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Oscar Producers Add Rob Ashford to Choreograph Academy Award Show

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 8, 2012 at 1:07PM

Many questions remain about the 2013 Oscar show, which producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are in the process of putting together. New host Seth Macfarlane, who is a writer and comedian who can sing, is presumably changing things up a bit. Will there be an opening montage? Who knows?
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Rob Ashford
Rob Ashford

Many questions remain about the 2013 Oscar show, which producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are in the process of putting together. New host Seth Macfarlane, who is a writer and comedian who can sing, is presumably changing things up a bit. Will there be an opening montage? Who knows?

But it looks like there's going to be an opening dance number, at least, if not several musical bits. That's because the veteran producers of musicals "Chicago" and "Hairspray" have brought on Emmy and Tony-winning choreographer Rob Ashford to provide musical staging and choreography for the 85th Academy Awards telecast. He directed and choreographed the duo's recent Broadway revivals "Promises, Promises" and "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying."

"Not only is he uniquely gifted, but we've developed a working shorthand," said Zadan and Meron. "We are excited to collaborate with him on the Oscars, where we will be utilizing all his talents."

Ashford also worked on "The Kennedy Center Honors" and "The Tony Awards," and won a 2009 Emmy for his work on the 81st Academy Awards show. Out of eight Tony Awards, he won Best Choreography in 2002 for "Thoroughly Modern Millie." He has also choreographed Broadway shows "The Wedding Singer," "Curtains," "Cry-Baby" and "Evita." Ashford is now directing the Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" starring Scarlett Johansson.

The 85th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
 

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Awards, Awards, Oscars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.