FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (New York Times) — Bob Avian, a choreographer, director and producer who was deeply involved in some of the biggest Broadway shows of the last 60 years, including — with his frequent collaborator, Michael Bennett — “A Chorus Line,” one of the longest-running musicals in history, died on Thursday, January 21, in Fort Lauderdale. He was 83.
His husband, Peter Pileski, said through a spokesman that the cause was cardiac arrest.
Mr. Avian also choreographed the Broadway hits “Miss Saigon” (1991) and “Sunset Boulevard” (1994), among others, and directed a 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line” that ran on Broadway for almost two years, as well as productions of that show in London in 2013 and at New York City Center in 2018. He shared Tony Awards for choreography with Mr. Bennett for “A Chorus Line” (1975) and “Ballroom” (1978).
It all started with a happenstance of casting. Mr. Avian began his career as a dancer, and early on, about 1960, he was cast in an international tour of “West Side Story.”
“I loved the adventure of traveling around the world,” he wrote in “Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey,” a memoir written with Tom Santopietro and published last year, “but the tour would prove even more momentous for one all-encompassing reason: During rehearsals in New York, I met a fellow castmate, Michael Bennett, a 17-year-old high school dropout marked for greatness.”