There is growing outrage over The Broadway League’s controversial decision not to dim the marquee lights of Broadway theaters in honor of the late Joan Rivers.
The Broadway League is the trade organization that represents Broadway theatre owners and producers.
‘Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theater, or else be synonymous with Broadway – people who made their careers here, or kept it up,” the Broadway League’s executive director Charlotte St. Martin told The New York Times.
But some of Broadway’s biggest stars aren’t having it.
Six-time Tony winner Audra MacDonald, who perfomed at Rivers’ funeral on Sunday tweeted on Monday (8 September) evening:
‘#Dim4Joan plain and simple. She deserves it.’
Tweeted four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein: ‘Dim the lights for Joan. Right is right. She earned it!’
He also tweeted: ‘She loved Broadway and we loved her.’
Tony winner Cyndi Lauper tweeted: ‘The lights on Broadway should be dimmed for
#joanRIVERS She supported the theater more than any other celeb and was a Tony nominee. Very sad.’
Rivers, who died last week at the age of 81, made her Broadway debut in 1972 in the play Fun City which she also co-wrote.
She returned in the late 1980s to replace Linda Lavin in Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound.
Her most recent Broadway run was in Sally Marr…and her escorts, a play that Rivers wrote. Her performance earned her a Tony Award nomination for best actress in a play.
Rivers was also one of Broadway’s most high-profile fans.
She told New York Magazine last year: ‘If you don’t go to Broadway, you’re a fool. On Broadway, off Broadway, above Broadway, below Broadway, go! Don’t tell me there isn’t something wonderful playing. If I’m home in New York at night, I’m either at a Broadway or an Off Broadway show. We’re in the theater capital of the world, and if you don’t get it, you’re an idiot.’
The Broadway League chose to dim its lights last month for the late Robin Williams who appeared on Broadway just twice and was never a Tony nominee.
But some lights will be dimmed for Rivers this week.
Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Jordan Roth tweeted that he would dim the lights of Jujamcyn Theatres at 6:45 pm on Tuesday (9 September) in Rovers’ memory.
Jujamcyn is the smallest of Broadway’s three major landlords but has housed such major hits as blockbuster The Book Of Mormon, Kinky Boots, and Jersey Boys.