off-Broadway production that promises to leave audiences spellbound.

Theatre By The Sea Reveals 2024 Summer Season

Theatre By The Sea has announced the 2024 Summer Schedule for Theatre By The Sea, which will include four sensational musicals. Learn more about the lineup here!

Michael Bennett FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Michael Bennett has appeared on Broadway in 3 shows.

Michael Bennett has not appeared in the West End

Michael Bennett has been nominated for several awards throughout his career. Some of his nominations include Special Awards at the Drama Desk Awards, Outstanding Director of a Play at the Drama Desk Awards for "Third Street," Outstanding Director of a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards for "Dreamgirls," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "Dreamgirls," Best Direction of a Musical at the Tony Awards for "Dreamgirls," Best Musical at the Tony Awards for "Dreamgirls," Outstanding Choreography at the Drama Desk Awards for "Ballroom," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "Ballroom," Best Direction of a Musical at the Tony Awards for "Ballroom," Best Musical at the Tony Awards for "Ballroom," Outstanding Choreography at the Drama Desk Awards for "A Chorus Line," Outstanding Director - Musical at the Drama Desk Awards for "A Chorus Line," Musical of the Year at the Olivier Awards for "A Chorus Line," Special Awards at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for "A Chorus Line," The Pulitzer Prize for Drama for "A Chorus Line," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "A Chorus Line," Best Direction of a Musical at the Tony Awards for "A Chorus Line," Best Book of a Musical at the Tony Awards for "Seesaw," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "Seesaw," Best Direction of a Musical at the Tony Awards for "Seesaw," Best Musical at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for "Seesaw," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "Follies," Best Direction of a Musical at the Tony Awards for "Follies," Outstanding Choreography at the Drama Desk Awards for "Follies," Outstanding Director at the Drama Desk Awards for "Follies," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "Company," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "Promises, Promises," Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "Henry, Sweet Henry," and Best Choreography at the Tony Awards for "A Joyful Noise."

Michael Bennett has won several awards throughout his career. He has received Special Awards from the Drama Desk Awards. He won the Best Choreography Tony Award for Dreamgirls and Ballroom, and Outstanding Choreography Drama Desk Awards for Ballroom and A Chorus Line. He also won the Outstanding Director - Musical Drama Desk Award for A Chorus Line and the Musical of the Year Olivier Award for A Chorus Line. Bennett received Special Awards from the Outer Critics Circle Awards for A Chorus Line and The Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Chorus Line. Additionally, he won the Best Direction of a Musical Tony Award for A Chorus Line and Follies, and the Best Choreography Tony Award for A Chorus Line, Seesaw, and Follies. He also received Outstanding Choreography Drama Desk Awards for Follies, and Outstanding Director Drama Desk Awards for Follies.

Michael Bennett has written 2 shows including Seesaw (Bookwriter), A Chorus Line (Conceiver).

Get Michael Bennett Email Alerts

Be the first to get news, photos, videos & more.

Videos