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Anastasia Choreographer Peggy Hickey Dies at 61

She also choreographed the Tony-winning musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.

Peggy Hickey was the choreographer of Anastasia and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway.
(© Tricia Baron)

Director and choreographer Peggy Hickey died at her home in Burbank, California, on Sunday, January 22, 2023 after a long fight against breast cancer. She was 61.

Hickey was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, and was further diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in 2016. Despite this, the period following her diagnosis represented the most successful stage of her career: She choreographed the 2014 Tony winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, earning Outer Critics Circle and Astaire nominations for Best Choreography. She later choreographed the Broadway musical Anastasia, which opened in 2017 and ran for 842 performances (including 34 previews). Anastasia is currently touring the US and has performed in Spain, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands (Dutch Music Award for Best Choreography), Brazil, and later this year in Mexico.

Hickey began her career as a dancer after graduating from Sacramento State University, hoofing it at regional theaters and in summer stock at the Sacramento Music Circus. Her first professional gig was as the back of a cow in Gypsy, leading the show's star, Joanne Worley, to comment, "Kid, now you can always say that you started at the ass of show biz."

Her choreography was seen at Goodspeed (Connecticut Critics Circle Awards for Brigadoon and On the Twentieth Century, and IRNE Award for Best Choreography for A Little Night Music), Lincoln Center (The Most Happy Fella and My Fair Lady), the Châtelet in Paris (The King & I), Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington Opera, NY City Opera, and Seattle Opera.

For television and film, Hickey choreographed The Brady Bunch Movie, Beck's "New Pollution" (MTV Award for Choreography), Samantha Who? (ABC), Days of Our Lives (NBC), 90210 (The CW Network), and Kennedy Center Presents Die Fledermaus (PBS).

She was most proud of her daughters, Molly and Gabriella, who were with her at the end, along with her husband, Tony. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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