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A creative stretch

Long_hair_headshot Charlie Sutton grew up in Pinecrest, where his mom Deborah Rodriguez indulged her inner showgirl by dancing in charity shows with the Gold-Diggers at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.  Sutton became an actor-dancer, too, getting his training at Miami's New World School of the Arts high school, graduating in 2002, then heading north to New York for college.

A Broadway career -- happily -- got in the way. He danced in Wicked and La Cage aux Folles, toured in Wicked and Aida, hoofed in the movie version of The Producers.  Now Sutton, 24, is one of the dazzling dancers doing Rob Ashford's Tony Award-nominated choreography in Cry-Baby, one of the shows nominated for this year's best musical Tony.  One of its lead producers is Adam Epstein, another former South Floridian.

Charlie_sutton_2 Sutton and his fellow cast members will be performing during the Tony ceremony at New York's Radio City Music Hall this Sunday.  Whether or not Cry-Baby takes home any Tonys, Sutton's dance partner Mayumi Miguel will have reason to celebrate: when not onstage, she'll be wearing a Charlie Sutton original (shown in Sutton's sketch at left).

Interested in fashion, Sutton began by making hand-sewn pillows. Miguel asked him to design her dress for the Cry-Baby opening in April, then asked again for the Tonys.  The dancer and neophyte designer, thinking about life beyond Broadway, said yes.

For info on the show that is Sutton's day job -- well, night job -- check out the Cry-Baby website.