When Stars Fall, Broadway Sends 'Em Off in Style

Dedicated obit-readers trek to star-studded memorial tributes
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2007 3:01 PM CDT
Theater goers and other pedestrians walk past a row of theaters along 45th Street in New York's Broadway Theater District in this Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007 file photo.(AP Photo/Cameron Bloch, file)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – In contrast to Hollywood, Broadway lavishes star-studded spectaculars on its deceased, and a cadre of loyal Broadway-lovers (many elderly) scan the obits and flock to the free tributes, reports the Wall Street Journal. Recent winners include tributes to Jerry Orbach ("Everybody from 'Law & Order' came") and Kitty Carlisle Hart ("I didn't realize how much she did for the arts"),

"Theaters have become a new kind of memorial chapel," says one owner, adding: "The more popular the deceased the better." Notables have included Arthur Miller, Tony Randall, Spalding Gray, Robert Altman, and Peter Jennings. And the fans lap it up. "It's not a funeral. It's one of the best shows you'll ever see," says one.