| TOMMY TUNE...
a giant among men, at 6'6", and a giant talent. A Texan by birth
he has vivid memories of two grandmothers and describes them as "one was
a witch and one was a bitch." As the thinnest and smallest in a class
of all boys he started his training early, tapping and tumbling.
When he pushed a slowpoke who was holding up his proper exit in an early
dance recital he got a laugh and applause, and thus the showbiz dream was
born. Time passed. Tommy grew (mostly upward). he spent some
time at Lon Morris College and wound up with a BFA from the University
of Texas before leaving for the Big Apple.
In New York his first audition became his first job, IRMA LA DEUCE. Several chorus jobs followed and Tommy was found dancing in BAKER STREET in '65, A JOYFUL NOISE in '67 and HOW NOW DOW JONES in '68. A short time later Tommy made his film debut in major roles, singing and dancing in, HELLO DOLLY and THE BOY FRIEND. This was followed by one summer on television, featured on Dean Martin presents The Goldiggers. Returning to New York he landed a role in SEESAW, dancing and singing, "It's not where you start, it's where you finish", and earned his first Tony. Now with some apprehension, lest I err, I count nine Tonies, eight Drama Desk Awards, two Obies and countless other validations for the multi-hatted Mr. Tune in performing, choreographing and directing. Without being specific these accolades have gone to some of Broadway's biggest hits, A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE, NINE, MY ONE AND ONLY, GRAND HOTEL and THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIE.
Notwithstanding Tommy's successes choreographing and directing, dancing seems to be in his blood (It's probably the witch mentioned earlier). In '92 he did a national tour of BYE-BYE BIRDIE, playing opposite Ann Reinking. He topped that run, playing much of the USA with his TOMMY TUNE TONIGHT. More recently he took over the lead in EFX in Las Vegas.
In his personal memoir, FOOTLOOSE, published by Simon and Schuster, Tommy made a most touching observation, "Kindness is really important to me right now. Isn't that corny? And yet one of our greatest songwriters, Irving Berlin, said, 'there is an element of truth in any idea that lasts long enough to be called corny'. I hope kindness lasts. It's the corniest of all".