Jerry Mitchell won the Tony Award for his choreography of the 2013 Tony-Award winning Best Musical, Kinky Boots, which he also directed, after having made his Broadway and West End debuts as Director of the Olivier Award-winning musical, Legally Blonde, which he also choreographed. He also received the Tony for his dazzling choreography created for the 2005 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of La Cage Aux Folles, having previously been nominated... Read more >>
Jerry Mitchell won the Tony Award for his choreography of the 2013 Tony-Award winning Best Musical, Kinky Boots, which he also directed, after having made his Broadway and West End debuts as Director of the Olivier Award-winning musical, Legally Blonde, which he also choreographed. He also received the Tony for his dazzling choreography created for the 2005 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of La Cage Aux Folles, having previously been nominated for the Tony Award in the same category for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray and The Full Monty. The latter three productions, plus Catch Me If You Can, all were directed by his cherished collaborator, Jack O’Brien.
Jerry began his career as a dancer, appearing in the National Tour of A Chorus Line while still in school and thereafter, in the Broadway revivals of Brigadoon and On Your Toes, the replacement casts of Barnum and Woman of the Year and most memorably, dancing naked on a drum in the original cast of Will Rogers’ Follies. This led to numerous (clothed) appearances dancing on television awards and variety shows, followed by the start of his choreographic career as Associate Choreographer to Michael Bennett on Scandal, Jerome Robbins on Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and Jeff Calhoun on Tommy Tune’s Grease. For Broadway, Jerry thereafter choreographed the hit revival of Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters, which combined his own work with his re-creation of Jerome Robbins’ original, as well as Never Gonna Dance, the first and only Broadway musical based on a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film, making him one of the few choreographers to ever have three Broadway musicals running simultaneously (a distinction which occurred again in 2005 with the simultaneous run of Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and garnering him yet another Tony nomination. Prior to those productions, Jerry choreographed the Broadway revivals of The Rocky Horror Show and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, the stage and film productions of both Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Jeffrey, the National Tour of Jekyll & Hyde and Paper Mill Playhouse’s critically acclaimed Follies, featuring Ann Miller. Most recently, he choreographed Catch Me If You Can and supervised Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, both for Broadway and choreographed Love Never Dies Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to his Phantom of the Opera, for the West End. Along the way, he co-produced, directed and co-choreographed Peepshow, a Las Vegas extravaganza production show which ran for five years at the Planet Hollywood Hotel.
Jerry’s memorable film work includes In and Out, Scent of a Woman, Jeffrey, Drop Dead Gorgeous and Camp. For television, he choreographed several seasons of The Rosie O’Donnell Show, was nominated for an Emmy for his choreography created for The Drew Carey Show, was featured as the host of Step It Up and Dance and appeared in his role as Director/Choreographer of Legally Blonde in The Search for Elle Woods and of Peepshow in Ice Loves Coco.
Jerry has also recently expanded his activities as a theatre producer by forming a partnership with one of the most active and respected West End producers and theatre owners, Ambassador Theatre Group, with the goal of developing musicals for the West End and Broadway stages.
Recently, Jerry received the Drama League’s Founders’ Award for Excellence in Directing and the George Abbott Award Lifetime Achievement Award, particularly meaningful because he was selected for this Award by his peers and because he knew and danced for a 96-year old Mr. Abbott in the aforementioned On Your Toes.
A native of Paw Paw, Michigan, Jerry attended Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, from which he received an Honorary Doctorate in 2005, the same year he won his first Tony Award.
Above and beyond all of the foregoing accomplishments, Jerry is most proud of having conceived, created and initially directed and choreographed Broadway Bares, a comedy burlesque show performed annually for 20 years for the charity, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, with a book and website and satellite productions in Las Vegas, Fire Island and London (West End Bares). His fundraising efforts have brought in excess of $10 million to this charity, for which he continues to serve as a Board member and Executive Producer of this beloved event.