The Broadway theatre community is mourning the death of legendary theatre impresario, Gerald Schoenfeld, a titan in the industry, who died at his home today at the age of 84. As mayor Bloomberg said at a press conference this morning (see related blog) for "Broadway Goes Green," Schoenfeld, who had been at the head of the Shubert Organization for decades, had fought for many years to save the Broadway theatres, and his passing was the end of an era. Bloomberg had just seen Schoenfeld at the recent opening of Billy Elliot on Broadway.
From the New York Times obituary:
"Mr. Schoenfeld was one of the most influential figures in the business of the American theater. As head of both the Shubert Organization and the nonprofit Shubert Foundation — a role he shared for 24 years with Bernard B. Jacobs, who died in 1996 — Mr. Schoenfeld controlled an empire with an immense impact on the cultural life of New York and the country."
Schoenfeld was honored by his peers when the Plymouth Theatre (built in 1917) was renamed the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in 2004, guaranteeing that the legendary impresario's name will stay up in lights for many years to come.