On Monday June 1st, 2015, the 33rd Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway and in film each season, honored Broadway legend Joel Grey as well as film and theater producer Harvey Weinstein at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The gala evening was hosted by Two-Time Drama Desk Award nominated actress Christina Bianco.
Presented by Patricia Watt, the Producer of the Astaire Awards and The Douglas Watt Family Fund for the Performing Arts, as well as The Fred Astaire International Dance Studios, the event began with a VIP cocktail reception followed by the show and awards presentation. For the first time, the awards were live-streamed across the United States.
Guests included: Patricia Watt (Executive Director), Jessica Zippin (Associate Producer and Executive Director), Alix Michel (Associate Producer), Carolyn Kendall Buchter (Associate Producer), Harvey Weinstein (Honoree), Joel Grey (Honoree), Christina Bianco (Host), Jennifer Grey (Presenter), Countess Luann DeLesseps (Honorary Chair & Presenter), David Alan Basche (Presenter), Alysia Reiner (Presenter), Tovah Feldshuh (Presenter), Mia Michaels (Presenter), Scott Wise (Presenter), Lee Roy Reams (Presenter), Bebe Neuwirth (Presenter), Charlotte d’Amboise (Presenter), Kathleen Marshall (Presenter), Patricia Wilcox (Presenter), Jack Rothweiler (Presenter), Holt McCallany (Presenter), Richard Thomas (Presenter), Ryan Silverman (Performer), Leeds Hill (Performer), Leanne Cope (Nominee), Jill Paice (Nominee), Megan Fairchild (Nominee), Erin Davie (Nominee), XiaoChuan Xie (Nominee), Melanie Moore (Nominee), Robert Fairchild (Nominee), Clyde Alves (Nominee), Tony Yazbeck (Nominee), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Nominee), Philip Attmore (Nominee), Rick Faugno (Nominee), Drew King (Nominee), Richard Riaz Yoder (Nominee), Joshua Bergasse (Nominee), Christopher Gattelli (Nominee), Warren Carlyle (Nominee), Jean Shafiroff (Honorary Chair), Wendy Federman (Honorary Chair) and Michele Herbert.
The ceremony began with a performance of “New York, New York” from the three-time Astaire Award nominated musical On The Town. Proceeding, actress and impressionist Christina Bianco channeled Kristen Chenowith and Bernadette Peters in a rousing duet of sorts to “Shall We Dance.” She brought some of her other impersonations into the performance including Barbara Streisand, Julie Andrews, Liza Minelli, Sutton Foster and Patti Lupone. Following that performance, Astaire Awards Executive Producer Patricia Watt and Director Joe Lanteri took the stage to welcome the crowd to the awards ceremony.
The nominees for Best Female Dancer were: Annaleigh Ashford (You Can’t Take It with You); Leanne Cope (An American In Paris); Jill Paice (An American In Paris); Megan Fairchild (On The Town); Erin Davie (Sideshow); Emily Padgett (Sideshow); XiaoChuan Xie (The King and I); Melanie Moore (Finding Neverland).
The nominees for Best Male Dancer were: Robert Fairchild (An American In Paris); Clyde Alves (On The Town); Tony Yazbeck (On The Town); Tony Danza (Honeymoon in Vegas); Jay Armstrong Johnson (On The Town); Philip Attmore (On The Twentieth Century); Rick Faugno (On The Twentieth Century); Drew King (On The Twentieth Century); Richard Riaz Yoder (On The Twentieth Century); Christian Borle (Something Rotten); Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time).
The nominees for Best Choreographer were: Christopher Wheeldon (An American In Paris); Joshua Bergasse (On The Town); Christopher Gattelli (The King and I); Warren Carlyle (On The Twentieth Century); Casey Nicholaw (Something Rotten); Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly (The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time); Steven Hoggett (The Last Ship); Mia Michaels (Finding Neverland).
The nominees for Best Choreography in a Feature Film were: Longinus Fernandes (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel); Aakomon Jones (Get On Up); Aakomon Jones (Pitch Perfect 2); Akram Khan (Desert Dancer); Alphonse Poulin (Match); Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys); Travis Wall (The Wedding Ringer).
The Nominating Committee Chair is Wendy Federman, and Nominee Committee includes Nikki Atkins, Don Correia, Sandy Duncan, Wendy Federman, Jonathan Herzog-Sheffield, Judith Jamison, Anna Kisselgoff, Pia Lindstrom, Donna McKechnie, Bruce Michael, Mary McColl, Michael Milton, Andy Sandberg, Mary Beth O’Connor. The Awarding Committee is made up of Sylviane Gold (Chair), along with Judith Jamison, Anna Kisselgoff, Donna McKechnie, Bruce Michael, Wendy Perron, Lee Roy Reams.
Honorary Committee members include: Karole Armitage, Rob Ashford, Hinton Battle, Marisa Berenson, Anna Bergman, Patricia Birch, Chase Brock, Tricia Brouk, Ron Brown, Sharon Bush, Jeff Calhoun, Warren Carlyle, Marge Champion, Wayne Cilento, Louis Hirschfeld Cullman, Judy Gordon Cox, Arlene Dahl, Jacques D’Amboise, Graciela Daniele, Peter Darling, Marguerite Derricks, Kelly Devine, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Eve Ensler, Daniel Ezralow, Jules Fisher, Roberta Flack, Mario Fratti, Christopher Gattelli, Mitzi Gaynor, Kearran Giovanni, Savion Glover, Joel Grey, Peggy Hickey, Steven Hoggett, JoAnn Hunter, Anne Jackson, Susan Jaffee, Denis Jones, Paul Katz, Larry Keigwin, Daniel Knechtges, Spencer Liff, Michele Lynch, Kathleen Marshall, Rob Marshall, Julie McDonald, Donna McKechnie, Joey McKneely, Stephen Mear, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, Phyllis Newman, Casey Nicholaw, Marsha Norman, Kenny Ortega, Robert Osbourne, Jeffrey Page, Daniel Pelzig, Jane Powell, Josh Prince, Ann Reinking, Michael Rubinstein, Wendy Seyb, Lisa Schriver, Randy Skinner, Victoria Traube, Sergio Trujillo, Anthony van Laast, Chet Walker, Patti Wilcox, Matt Williams.
About The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards
The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards were established in 1982 to recognize outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway and in film. The annual awards were established with the cooperation of Fred Astaire to also honor his sister Adele, who starred with her brother in ten Broadway musicals between 1917 and 1931. The Fred & Adele Awards remain the gold standard for excellence in dance and choreography on Broadway and film. Since 1982, additional awards have been added, including the award for best choreography in film, the lifetime achievement award, and a unique award determined annually for exceptional contribution to the field.
For more information, visit www.theastaireawards.org/