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Dennis Grimaldi is an American theatrical producer, director and choreographer who has worked on Broadway, Off Broadway, television and on London's West End. His work includes Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes and Annie Warbucks. Mrimaldi Choreographed the Touring Companies of Gigi starring French film and Broadway actor, Jean Pierre Aumont,The Robber Bridegroom with John Goodman, The Musical The Red Bluegrass Western Flyer show, And Broadway with Chris Sarandon, Gilda Radner, Teri Garr and Jill O'Hara directed by George Abbott among others.
Early life and education
Grimaldi was born in Melrose Park, Illinois and is a graduate of Proviso East High School, in Maywood, Illinois, school mates included Dennis Franz (Schlacta), Mark Lamos, John Prine, Shelia Johnson (Crump) <Provi Yearbook,1962, 1963, 1964, 1965>. He studied dance at the Stone-Camryn School and Gail Larry School, Ronn Forella, Luigi and with John Aristides, and Jack Cole. Under the tutelage of the Tony Award-winning Russian actress Eugenie Leontovich, Dr. John Reich and Dr. Charles McGaw, he graduated on scholarship from The Theatre School of DePaul University (The Goodman School of Drama), and also studied at Indiana University. As an actor and dancer, he co-starred with Hiram Sherman in the Feydeau farce A Flea in Her Ear, in Caesar and Cleopatra with Carrie Snodgress and Murray Matheson, in The Sound of Music with Dorothy Collins, in Funny Girl with Mimi Hines, the pre-Broadway tour of Wright and Forrest's musical A Song for Cyrano (Cyrano) starring and directed by José Ferrer, and Follies, to name a few. As a dancer, he also appeared in Man of La Mancha, Hello, Dolly!, Promises, Promises, Sugar and other productions.
After a career as a dancer and actor, he began directing and choreographing and in 1989 he formed Dennis Grimaldi Productions, pursuing an active career as a stage producer as well as television. For the stage, he first worked as an Associate to the Producers on the Broadway production of A. R. Gurney's Sweet Sue starring Mary Tyler Moore and Lynn Redgrave. He was Executive Producer for the television film of the Sondheim/Laurents/Styne Musical Gypsy which was filmed live at the Savoy Theatre in London and starred Olivier-winner Imelda Staunton, As a producer for Broadway, productions include The Heidi Chronicles (2015) with Elisabeth Moss, Jason Biggs and Bryce Pinkham, the Bernstein/Comden/Green musical On the Town 2014 revival, and The Realistic Joneses starring Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei. In 2014 he won the Grand Slam of theater awards, the Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards for "Best Musical" for the Broadway production of A Gentleman's Guide To Love and Murder starring Tony winner Jefferson Mays.
His other Broadway productions include the Deaf West Broadway revival production of Spring Awakening; Love Letters, directed by Gregory Mosher and starring a rotating cast: Mia Farrow, Brian Dennehy, Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Stacy Keach, Dame Diana Rigg, Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen; the musical revival of On the Town, also producer of the US national tour of Ghost, adapted for the stage by Bruce Joel Rubin, directed by Matthew Warchus, music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glenn Ballard, and the Australian tour of Driving Miss Daisy starring Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones and Boyd Gaines. He is co-producer of the Tony-winning George and Ira Gershwin musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It, with a book by Joe DiPietro. The musical received 10 Tony nominations, 9 Drama Desk nominations and 9 Outer Critics Circle nominations. It stars two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick, Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara and Academy Award winner and Tony nominee Estelle Parsons; directed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
For the 2011 season he was involved with the highly successful musical production tour of A Christmas Story (Karen Mason and John Bolton); a Broadway version opened in November 2012, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre starring Dan Lauria as Jean Shepard, John Bolton, and Erin Dilly; directed by John Rando, it was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Musical In the fall of 2012. He was to co-produce the musical Rebecca based on the Daphne du Maurier novel, directed by Tony Award-winning Michael Blakemore, but the production was stalled due to the collapse of a Ponzi scheme by an investment team which collected tens of thousands of dollars from the production with the promise of deep-pocketed investors. The team, Mark and Sherri Hotton, were caught and arrested and charged with wire fraud and awaited sentencing as of November 2012.
Other productions on Broadway and Off-Broadway included the 2011 Broadway revival of the Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell; Leslie Jordon's My Trip Down The Pink Carpet; also Angels in America (Ron Liebman, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeffrey Wright); Other People's Money (Mercedes Ruehl, Outer Critic Award); the Olivier Award-winning Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Rondi Reed); Girl's Room (with Carol Lawrence and Donna McKechnie); Sally Marr (with Joan Rivers, Tony nomination); Grace & Glorie (with Lucie Arnaz and Estelle Parsons); Tom Stoppard's Artist Descending a Staircase (Harold Gould, John McMartin); The High Rollers (Tony nomination for Vivian Reed), The Boys in the Band revival (with Michael Siebert an Obie Award); Any Given Day (with Sada Thompson) and Party, London's Evening Standard Award-winning Burning Blue (Chad Lowe). Also the musicals Nunsense Jamboree, Fanny Hill and Annie Warbucks (Harve Presnell and Donna McKechnie (Outer Critics Award) , which had the distinction to also perform for the White House, Like Love by Lewis Flinn and Barry Kaplan; the musical adaptation of A.R. Gurney's Richard Cory by Ed Dixon; among others.
He has also been associated with Emanuel Azenberg on the Neil Simon productions of Lost in Yonkers (Kevin Spacey, Mercedes Ruehl) and London Suite (Carole Shelley, Jeffrey Jones) as well as the Broadway production Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life with The Producer Circle and David Mamet's The Cryptogram (Felicity Huffman, Ed Begley, Jr.) and, in 2015, the Broadway production of Terrance McNally's It's Only a Play starring Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint and F. Murray Abraham. His many London productions on the West End and The Fringe include The Boys in the Band, Stephen Sondheim's Marry Me A Little (choreographer/associate director), actor Jack Gilford in Look To the Rainbow (choreographer/associate director) and John Lahr's Diary of a Somebody. He produced the Martin Charnin revue Something Funny's Going On. He was an associate on the Off-Broadway production of Oblivion Postponed by Ron Newseyer, directed by Nicholas Martin. He was an associate producer for Candid Productions, a television production company, for 15 years; producing programming for ABC, NBC and HBO. He was awarded the Robert Whitehead Award for Excellence in Theatre Production, the NY Film and Television Gold Medal Awards, the Outer Critics Awards and the Carbonell Award. Productions have also earned The Drama Desk, Drama League and Tony Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize.