Crushing It! Antoinette DiPietropolo Cruises to Success

Crushing It! Antoinette DiPietropolo Cruises to Success

By Kimberly Dijkstra

May 28, 2021 — Directing, producing, choreography, acting, and dancing – it’s not an understatement to say Antoinette DiPietropolo does it all. Her passion for storytelling through movement and comedy comes through in every production she is a part of – from Broadway national tours to regional theater.

“It’s so rewarding to make sure that the stories of musical theater are being told in such a high-quality way regionally,” DiPietropolo said. “It’s really exciting because these stories are important.”

A memorable moment in a career that has taken her all over the world, DiPietropolo recalls tap dancing in a number with Broadway icon Bernadette Peters at Radio City Music Hall. At 4 feet 9¾ inches, DiPietropolo was the shortest of the “Bernadette Peters-sized Rockettes,” even shorter than Peters’ 5 feet 3 inches, and their heights played into the comedy gag.

By sheer coincidence, her rock-climbing buddies turned out to be Peters’ husband and brother-in-law and two worlds collided at that performance.

“I heard my friends laughing and they were like, ‘look how short Antoinette is next to Bernadette,” she recalled. “It’s about human connection, and that’s why that moment was so special – not because Bernadette was famous or because I was there performing in Radio City for the first time. It was literally so humbling. It was because my friends were so entertained by this funny moment.”

The COVID-19 pandemic which struck last March has been a challenge for everyone in the theater world. With theaters and entertainment venues closed indefinitely, DiPietropolo had to shift her focus to other projects.

In addition to offering classes and coaching over Zoom, DiPietropolo has spent her unexpected free time creating new shows. Cruise Thru Events, her events company, offers a unique experience to those seeking art and entertainment in a safe environment.

The event takes place in a parking garage in Atlantic City, NJ. Guests drive through thousands of bubbles, poetry displays, and art installations, and stop to listen to live music at each station for as long as they like. Broadway singers and musicians are featured and renowned saxophone player Adrian Crutchfield, known for recording with Prince, has done a stint in the show.

“I made sure art was still happening in a safe way for people,” DiPietropolo said.

The interactive experience that culminates in a light show on the rooftop is expanding to other cities.

DiPietropolo has also been working on an upcoming tour of Cirque Musica, which combines cirque thrills with symphonic music, and “MasterChef Junior Live!”

“We’re taking some of the ‘MasterChef’ contestants and adding them to the ‘Junior’ show,” she explained.

While many industries have adapted easily to remote work, the theater community has had to find unique ways to cope with the pandemic.

“We had to band together to make sure that we could support each other through this time that’s very confusing for other people who are not in the arts,” said DiPietropolo, who has gone the extra mile supporting her friends by helping them navigate the unemployment system, apply for PPP loans and grants, and to understand their health insurance options.

As the promise of live theater returning gets closer and closer, DiPietropolo said she is looking forward to experiencing the energy of the community after being physically separated this past year.

“Sitting in a theater and collective laughter happens, I can’t wait for that energy,” she said. “If I’m the person who directed that scene…and I was able to make people smile after this, I’m really excited for that."

Equity Theatres - Most Recent Additions

Variety Children's Theatre

Variety the Children’s Charity has been a pillar of the St. Louis community, helping local kids with physical and developmental disabilities, for more than 80 years. We cherish our…

St. Louis, Missouri
View details
Insight Theatre Company

Our goal is to produce the highest quality of plays and musicals in order to entertain, inspire, and reveal the complexity of the human spirit.

We believe the art of theatre is vital to the…

Webster Groves, Missouri
View details
Ford's Theatre Society

Ford’s Theatre celebrates the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and explores the American experience through theatre and education.

During the Civil War, Ford’s Theatre was one…

Washington, District of Columbia
View details
Curious Theatre Company

Now celebrating 20 years of bringing thought-provoking theatre to Denver, Curious Theatre Company’s rich history showcases our commitment to playwrights with gutsy things to say. Over the…

Denver, Colorado
View details
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux

Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, a 501(c)3 organization, is passionately dedicated to presenting the highest quality theatrical performances to entertain and educate the diverse population…

New Orleans, Louisiana
View details
Barnstormers Inc.

The Barnstormers, located in the bucolic village of Tamworth, NH, is one of the longest-running professional summer theatres in the country.  The company was founded in 1931 by Francis…

Tamworth, New Hampshire
View details
Shadow Lawn Stage

Shadow Lawn Stage is the professional Equity theater of Monmouth University, whose goal is to present the best of past and present plays and musicals for the Jersey Shore. As a professional…

West Long Branch, New Jersey
View details
Schoolhouse Theater

The Schoolhouse Theater, a nonprofit organization, is a venerable cultural center devoted to professional theater at the highest possible standard.

Croton Falls, New York
View details