In Tune's 1997 memoir Footnotes, he writes about what drives him as a performer, choreographer and director, offers stories about being openly gay in the world of theatre, his partners, stage manager David Wolfe ("On December 25th, 1994, David died at 4.00 a.m. Thank you, God, for answering my prayer. Thank you, David, for sharing your life with me." David Wolfe, aka Dave Wolfe (March 1, 1915 - December 25, 1994) of New York City was an American film actor from 1949 to 1954), who died of AIDS in 1994, and was his lover for 10 years, and actor and costumer Michael Stuart (1943-1997), with whom Tune lived for seven years. He also talks about his days with Twiggy in My One and Only and meeting and working with his many idols.
Tune was born in Texas to oil rig worker, horse trainer, and restaurateur, Jim Tune, and Eva Mae Clark (the family name was shortened from "Tunesmith"). He attended Lamar High School in Houston and the Methodist-affiliated Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas. He studied dance with Patsy Swayze (mother of Patrick Swayze) in Houston. He also studied dance with Kit Andree in Boulder Colorado. He went on to earn his Bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1962, and take graduate courses at the University of Houston. Tune later moved to New York to start his career.
Tommy Tune is an American actor, dancer, singer, theatre director, producer, and choreographer. He has won 9 Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts. In Tune's memoir Footnotes, he writes about what drives him as a performer, choreographer and director, offers stories about being openly gay in the world of theatre, his partners, stage manager David Wolfe ("On December 25th, 1994, David died at 4.00 a.m. Thank you, God, for answering my prayer. Thank you, David, for sharing your life with me.") and actor and costumer Michael Stuart (1943-1997).
In 1965, Tune made his Broadway debut as a performer in the musical Baker Street. His first Broadway directing and choreography credits were for the original production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in 1978. He has gone on to direct or choreograph, or both, some eight Broadway musicals. He directed a new musical titled Turn of the Century, which premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago on September 19, 2008 and closed on November 2, 2008.
Off-Broadway, Tune has directed The Club and Cloud Nine. Tune toured the United States in the Sherman Brothers musical Busker Alley in 1994-1995 and in the stage adaptation of the film Dr. Dolittle in 2006.
Tune is the only person to win Tony Awards in the same categories (Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical) in consecutive years (1990 and 1991), and the first to win in four different categories. He has won nine Tony Awards.
Tune appeared in a 1975 TV special titled Welcome to the "World" along with Lucie Arnaz and Lyle Waggoner to promote the opening of Space Mountain at Walt Disney World.
Tune's film credits include Ambrose in Hello, Dolly! (1969), and The Boy Friend with Twiggy (1971). Tune released his first record album, Slow Dancing, in 1997 on the RCA label, featuring a collection of his favorite romantic ballads.
In 1999, he made his Las Vegas debut as the star of EFX at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Tune staged an elaborate musical entitled Paparazzi for the Holland America Line cruise ship the Oosterdam in 2003. He works often with The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, for example touring in a Big Band revue entitled Song and Dance Man and White Tie and Tails (2002).
Tune has been performing in his musical revue, Steps in Time: A Broadway Biography in Song and Dance, in Boston in April 2008 and continuing in various venues from Bethesda, Maryland in January 2009 to California in February 2009.
The Tommy Tune Awards, presented annually by Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) honor excellence in high school musical theatre in Houston. The current home of the Tommy Tune Awards is the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas.
When not performing, he runs an art gallery in Tribeca that features his own work. Before leaving Texas in the 1960s for a Broadway career in New York, Tune worked with Mary Highsmith, mother of crime novelist Patricia Highsmith, at the Point Summer Theatre. In a letter to her daughter, Highsmith referred to Tune her "adopted boy" whom she called "Romano." Tune later praised Highsmith for helping him develop his talents: "She was an opening for me; she opened a little bit of my tight fabric so that I might peer through."
Tune is 6 feet 6 1/2 inches (199 cm) tall. He is one of the tallest dancers in history; he was parodied in Martin Short's Broadway show Fame Becomes Me by an actor wearing stilts.
FOOTNOTES: What You Stand For Is More Important Than What You Stand In by Tommy Tune
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Printing edition (November 6, 1997)
Amazon: FOOTNOTES: What You Stand For Is More Important Than What You Stand In
He has danced and choreographed his way to stardom and he's garnered millions of admirers along the way. Now Broadway's 6'6" answer to Fred Astaire gives readers a magical "Tune-ful"--in a buoyant, beguiling theatrical memoir to rank with Moss Hart's Act One and Neil Simon's Rewrites.
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