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Gerald Schoenfeld, Tireless Promoter of Broadway, Dies at 84

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Broadway will dim its lights tonight at seven in memory of a giant of New York theater – Gerald Schoenfeld, a New York native and theater impresario died today. WNYC's Allison Lichter has more.

REPORTER: From "A Chorus Line" to "Ain’t Misbehavin" to this year’s revival of "Equus," Gerald Schoenfeld was a powerful force on Broadway.

In 1972, as the city faced financial collapse, Schoenfeld took over the Shubert Organization, which owns 17 Broadway theaters and one off-Broadway playhouse. Schoenfeld brought a string of mainsteam hits to the Great White Way – including Andrew Lloyd Weber’s longest-running Broadway show Cats, in 1982. He’s credited with breathing new life back to the theater district and bringing tourists back to Times Square.

Under Schoenfeld, the Shubert Organization also supported efforts to bring art and culture back to city's public schools. Earlier today, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Schoenfeld was a bright light who made a difference. Schoenfeld died today at the age of 84. For WNYC, I’m Allison Lichter.

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