Casey Nicholaw (born 1962) is an American theatre director, choreographer and performer. He has been nominated for Tony Awards for directing and choreographing The Drowsy Chaperone (2006) and Something Rotten! (2015), for choreographing Monty Python's Spamalot (2005), and choreographing The Book of Mormon (2011), winning for his co-direction of the latter with Trey Parker. He also was nominated for the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Direction and Choreography for The Drowsy Chaperone (2006) and Something Rotten! (2015) and for Outstanding Choreography for Spamalot (2005).
The son of Andy and Kay Nicholaw and the oldest of three children, Nicholaw grew up in San Diego, California and performed in community theatre there as a teenager. He graduated from Clairemont High School in 1980 and attended the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a nephew of the late George Nicholaw, who was the long time general manager of radio station KNX (AM) in Los Angeles, California.
As a performer, he played the role of Junior and other roles in Crazy for You (1992–94); played Wall Street Wolf and other roles in The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public (1994); played Gregor, Juke and other roles in Victor/Victoria (1995–97), played Corky, Luke and other roles in Steel Pier (1997); understudied and performed as Neville in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999); played the role of Frank Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1999–2000); understudied the role of Horton and other roles in Seussical (2000–01); and played the role of Dexter, among other roles, in Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002–04). He can be heard on the cast album of most of these musicals.
His other performing credits include Billion Dollar Baby (Off-Off-Broadway), for a Musicals in Mufti concert (1998) and Bells Are Ringing at the Goodspeed Opera House (1990).
- Director and choregrapher
On Broadway, Nicholaw has directed and choreographed The Drowsy Chaperone (2006), choreographed Spamalot (2005) and directed To Be or Not to Be, which opened October 2, 2008, for the Manhattan Theatre Club. He has been nominated for both Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards for his Broadway work.
Nicholaw's other choreography credits include Follies for City Center's Encores! (Off-Broadway, 2007; he also directed this production); Spamalot's West End production and U.S. national tour (2006); The Drowsy Chaperone in Los Angeles (2005; as director and choreographer); South Pacific at Carnegie Hall (2005); Lucky Duck (Old Globe Theater, 2004) and Can-Can for Encores! (Off-Broadway, 2004). He also choreographed Bye Bye Birdie (2002) for City Center Encores!; Sinatra: His Voice, His World, His Way at Radio City Music Hall; and Candide for the New York Philharmonic's series of Broadway concerts.
In January 2009, Nicholaw was both director and choreographer of the Los Angeles debut of Minsky's, a musical based on the 1968 film The Night They Raided Minsky's, at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Nicholaw directed and choreographed a new musical, Robin and the 7 Hoods, based on the 1960s Rat Pack film. The musical features songs by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen with a book by Rupert Holmes (replacing Peter Ackerman). The show played at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California, from July 30, 2010 through August, with a cast that featured Will Chase and Amy Spanger.
He is the director and choreographer for the musical Elf the Musical, which officially opened on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on November 10, 2010 and closed on January 2, 2011. He directed and choreographed the stage musical Aladdin which ran at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington, July 7–31, 2011. It uses songs from the 1992 film Aladdin, with a new book by Chad Beguelin and new lyrics by Beguelin and Alan Menken. The show premiered on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater on March 20, 2014.
In 2013-14, Nicholaw joined a very select group of musical theatre choreographers (Joe Layton being the only other, known choreographer with Broadway and West End credits), hired to work on Olympic Opening ceremonies. Nicholaw was contracted by the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee for its 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. For that ceremony, Nicholaw choreographed primarily the Peter the Great's Cadets sequence--when 200 cadets march/danced into a map of St. Petersburg, which then morphed into Natasha's First Ball (the "War and Peace" ball sequence).
Nicholaw is the director and choreographer of a new musical on Broadway, Something Rotten!, which opened in previews at the St. James Theatre on March 23, 2015, with an official opening on April 22.
Nicholaw will direct Animal House: The Musical, which was to have featured an original score by multi-platinum selling band Barenaked Ladies (“One Week,” “Pinch Me”), but is now being composed by David Yazbek. Michael Mitnick will write the libretto for the stage production.
He directed and choreographed the West End production of the musical Dreamgirls which opened officially on 14 December 2016 at the Savoy Theatre.
Nicholaw won the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for The Book Of Mormon.
For The Book Of Mormon he won the 2011 Tony Award, Best Direction of a Musical and the 2011 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Director of a Musical.