Lonny Price (born March 9, 1959) is an American actor, writer, and director, primarily in theatre. He is known for making statements on current events in versions of his musicals. His acclaimed May 2008 New York Philharmonic production of Camelot was making a statement about the current war including having different ethnicities and modernized characters. Mr. Price stated this in an interview before Camelotopened.
Born in New York City, Price grew up in Metuchen, New Jersey. He attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts. His early career was spent performing in off-Broadway productions. His first major Broadway credit was the ill-fated Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along (1981), which underwent constant changes during an unusually long preview period and closed after only sixteen performances. He had better luck with his next project – the Athol Fugard play MASTER HAROLD…and the Boys, in which he portrayed a South African student opposite Danny Glover and Zakes Mokae as the family servants – which ran for eight months.
“Franklyn Sheppard Inc.” from Merrily We Roll Along
In 1989, he appeared as File:Jimmy Durantein the musical bio DURANTE. It was playing in San Francisco during the earthquake. Excellent in the role but Durante’s life was uneventful and the musical closed on the road.
From “A Class Act”
Price made his directorial debut with the off-Broadway revival of The Education of H* Y* M* A* N K* A* P* L* A* N, followed by The Rothschilds and Juno, both of which received Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Revival. His most significant off-Broadway performing credit is the William Finn – James Lapine musical Falsettoland.
He has also directed numerous musical productions, both concert and non-concert, with the New York Philharmonic, which include Stephen Sondheim‘s Sweeney Todd with Patti LuPone and George Hearn, for which he won an Emmy Award, Leonard Bernstein‘s Candide, with Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Sir Thomas Allen, and students from Juilliard, Passion with Donna Murphy amongst others.
In 2000, Price co-wrote, directed, and starred in A Class Act, based on the life and career of composer – lyricist Edward Kleban, whose sole Broadway credit was A Chorus Line. The score consisted of songs Kleban had written for other shows that remained unproduced. After a two month run at the Manhattan Theatre Club, it transferred to the Ambassador Theatre, where it fared less successfully and closed after three months. It earned Price his sole Tony Award nomination to date, for Best Book of a Musical.
Price served as Associate Artistic Director for the American Jewish Theatre from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s. He currently is resident director at Musical Theatre Works, the only non-profit theatre dedicated solely to the development of new musicals. One of his latest projects was a Broadway revival of 110 in the Shade, which opened in May 2007 and ran for 94 performances.
Price’s limited film and television credits include small roles in The Muppets Take Manhattan and Dirty Dancing and guest appearances on The Golden Girls and Law & Order. Behind the scenes, he was a staff director for the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, for which he was part of a team that received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Drama Series Directing in 1995.
Lonny Price has always been among my favorite actors and directors since I first heard him live in, “Merrily We Roll Along” on Broadway in 1981. There isn’t a lot of material available on Lonny, but I believe I found enough to give you an idea of just how talented he is.
Sources: wikipedia, youtube, imdb.com
Additional Broadway credits
- 2003: Urban Cowboy (director)
- 1994: Sally Marr…and Her Escorts (co-writer with Joan Rivers and Erin Ladd Sanders; director)
- 1987: Burn This (actor)
- 1986: Rags (actor)
Leave a comment
No comments yet.