Answers4Dancers is proud to announce that Michelle West is making her Broadway debut this month! We caught up with Michelle for some details on how she booked the role of Swing in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. Here’s what she shared with us!
You know when they say ‘the best things come when you least expect it’ … Well that’s what this Broadway debut was for me.
I was just finishing up the workshop of the new musical Goddess and I was auditioning for Christmas shows. My last thought was that Broadway was going to call. I was completely content with fulfilling my goals of training for a body building competition. Well, I guess that’s going to have to be put on hold!
When you work hard and are kind to people the best things are yet to come. I’m a testament of hard work pays off. I’m blessed to be joining the cast and company of Tina and growing in my career!
We met you long ago, Michelle, at an Answers4dancers workshop with A4D founder and award-winning choreographer Grover Dale … We all saw something special in you then … and look at you now!
Editor’s Note: When the industry shutdown ended Michelle’s time with the Aladdin national tour, she turned her efforts toward a new endeavor. Using her skills as a certified fitness expert, Michelle launched a motivational YouTube channel. She poured herself into creating her brand and now has an impressive following. Be sure to check it out for incredible tips you can use!
DANCING WITH THE STARS: THE FIRST EVER BRITNEY NIGHT Derek Hough was not in the ballroom for week 3. For the first time in the history of DWTS, a contestant and his partner were allowed to stay in the competition while dancing remotely since they both tested positive last week for COVID-19. They performed a split-screen jazz combo live from both coasts. The top scoring dances of the night were tied with 24 of 30 points. They were danced by two professional dancers and a total newbie. Jojo Siwa and Jenna Johnson performed a powerful Argentine Tango to Hit Me Baby One More Time. Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten performed an impressive Cha Cha to Circus. Finally, Birthday girl Olivia Jade and Val Chmerkovskiy performed to Hold It Against Me. Len Goodman called their dance a proper tango full of attack. The bottom two couples were Bing Empire star Christine Chiu and partner Pasha Pashkov, and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore and partner Brandon Armstrong. Inaba and Tonioli chose to save Kenya. That meant DWTS super fan Christine was sent home. We learned from Goodman that he disagreed with the other judges and would have saved Christine. Can’t help wonder how Derek Hough would have decided and if his absence affected the outcome. Look for Disney Night next week! It also comes with a Mickey dance challenge that will have to be incorporated into each dance.
SAVION GLOVER & TONY GOLDWYN TO CO-DIRECT PAL JOEY ON BROADWAY Pal Joey, the Richard Rodgers, John O’Hara, and Lorenz Hart classic musical, will get a reimagined Broadway revival next season. Richard LaGravenese, who wrote The Fisher King,The Bridges of Madison County, Behind the Candelabra, and more, brings a rewritten book to the musical. Tony Goldwyn and Tony winner Savion Glover will co-direct with Glover serving as choreographer. Known for its 1957 film adaptation, starring Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth, Pal Joey tells the story of a wise-cracking, womanizing singer who romances a wealthy widow to get her to finance a nightclub of his own. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1940 and has had four Broadway revivals, the most recent in 2009 and starred Stockard Channing, Matthew Risch, and Martha Plimpton.
ALADDIN CANCELS, PERFORMANCES SET TO RESUME ON OCTOBER 12 Following Aladdin’s shining, shimmering, splendid reopening on September 28 at the New Amsterdam Theatre, the hit show was forced to cancel performances through October 10 due to detected breakthrough COVID-19 cases. Performances are scheduled to resume on October 12 at 7pm. The wellness and safety of guests, cast, and crew was being the prudent decision to cancel performances between October 1 through October 10. The next planned performance is Tuesday, October 12 at 7pm. The 12-day pause allows the Aladdin company to ensure people with breakthroughs recover, and any other potential breakthroughs are identified before the Aladdin company gathers again.
CATS TOUR ANNOUNCES CAST & DATES The national touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats has resumed performances at RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, New York and will visit more than 50 cities in the 2021-2022 season. The cast includes Vinny Andaloro, Zach Bravo, Chelsea Nicole Mitchell, Lexy Bittner, Taylor James Rosenberger, Lauren Louis, Tayler Harris, Kayli Jamison, Michelle E. Carter, Paul Giarratano, Max Craven, Devon McCleskey, John Anker Bow, Aiden Pressel, Dominic Fortunato, Kelly Donah, Brianna Kim, Christopher Salvaggio, Alexia Waites, Sean McManus, Indalecio De Jesús Valentín, and Hyla Mayrose Perillo. Cats features choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne, and direction by Trevor Nunn.
NADINA HASSAN TO LEAD AS REGINA GEORGE IN MEAN GIRLS NATIONAL TOUR Mean Girls will resume performances on November 2 at ASU Gammage in Tempe, Arizona before heading out on a multi-city tour. Original tour cast members returning include Danielle Wade as Cady Heron, Megan Masako Haley as Gretchen Wieners, Jonalyn Saxer as Karen Smith, Mary Kate Morrisey as Janis Sarkisian, Eric Huffman as Damian Hubbard, Adante Carter as Aaron Samuels, Kabie Bery as Kevin Gnapoor, and Lawrence E. Street as Mr. Duvall. New to the company are Nadina Hassan, who will lead the Plastics as Regina George and April Josephine who will play Mrs. Heron / Ms. Norbury / Mrs. George. Mean Girls opened on Broadway in April 2018 and earned 12 Tony nominations. Paramount Pictures is working on movie adaptation of the hit musical based on the popular Tina Fey movie of the same name.
Broadway alum Nick Jonas, and his wife, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, have joined the producing team of Douglas Lyons’Chicken & Biscuits. Norm Lewis, Michael Urie, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Cleo King, and more star in the comedy that will open at the Circle in the Square Theatre on October 10…
CONOR RYAN & COURTNEY REED TO LEAD MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL NATIONAL TOUR
Conor Ryan and Courtney Reed will lead the national tour of the Tony-winning Moulin Rouge! The Musical as Christian and Satine. The tour launches on February 26, 2022 at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre before a multi-city tour. Reed originated the role of Princess Jasmine in Broadway’s Aladdin plus In the Heights and Mamma Mia! on Broadway. Ryan made his Broadway debut in 2013’s Cinderella. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is based on Baz Luhrmann’s hit 2001 film. The show features a book by John Logan and a score of hit pop music from the past 50 years. Alex Timbers directs the production, which features choreography by Sonya Tayeh. Moulin Rouge! opened on July 25, 2019 and won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
THE PROM TOUR ANNOUNCES CAST & DATES
The national touring production of The Prom will officially open at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio on November 2. The musical comedy will visit more than 20 cities across the country. The tour stars Kaden Kearney as Emma, Kalyn West as Alyssa Greene, Courtney Balan as Dee Dee Allen, Patrick Wetzel as Barry Glickman, Emily Borromeo as Angie Dickinson, Bud Weber as Trent Oliver, Sinclair Mitchell as Mr. Hawkins, Ashanti J’Aria as Mrs. Greene, and Shavey Brown as Sheldon Saperstein. Directed and choreographed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw, The Prom features a book by Tony nominee Chad Beguelin and Tony winner Bob Martin. It opened on Broadway in November 2018 and was nominated for six 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
AARON DE JESUS ANNOUNCED FOR OFF-BROADWAY RETURN OF JERSEY BOYS
The Tony-winning hit Jersey Boys will return to off-Broadway’s New World Stages on November 15. Returning to Jersey Boys will be Aaron De Jesus as Frankie Valli, Jonathan Cable as Nick Massi, CJ Pawlikowski as Bob Gaudio, and John Rochette as Tommy DeVito. The musical arrived at New World Stages following an almost-12-year run at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre. Jersey Boys is packed with hits, including Sherry, Walk Like a Man, December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You, Who Loves You, and more. The show won four 2006 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
A third installment of the Sister Act movies is in development. Broadway alum and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series writer and executive producer Tim Federle will direct. Sister Act 3 will star EGOT’er Whoopi Goldberg and feature a script by Madhuri ShekarGoldberg.Tyler Perry and Tom Leonardis will produce…