Theater News

Ann Reinking Public Memorial Set for March 20 at the Ambassador Theatre

The beloved dancer and choreographer died in December 2020.

A public memorial for dancer and choreographer Ann Reinking will take place on March 20 at 1:30pm ET at the Ambassador Theatre, home to the long-running production of Chicago.

The celebration is organized by Bebe Neuwirth and Caitlin Carter, who appeared in Chicago on Broadway with Reinking, as well as Reinking’s husband, Peter Talbert. Open to the public, the event will feature tributes from Neuwirth, James Naughton, Dylis Croman, Rob Fisher, and Ben Vereen.

Reinking died on December 12, 2020 at the age of 71. She gained fame when she played Maggie in Over Here!, a role which earned her a Theatre World Award. She earned her first Tony nomination in 1975 for playing Joan of Arc in Goodtime Charley. Over the next few years, she would replace Donna McKechnie as Cassie in A Chorus Line and Gwen Verdon, Fosse’s wife, in his musical Chicago. She earned another Tony nomination for starring in Fosse’s revue Dancin‘.

Though her romance with Fosse had since ended, she played the role of Katie, loosely based on herself, in his semiautobiographical film All That Jazz in 1979. Onscreen, Reinking played Grace Farrell in the 1982 film version of Annie, as well as the title role of Micki in Micki and Maude.

Reinking retired from performing by the time the now-legendary Encores! production of Chicago hired her to create Fosse-style choreography in 1996. She would come out of retirement to once again play Roxie, opposite the all-star cast of Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton, Joel Grey, and Marcia Lewis. They all repeated their work in the Broadway transfer, with Reinking winning a Tony for her choreography. Though the original cast had moved on, Chicago was still running on Broadway at the time of the theater shutdown. In 1998, Reinking co-created the musical revue Fosse, earning an Olivier for her work in the London production.