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Nicholas Dante
(November 22, 1941 - May 21, 1991) USA

Nicholas Dante

Dancer, writer

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Nicholas Dante was born Conrado Morales in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. Although Dante planned to major in journalism, he dropped out of Cardinal Hayes High School at the age of fourteen because of negative reactions to his homosexuality.

When he was a boy, writing in the genre of fantasy served as an outlet for his emotions, but after dropping out of school he stopped writing because he believed that a writer had to have an education. He supported himself by working as a drag queen and began studying dance. His early career was spent dancing in the chorus of Broadway musicals such as Applause and Ambassador .

In 1974, he was approached by friend Michael Bennett who invited him to the sessions which led to the basis of material for the book of a musical about Broadway "gypsies", the dancers who serve as a backdrop for the leading performers. Eventually, collaborating with James Kirkwood, Jr., the result was A Chorus Line , which earned him the 1976 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In particular, the story of Paul, the homosexual Puerto Rican dancer whose early career consisted of working in a drag show, was based primarily on Nicholas Dante. The actor who originated the role with the famous monologue, Sammy Williams, won a Best Featured Actor in a Musical award in 1976 for the role. Dante played the role himself later on.

He authored a screenplay, Fake Lady , and a stage musical based on the life of entertainer Al Jolson entitled Jolson Tonight , but never again achieved the success he did with A Chorus Line .

Dante died aged 49, from AIDS-related complications in New York City.

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Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . https://www.enotes.com/

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