In New York, Mrs. Reinking was a member of Radio City Music Hall’s corps de ballet. Her first Broadway role was in the Ensemble Cabaret in 1969; she continued in “Coco,” with Katharine Hepburn as Coco Chanel, and “Pippin,” choreographing Fosse.
Mrs. Reinking starred as Joan of Arc, opposite Joel Gray, in the short-lived 1975 musical “Goodtime Charley”. The following year she joined the cast of “A Chorus Line.” She appeared in “Dancin ‘,” a musical revue directed and choreographed by Fosse, starting in 1978.
When “Dancin” opened, The Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning wrote that Ms. Reinking had successfully made the leap from the chorus line to lead roles.
“There is no doubt that Miss Reinking had joined the best of Broadway stars,” wrote Ms. Dunning. “With her long legs, silky mane, flying hair and feline intensity, Ms. Reinking is a standout in very fast company.”
(Fosse said he choreographed part of that show, “Trumpet Solo,” so he could show Ms. Reinking’s elongated extensions.)
“Mrs. Reinking gives the same crackling, exuberant energy to whatever she’s doing,” wrote Mrs. Dunning.
In 1986, Mrs. Reinking starred in a revival of “Sweet Charity”. The production also featured Bebe Neuwirth, who alongside Ms. Reinking was acting as Velma Kelly in the “Chicago” revival.
Prior to the revival, Ms. Reinking said, she never expected to dance on stage again. But after first saying no to playing Roxie. Walter Bobbie, who became the show’s director, insisted.