Tony Time: For Kathleen Marshall, Old is Gold
We are getting so close to The 2012 Tony Awards we can taste it!! Really? No! But anyways, Luner on Theatre is keeping up the Tony Awards spirit and aiming to get you as much coverage and news about this year’s awards ceremony we have promised! Today we are covering one very special person who has managed to make herself known on Broadway once again. It seems as though for this lady, Old is Gold. Don’t know who we’re talking about? Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Kathleen Marshall
Kathleen Marshall is a Tony Award winning Broadway director, choreographer and creative consultant. Her Broadway career began in 1993 when her brother, Rob Marshall, let her assist him on the Broadway revival of Kiss of the Spider Women. Marshall found comfort and a home in working with her brother and continued to do so for several more Broadway productions including She Loves Me in 1993, Damn Yankees in 1994, Victor/Victoria in 1995 and Seussical in 2000. She also served as the artistic director of the Encores! series from 1996 to 2000. During that time she choreographed The Boys from Syracuse, Li’l Abner and Call Me Madam while also directing and choreographing Babes in Arms and Wonderful Town. Noticing any trends here? Kathleen Marshall is clearly an older musical person. However, thats just some of her early work.
Her production of Wonderful Town transferred to Broadway where it ran for almost two years. She worked on the Broadway production of The Pajama Game also in 2006. During this entire time, Marshall has been doing some incredible work and definitely getting noticed for it. She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction and Choreography for Wonderful Town. However, Marshall was finally thrust into the national spotlight she deserved in 2007 when she was selected as a judge on the NBC show Grease: You’re the One that I want! The show worked to find a new Danny and Sandy for the Broadway revival of Grease in 2007! Marshall worked on this production as bother director and choreographer. However, this wouldn’t be the piece that would serve as her greatest testament to theatre yet. That would come two years later.
Kathleen Marshall was the person to be on Broadway last year when it came to Broadway revivals. She was behind the epic Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes serving as bother director and choreographer. She was nominated for both the Tony Award for Best Direction and Choreography for this piece. Anything Goes also was nominated and won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Anything Goes has stood as a testament of not only Broadway theatre but also some of Marshall’s best work ever created on stage. She has simplified down numbers to make tap moves sexier, sleeker and bolder which causes in incredible numbers that quite literally pop off the stage in this glorious revival STILL running on Broadway over a year later.
Marshall’s success of Anything Goes lead to her go green light ahead with the new musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It, opening this year on Broadway. The musical stars Kelli O’Hara and Matthew Broderick in a new Gershwin musical filled with your favorite tunes. She serves once again as bother director and choreographer. Marshall has made a bold choice after Anything Goes attempting to recreate yet another Gershwin musical on Broadway. While you can continue to forever recreate the Gershwin musicals, these tunes don’t get old on Broadway and neither does Kathleen Marshall for that. She has worked to make this musical bigger and better then ever but in today’s terms that is. She has done it in a way that will invite 2012 audiences back in time to flappers, speakeasy’s and big Gershwin tunes one can’t but tap their toe to. And while many thought Nice Work If You Can Get It would barely last on Broadway, while the show has not yet swept any major awards category, the show is proving itself. The show is one of the top nominated Tony Award shows this year with 10 nominations and has been racking up nominations in various other awards ceremonies.
The point to be proven here is while Nice Work If You Can Get it may not be an Anything Goes, Kathleen Marshall can take what she is given and turn old into gold. She makes it look easy bringing back older dance styles but adding a modern flair and her respect and appreciation to the older style not only Broadway but life itself use to be. She is a token and asset to the revival of any older Broadway musical currently running on Broadway or making plans to. If you want the golden ticket, Kathleen Marshall is the one. Don’t bother launching a Broadway revival in New York without her because while it may sparkle and shine, Marshall’s magical touch is needed for any true success and honor to Broadway the way it use to be.
She has dazzled audiences with her work and appreciation for an older touch it seems hard to find in our modern world. She is truly the ER room for older musicals on Broadway not only bringing them to life but while screaming “Emergency! This is a must see!” She does this though of course while not loosing touch with the modern day dazzle and spirit other choreographers such as Rob Ashford and Susan Stroman carry. She is already signed on to work on the new Broadway musical Ever After in the 2013-2014 season and after that, who knows!
Only time can tell where Kathleen Marshall will end up and what she will be doing. But there is one thing for sure, she will be doing it bigger and better then Broadway knows it. Kathleen Marshall is a true Broadway gem. Discover, Polish, Sparkle. If you get the chance, check out the entire Luner on Theatre Tony Time Series. It is filled with things you have and have never thought of that we challenge each year come Tony time! For more information as well, check out the Official Tony Awards Website. And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and more!