Denis Jones began his Broadway career as a dancer and performer before making his choreographic debut with 2015’s Honeymoon in Vegas. He followed that up with Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical in 2016, which earned him his first Tony Award nomination. And now he returns to Broadway with Tootsie, and another Tony nod.
Jones has a gift for musical comedy. “I feel like the aesthetic [of Tootsie] is hopefully in line with the feel of the whole evening, which is very fast and very funny,” he says in the video above. “I’m blessed to be part of a team that really is very focused on creating something that moves very quickly that talks about important things, but is mainly focused on being hilarious. So I tried to create choreography that was in that world.”
The most memorable number in the show is the choreographic sequence by Ron Carlisle (played by Reg Rogers) for the musical-within-the-musical Juliet’s Curse. The eccentric director-choreographer instructs his dancers with references like jumping during “lava lava hot lava” and “Julie Taymor Julie Taymor.” It’s an incredible parody of the act of choreography.
But Jones trained his eye for showmanship from a young age, counting 42nd Street as the show that most impacted him. In the video above, he also shares the first show he ever put on as a child and the past Tony Awards performance he will “never forget.”
Videography and video editing by Roberto Araujo.