The 71st annual Tony Awards® were held on June 11th to celebrate the best of Broadway and one did not have to look far to find a Seminole on stage. The School of Theatre at Florida State is consistently ranked in the top 12 of colleges and universities for the number of alumni on Broadway stages and is one of only three public universities to receive this honor.
This season’s most highly anticipated revival was Hello, Dolly!, which earned ten Tony nominations and won four including Best Revival of a Musical. This production also marked the Broadway return of the legendary Bette Midler. The star studded cast and production team includes four FSU alums. Justin Bowen (BM Music Theatre, 2009) plays the role of the Court Clerk and is the understudy for the principal roles of Barnaby Tucker and Ambrose Kemper. Leslie Flesner (BFA Music Theatre, 2008) and Amanda LaMotte (BFA Music Theatre, 2011) are both featured in the ensemble and also serve as understudies to principal roles. In addition, Chris Zaccardi (BA Theatre, 2000) serves as the Stage Manager for the hit revival.
Groundhog Day was nominated for seven Tony Awards® including Best New Musical and features School of Theatre alum Michael Fatica (BFA Music Theatre, 2011) in the role of Chubby Man. Michael also serves as the Assistant Dance Captain for the production, which is based on the hit 1993 film staring Bill Murray.
André Holland (BFA Acting, 2001), fresh off his featured roles on TV in American Horror Story: Roanoke and on screen in the Academy Award® winner for Best Picture Moonlight, returned to the stage as YoungBlood in August Wilson’s Jitney. The production was nominated for six Tony Awards® and won for Best Revival of a Play. The play is part of August Wilson’s famous Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of ten plays that chart the African American experience throughout each decade of the twentieth century.
The final musical to open this Broadway season was the Tony Award® Winner for Best Choreography, Bandstand. This swing-dancing, musical sensation includes School of Theatre Alum Jessica Lea Patty (BFA Music Theatre, 2001) who plays the role of Jo and also understudies the principal role of Julia Trojan. Patty is also featured on BroadwayBox’s Youtube channel where she danced through her Broadway resume.
The Broadway season opened with the highly anticipated Broadway return of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. This dance phenomenon featured two alums – Harris Milgrim (BFA Music Theatre, 2010) and Francesca Granell (BA English, 2012). Milgrim and Granell both served as Swings, while Milgrim also understudyed the roles of Rum Tum Tugger and Munkustrap.
The Robert DeNiro directed A Bronx Tale features recent FSU alum Christiani Pitts (BFA Music Theatre, 2015) in the role of Denise. This musical adaptation of the 1993 film of the same name tells the life story of Italian-American actor Chazz Palminteri.
In addition to this season’s productions, FSU Alums can be found on a number of Broadway stages. The Book of Mormon continues to feature three FSU Music Theatre Alumni – Hardy Weaver, Christian Delcroix, and Stephen Anthony. The long-running Phantom of the Opera features Greg Mills, School of Rock features Morgan Rose, and Aladdin features Tiffany Howard.
Make sure to catch one of our talented Seminoles on Broadway during your next trip to New York!