KML BOOK EVENT & SIGNING: KENT RESIDENT BOB AVIAN

Press Release 2/28/20

(Kent, Connecticut) –Kent Memorial Library is excited to announce a book event and signing by award winning Bob Avian. Co-author Tom Santopietro will interview Kent resident, noted choreographer Bob Avian as they discuss their new book Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey. The book is a memoir of Avian’s dazzling life story in three acts. Act I reveals the origins of one of Broadway’s legendary choreographers who appeared onstage with stars like Barbra Streisand and Mary Martin all before he was thirty. Act II includes teaching Katharine Hepburn how to sing and dance in Coco and working with Stephen Sondheim and Michael Bennett while helping to choreograph the original productions of Company and Follies. During this time, Avian won a Tony Award as the co-choreographer of A Chorus Line and produced the spectacular Tony Award–winning Dreamgirls. For a triumphant third act, Avian choreographed Julie Andrews’s return to the New York stage, devised all of the musical staging for Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard, and directed A Chorus Line on Broadway. He worked with the biggest names on Broadway, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carol Burnett, Neil Simon, Patti LuPone, Jennifer Holliday, Jonathan Pryce, Elaine Stritch, Marvin Hamlisch and Glenn Close.

“Bob is so modest about his incredible accomplishments that I was the one who had to insist we write a book about his career. It was a great experience to work with Bob; with both of us having worked on Broadway for a long time, as Bob said, we speak the same language!” recalls author and friend of Avian’s, Tom Santopietro.

Santopietro is the author of seven books, including Sinatra in Hollywood, Considering Doris Day (New York Times “Editor’s Choice”), the best selling Sound of Music Story, and Why To Kill a Mockingbird MattersHe lectures nationwide on classic films, interviews celebrity authors and has managed over thirty Broadway shows during the past twenty-five years.

The Kent Memorial Library is proud to present this first book-launch event, ever, in celebration of the newly published book. This presentation will be the final program of the 4-part series: West Side Story presented by the Kent Memorial Library. If you attend 3 out of 4 programs in this March series, your name will be entered to win 2 tickets to the Broadway production of West Side Story on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway, New York.

Join us at all four presentations at Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard, Kent. as we examine all the wonderful aspects of West Side Story:

Saturday March 7 at 2:30 p.m. West Side Story Series: Part One West Side Story and William Shakespeare presented by panelists: Athenaide Dallett, Kent School Faculty; Geoff Stewart, Kent School Faculty; and Patrick Beer, South Kent School Faculty. Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard, Kent. Please Register.

 Saturday March 14 at 2:30 p.m. West Side Story Series: Part Two The Movie: West Side Story This 1961 movie is an American musical romantic drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard, Kent. Please Register.

Saturday March 21 at 2:30 p.m. West Side Story Series: Part Three Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story presented by music lecturer Jeffrey Engel, adjunct professor at Northwestern CT Community College. Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard, Kent. Please Register.

Saturday March 28 at 2:30 p.m. West Side Story Series: Part Four Book Talk: Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey Author Tom Santopietro will interview Kent resident, noted choreographer Bob Avian as they discuss their new book Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey. Avian is an award-winning Broadway choreographer known for his work on A Chorus LineMiss Saigon, and Sunset Boulevard. He began his career on Broadway as a dancer in such classic shows as West Side StoryFunny Girl, and Hello, Dolly! He also served as an original producer of Dreamgirls in 1981 and directed the Broadway and London revivals of A Chorus Line in 2006 and 2013. This will be their first event to celebrate the newly published book. Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Boulevard, Kent. Please Register

The Kent Memorial Library’s mission is to enrich the lives of individuals and the community by providing materials, programs, and services to encourage reading, learning and imagination. The Library is located at 32 North Main Street, Kent, Connecticut. Visit kentmemoriallibrary.org for more information.

L to R: Bob Avian and Tom Santopietro.