Jerry Mitchell Honored with the 2013 Mr. Abbott Award
In a season filled with awards ceremonies left and right, individual honors and awards are far too often brushed over or dismissed. However, Luner on Theatre wants to make sure you know everything going on in the theatre awards world which is why today we are happy to bring you coverage of an individual honor. There is not a truly better person to kick off . Today, Luner on Theatre brings you coverage of Jerry Mitchell being honored as the 2013 recipient of the Mr. Abbott Award.
The Mr. Abbott Award is an award named in honor of legendary director George Abbot. The award is presented each year to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement in American theatre. The award is presented through the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation by a committee of Directors and Choreographers. Past winners of this award have included Harold Prince, Bob Fosse, Jerry Zaks, Jack O’Brien, Rob and Kathleen Marshall.
The recipient of the 2013 Mr. Abbott Award is Jerry Mitchell. Jerry Mitchell is originally from Michigan and moved to St. Louis where he later attended Webster University graduating from the Fine Arts College. Today, he is a director and Tony Award winning choreographer. Mitchell performed in The Will Rogers Follies, Brigadoon and On Your Toes on Broadway before switching sides of the table and taking on You’re A Goodman Charlie Brown in 1999 as his first choreographer job. He has worked on Broadway productions such as The Full Monty, Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde the Musical and Catch Me If You Can. He is currently represented on Broadway with the new musical, Kinky Boots, which was just nominated for 13 Tony Awards.
20 years ago, Jerry Mitchell conceived and created Broadway Bares. The show is a mix of comedy and burlesque which takes place annually and helps raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Thanks to Jerry’s idea and the fundraising efforts, more then 10 million dollars has been brought to Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. Jerry Mitchell also serves on the board of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.
Joy Abbott, the widow of Mr. Abbott, spoke proudly about this year’s selection for the award named after her late husband saying;
“Jerry was in Mr. Abbott’s production of On Your Toes at the Virginia Theatre from 1983 – 1984. Even then, George recognized his talent and thought Jerry had great potential. I’m a fan of both Jerry and his work, and I’m pleased that he has made his mark on Broadway as an award-winning choreographer. It’s always gratifying to learn of the achievements of those who worked with George and performed under his direction. I know George would be especially pleased that Jerry is to receive the ‘Mr. Abbott’ Award.”
When asked about being chosen for the Mr. Abbott Award, Mitchell said;
“It is a joy to be this year’s recipient of the ‘Mr. Abbott’ Award. I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Abbott, as well as collaborating with eight other Abbott award winners. This community, the Broadway community, is everything I have ever dreamed. To receive the ‘Mr. Abbott’ Award and join the distinguished list of past honorees makes it all a bit more than a dream. I am truly honored.”
We truly cannot think of anyone more deserving then this award. Jerry Mitchell is by far one of our favorite choreographers always creating pieces that come to life in spectacular ways. From his iconic choreography created for Hairspray to the new larger then life movements in Catch Me If You Can and Kinky Boots, Jerry Mitchell boosts moves that Broadway wouldn’t see otherwise. He is a large piece of why fans leave productions he works on asking for more. Bravo!
Congratulations to Jerry Mitchell on being honored as the 2013 recipiant of the Mr. Abbott Award! Luner on Theatre can’t think of someone truly more deserving of this award especially with the incredible history Jerry Mitchell has in American theatre. It is only fitting that he receives this award while his latest work, Kinky Boots the Musical, celebrates it’s new life on Broadway and recognition across the board as a fantastic new theatrical piece. For more information, check out the Official Abbott Award Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! 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 so much more!