Community bids farewell to a Milford luminary

Broadway choreographer Larry Fuller is leaving for Palm Springs


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Larry Fuller last month with dancers in the new revival of "Evita"




  • Larry Fuller rehearsing Evita with Patti Lupone (Photo provided)



By Linda Fields

— He danced in his first Broadway show, "West Side Story," when he was just 19, and recently returned from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he helped in the successful revival of the original production of "Evita."

His long career has been illustrious, yet Larry Fuller will rarely brag. He choreographed hit Broadway musicals from "Funny Girl" to "Evita" and "Sweeney Todd," but that’s only a partial list. Ask him about it, and you’d be well advised to put some time aside because the resume is long and impressive. To the chagrin of his many friends in this area, Fuller is about to move to Palm Springs, Calif., from his home in Milford, Pa. — and it seems every day someone is throwing him a good-bye party.

Early in his career, Fuller worked with Jack Cole, known as the Father of Theatrical Jazz Dance, and appeared as a weekly dancer on television variety shows with Perry Como, Gary Moore and Ed Sullivan. Greater opportunities were just around the corner for the young professional.

“I wanted to be something more than a dancer,” said Fuller.

He got his chance when he collaborated with Carol Haney in "Funny Girl" and was asked to recreate her work after Haney died just three months after the show opened. He then took over and added his own work for the musical’s first big national tour.

“That gave me my foot in the door as a choreographer,” said Fuller. “From that came the London company with Barbara Streisand. I had never been out of the country, so it was very thrilling.”

On a summer tour of "Funny Girl," he added directing to his credits.

“I had studied acting and learned how actors work, so it paid off for me," he said. "The show was a huge hit.”

It was during his time in Vienna that Fuller met the producer Hal Prince, who asked him to help cast and direct "Candide."

“I almost fainted but I took a gulp and said okay, Voltaire in German, why not?” he said.

Fuller also worked on the movie version of "A Little Night Music," which Prince directed. Fuller admitted to being a bit star-struck.

“I worked with Elizabeth Taylor, Hermione Gingold, Diana Rigg," he said, "I thought, ‘This is amazing.’”

The relationship with Hal Prince led Fuller to choreograph five of his shows: "On the Twentieth Century," "Evita," "Sweeney Todd," "Merrily We Roll Along," and "A Doll's Life." To Fuller, it is Prince’s willingness to collaborate that pays off “big time,”

“He really involves you completely in the concept," he said. "You talk through every single scene, every number — what are we trying to accomplish here, what should happen starting with A? How do you get to Z and carry the story line? It helps immeasurably because you know before you ever get into the rehearsal studio exactly what you’re aiming for. So many directors see the choreographer only as someone who does the steps.”

Fuller received a Tony nomination and two Drama Desk award nominations for "Evita," which he will tell you is still his favorite.

“The power of the show is in the ensemble," he said. "If they don’t give their viscera, the epic-ness isn’t there. The power is really in their hands.”

Fuller admits he is pleased to still be in the game, having been asked to go to South Africa where the revival of "Evita" opened to rave reviews. In a rare self-congratulatory comment, he revealed...

“I got to work with the company for several hours — and improved it.”

To those who know him, there is no doubt.

Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

My guns or my ganja? Firearm-owning pot fans face a choice
By Mark Scolforo
As gun-loving Pennsylvania becomes the latest state to operate a medical marijuana program, with the first dispensary on track to begin sales next month,...

Read more »
Image

Recently listed four-bedroom Cape is near everything
— You can walk to the shops, eateries and medical offices in the historic village of Milford from this well-maintained two-story...
Read more »
Image

Elsie M. Cherry of Port Jervis, N.Y., dies at age 80
Elsie M. Cherry of Port Jervis, N.Y., passed away Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, at her home. She was 80.
Daughter of Leslie and Grace Petito Fox, she was born on Oct. 4, 1937, in...

Read more »

John Martin Schwarzman of Matamoras, Pa., dies at age 59
John Martin Schwarzman of Matamoras, Pa., passed away at home on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. He was 59.
Son of the late Thomas and Jeanne (Costello) Schwarzman, he was born on Oct.

Read more »

VIDEOS



* indicates required
Community Newspapers


MOST READ

Ask The Expert
Water Expert Andy Ball: Salt in Softeners
  • Jan 14, 2018
Local News
A song for every class
  • Jan 13, 2018

MOST COMMENTED



Weather in Milford, PA