The Heart of Rock and Roll Wins ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus from Actors' Equity Association

New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has announced that the chorus of the Broadway musical The Heart of Rock and Roll will receive the 2024 ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus.

Presented by Equity’s Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs, the ACCA Award is the only industry accolade of its kind to honor the distinctive talents and contributions made by the original chorus members of a Broadway musical.

The 17 individual recipients of the 2024 ACCA Award – all of whom were part of The Heart of Rock and Roll chorus on the musical’s April 22, 2024 Broadway opening night – are Mike Baerga, Tommy Bracco, TyNia René Brandon, Olivia Cece, Taylor Marie Daniel, Autumn Guzzardi, Lindsay Joan, Ross Lekites, Robin Masella, Kara Menendez, Joe Moeller, Jennifer Noble, Fredric Odgaard, Michael Olaribigbe, Kevin Pariseau, Robert Pendilla and Leah Read.

“This season has been an incredibly exciting one for the chorus with more eligible companies than any other year since the ACCA Award began,” said Actors’ Equity Association 2nd Vice President Al Bundonis, chair of the ACCA. “There is extraordinary work being done by chorus members across Broadway, but at the James Earl Jones, this chorus lights up the stage with their versatility and creativity.

“They bring to life the distinct personality of The Heart of Rock and Roll. Their voices, their bodies, their hearts, their souls and all their incredible artistic skills create the world in which this story is told. Through the chorus, the heart of the 1980s is still beating. The chorus is essential to the storytelling of this production.”

“Our extraordinary ensemble gives one thousand percent nightly,” said Lorin Latarro, choreographer of The Heart of Rock and Roll. “This special group came to rehearsals with open hearts and lots of laughter. Creating the show was a joy and when you see them onstage, that joy is clearly palpable. Incredible singers, actors, dancers, gymnasts… AND they are all very funny!”

Voters for this award were Equity chorus councilors, members of the ACCA and previous recipients of Equity’s Legacy Robe, which is awarded to the member of the chorus in each show who has the most Broadway chorus credits. In reviewing each nominated chorus, voters considered the chorus requirements made by each production’s director, choreographer and musical director; the caliber of technical skill used to execute those requirements; and the unique contributions made by the entire chorus to the overall production.

The chorus members of The Heart of Rock and Roll will receive their award at this year’s Actors’ Equity Foundation Awards at a ceremony on June 24 in New York City. Members of the public can tune in to the event via a livestream at 6 p.m. (details forthcoming).

The Heart of Rock and Roll production photos are available here.

Previous recipients of the ACCA award are the original chorus members of Legally Blonde (2007), In the Heights (2008), West Side Story (2009), Fela! (2010), The Scottsboro Boys (2011), Newsies (2012), Pippin (2013), Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (2014), An American in Paris (2015), Shuffle Along, Or The Making Of The Musical Sensation Of 1921 And All That Followed (2016), Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (2017), Once on This Island (2018), Hadestown (2019) and New York, New York (2023). In 2022, the ACCA issued two special awards, one to all the Broadway choruses working on the 2019-2020 season disrupted by the pandemic, and one for the choruses of the 2021–2022 season that brought Broadway back.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. #EquityWorks

June 14, 2024

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