|Two frames from contact sheets: Opening Night Party of "The Real Thing," held at The Tavern on the Green, January 5th, 1984. Left to right: Pat and Jerry Schoenfeld; Tom Stoppard, the playwright, with Schoenfeld. Photographed by Jill Krementz.|
The Celebration of a Life
By noon on Monday, friends and family of Gerald Schoenfeld, were standing in long lines outside the Majestic Theater. Among those who came to celebrate the life of the legendary Broadway producer were actress Ellen Burstyn, Larry Kramer, Liz Smith, Mica Ertegün, Donald Trump, Barbara Walters, Ellen and Frank McCourt, former Mayor David Dinkins, Roger Berlind, Chase Mishkin, Joan Rivers, Agnes Gund, Cathy and Chris Hart, Dr. and Mrs. Paul Marks, and Tim and Nina Zagat.
The tribute began shortly after one o'clock, with every seat taken. Hugh Jackman welcomed the guests and brought on stage an Avenue-Q type of puppet resembling Jerry, and propped him on a small chair where he remained for the next two hours.
|Mayor Bloomberg was the first to speak, saying that he had been specifically asked NOT to "perform," which he said precluded him from singing or doing a monologue from Equus ... and went on to say that it was hard to eulogize a man who had the best parking spot in Manhattan. (Schoenfeld was always able to park his car in Shubert Alley.)
Other speakers included Whoopi Goldberg, Jean Doumanian, Oskar Eustis, Richard Griffiths, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, James Lapine, Melissa Errico, Donna Murphy, and Andrew Lloyd-Webber ... technically, Lord Lloyd-Webber. Other performers included Priscilla Lopez, Betty Buckley, Marvin Hamlisch. Angela Lansbury thanked everyone for coming; as did both Hugh Jackman and Jerry's widow, Pat. There was a lovely slide show of photographs of the man we all loved and a man who will be greatly missed.
|Pat Schoenfeld thanks performers.|
|Curtain call: Betty Buckley, Priscilla Lopez, Melissa Errico, Donna Murphy, Angela Lansbury, Jeremy Irons, Stew, and the Gerald Schoenfeld puppet wearing a red tie and a grey suit.|
|Hugh Jackman and Pat Schoenfeld at conclusion of Tribute.|
|A reception followed at Sardi's.|
|Michael Eisner||Elaine Stritch||Gay Talese|
|Susan Blumenthal and Frank McCourt||Rocco and Debby Landesman|
|Ralph Destino||Andrew Lloyd-Webber||Peter Brown and Andrew Lloyd-Webber
|Ben and Elke Gazzara and their dog, Max|
|Charlie Rose||Amanda Burden
|Pamela Giddon Freedman with Frank and Ellen McCourt||Anna Meara and husband, Jerry Stiller|
|Tom Meehan, Richard Maltby, Jr., and Carolyn Meehan. Maltby's "The Story of my Life, A New Musical " opens at the Booth Theater on February 19th.|
|Betty Jacobs||Producer Jeffrey Seller. He will be co-producing "West Side Story" opening on March 19th at the Palace Theatre. Past hits have included "Rent," "Avenue Q," and "In The Heights."|
|Pat Schoenfeld talking with orchestrator, Jonathan Tuck and his wife, actress Leigh Berry
||Paul Libin and Fred Rappoport
|The legendary Shubert Theatre, which housed Gerald Schoenfeld's office, and to the right, the famous parking space.|
|All photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.|