September 7, 1946 |
|Occupation||Theatre, film director|
|Spouse(s)||Jill Rose (2 children)|
Jerry Zaks (born September 7, 1946) is a German-born American stage and television director, and actor. He won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play and Drama Desk Award for directing The House of Blue Leaves, Lend Me A Tenor, and Six Degrees of Separation and the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical and Drama Desk Award for Guys and Dolls.
Life and career
Zaks was born in Stuttgart, Germany, the son of Holocaust survivors, Lily (Gliksman) and Sy Zaks, a butcher. His family emigrated to the United States in 1948, finally settling in Paterson, New Jersey. He graduated from Dartmouth College and received a Master of Fine Arts from Smith College.
He made his Broadway acting debut in the original production of Grease as "Kenickie" and appeared in Tintypes in 1980. He made his directing debut in 1981 with the off-Broadway production of Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy. He has directed many Broadway productions, both musicals and dramas.
He has also directed many Off-Broadway productions, several at Playwrights Horizons and the Public Theater. He directed the City Center Encores! productions of Girl Crazy (November 2009), Stairway to Paradise (May 2007), and Bye Bye Birdie (May 2004).
He was the director of the new musical 101 Dalmatians Musical, which toured the United States from October 2009 through April 2010. Zaks was named "creative consultant" for the new musical The Addams Family, which opened on Broadway in April 2010.
- Lincoln Center
- Television and film
As an actor, Zaks' screen credits include Outrageous Fortune, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Husbands and Wives. On television he has appeared in M*A*S*H and The Edge of Night and directed episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Hope and Faith, and Two and a Half Men, among others. He also directed the feature films Marvin's Room and Who Do You Love?. Marvin's Room won the Golden St. George at the 20th Moscow International Film Festival.
Zaks received the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater in 1994 and an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Dartmouth College in 1999. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2013.
Zaks married Jill Rose, an actress, on January 14, 1979; they have two children, Emma and Hannah Zaks.
Broadway stage productions
- Sister Act, 2011
- A Bronx Tale, 2007
- The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, 2006
- La Cage aux Folles, 2004
- Little Shop of Horrors, 2003
- 45 Seconds from Broadway, 2001
- The Man Who Came to Dinner, 2000
- Swing!, 1999
- Epic Proportions, 1999
- The Civil War, 1999
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, revival, 1996
- Smokey Joe's Cafe, 1995
- Laughter on the 23rd Floor, 1993
- Guys and Dolls, revival, 1992
- Six Degrees of Separation, 1990
- Lend Me a Tenor, 1989
- Anything Goes, revival, 1987
- The Front Page, revival, 1986
- The House of Blue Leaves, 1986
Awards and nominations
- 1986 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play - The Marriage of Bette & Boo and The House of Blue Leaves
- 1986 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play - The House of Blue Leaves
- 1989 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play - Lend Me a Tenor
- 1989 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play - Lend Me a Tenor
- 1991 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play - Six Degrees of Separation
- 1991 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play - Six Degrees of Separation
- 1992 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical - Guys and Dolls
- 1992 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Guys and Dolls
- 1988 Outer Critics Circle Awards - Wenceslas Square
- 1985 Obie - The Marriage of Bette and Boo
- 1985 Obie - The Foreigner
- 1980 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical - Tintypes
- 1988 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical - Anything Goes
- 1988 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Anything Goes
- 1991 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical - Assassins
- 1995 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - Smokey Joe's Cafe
- 1996 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
- 2006 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play - The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
- NAACP Image Award nomination for the national tour of The Tap Dance Kid.
- Rothstein, Mervyn."Stage Struck" cigaraficionado.com, March/April 1998
- Hernandez, Ernio and Hetrick, Adam."They've Got Rhythm: Gasteyer, Knight, Kudisch Lead Gershwin's Girl Crazy for Encores! Nov. 19-22" playbill.com, Nov 19, 2009
- Gans, Andrew."Casting Complete for Encores! Stairway to Paradise" playbill.com, April 19, 2007
- Brantley, Ben."ReviewThe New York Times, May 8, 2004
- Hetrick, Adam and Jones, Kenneth."101 Dalmatians: The Musical Tour to Launch in Minneapolis; Will Play NYC" playbill.com, July 9, 2009
- Jones, Kenneth."Zaks Is New Patriarch of Addams Family; Previews Will Now Begin March 8" playbill.comDecember 29, 2009
- SISTER ACT Confirms Broadway for Spring 2011; Zaks to Direct
- Biography playbill.com, accessed January 30, 2010
- "20th Moscow International Film Festival (1997)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "Cherry Jones, Ellen Burstyn, Cameron Mackintosh and More Inducted Into Broadway's Theater Hall of Fame". www.theatermania.com. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Biography filmreference.com, accessed January 30, 2010