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    Updated Decemeber 5, 2007

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LEGALLY BLONDE Receives Equity's ACCA Award For Outstanding Broadway Chorus


Outstanding Broadway Chorus in the 2006-2007 season
Photo: Paul Kolnik

LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL has received the first ACCA (Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs) Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. This is the first ever industry award to honor the distinctive talents and contributions made by the chorus. The presentation was made at the ACCA meeting on October 23, 2007.

Recipients of the Award were: 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.

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"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. In making their decision, the ACCA discussed what was required of each of the choruses from the director, the choreographer and the musical director and the exemplary skill 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 made to the overall production".

He then introduced several guest speakers including the production's Associate Director, Mark Bruni, who read a letter of congratulations from Director-Choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who could not attend. Producer Hal Luftig and Executive Director John Connolly were on hand to add their comments and praise for the recipients.

"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 Executive Director John P. Connolly. LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL has a terrific cast and the chorus richly deserves this award".

As a special treat, Vice President Richard had invited the "Queen of the Gypsies" herself, Chita Rivera, to assist in handing out the Awards. But rehearsal conflicts for her cabaret show at Feinstein's prevented her from being there. She graciously sent a letter of congratulations to the chorus of LEGALLY BLONDE. Veteran Broadway dancer (and ACCA member) Richard Korthaze, who performed alongside Chita in the original production of CHICAGO, then read the letter to the crowd: "Congratulation to the chorus of LEGALLYBLONDE. To be in the chorus is something very special. It teaches you to share, as one body of energy, supporting each other and the production. It makes you aware of others and, unified, helping to make your future strong and more confident. A Gypsy is a good thing. LONG LIVE US GYPSIES. Love, Chita".

A luncheon followed the ceremony.




(front row, left to right) Equity President Mark Zimmerman with cast members April Berry, Beth Curry, Amber Efe, Gaelen Gilliland, Kate Wetherhead, Michelle Kittrell and Associate Producer Marc Bruni; (back row, left to right) cast members Kevin Pariseau, Paul Canaan, Andy Karl, Matt Risch, Jason Patrick Sands, Rod Harrelson,Legally Blonde Producer Hal Luftig and Equity Second Vice President and ACCA Chair Jean-Paul Richard





 
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