Actors' Equity Association's Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA) has chosen the winner of the new ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus in the 2006-2007 season: Legally Blonde: The Musical. This is the first industry award of its type to honor the distinctive talents and contributions made by the chorus. The award ceremony will be held at the October 23rd ACCA meeting at Equity's headquarters in New York City.
The winners of the ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus, all of whom were part of the chorus on Legally Blonde: The Musical's opening night, are: April Berry, Paul Canaan, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Beth Curry, Tracy Jai Edwards, Amber Efé, Gaelen Gilliland, Jason Gillman, Becky Gulsvig, Rod Harrelson, Manuel Herrera, Andy Karl, Nick Kenkel, Michelle Kittrell, Rusty Mowery, Kevin Pariseau, Matthew Risch, Jason Patrick Sands, Noah Weisberg and Kate Wetherhead.
"This award honors the contributions made by the hard working men and women of the chorus and is the first to ever do so," said Equity Second Vice President and ACCA Chair, Jean-Paul Richard. "All the choruses on Broadway are incredibly talented and versatile and it was a tough decision. The chorus of Legally Blonde: The Musical really exemplified for us what it takes to be outstanding in a Broadway musical."
Of the thirteen chorus musicals in the 2006-2007 season, five were nominated: Curtains, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Mary Poppins, The Pirate Queen and The Times They Are A-Changin'. In making their decision, the ACCA painstakingly discussed what was required of each of the choruses from the director, the choreographer and the musical director and the exemplary skill they used to execute those requirements. The Committee, which is comprised of Equity members who work under Chorus contracts, then deliberated on the technical skill required by the chorus actor and the contributions the entire chorus makes to the overall production.
"Members of Equity are talented, dedicated professionals who light up the Broadway stage and it is exciting to see the versatility and creativity of the chorus," said John P. Connolly, Equity's Executive Director. "Legally Blonde: The Musical has a terrific cast and the chorus richly deserves this award."
Legally Blonde: The Musical, which stars Laura Bell Bundy, opened on Broadway on April 29, 2007 and is based on the popular MGM movie. The story follows sorority star Elle Woods who won't take "no" for an answer. So when her boyfriend dumps her for someone more "serious," Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before: Harvard Law. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to oneself never goes out of style. At the helm of the creative team is Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, who directs and choreographs. Music and lyrics are by both Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and the book is by Heather Hach.
Actors' Equity Association, founded in 1913, represents more than 46,000 professional stage actors and stage managers nationwide. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.