Andy Blankenbuehler Is Working Overtime

July 5, 2009

Andy Blankenbuehler is no stranger to hard work. He’s been on Broadway for nearly two decades, teaches classes at NYC’s Broadway Dance Center and made his way to L.A. to choreograph for Season 4 of “So You Think You Can Dance.” He’s even got a Tony Award under his belt for his work on In the Heights. Now, he’s taking to the stage again, choreographing Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5. We caught up with Blankenbuehler to chat about the show, which opens for previews April 7.  —Alison Feller

Dance Spirit:
What can we expect from 9 to 5?

Andy Blankenbuehler:
The show is fast-paced and funny. It’s about three women in an office who fantasize about killing their boss. There’s a lot of dance numbers, like a big-band routine, clogging and a hoe-down.

Do you have a favorite scene?

I love when Judy (Allison Janney) performs her dream sequence with the men in the ensemble. It’s a big, sweeping fantasy number like what you’d see on a variety show.

What has been the best moment of your career?

: Accepting my Tony Award for In the Heights! I’ve had so many hard moments in my career, going home to a five-floor walk-up apartment at the end of a long day of getting cut from auditions. For 20 years, I was practicing at the barre, making up acceptance speeches to get me through the tough times. As dancers, we have to dream big and put everything behind those dreams. I’m lucky because I love what I do for a living. To be standing there,

actually making a speech, was the top of my career. It couldn’t have been any more amazing.

What’s next for you?

I’m very excited to be making my directorial debut in 2010 with a musical version of the movie Bring It On! It has a hip-hop score by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), and I’ll be choreographing and directing. We’re going to be dancing our butts off as we take it on tour!