JONATHAN STUART CERULLO (Choreography and Director): For the past 27 years, Jonathan’s work in the professional theater has been seen on Broadway, Off Broadway, Cabaret, as well as major regional theaters throughout the country. In addition to this, he has worked in film, television, circus arts, corporate events, and educational programs all to critical acclaim and respect from his peers and collaborators.
Jonathan was most recently honored with a feature article in the New York Times’ Style Home and Garden section Habitats column by journalist; Constance Rosenblum titled “A Theatrical 348 Square Feet”. An online copy of this can be found here: NYTimes. This led to being honored by the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Florida for his avid collecting of art deco.
Jonathan most recently directed Dear Mr. Gershwin, a theatrical concert that had its premier with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Theater in Victoria British Columbia, Canada. He also has choreographed, for the internationally recognized outdoor entertainment company, Studio Festi,the New York City 2010 Columbus Day Parade hosted by television personality MARIA BARTIROMO, broadcast live on NBC and in Italy on RAI TV.
He most recently directed a series of short plays by several rising HB Studio playwrights at the internationally recognized HB Playwrights Foundation under Executive Director, Donna de Matteo. Prior to this choreographed the 2009 NYMF AWARD WINNER - Theater for the American Musical Prize, Under Fire, starring JACK NOSEWORTHY, written and directed by EMMY AWARD winning and the TONY nominated Barry Harman, with music by Grant Sturiale. Prior to this he directed and staged the world premiere of the Broadway bound musical entitled Fools’ Paradise, and is in preparation for the New York workshop of the musical Sun Queen and the play Ray Qualey by GOLDEN PALM winning playwright, Garry Michael White. Prior to this he directed and staged the premiere of 7WOMEN 7HEAVENS, Portraits of Muslim Women by NY EMMY AWARD winning playwright, Kayhan Irani. He choreographed the TONY nominated actress,DEBORAH YATES, in “Cheek To Cheek,” as part of Credit Suisse’s Gala Benefit for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. He made his national television debut choreographing Offenbach’s Orpheus Descending for Great Performances “Evening At Pops.” Taped live at Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Boston Pops Orchestra was conducted by KEITH LOCKHART. Jonathan was the Special Effects Movement Consultant on the remake of “The Stepford Wives,” starring BETTE MIDLERand NICOLE KIDMAN, and choreographer for the Big Apple Circus’ 27th Season production of, Picturesque. Also for the Big Apple Circus, he choreographed Carnevale! This earned Jonathan a 2003 VILLAGE VOICE “DANCE PICK” of the month. Prior to this, he privately instructed and created the two dances FRANK GORSHIN used as George Burns inRUPERT HOLMES’ TONY nominated best play, Say Goodnight, Gracie at the Helen Hayes Theatre, making this Jonathan’s sixth Broadway show. His other Broadway credits include Assistant Director and Choreographer for Band In Berlin, Associate Choreographer for the TONY nominated musical, Anna Karenina, and Production Assistant to JOE LAYTON on The Three Musketeers.
On Broadway, as a performer, Jonathan was a featured dancer in the musical Legs Diamond starring PETER ALLEN as well as being featured on the BMG-RCA Original Cast Recording, and TV commercial for the show. He was Dance Captain for Circle in the Square’s production of Anna Karenina, toured nationally with CATS as Skimbleshanks, The Railway Cat, and on the west coast played Big Daddy in BOB FOSSE’S Sweet Charity starring the TONY award-winning actress,DONNA MCKECHNIE.
Jonathan had the distinct honor of creating and directing The Fifty-Year Tribute to Uta Hagen at Town Hall hosted byCELESTE HOLM and MATTHEW BRODERICK. Several years later, he was called in by UTA HAGEN to help prepare her for the dancing in Six Dance Lessonsat the Geffen Playhouse. This was Ms. Hagen’s final stage appearance. Jonathan’s Off Broadway credits include Choreographer of Wonderful Town for the Equity Library Theater and Midsummer Nights for Musical Theater Works. He conceived, wrote, and directed the premiere of The Strindberg Diaries for the Directors and Choreographers Foundation Series of New Works at CAP 21, On Broadway ’98 at Circle in the Square Theatre, and the revusical, So You Wanna Be On Broadway? at the Lambs Theatre. He was Assistant Director and Choreographer for CY COLEMAN’S musical,Exactly Like You, Associate Director and Choreographer for Smiling Thru, Assistant to Director, ALANSCHNEIDER, on Samuel Beckett’s The Beckett Trilogy and Rockaby starring BILLIE WHITELAWand ALVINEPSTEIN, and Associate Director for MELISSAMANCHESTER’S musical, I Sent A Letter To My Love. On the cabaret stage, he worked on the musical revue, Rhythm on the Rainbow; the Harmonies of the Boswell Sisters with DEEHOTY, SALLY MAYES, and NANCY OPEL at the famous Rainbow and Stars at Rockefeller Center.
Regionally he began his career at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Director on Candide. In Toronto Canada, at the Winter Garden Theater, he was Associate Director and Choreographer for the world premiere of the tap dance musical RSVP Broadway. Jonathan soon went on to choreograph Big Riverfor Northern Stage, Camelotat the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Man Of La Mancha and The Rothchilds at the Bristol Riverside Theater. He was Resident Guest Choreographer for the Jekyll Island Music Theatre Festival and Guest Director and Choreographer at both the Forestburgh Playhouse and Keene Summer Theater. For North Carolina Theater’s Professional Training Program, he directed and choreographed Oklahoma!, which featured FRANKIE MUNIZ.
Jonathan’s association with his mentor, EMMY AWARD winning Director-Choreographer PATRICIA BIRCH spanned several years. This successful partnership provided opportunities such as, Associate Choreographer for PBS Great Performances of “This Is The Moment,” starring DONNY OSMOND andVANESSA WILLIAMS, “NATALIE COLE’S Untraditional Traditional Christmas Special,” and Assistant Choreographer for both “The First Wives Club,” and “The Cowboy Way.”
In the spirit of giving back, Jonathan spent seven years working with many celebrities; most notable JULIA ROBERTS AND WHOOPIE GOLDBERG at PAUL NEWMAN’S annual Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Fandango and was involved with the staging of theAquacade Tribute to ESTHER WILLIAMS on the opening of New York City’s Asphalt Green Project. While touring the country with the musical CATS he created A Singular Sensation A Tribute to Michael Bennett raising funds for various AIDS foundations throughout the United States. Jonathan’s commitment to charitable organizations has always been an integral part of his career and has served as a volunteer staff with the ASPCA and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Jonathan is also a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Actors Equity Association.
An honored note in Jonathan’s family’s tree was his great, great, aunt, ERMINIA FREZZOLINI (1818 – 1884). As one of Italy’s most respected sopranos at La Scala in Milan, Verdi wrote the opera’s I Lombardi alla prima crociata (The Lombards on the First Crusade) and Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc) for her. She sang the title role in their premiers both at La Scala and at the Paris Opera among numerous operas during her lifetime. Named for her is both a street in Rome and a Special Prize which honors an outstanding soprano at the International Competition of Musical Performance.