( b. Jul 05, 1916 Louisville, Kentucky, USA - d. May 04, 2008 New York, New York, USA ) Male
Alvin Colt designed costumes for over 50 Broadway productions, earning additional Tony nominations for his designs for Phoenix '55, The Lark, Li'l Abner, The Sleeping Prince and Greenwillow. He also designed over 15 shows for Off-Broadway's Phoenix Theatre.
Mr. Colt made his Broadway debut in the early forties, designing costumes for the original production of the Leonard Bernstein-Adolph Green-Betty Comden musical On the Town in 1944. About that production, Mr. Colt told Playbill.com in September 2006, "Needless to say, it was a big hit and it got me going on Broadway. I had done a lot of things with the ballet before that. I had worked with all the On the Town people before in ballet like Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein and Oliver Smith. That started it all off."
Mr. Colt's final Broadway design credit was for the short-lived Renée Taylor and Joe Bologna play, If you ever leave me...I'm going with you!, in summer 2001. In between that time period, his costume design credits boasted the Broadway productions of Around the World, Barefoot Boy with Cheek, Music in My Heart, Top Banana, Fanny, Guys and Dolls, Finian's Rainbow, Six Characters in Search of an Author, The Sleeping Prince, First Impressions, Destry Rides Again, Wildcat, Here's Love, The Crucible, The Imaginary Invalid, The Goodbye People, Sugar, Lorelei, Jerome Robbins' Broadway and Waiting in the Wings, among others.
In recent years Mr. Colt designed several editions of the long-running Off-Broadway revue, Forbidden Broadway. "I enjoy it," he told Playbill.com about his work on the Gerard Alessandrini productions. "It keeps me going. Most of my collaborators are all doing their shows up in heaven or someplace. I don't know a lot of the current bunch and they don't know me. Designers go in cycles. Sometimes they're popular and sometimes they're not. It's part of the crazy business we're in."
Mr. Colt also spoke about his decision to become a costume designer: "As a little boy, I had my toy theatre in the attic of our house in Kentucky," he said in 2006. "I lost both my mother and father at a young age, but I did have a brother and he knew I wanted to do something in the theatre. So I ended up going to Yale for design. I thought I wanted to be a set designer. I didn't have a BA, so I never got an MA, but I was there for three years. Then I went straight to New York. My first job was with a theatrical fabric house. I made fifteen dollars a week with commission. I worked summer theatre, painting and holding scenery. Then one summer I worked with a ballet company and that got me interested in costuming."
Mr. Colt also designed for TV and film, although his theatre output was more prolific. Among his screen credits are costume designs for the films "Top Banana," "Stiletto" and "Li'l Abner" and for the TV productions of "The Enchanted Nutcracker," "Kiss Me Kate," "The Adams Chronicles," "The 30th Annual Tony Awards," "CBS: On the Air" and "Happy 100th Birthday, Hollywood."
In 2007 the Museum of the City of New York offered the exhibition "Costumes and Characters: The Designs of Alvin Colt," and the Museum is now the home of the his many costume sketches.