I recently had the delightful opportunity to chat with beloved Broadway actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer Lee Roy Reams whose nine Broadway musicals span from Sweet Charity in 1966 to The Producers in 1996, and he is still going strong having recently celebrated his 79th birthday with performances at 54 Below and The York Theatre Company!
Our conversation ranges from his childhood dancing schools in his hometown of Covington, Kentucky, to college in Cincinnati, to his dancing with the stars in summer stock, nightclubs, and on most of the big TV variety shows, and along the way working with many of the greatest directors and choreographers in Broadway history.
Hang on to your hats – talking with Lee Roy is always a wild and irreverent ride!
You can see Lee Roy dance the “Cool Hand Luke” number that is mentioned in this episode (along with several other of his fabulous TV appearances with Gwen Verdon and other stars) on YouTube — and I have included links to those in the Broadway Nation Facebook Group.
Next week on October 13 and 14 the Fosse-Verdon Legacy will present a piece entitled the “Sweet Gwen Suite” as part of the New York City Center Fall for Dance Festival. This new dance piece is adapted from three dance numbers that were performed by Gwen Verdon on television including “Cool Hand Luke”.
On the next episode of Broadway Nation we will follow Lee Roy back to NY where he will indeed break out of the chorus and make history playing one of the first openly gay characters in Broadway musical history.
Broadway Nation is written and produced by me – David Armstrong. If you enjoyed this podcast, you can help other like-minded people find Broadway Nation by rating and reviewing the show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. I thank you in advance for helping to spread the word about Broadway Nation.
Special thanks to KVSH 101.9 the voice of beautiful Vashon Island, WA and to the entire team at the Broadway Podcast Network.
Note: This episode contains some salty language as well as a vintage lyric that includes a nickname for Broadway dancers that many consider to be offensive today.
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