NYCDA executive director Joe Lanteri with dance legend Bebe Neuwirth on the red carpet (photo via @nycda on Instagram)
The annual New York City Dance Alliance Foundation fundraising gala, "Bright Lights Shining Stars," is usually a star-studded affair. But last night's 2017 event proved to be extra epic, thanks to tons of superb performances and appearances by some of Broadway's best—and most legendary—dancers.
Well, if you're Broadway vlogger and dance newbie Tyler Mount, super-easy! In a special video for Playbill.com, Broadway CATS Christine Cornish Smith, Tyler Hanes and Ahmad Simmons lead Mount through a phrase from the feline-tastic musical's opening number, "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats."
When a Broadway show invites you to take a backstage tour, you go. When that show happens to be the dancey new hitBandstand, you MOST DEFINITELY go—and you livestream the whole thing so everyone else can get in on the #backstageparty magic too.
That's exactly what happened the other night, when wegot to follow ensemble dancer Morgan Marcell through her pre-show routine at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Marcell told us about her typical warm-up, showed us her dressing room and even let us watch her rehearse some of the show's moves onstage with her dance partner Ryan Vandenboom and Bandstand's dance captain Marc A. Heitzman.
The jazzy show is set in a 1945 nightclub and centers on a radio contest searching for the next big swing band. So far, the only cast members announced are the leads: Tony nominee Laura Osnes (known for Cinderella), who plays a singer and WWII widow named Julia, and Corey Cott (of Gigi), who plays Donny, a singer/songwriter and WWII veteran hoping to win the contest.
"As a director, I'm so lucky to be involved with a show that is so rich in emotion and heart," Blankenbuehler said to BroadwayWorld.com. "As a choreographer, I'm over the moon to be dancing to a score that sizzles like nothing else on Broadway."
And he's not kidding. Check out the promo video from the show's Paper Mill run and get excited, because the choreo is seriously FIERCE. ?