December 17, 2018 at 9:39 am #1202703554
Composer Galt MacDermot has died just the day before turning 90.
After having won a Grammy for the Cannonball Adderley recording of his song ‘African Waltz’ in 1960, Galt MacDermot took a crack at musical theatre when he joined forces with Gerome Ragni & James Rado by setting music to their lyrics for a show they were working on. That show turned out to be the groundbreaking rock musical, Hair. Since then, MacDermot collaborated on four more Broadway musicals. While the last three (Dude, Via Galactica, and The Human Comedy) were flops, the only other hit he had in him was Two Gentlemen of Verona, which was a musical adaptation of the William Shakespeare comedy of the same name. That show ended up winning the 1972 Tony Award for Best Musical over more high profile (especially nowadays) titles like Follies, Grease, and the unnominated Jesus Christ Superstar.
I’m sure NBC’s upcoming live telecast of Hair will be dedicated to him (as well as its recently deceased producer, Craig Zadan).December 17, 2018 at 10:36 am #1202703602
Via Galactica inspired one of my favorite assessments ever from revered theatre journalist Ken Mendelbaum:
“Nothing in Via Galactica could possibly have entertained a drug-free audience.”December 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm #1202707034
Two-time Tony-nominated actor, writer and director Peter Masterson passed away. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/peter-masterson-dead-actor-best-little-whorehouse-texas-writer-was-84-1171056December 20, 2018 at 12:16 pm #1202707036
We’ve now lost the two remaining writers of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Carol Hall and Peter Masterson.December 20, 2018 at 12:26 pm #1202707043
Playwright John Ford Noonan passed away. http://www.playbill.com/article/playwright-john-ford-noonan-dies-at-77December 21, 2018 at 8:05 am #1202707534
Producer Audrey Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, passed away. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/audrey-geisel-widow-dr-seuss-dead-at-97-1171349December 21, 2018 at 2:08 pm #1202707835
Actress Ethel Ayler, who starred as a replacement Rose in the original Broadway production of Fences, passed away. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ethel-ayler-dead-cosby-show-eves-bayou-actress-was-88-1171489December 26, 2018 at 1:05 pm #1202710594
Actor Ricardo Barber passed away. http://www.playbill.com/article/actor-ricardo-barber-fixture-of-repertorio-espanol-dies-at-81December 27, 2018 at 8:06 am #1202711327
Australian stage and screen actress and TV host Penny Cook passed away.
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/dec/27/penny-cook-star-of-a-country-practice-dies-aged-61December 28, 2018 at 11:30 am #1202712553
Dancer Sono Osato, who originated the role of Ivy Smith in the original Broadway production of On The Town, passed away. http://www.playbill.com/article/sono-osato-dancer-who-broke-ground-in-on-the-town-dies-at-99December 28, 2018 at 5:03 pm #1202712888
Lyricist Norman Gimbel passed away. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/norman-gimbel-dead-oscar-grammy-winning-lyricist-was-91-1171780December 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm #1202713523
Actress June Whitfield, who appeared on Broadway in the 1952 play Women Of Twilight as well as several stage productions in her native Britain, passed away. https://deadline.com/2018/12/dame-june-whitfield-dies-actress-in-absolutely-fabulous-was-93-1202527201/
December 31, 2018 at 10:53 pm #1202715226
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Alex Meyer.
Actor Don McKay, who played Tony in the original London and Tokyo productions of West Side Story as well as the 1964 Broadway revival, passed away. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/don-mckay-dead-west-side-story-actor-was-93-1172050December 31, 2018 at 11:08 pm #1202715230
Some other recent passings:
Scenic designer Ralph Koltai. http://www.playbill.com/article/ralph-koltai-celebrated-designer-of-british-theatre-dies-at-94
Conductor/music director/arranger Liza Redfield, who made history as the first woman to conduct a Broadway show full-time during the original Broadway run of The Music Man. http://www.playbill.com/article/liza-redfield-broadways-first-full-time-female-conductor-dies-at-94
January 1, 2019 at 8:33 am #1202715424
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Alex Meyer.
Playbill published a list of the greatest theater giants who died last year, and one person we forgot to include was actor/producer Bernard Bragg. http://www.playbill.com/article/remembering-the-theatre-luminaries-we-lost-in-2018
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