Field was born in New York City, New York where he made his Broadway debut as a child in Lady in the Dark (1941) with Gertrude Lawrence. He later danced in the ensembles of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), Kismet (1954), and The Boy Friend (1955) before deciding to concentrate on choreography. His first two efforts Nowhere But Up (1962) and Cafe Crown (1964) were flops, but in 1966 he won his first Tony Award for his dazzling work in the smash hit Cabaret, the first of several noteworthy successes.
During rehearsals for Stephen Sondheim's trouble-plagued Merrily We Roll Along in 1981, Field was unceremoniously dismissed from the creative team. It wasn't until a revival of Cabaret in 1987 that he would have another Broadway success. (P: Ronald Field, Kismet, between numbers)
In addition to his work on Broadway, Field staged such diverse projects as Las Vegas nightclub acts, the 44th Annual Academy Awards telecast in 1972, a Hollywood Bowl concert and television special with Bette Midler in 1977, the opening ceremonies for the 1986 Los Angeles Olympics, and an acclaimed revival of Kiss Me, Kate in London's West End. He also choreographed Martin Scorsese's New York, New York (1977).
On February 6, 1989, Field died of brain lesions in New York City at the age of fifty-five. Dancers Over 40 rounded up a gaggle of Broadway gypsies to honor him on October 21st, 2013, at St. Luke’s Theater in NYC.
Phyllis Newman, Producer Ron Field and Bernadette Peters
Open a New Window: The Broadway Musical in the 1960s by Ethan Mordden
Series: Golden Age of the Broadway Musical
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (November 1, 2002)
Amazon: Open a New Window: The Broadway Musical in the 1960s
In the 1960s, the Broadway musical underwent a revolution. What was once a form of entertainment characterized by sentimental standards, such as Camelot and Hello, Dolly! became one of brilliant and bittersweet masterpieces, such as Cabaret and Fiddler on the Roof. In Open a New Window, Mordden continues his history of the Broadway musical with the decade that bridged the gap between the fanciful shows of the fifties, such as Call Me, Madam, and the sophisticated fare of the seventies, including A Little Night Music and Follies. Here in brilliant detail are the decade and the people that transformed the Broadway musical--from the writer who knows it best.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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