We remember theater impresario Joe Papp. He was responsible for bringing out such hits as "A Chorus Line" and "Hair," and for staging many memorable performances at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He died yesterday at age 70. We'll listen to a Fresh Air interview with Papp from 1987.
Composer and Lyricist Ralph Blane died Monday at the age of 81 at his home in Oklahoma. He is best known for his work with Hugh Martin. Together they wrote songs for Broadway and Hollywood. They are best known for songs in the MGM classic, "Meet Me in St. Louis." That starred Judy Garland and featured the songs "The Trolley Song," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "The Boy Next Door." (Originally aired 10/31/89)
Lane died yesterday at the age of 84. His wife says he suffered a stroke. He's written the scores for several Broadway shows, including "Finian's Rainbow" and "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever." Lane collaborated with Michael Feinstein on the album, "Michael Feinstein Sings the Burton Lane Songbook", which features many of Lane's classic songs, such as "Old Devil Moon" and "How About You." This interview originally aired 11/5/90.
In New York City, the 92nd Street YMCA, is better known as The 92nd Street Y a cultural arts center. Maurice Levine the director of the 92nd Street Y's "Lyrics & Lyricist" series for 26 years died on Monday at the age of 79. The program spotlighted American lyricists and composers like Alan Jay Lerner, Stephen Sondheim, and Dorothy Fields. The series had consistently been a sell-out. (Originally aired 12/11/96)
We remember dancer Gwen Verdon. She died today at the age of 75. She became an overnight Broadway sensation in 1953 as a dancer in Can Can, for which she won her first Tony Award. Later she created her most memorable roles in Bob Fosse's "Damn Yankees" as the seductress Lola, "Sweet Charity" as the taxi dancer Charity, and "Chicago" as the chorus girl Roxie. Verdon was also Fosse's third wife. (ORIGINAL BROADCAST from 5/5/93)
We remember actor Werner Klemperer, who played Colonel Klink on the T-V show Hogan’s Heroes. He died on December 7th at the age of 80. He was the son of the conductor Otto Klemperer. He started his career in theater, and moved on to Hollywood. He won two Emmys during his 6 year stint as Klink (he was nominated all six years). In 1987 he returned to Broadway to play a Jewish shopkeeper in a revival of Cabaret. His work earned him a Tony nomination. (5/25/87)