Peter Gennaro

b. 23 November 1919, Metairie, Louisiana, USA, d. 28 September 2000, New York City, New York, USA. A talented dancer, Gennaro performed in the chorus for several Broadway shows of the late 40s and early…
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Artist Biography

b. 23 November 1919, Metairie, Louisiana, USA, d. 28 September 2000, New York City, New York, USA. A talented dancer, Gennaro performed in the chorus for several Broadway shows of the late 40s and early 50s, among them Make Mine Manhattan, Kiss Me, Kate (both 1948), Guys And Dolls (1950), The Pajama Game (1954), and Bells Are Ringing (1956), having features in the latter two. By this time he had begun to establish his credentials as a choreographer and in this capacity worked on Seventh Heaven (1955), but it was as co-choreographer with Jerome Robbins on West Side Story (1957) that he really broke through. The verve and vitality of the dancing in West Side Story was reflected in Gennaro’s choreography for Fiorello! (1959) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1960); the routines from the latter being reprised in the 1964 film version. Over the years, Gennaro was also responsible for many of the routines performed by the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

In the 60s and early 70s, Gennaro worked on some lesser musicals, including Mr. President (1962), Bajour (1964) and Jimmy (1973). Also in 1973 he worked on Irene with Debbie Reynolds, who had starred in the film version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, with Gennaro’s choreography being singled out for special praise. Later in the 70s, Gennaro’s notices were even better owing to his work on Annie (1977). That year he also worked on an unsuccessful revival of Little Me. Other late 70s and early 80s shows included Bar Mitzvah Boy (1978) in London, Carmelina (1979), Singin’ In The Rain (1983), which was also in London, and the 1989 New York revival of The Threepenny Opera, which proved to be his last Broadway show.