Kathleen Marshall Essay

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Kathleen Marshall, Too Darn Hot Kathleen Marshall is a stupendous choreographer and director of musicals. Working off-Broadway, Broadway, and television, her work as a choreographer is very engaging to watch. What makes her work so special is that she has choreographed many revivals of old musicals. From Kiss Me Kate to Wonderful Town to The Pajama Game, Marshall really comes at the material with a fresh eye and respects the vintage text while making it fresh and new for contemporary audiences. Marshall was born in Pittsburgh and sang and danced as a child. In an interview from June 2004 on the American Theatre Wing website, Marshall explains how she had no formal training but was cast as a Von Trapp with her brother and sister in The Sound of Music at a summer theatre company. What really inspired her to the world of dance was sneaking to watch the dance ensemble rehearse. After this experience, she began to take a ton of dance classes and began working as a dancer and a dance captain in Pittsburgh and in tours. Marshall got her start on Broadway being her brother Rob Marshall’s assistant on Kiss of the Spider Woman and then assisted on the revivals of She Loves Me and Damn Yankees. In that 2004 interview, she relates how she was able to get her first job choreographing a Broadway show, Swinging on a Star, by being recommended by John Kander, who she knew from Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Since her first show she has choreographed many Broadway shows: 1776, Kiss Me Kate, Follies, Seussical, and Little Shop of Horrors, and directed and choreographed Wonderful Town, The Pajama Game, Grease, and the upcoming revival of Anything Goes. When talking about how she approaches these older shows, she says that she approaches them “with great reverence and respect and appreciation but I look at them with a modern sensibility and I try to add a contemporary pace to them.”

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