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A Film by Michael Kantor


Choreographers, Directors & Producers

Michael Kidd

An important choreographer, director, and dancer who pioneered a joyful and energetic style of dancing. Kidd was a soloist with the Ballet Theatre (later called the American Ballet Theatre) before making his Broadway debut as choreographer with “Finian’s Rainbow” in 1947. He won a Tony Award for his work on that show, and earned four more during the ’50s for “Guys and Dolls” (1950), “Can-Can” (1953), “Li’l Abner” (1956), and “Destry Rides Again” (1959). His other shows around that time were “Hold It,” “Love Life,” and “Arms and the Girl.” From “Li’l Abner” onward he also directed, and sometimes produced, most of the shows on which he worked, but it was as a choreographer of apparently limitless invention that he dominated the Broadway musical during the ’50s.

Michael Kidd

Born: August 12, 1919
Key Shows
  • "Can-Can"
  • "Destry Rides Again"
  • "Finian's Rainbow"
  • "Guys and Dolls"
  • "Li'l Abner"
  • "The Rothchilds"
Related Artists
  • Bock and Harnick
  • E.Y. "Yip" Harburg
  • Alan Jay Lerner
  • Frank Loesser
  • David Merrick
  • Cole Porter
  • Harold Rome
  • Gwen Verdon

In the ’60s and early ’70s he worked on productions such as “Wildcat,” “Subways Are for Sleeping,” “Here’s Love,” “Ben Franklin in Paris,” “Skyscraper,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (which closed during previews), “The Rothschilds” (1970), “Cyrano,” and a revival of “Good News” (1974). Kidd also filled the big screen with his brilliant and exuberant dance sequences in classic Hollywood musicals such as THE BAND WAGON, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, and HELLO, DOLLY! He co-starred with Gene Kelly and Dan Dailey in IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, and appeared in several other films, including MOVIE MOVIE, an affectionate parody of a typical ’30s double feature that went largely unappreciated in 1979. However, recognition of his immense contribution to the screen musical came in 1997 when he received a special Honorary Academy Award.

Source: Biographical information provided by MUZE. Excerpted from the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POPULAR MUSIC, edited by Colin Larkin. © 2004 MUZE UK Ltd.

Photo credits: Photofest