Broadway mourns loss of renowned choreographer/actress, Ann Reinking
NEW YORK - Broadway is mourning the loss of a beloved choreographer and actress who mentored many of the stage's brightest stars.
According to ABC 7, Tony Award-winning Ann Reinking passed away Saturday (Dec. 12) while visiting family in Seattle.
The news outlet said Tributes poured in from the Broadway community, including from Tony Yazbeck, who called her "an absolute inspiration" and Leslie Odom, Jr., who thanked Reinking for being a mentor: "She honored the calling for real. RIP to a legend."
Actress Bernadette Peters expressed her grief on Twitter.
So Sad?? ,,,, RIP ANNIE. https://t.co/6Yrew14X2T— Bernadette Peters (@OfficialBPeters) December 14, 2020
Billy Eichner, likewise, posted about the loss of the renowned choreographer, calling her, one of the most mesmerizing people he'd "ever seen on stage," and posting, "A singular genius. RIP."
So grateful I got to see Ann Reinking dance in the revival of Chicago. One of the most mesmerizing people I’ve ever seen on stage. A singular genius. RIP. https://t.co/yqPPJV4ASX— billy eichner (@billyeichner) December 15, 2020
The actress and Bob Fosse collaborator who helped popularize the burlesque movement was trained as a ballet dancer and became widely recognized for her work in the revival of the Kander and Ebb musical "Chicago."
She also co-starred as Roxie Hart along with Bebe Neuwirth's Velma, and created the choreography "in the style of Bob Fosse," the show's original director and choreographer who died in 1987. She and Fosse worked together for 15 years and she was also his lover for several of them.
Talented in both dancing and acting, Reinking also appeared on the big screen with roles in "Annie" (1982), "Movie, Movie" (1978) and the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom" (2005), which portrayed Reinking as a ballroom-dance competition judge for New York City kids.
According to ABC 7, Reinking was raised in Seattle and moved away after she earning a scholarship to San Francisco's Joffrey Ballet where she became known for her magnetic personality and teachers suggested she study musical theater.
That magnetic personality brought life to her performances and allowed her work to reach the hearts of audiences and mentees throughout her decades-long career.
Officials have yet to disclose a cause of death.
Reinking was 71 years of age.