Donald Saddler choreographed the original production of Bernstein’s Wonderful Town and has worked as a musical theater choreographer for over 50 years. He received a Tony Award for his choreography of Wonderful Town, as well as a Tony and Drama Desk Award for the 1971 revival of No, No, Nanette. Saddler, who began his career as an original member of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), has created ballets for companies such as Harkness Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet, and ABT, and has choreographed operas for the Washington, Metropolitan, and New York City opera companies. As a performer he appeared in the Broadway musicals High Button Shoes, Bless You All and Dance Me a Song. In 1998 Saddler was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame and in 2001 received the Astaire Lifetime Achievement Award from the Theater Development Fund.
In this interview from October 14, 2006, Saddler recalls the beginning of his dancing career with the American Ballet Theater, where he first met and worked alongside Jerome Robbins. He discusses his experiences as a young choreographer working with Leonard Bernstein and Rosalind Russell on Wonderful Town, the first professional show that he choreographed.
This interview and transcript are available for in-library use. To arrange for access, contact Kerry Masteller.
[Biographical information from the "Leonard Bernstein: Boston to Broadway" Festival Program Book]