Podcast Episode 104 – Jerry Mitchell

I first met Jerry Mitchell in 1993.  He was throwing some tires around on stage as the Associate Choreographer of the Weissler revival of Grease and I was the PA.

I didn’t know much, back then.  But I do remember thinking  . . . “I don’t know who this tall dancin’ drink of H20 is, but the musical theater world certainly will soon enough.”

Soon after Grease, Jerry went on to choreograph some of the most joyous musicals of the last few decades, including Hairspray, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten before taking his seat in the Director’s chair, as the Captain of Legally Blonde, On Your Feet!, and everybody say yeah . . . Kinky Boots.

Jerry’s work, like his personality, is filled with such a positive, infectious energy.  It’s hard not to have a big grin on your face when you’re watching his work . . . or when you’re interviewing him for a podcast.

Listen to me smile through my questions and hear Jerry talk about how he maintains that positivity in this tricky industry and . . .

  • How he transitioned from an almost naked-dancing Indian to a choreographer and how his mentors  (You know, people like Bennet and Robbins) responded.
  • Why the first thing he does when he decides to work on a musical is NOT listen to the musical.
  • What he believes the mission of a Broadway musical is . . . and how that affects the shows he chooses to work on.
  • Why he actually enjoys previews!
  • How his style of dealing with actors has changed since his early days.

Jerry scoffs when I gave him a certain compliment during this podcast . . . I’ll let you listen to hear what it is . . . but I’m just as sure about it now as I was back in 1994.

Enjoy Jer!

Click above to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.