March 9, 1959 |
New York City, New York
Lonny Price (born March 9, 1959) is an American actor, writer, and director, primarily in theatre. He is perhaps best known for his creation of the role of Charley Kringas in the Broadway musical Merrily We Roll Along. Eventually he moved into primarily directing for the stage and is now known for making statements on current events in versions of his musicals. His acclaimed May 2008 New York Philharmonic production of Camelot was making a statement about the current war including having different ethnicities and modernized characters. Mr. Price stated this in an interview before Camelot opened.
Early life and career
Price was born in New York City, the son of Edie L. (Greene), a merchandise manager, and Murray A. Price, a car leasing company owner. Price grew up in Metuchen, New Jersey. He attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts. His early career was spent performing in off-Broadway productions. His first major Broadway credit was the ill-fated Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along (1981), which underwent constant changes during an unusually long preview period and closed after only sixteen performances. He had better luck with his next project - the Athol Fugard play "Master Harold"...and the Boys, in which he portrayed a South African student opposite Danny Glover and Zakes Mokae as the family servants - which ran for eight months.
In 1989, he appeared as Jimmy Durante in the musical bio DURANTE. It was playing in San Francisco during the earthquake. Excellent in the role but Durante's life was uneventful and the musical closed on the road.
Price made his directorial debut with the off-Broadway revival of The Education of H* Y* M* A* N K* A* P* L* A* N, followed by The Rothschilds and Juno, both of which received Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Revival. His most significant off-Broadway performing credit is the William Finn – James Lapine musical Falsettoland.
He has also directed numerous musical productions, both concert and non-concert, with the New York Philharmonic, which include Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd with Patti LuPone and George Hearn, for which he won an Emmy Award, Leonard Bernstein's Candide, with Kristin Chenoweth, Sir Thomas Allen, Patti LuPone, and students from Juilliard and the Westminster Choir College Symphonic Choir, Passion with Patti LuPone, Camelot with Gabriel Byrne, Marin Mazzie, Christopher Lloyd, and Nathan Gunn, amongst other productions. In March 2010, he conceived and directed Sondheim! The Birthday Concert Live at Carnegie Hall, celebrating the famed composer-lyricist's 80th Birthday. The television broadcast was nominated for several Emmy Awards, and Mr. Price won for 'Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special'. April 2011 found him directing an acclaimed concert production of Sondheim's Company with Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Martha Plimpton, Christina Hendricks, and Patti LuPone, backed by the New York Philharmonic.
He has also directed numerous productions at the Chicago Ravinia Festival, including Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Sunday in the Park With George, Anyone Can Whistle, Passion, and Annie Get Your Gun. Frequent collaborators for his productions include Tony Award-winning performers Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Michael Cerveris, and George Hearn, and legendary musical director and conductor Paul Gemignani.
In 2000, Price co-wrote, directed, and starred in A Class Act, based on the life and career of composer – lyricist Edward Kleban, whose sole Broadway credit was A Chorus Line. The score consisted of songs Kleban had written for other shows that remained unproduced. After a two-month run at the Manhattan Theatre Club, it transferred to the Ambassador Theatre, where it fared less successfully and closed after three months. It earned Price his sole Tony Award nomination to date, for Best Book of a Musical. The show was also nominated for four other Tony Awards, including Best Musical. He also directed a Broadway revival of 110 in the Shade at the Roundabout Theatre Company in 2007, starring Audra McDonald.
Price served as Associate Artistic Director for the American Jewish Theatre from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s. He currently is resident director at Musical Theatre Works, the only non-profit theatre dedicated solely to the development of new musicals.
Price's limited film and television credits include small roles in The Muppets Take Manhattan and Dirty Dancing, and guest appearances on The Golden Girls and Law & Order. Behind the scenes, he was a staff director for the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, for which he was part of a team that received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Drama Series Directing in 1995.
- 2014: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (director)
- 2007: 110 in the Shade (director)
- 2005: Children and Art (performer)
- 2003: "MASTER HAROLD"...and the boys. (director)
- 2003: Urban Cowboy (director)
- 2001: A Class Act (director, writer, star)
- 1994: Sally Marr...and Her Escorts (co-writer with Joan Rivers and Erin Ladd Sanders; director)
- 1987: Broadway (actor - play)
- 1986: Rags (actor)
- 1987: Dirty Dancing (actor)
- 1981: Merrily We Roll Along (performer)
- 1981: The Survivor (performer)
- Price stages Camelot at NY Philharmonic, retrieved Feb. 28, 2009
- Gardner, Amanda. "THEATER; Tony Awards' New Jersey Ties", The New York Times, July 23, 2008.
- Gans, Andrew."Neil Patrick Harris to Star in New York Philharmonic Company Concerts" playbill.com, December 10, 2010
- Staff. "Patti LuPone Gets Ready for Company With Neil Patrick Harris" broadway.com, January 13, 2011
- A Class Act (2001) at IBDB
- 110 in the Shade, 2007 Broadway revival at IBDB
- One Life to Live (TV series) Awards and Nominations at IMDB
- Sally Marr... and Her Escorts (1994 Broadway play) at IBDB
- "Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze