How Mel Brooks’ lady of dance made it in a man’s world

2 copy (765 x 430)Even today it’s rare to find a female choreographer working at the highest level in musical theatre. Susan Stroman says it’s always been a male-dominated profession, but one she loves nonetheless, reports BBC.

Susan Stroman is in London to direct and choreograph a new version of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein – and by now she’s pretty much used to the concept of the tea-break. Of the last half-century’s winners of Broadway’s annual Tony award for choreography, just 10 have been women. The most successful is four-time winner Stroman. Her first Tony was in 1992 for the Gershwin show Crazy for You. But she’ll go down in Broadway history as the choreographer and director of Mel Brooks’ The Producers in 2001 – one of the biggest stage musicals to date. She went on to direct the movie version and in 2007 Brooks asked her to bring his film Young Frankenstein to the stage. It didn’t repeat the success of The Producers and she’s been hard at work in London carving out a new and more intimate version. Stroman says she’s relishing working in a smaller theatre. “On Broadway we were in the Hilton theatre, as it was then called, which is one of New York’s biggest houses,” she says.