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Michael Berresse

Michael Berresse

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Kiss Me, Kate ... Winning London revival of the timeless stage hit from PBS's "Great Performances"... more info $15.95was $22.97 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: August 15, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA Profession: dancer, actor, choreographer, singer, musician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A burgeoning triple threat stage performer who has made the most of his opportunities in theater, dancer-actor-singer Michael Berresse was an accomplished gymnast who gave dance a try when he began to outgrow the compact physical frame that those athletes generally possess. Dark-haired, handsome and uncommonly agile and energetic, Berresse had irrepressible charisma, and cultivated a charm that was palpable all the way to the last row in the balcony. A veteran dancer/choreographer with Disney Theme Parks, he moved to NYC in 1987 to break into theater.Starting out as a chorus and ensemble player, Berresse was afforded few actual occasions to act with his stage time, but did build up an impressive resume of credits beginning with 1990's Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof." In 1992, he joined the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," starring Donny Osmond, and was featured the following year in the revival of "Damn Yankees," staged at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. When the production moved to Broadway's Marquis Theater, Berresse returned to the Great White Way and eventually assumed the leading role of Joe Hardy. 1995 saw him take on a role...

A burgeoning triple threat stage performer who has made the most of his opportunities in theater, dancer-actor-singer Michael Berresse was an accomplished gymnast who gave dance a try when he began to outgrow the compact physical frame that those athletes generally possess. Dark-haired, handsome and uncommonly agile and energetic, Berresse had irrepressible charisma, and cultivated a charm that was palpable all the way to the last row in the balcony. A veteran dancer/choreographer with Disney Theme Parks, he moved to NYC in 1987 to break into theater.

Starting out as a chorus and ensemble player, Berresse was afforded few actual occasions to act with his stage time, but did build up an impressive resume of credits beginning with 1990's Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof." In 1992, he joined the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," starring Donny Osmond, and was featured the following year in the revival of "Damn Yankees," staged at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. When the production moved to Broadway's Marquis Theater, Berresse returned to the Great White Way and eventually assumed the leading role of Joe Hardy. 1995 saw him take on a role alongside Tommy Tune in the regional touring company of "Busker Alley" (also titled "Stage Door Charley" and "Buskers"), a musical set within a group of street performers in 1930s London. He was able to prove his range with the broader comedy "The Cocoanuts," written by Irving Berlin and made famous by the Marx Brothers. Manhattan's City Center Theater hosted a 1996 concert presentation of "One Touch of Venus" that featured Berresse's footwork, but that year's popular revival of "Chicago" would prove to be the catalyst for the performer's career boost.

Berresse took the role of doomed Fred Casely (murdered after jilting siren Roxie Hart six minutes into the show), and understudied the meatier part of slick defense attorney Billy Flynn, actually defending his own murder on nights that he stepped in for the role. In 1998, he assumed the co-starring role in a move that would establish the performer as a viable and versatile actor as well as talented song and dance man. He toured as Flynn in "Chicago" and in 1999 took a starring role in the short-lived Broadway revue "The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm." The curtain fell on that production soon after it raised, but Berresse bounced back shortly thereafter with a featured part in the celebrated 1999 Broadway revival of "Kiss Me, Kate." In this legendary play-within-a-play, he portrayed Bill Calhoun/Luciento, and drew on his gymnastic training to turn in a remarkable performance with a jaw-dropping number featuring some amazing acrobatics, dancing, leaping, flipping and virtually flying all around the three story set. Luckily for the production and for his further career, his work in "Kiss Me, Kate" didn't go unnoticed. In addition to glowing reviews and enviable buzz, Berresse was rewarded with a Tony nomination for Featured Actor in a Musical and was selected as one of three male nominees for the Astaire Award, a dance honor.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 State of Play (2009)
4.
 Meet Dave (2008)
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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Joliet, Illinois
:
At age seven, began studying gymnastics
:
By age 15 had segued to dance when height began to interfere with gymnastics career
:
Turned down college acceptances at Yale and Northwestern to take a dance job at Orlando's Disney World; within two years became a top choreographer for the park
1987:
Moved to NYC to pursue a stage career
1990:
Landed a chorus role in "Fiddler on the Roof"; marked Broadway debut
1992:
Appeared in the Toronto staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
1993:
Performed in a revival of the musical "Damn Yankees" staged at San Diego's famed Old Globe Theater
1994:
Joined "Damn Yankees" for its Broadway run at the Marquis Theater, eventually playing lead of Joe Hardy
1995:
Was featured in the touring production of "Busker Alley/Stage Door Charley/Buskers", a musical about street performers in 1930s London starring Tommy Tune
1996:
Displayed a broad comic range with a supporting role in a revival of Irving Berlin's Marx Brothers musical "The Cocoanuts"
1995:
Appeared in the feature film adaptation of Paul Rudnick's "Jeffrey"
1996:
Was a dancer in the Encores! concert presentation of "One Touch of Venus" at the City Center Theater in NYC
1996:
Originated the role of Fred Casely in "Chicago" in the Encores! staging; moved with the show to Broadway; understudied lead role of lawywer Billy Flynn
1998:
Took over the role of slickster Billy Flynn in "Chicago"
1999:
Starred in the short-lived Broadway revue "The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm"
1999:
Had supporting role of Bill Calhoun in the Broadway revival of "Kiss Me, Kate", earning nominations for a Featured Actor Tony and Male Dancer Astaire Award
2001:
Played pivotal role in "A.I. Artificial Intelligence"
2001:
Participated in readings of "Never Gonna Dance", a stage musical based on the Astaire-Rogers movie "Swing Time"
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Notes

Michael Berresse on the acrobatic stunts he performs on Broadway as star of "Kiss Me, Kate": "So far I've been lucky. The real danger for me is becoming blase about what I do. The margin for error is so tiny in 'Kiss Me, Kate', I have to keep my emotions in check. I can't get too excited or too happy until the number is over with.

"I just love knowing that the audience is so thrilled to see something they've never seen before. It's a joyous, joyous feeling." --quoted in New York Post, March 14, 2000

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