Andy Blankenbuehler (born March 7, 1970) is an American dancer, choreographer and director primarily for stage and concerts. He has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Choreography five times, and has won three times: for In the Heights (2008), Hamilton (2016), and Bandstand (2017). Blankenbuehler's other Broadway choreography work includes 9 to 5, Bring it On: The Musical, and the 2016 Cats revival. Blankenbuehler was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor in 2018. He is currently choreographing the movie version of Cats.
Life and career
Blankenbuehler was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a 1988 graduate of St. Xavier High School and 1984 graduate of Nativity School in Cincinnati. He received his bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
His Broadway work as a choreographer includes the musicals In the Heights (2007–08) and 9 to 5 (2008–09). He won the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for his choreography for In the Heights. Other New York work includes choreography for the "Broadway By The Year:1930, 1938 and 1978" series, and the City Center Encores! productions of The Apple Tree (2006) and The Wiz (2009). He is the director and choreographer of Bring It On: The Musical, written by Jeff Whitty, with music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Amanda Green, which premiered at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia, in January 16, 2011. This production also performed at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles where Blankenbuehler won the 2011 L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography.
Additionally, Blankenbuehler choreographed the Frank Wildhorn world premiere production of Waiting for the Moon. The show featured 6 full-length dance sequences, including one that lasted over 10 minutes. He was nominated for a Barrymore Award for Choreographing the show.
Blankenbuehler appears briefly in the 2008 documentary "Every Little Step" about the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, with his Polaroid shown as one of the people being cut from a callback for the show.
He choreographed the 2012 Broadway revival of Annie. He is the choreographer for the musical Hamilton (2015), both Off-Broadway and on Broadway. He received a special 2015 Drama Desk Award for Hamilton. The award was described: "For his inspired and heart-stopping choreography in Hamilton, which is indispensable to the musical's storytelling. His body of work is versatile, yet a dynamic and fluid style is consistently evident. When it's time to 'take his shot,' Blankenbuehler hits the bull's-eye." His choreography for Hamilton won the Tony Award for Best Choreography in 2016.
He is both directing and choreographing a new musical, Bandstand, which premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse (New Jersey) in October 2015. The music is by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Oberacker. He directed and choreographed a developmental lab of this musical in August and September 2014, then titled Bandstand: A Musical.
In 2016, Blankenbuehler choreographed the revival of the movie Dirty Dancing starring Abigail Breslin and Shane Harper. He also choreographed the revival of the Broadway musical Cats with previews beginning July 14 and an August 2 opening.
Awards and nominations
|2006||Barrymore Award||Outstanding Choreography/Movement||Waiting for the Moon||Nominated|
|2007||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Choreography||In the Heights||Won|
|2008||Tony Award||Best Choreography||Won|
|2009||9 to 5||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Choreography||Nominated|
|2011||Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award||Best Choreography||Bring It On||Won|
|2013||Tony Award||Best Choreography||Nominated|
|2015||Drama Desk Award||Special Award||Hamilton||Won|
|2016||Tony Award||Best Choreography||Won|
|2017||Tony Award||Best Choreography||Bandstand||Won|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Choreography||Won|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Choreographer||Nominated|
|2018||Olivier Award||Best Theatre Choreographer||Hamilton||Won|
|Kennedy Center Honors||(shared with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire and Thomas Kail)||Hamilton||Won|||
- Biography broadwayworld.com, accessed February 26, 2009
- Demaline, Jackie (2007-05-13). "St. X alumnus wins choreography award" (fee required). The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. p. D5. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
A standing O to Cincinnati native and St. Xavier High School grad Andy Blankenbuehler, who won New York theater's Lucille Lortel Award last week as choreographer of off-Broadway hit 'In the Heights,' booked at the 37 Arts Theatre through July 15.
- "Andy Blankenbuehler". IBDB: Internet Broadway Database. Broadway League.
- Biography broadwaydancecenter.com, accessed February 26, 2009
- Gans, Andrew."The Wiz Ends Limited City Center Engagement July 5" Archived July 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, July 5, 2009
- Jones, Kenneth; Hetrick, Adam. "Something to Cheer About: Bring It On: The Musical Begins Atlanta Run Jan. 16 After Ice Delay" playbill.com, January 16, 2011
- Buehler, Patti."Waiting for the Moon, An Interview with Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy" broadwayworld.com, July 28, 2005
- "Andy Blankenbuehler Choreographer, Performer, Director". playbillvault.com. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- "Andy Blankenbuehler Off-Broadway" lortel.org, accessed September 27, 2015
- "Hamilton's Andy Blankenbuehler Offers Moving Speech at 60th Annual Drama Desk Awards" theatremania.com, June 2, 2015
- Simoes, Monica. "See Laura Osnes and Corey Cott Go 1940s in Bandstand Musical Rehearsals! " Playbill, September 25, 2015
- Gans, Andrew. "Tony Winner Andy Blankenbuehler Will Helm NYC Workshop of 'Bandstand: A Musical' Playbill, May 27, 2014
- Gans, Andrew (July 25, 2018). "Hamilton Creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire Will Receive Special Kennedy Center Honors". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-07-26.