TONY TALK: Casey Nicholaw
May 22, 2023
Meet Casey Nicholaw, the Director-Choreographer of SOME LIKE IT HOT!
Nicholaw is double-nominated at this year’s Tony Awards, for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography, accounting for two of the show’s 13 nominations (the most of any production this season!). This year’s additions also bring his personal Tony nominations to 13 – he won his Tony in 2011 for his direction of THE BOOK OF MORMON.
A mainstay of the Main Stem, Nicholaw launched his Broadway career as a performer, appearing in eight shows including CRAZY FOR YOU, VICTOR / VICTORIA, SEUSSICAL, and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, before pivoting to the other side of the table. He has consistently worked as both a choreographer and director since choreographing SPAMALOT in 2005, helming the likes of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, ALL ABOUT ME, ELF, SOMETHING ROTTEN, MEAN GIRLS, and THE PROM, to name just a few.
Get to know more about this Broadway favorite with our TONY TALK Q&A:
Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination?
It was the best nomination morning that I’ve ever experienced. The cast of Some Like it Hot was waiting to perform on the Today Show when the nominations came in so we all got to experience hearing them together as a cast and screaming and crying and jumping around with joy!
Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?
Vicki Clark in Kimberly Akimbo. Her performance is so funny and moving and heartbreaking and uplifting.
Top restaurant in the theater district?
44 and X
The first Broadway show you ever saw?
Barnum with Jim Dale
When did you decide to become a theater artist?
When I did my first show at San Diego Junior Theater. I was in the chorus of Annie Get Your Gun and I was hooked.
What is your earliest Tonys memory?
My teen years were when I started watching and became obsessed. Watching the Tonys was the only chance to see numbers from the shows until they toured through LA or San Diego where I grew up. The big shows for me were Ain’t Misbehavin, Evita, Annie, A Chorus Line and The Wiz.
Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?
Angela Lansbury, because she was Angela Lansbury
All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?
As a kid I loved seeing Dorthy Loudon and Bob Fitch doing Easy Street – it was such a good number and perfect musical comedy.
Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?
I somehow can still see Nell Carter’s face when she was so surprised that she won for Aint Misbehavin. It was so exciting!
What is one play or musical you would like to direct and/or choreograph on Broadway, and why?
I don’t know that I have one anymore – My list never changed for years, it was always Dreamgirls and Most Happy Fella, and I got to do Dreamgirls in London and Most Happy Fella at encores!
You can currently see Nicholaw’s direction and choreography in THE BOOK OF MORMON, ALADDIN, and of course, SOME LIKE IT HOT, currently running at the Shubert Theatre with a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a book by Matthew Lòpez and Amber Ruffin, and starring Christian Borle, J. Harrison Ghee, and Adrianna Hicks.
He’s currently working on a musical adaptation of the 1972 film WHAT’S UP, DOC?, which is aimed for a Broadway run in the coming years!