Nicholas Dante

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Nicholas Dante
BornConrado Morales
(1941-11-22)November 22, 1941
New York, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 21, 1991(1991-05-21) (aged 49)
New York, New York, U.S.
NationalityPuerto Rican-American
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize for Drama (1976)
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (1976)
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical (1976)

Nicholas Dante (November 22, 1941[1] – May 21, 1991[2]) was an American dancer and writer, best known for having co-written the book of the musical A Chorus Line. He was the first Latino to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[3][4]


Born Conrado Morales in New York City to Puerto Rican parents,[5] his early career was spent dancing in the chorus of Broadway musicals such as Applause and Ambassador.

In 1974, he was approached by his friend Michael Bennett who invited him to the sessions which led to the basis of material for the book of a musical about Broadway "gypsies", the dancers who serve as a backdrop for the leading performers. Eventually, collaborating with James Kirkwood Jr., the result was A Chorus Line, which earned him the 1976 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In particular, the story of Paul, the gay Puerto Rican dancer whose early career consisted of working in a drag show, was based primarily on Dante. The actor who originated the role with the famous monologue, Sammy Williams, won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical award in 1976 for the role. Dante played the role himself later on.

He authored a screenplay, Fake Lady, and a stage musical based on the life of entertainer Al Jolson entitled Jolson Tonight, but never again achieved the success he did with A Chorus Line.[6]


Dante died on May 21, 1991, aged 49, from AIDS-related complications in New York City.[2]


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index Search
  2. ^ a b Nicholas Dante, 49; Dancer and a Writer Of 'A Chorus Line from New York Times, 22 May 1991
  3. ^ "The 1976 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Drama" from The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  4. ^ Sandoval-Sánchez, Alberto (1999). José, Can You See? Latinos on and Off Broadway. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 9780299162047.
  5. ^ Schmitt, Natalie Crohn (1990). Actors and Onlookers: Theater and Twentieth-century Scientific Views of Nature. Northwestern University Press. ISBN 9780810108363.
  6. ^ "Ovrtur : the musicals of New York, London and beyond". Ovrtur. Retrieved 2017-12-07.