Broadway Legend Tommy Tune and the Manhattan Rhythm Kings
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The last date listed for Tommy Tune and the Manhattan Rhythm Kings was Saturday June 11, 2005 / 8:00pm.
Currently at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall:
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If anyone can sweep an audience off its feet, it’s Tommy Tune joined by The Manhattan Rhythm Kings. Whether singing, dancing, directing, choreographing, or simply standing on a bare stage, in so many ways, Tommy Tune towers over other performers. He has won an astounding nine Tony Awards as the visionary force behind such beloved musicals as Nine, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, My One and Only, The Will Rogers Follies, Grand Hotel and many others. For his contributions as an entertainer, Tune has been deservedly inducted into both Broadway’s Theatre Hall of Fame and Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Tommy Tune, dancer, singer, choreographer and director is the winner of nine Tony Awards, and the only person in theatrical history to win in four different categories and to win the same two Tony Awards two years in a row.
Tommy danced onto the Broadway scene in the chorus of Baker Street in 1965 and hasn’t stopped since. He worked in the chorus’ of A Joyful Noise in 1967 and How Now Dow Jones in 1968. He garnered raves and his first Tony Award (Best Featured Actor in a Musical) in Michael Bennett’s Seesaw in 1973. Branching out, he directed his first show, the off-Broadway production of the ground breaking feminist musical The Club in 1976. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was his next venture followed by A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine and his second Tony (Best Choreography). Tommy returned to off-Broadway in 1981 to direct his highly acclaimed and controversial production of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9.
1982 brought Nine and his third Tony (Best Direction of a Musical). Mr. Tune pulled double duty in My One and Only and was rewarded with his fourth and fifth Tonys (Best Choreography, Best Actor in a Musical). He received his next two Tonys with Grand Hotel (Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical). The following year brought The Will Rogers Follies and his next two Tony Awards (Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical). Not satisfied to remain stationary, Mr. Tune returned to the stage in his acclaimed one-man song and dance extravaganza, Tommy Tune Tonite! first on Broadway and then touring nationally and internationally.
Mr. Tune is the recipient of eight Drama Desk Awards, two Obie Awards, Dance Magazine’s Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 1990 American Dance Award (presented by the National Academy of Dance); the 1990 Drama League Musical Theatre Award for Direction and Choreography; the Astaire Award in both 1990 and 1991; the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement, the University of Texas’ Distinguished Alumnus Award; and the Jean Cocteau International Style Award. He was also named to the Top 10 International Best Dressed List of 1992.
Andy Warhol once said that Tommy Tune “exudes a cultivated serenity and a genuine love of life.” And of his unique talents as a director/choreographer, the New York Times proclaimed: “Mr. Tune has reshuffled the elements of the old-style musical into state of the art.” The 6’6" tall Texan has been a fixture on Broadway since leaving Houston, where he began tap, acrobatics and ballet lessons at the age of 5. He majored in drama at the University of Texas and the University of Houston. Drama critic John Simon described him “as long on talent as on legs”, a sentiment echoed around the globe by critics and audiences alike.
Tune has shied away from Hollywood, appearing in only two films early in his career. He played Ambrose Kemper in the movie version of Hello Dolly!, directed by Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand; and, after working as assistant choreographer for The Dean Martin Show on television, he was featured in Ken Russell’s The Boyfriend, starring Twiggy. The two were reunited on Broadway in My One and Only.
Tune also toured the United States and Canada in the musical classic, Bye Bye Birdie, directed by Gene Saks.
Tommy Tune has been invited to sing and dance for three U. S. presidents, the Queen of England and the Royal Family of Monaco. In 1991, he was inducted by Gwen Verdon into the Theatre Hall of Fame in Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre.
In 1994 he was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located, appropriately enough, directly in front of Capezio’s.