Andy Blankenbuehler Wins Third Tony Award

Jun 15, 2017

What do you do after winning the Tony Award for choreographing the Broadway smash hit "Hamilton?" If you're Andy Blankenbuehler, you win the Tony Award for "Bandstand," and choreograph two other current Broadway musicals and ABC "Dirty Dancing" movie.

The Pleasant Ridge native and 1988 St. Xavier High School graduate won his third Tony Award for choreography Sunday, June 11, for "Bandstand."  He also won best choreography for "Hamilton" in 2016, and "In The Heights" in 2008.

"We're extremely proud of what he does," says his father, Ron Blankenbuehler of Wyoming, who attended the 71st annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall with his wife Rose.

Three Tony Awards for choreography puts Blankenbuehler in select company, says family friend Greg Hackett. Only nine people have won three or more Tonys for choreography, including Broadway legends Bob Fosse, Jereome Robbins and Tommy Tune.

Blankenbuehler started dancing at age 5, and appeared in shows at Nativity School in Pleasant Ridge and St. X. He choreographed all the musicals his sophomore, junior and senior year at St. X, and earned a four-year college scholarship, his father said. But he left college after a year to work at Walt Disney World in Orlando and Tokyo Disneyland before going to New York.

He danced in "Fosse," "Guys & Dolls," "Man Of La Mancha," "Saturday Night Fever" and several other shows before moving into choreography, "the logical transition for a dancer as the legs give out," his father said.

In addition to "Bandstand," Blankenbuehler choreographed "Hamilton" and the "Cats" revival on Broadway today. His other credits include "9 to 5," an "Annie" revival,  "The Apple Tree" and "Bring It On: The Musical" (director and choreographer).

He also choreographed ABC's May sweeps "Dirty Dancing" movie starring Abigail Breslin, Debra Messing, Nicole Scherzinger, Katey Sagal, Shane Harper and Billy Dee Williams. For TV, he also choreographed and danced in an episode of HBO's "Sopranos" in 2000, and choreographed Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2010.

Blankenbuehler lives in the New York area with his wife and two children.