Dayton Daily News: Wright State grad Tilly Evans-Krueger takes Broadway by storm

Wright State University dance alumna Alexis “Tilly” Evans-Krueger has taken Broadway by storm.

In addition to serving as associate choreographer of and portraying tomboy Ace in the Broadway musical adaptation of “The Outsiders,” the recipient of four 2024 Tony Awards on June 16 including Best Musical, she received the 2024 Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Dancer in a Broadway Show on May 20.

“Dance is something I need — it’s not just something I do,” said Evans-Krueger, 32. “Dance has saved my life over and over again. To just be nominated for the Chita Rivera Award blew my mind and to win was so wild. It’s still so hard for me to believe. But I’m just so hard-working. I’m super proud of ‘The Outsiders’ and I’m super proud of the work I’m doing in it. To be considered the most outstanding dancer on Broadway is crazy.”

Before she joined “The Outsiders,” Evans-Krueger made her Broadway debut covering dance roles in “Moulin Rouge!” The coronavirus pandemic interrupted her trajectory with the show (she was initially slated to begin in March 2020) but she returned once Broadway reopened in 2021 and remained in the cast until 2023. Her extensive credits include off-Broadway’s “The Wrong Man” choreographed by Emmy winner Travis Wall (“So You Think You Can Dance”), music videos such as Grammy winner Ariana Grande’s “yes, and?,” and film and TV projects “Better Nate Than Ever,” “Rent Live!,” “In the Heights” and “Saturday Night Live.” She has also performed with such dance companies as Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, and BODYTRAFFIC dance company in Los Angeles.

During callbacks for “The Outsiders,” Evans-Krueger chose to stay behind and learn fight choreography — a crucial decision that ultimately prompted an engaging conversation with director Danya Taymor, niece of Julie Taymor (Disney’s “The Lion King”), who received the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical.

“I was so excited and inspired by what I was taught during the callback and I think they saw the range in which my dancing could span,” she explained. “In the first initial auditions Danya was very thorough. She talked to me about my career and my life. And the next day, (choreographers) Rick and Jeff Kuperman called to ask me if I would be an associate choreographer and I said absolutely. Choreography and me have an interesting relationship. It scares me because it’s truly your own voice, but life is continuing to pull me down that road. The Kupermans and I were a really good match. And from the very beginning, Danya has been very special. We’ve all grown so much as leaders during this process, which began with the first workshop in 2022.”

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