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CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
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Broadway To Dim Its Lights Tonight At 8 p.m. In Memory Of Legendary Librettist, Playwright, Screenwriter and Director, ARTHUR LAURENTS
May 06, 2011

The Broadway community mourns the loss of Arthur Laurents, who passed away Thursday night at age 93. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory tonight, May 6th, at exactly 8:00pm for one minute.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said, “The legendary works of Arthur Laurents are responsible for creating many generations of star-struck individuals, myself included! His name is synonymous with the great Broadway musicals and plays of our time. We have been enjoying his shows for over fifty years - including the very recent revivals of West Side Story and Gypsy, which he directed  - and thankfully his talent will live on in future productions.  Our thoughts go out to his friends, family, and fans.”

Arthur Laurents was best known for his work as librettist on Gypsy and West Side Story , but was also well known as a playwright, having won a Tony Award ® for Hallelujah, Baby! in 1968. Later as a director, he was Tony-nominated for Gypsy in 1975 (and the 2008 revival) as well as the original 1984 La Cage Aux Folles. He made his Broadway debut in 1945 with Home of the Brave , but in the late 1940s Mr. Laurents successfully tried his luck as a screenwriter in Hollywood.  Film credits include Hitchcock's “Rope,” “Anastasia,” with Ingrid Bergman, and “The Turning Point,” with Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine. His screenplay for “The Way We Were,” with Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand, was adapted from his novel by the same name.

In 2010, he established an award for emerging playwrights, to be funded through the Laurents-Hatcher Foundation, a tribute to his relationship with Tom Hatcher, an aspiring actor when they met. The couple remained together for 52 years until Hatcher's death in 2006. Mr. Laurents' play Two Lives was written about their relationship. The first recipient of the Laurents-Hatcher award was named only weeks ago: Jeff Talbott, an unproduced New York City playwright. His play, The Submission, will be presented by Off-Broadway's MCC Theater in the fall.

In recent weeks, Mr. Laurents had finished work on a new play, and had concluded negotiations with a major studio for a new feature film version of Gypsy.