Named in honor of the legendary director George Abbott, the “Mr. Abbott” Award is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement in American theatre.
The 2013 “Mr. Abbott” Award, honoring Jerry Mitchell, was a resounding success. Thank you to everyone who helped make May 13th a special night for Jerry and SDC Foundation.
Acclaimed Director/Choreographer Jerry Mitchell was honored with the 2013 “Mr. Abbott” Award for his outstanding artistry and creativity and breadth of his thirty-year career. The award was presented on May 13, 2013 at a gala event.
About the “Mr. Abbott” Award and Honoring Jerry
Monday, May 13, 2013
Emceed by HARVEY FIERSTEIN
Event Co-Chairs HAL LUFTIG, KRISTIN CASKEY & MIKE ISAACSON, MARCIA MILGROM DODGE, JOHN RANDO
The “Mr. Abbott” Award, bestowed through SDCF by a committee of Directors and Choreographers to one of their peers, is named in honor of renowned Director George Abbott and is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement. Past recipients of the award include Hal Prince, Bob Fosse, Mike Nichols, Agnes DeMille, Michael Bennett, Trevor Nunn, Susan Stroman, Graciela Daniele, and the 2011 recipient, George C. Wolfe.
“George Abbott was a man of incredible range and influence. With the ‘Mr. Abbott’ Award, we salute those Directors and Choreographers who have, over the course of a career, moved the art form forward through artistry, imagination, and dedication. It is our privilege to honor Jerry Mitchell with this year’s ‘Mr. Abbott’ Award. Jerry has proven himself time and time again as a passionate and versatile artist, his dedication to the craft of direction and choreography is evident not just in his own work but in his support of future generations of directors and choreographers. His passion for theatre is infectious, he truly inspires those around him both artistically and with his deep personal commitment to the philanthropic efforts of this community,” remarked Karen Azenberg, President of SDCF and SDC, the labor union representing professional stage directors and choreographers.
Joy Abbott, the widow of George Abbott, is delighted with this year’s selection of Jerry Mitchell. “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.”
In response to hearing of his selection by SDCF, Mitchell stated, “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.”
Jerry Mitchell has had an outstanding crossover career working successfully as both a Choreographer and Director. He received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for choreographing the 2005 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of La Cage aux Folles, and was nominated for the Tony as choreographer of Legally Blonde and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Currently, Jerry is directing and choreographing the forthcoming Broadway production of Kinky Boots, a new musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and a score by Cyndi Lauper with a planned opening on Broadway in April 2013, as well as The Honeymooners, a new musical based on the iconic Jackie Gleason television series. Jerry made his Broadway and West End debuts as Director of Legally Blonde, which received an Olivier Award for Best Musical. He has also served as choreographer and was nominated for both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his choreography, as well as the Drama Desk Award for his direction. He has received Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle and Astaire Award nominations for choreographing Hairspray and Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations for choreographing The Full Monty and Never Gonna Dance. On Broadway, Jerry choreographed the hit revivals of Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters, The Rocky Horror Show (Drama Desk nomination) and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; as well as Hedwig and the Angry Inch, both on stage and film.
He has choreographed for films including Scent of a Women and for television working as staff Choreographer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and was Emmy-nominated for his work on The Drew Carey Show.
Twenty years ago while dancing on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies, Jerry conceived and created Broadway Bares, a comedy burlesque show performed annually for the charity, Broadway Cares. The fundraising efforts have brought more than ten million dollars to Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. Jerry also proudly serves on the board of BC/EFA.
|Previous “Mr. Abbott” Award winners|
|1988||Agnes de Mille|
|1999||Twenty-One for the 21st: Vinnette Carroll, Zelda Fichandler, Peter Gennaro, Gillian Lynne, Marshall W. Mason, Andrei Serban|
|2000||Celebrate Cy! (Cy Feuer’s 90th Birthday)|
|2005||Kathleen & Rob Marshall|
|2011||George C. Wolfe|
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