Broadway Reality: 'On the Town' Revival to Cast 'So You Think You Can Dance' Champ

By Jon Sobel | Jul 04, 2014 11:07 PM EDT

Once again a TV reality show is cross-pollinating with Broadway.

The winner of the current season of So You Think You Can Dance is to be offered an ensemble role in the upcoming 70th anniversary Broadway revival of On the Town.

The news follows the announcement back in April that producers will be using a reality show competition to cast the performers who will play Gloria Estefan at different ages in On Your Feet, the upcoming bilingual musical based on the life of the pop star.

The So You Think You Can Dance-On the Town linkage seems particularly appropriate, though, since the 1944 musical by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green featured choreography by Jerome Robbins, the iconic dance-master who had conceived the show.

Different versions of the tale, which follows the adventures and misadventures of three sailors on shore leave in New York City, have featured legendary dancers--Ann Miller in the film version (directed by Gene Kelly), Donna McKechnie in an earlier Broadway revival.

Emmy winner Joshua Bergasse (TV's Smash), choreographer of the upcoming production, will inaugurate the cross-pollination with a July 9 staging of On the Town's famous opening number, "New York, New York," on So You Think You Can Dance featuring the top 20 finalists of the competition's current season, its 11th.

Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Clyde Alves, Alysha Umphress, Elizabeth Stanley and Megan Fairchild lead a cast of 30 in the On the Town revival, directed by Tony Award winner John Rando (Urinetown, A Christmas Story). The show will have the biggest live orchestra on Broadway. Previews at the Lyric Theatre begin September 20.

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