Holiday Inn Tony Nominee Denis Jones Counts Down His 10 Ultimate Tony Moments
May 12th, 2017
by Denis Jones
Choreographer Denis Jones gave Broadway audiences one of the most thrilling moments of the year, Holiday Inn's "Shaking the Blues Away" showstopper. For his work on RTC's new Irving Berlin musical, Jones is now a 2017 Tony Award nominee for Best Choreography.
The in-demand choreographer has two shows to get very excited about this summer: Thoroughly Modern Millie at Goodspeed (running through July 2) and Mary Poppins at Paper Mill Playhouse (running May 24-June 25)
Below, Denis Jones shares with BroadwayBox his 10 all-time favorite Tony Awards night performances.
10. “We Go Together”, Grease, 1994
We'll start with a guilty pleasure. My first Broadway show and my first time on the Tonys. It was such a special night. Plus, Megan Mullally is impressive (if borderline aggressive) with a hula hoop. It really makes me smile.
9. “My Body”, The Life, 1997
Seven incredibly powerful women just putting in right in your face. No apologies. And when they start flashing jazz hands around their lady parts, I lose my mind.
8. “Will-O-Mania/Favorite Son”, The Will Rogers Follies, 1991
”Favorite Son” is an AMAZING number. I find it almost hypnotic. It's like math, only really fun and with patriotic outfits and tambourine hats. Genius.
7. “Move On”, Sunday in the Park with George, 1984
Every moment in this number is essential—beautiful tension leading to the creation of a perfect thing. It gives me chills.
6. “The Revolutionary Costume for Today”, Grey Gardens, 2007
I mean, come on, that's a BRILLIANT performance, Plus, I'm sure there were people flipping around channels that night and landed on the Tonys, wondering, "What the..."
5. “Seasons of Love/La Vie Boheme”, Rent, 1996
To be fair, I saw the show 9 times. It gave a voice to the New York that I was young, poor and confused in. I was completely blown away by their performance.
4. “The Circle of Life”, The Lion King, 1998
Design, dance, message. I start to lose it when the giraffes come on, and they are the first ones on...but when that elephant comes down the aisle, forget it. I don't cry often, but that elephant...
3. “Mama Who Bore Me/Bitch of Living/Totally Fucked”, Spring Awakening, 2007
The raw angst of youth. Perfectly staged, and performed with brutal honesty. Completely knocked me out.
2. “Brotherhood of Man”, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, 1995
When Lillias White starts to scat, or gets those guys to clap on the 2 and 4, or says "sister"??? Sublime. And could Matthew Broderick be any more charming?
1. "And I'm Telling You”, Dreamgirls, 1982
What's there to say that hasn't been said? I watched in when I was in junior high school and it was as if Jennifer Holliday jumped out of my parent's television. I'd never seen anything like it. Magnificent. I'll never forget that moment.