A while back, BAMirror encouraged Southern Tier theater buffs to tune into the Tony Awards on June 13 and root for Bill T. Jones, director and choreographerof the new musical “Fela!” The story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti tied for the most nominations — 11 — with the revival of the musical “La Cage aux Folles.” What we didn’t realize at the time was that “La Cage” also had local ties.
Jones studied both theater and dance at the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University). Albert Nocciolino, president and founder of NAC Entertainment in Binghamton, is a member of the Independent Presenters Network (IPN), which is part of the consortium of producers for “La Cage.” (NAC, as you know, brings the Broadway Theatre League season to The Forum.)
Jones lost out in categories of best book of a musical and best direction of a musical — the latter to “La Cage” director Terry Johnson — but brought home the Tony for best choreography. In total, “Fela!” received three Tonys as did “La Cage,” which was named best revival of a musical, an award that went to the show’s producers.
Nocciolino also was part of the producing team for best musicals in 2005 (“Spamalot”) and 2002 (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”). Catch this June 17 clip on WBNG-TV of Nocciolino talking about his newest Tony: www.wbng.com/news/local/96610694.html