fbpx The Pasadena Playhouse Announces Kenny Ortega as 2015 Diversity Award Artistic Honoree - Hey SoCal. Change is our intention.
The Votes Are In!
2023 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
View Winners →
Vote for your favorite business!
2024 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
Start voting →
Subscribeto our newsletter to stay informed
  • Enter your phone number to be notified if you win
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / The Pasadena Playhouse Announces Kenny Ortega as 2015 Diversity Award Artistic Honoree

The Pasadena Playhouse Announces Kenny Ortega as 2015 Diversity Award Artistic Honoree

by Pasadena Independent
share with
Kenny Ortega. - Courtesy Photo

Kenny Ortega. – Courtesy Photo

The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) announced that legendary director, choreographer, and producer Kenny Ortega will be the 2015 Diversity Award Artistic Honoree, and Abel Ramirez, founder of Pasadena’s El Portal Restaurant and business and cultural leader of the Pasadena community, will be the Community Honoree at the 9th Annual Pasadena Playhouse’s Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project fundraising benefit on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in honor of the opening of Josefina López’s Real Women Have Curves.

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, says, “Kenny Ortega is a true ‘Renaissance Man’ of the entertainment world. He is a great artist who also cares deeply for artists and their development. His work has touched so many around the world in a number of ways and inspired us all. It is our great pleasure to honor him at this year’s Diversity Event and to recognize his extraordinary achievements as an entertainer and a great humanitarian. Our celebration is all about those who have used the arts to overcome challenges to achieve great success. That being the case, Kenny is an ideal honoree!”

Kenny Ortega’s work as a director, choreographer, and producer is known and loved by millions around the world. In the 1980s, he became known for his stage direction and choreography of the A&M pioneer recording artists, The Tubes. It was a Tubes performance in Los Angeles that caught the attention of Cher who asked Ortega to choreograph her television special. Soon, Ortega became the most sought after choreographer for the industry’s biggest musical artists, including Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, KISS, Gloria Estefan, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, and The Pointer Sisters, to name a few.

Ortega directed many television series during the ‘80s and ‘90s. In 2006, he directed Disney Channel’s High School Musical and High School Musical 2 which were both the most successful Disney Channel Original Movies to date when they premiered. Ortega received a DGA and another Emmy win for choreography. He is also the supervising producer for both of the movie’s multi-platinum soundtracks.

In network television, two of Ortega’s Emmy wins were for his work directing and choreographing the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Ortega has collaborated on numerous theatrical and large-scale outdoor spectacles, including two Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, three Super Bowl half-time shows and the Chicago World Cup Opening Ceremonies.

Ortega has been the recipient of three Emmy Awards, back to back nominations and a DGA Award from the Director’s Guild of America, Fred & Adele Astaire’s annual Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award, Bob Fosse Award, an American Choreography Lifetime Achievement Award, MTV Video Music Award, American Music Award, ALMA Award, Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, Imagen Creative Achievement Award, NAACP Award, as well as a number of others.

The Theatrical Diversity Project has raised over a million dollars since its 2005 inception. These funds are used to support Playhouse Diversity Initiatives, The Pasadena Playhouse’s vision to build a legacy of artistic and theatrical diversity through eclectic programming, outreach and education programs, HOTHOUSE (The Playhouse new play development program), and continued efforts for expanded audience engagement. This year’s Diversity Project fundraising benefit will coincide with the theatre’s season opener, Josefina López’s Real Women Have Curves, directed by Associate Artistic Director Seema Sueko.

For more information about the Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Program, or to become a Patron of the 2015 Diversity Celebration, contact Mary Reitz, Events and Corporate Giving Manager, at (626) 204-7383 or mreitz@pasadenaplayhouse.org.

Real Women Have Curves is set in a tiny sewing factory in East L.A. This award-winning comedy from acclaimed playwright Josefina López tells the story of five full-figured women racing to meet an impossible deadline to keep their sewing factory from going under. The basis for the award-winning film of the same name starring America Ferrera, Real Women Have Curves celebrates real bodies, life in southern California, and the incredible bond when women work together.

Real Women Have Curves plays Sept. 8 through Oct. 4 (press opening on Sunday, Sept. 13). The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


More from Arts

Skip to content