Broadway to dim for 'Chicago' producer
NEW YORK — Martin Richards, the Tony Award-winning producer behind such Broadway hits as “On the Twentieth Century,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Will Rogers Follies,” as well as an Academy Award-winning producer of the film “Chicago,” has died of cancer, his publicist said on Tuesday. He was 80.
Publicist Judy Jacksina said Richards died on Monday. The marquees of Broadway theatres dimmed in his memory at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Richards' shows won 36 Tonys during his five decades producing plays and musicals.
“The popularity of his shows has brought many generations to Broadway. He was an admirer of talent, and we were an admirer of his,” Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of The Broadway League, said in a statement.
His other Broadway productions include “Crimes of the Heart,” the original and 2004 revival of “La Cage Aux Folles,” “The Norman Conquests,” “Grand Hotel” and “The Life.”
In addition to his stage work, Richards was the producer of the original “Chicago” on Broadway and went on to win an Academy Award for producing the film version in 2003. His other films include “The Shining,” “The Boys From Brazil” and “Fort Apache, The Bronx.”
Richards and his late wife, Mary Lea Johnson Richards, were instrumental in founding Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Meals on Wheels. Richards created the New York Center for Children to care for abused children and their families.
In a statement, actress Chita Rivera, whose 2005 Broadway show “Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life” was co-produced by Richards, said she had lost a great friend.
“What a privilege to have shared a part of his flamboyant history,” she said.
Richards most recently produced the new musical “Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues” starring Lillias White at The Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, N.Y., this summer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.