Saying Good-bye to so Many in 2020

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By Karen Isaacs

The theater world lost so many talents in 2020. Some from Covid and others from a variety of causes. We will miss them.

So many I saw or saw their work in New York but also in Connecticut.

In December, theater lovers were hit with the deaths of two luminous women, much too young. Dancer, choreographer and director (Chicago, Fosse) Ann Reinking died at 61. Just weeks later, the gorgeous soprano voice of Rebecca Luker was silenced at 59 due to ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease). The Broadway community mourned her and sent wishes to her husband, actor Danny Bernstein.

Covid played role. Theater lovers followed the struggle of 41 years old actor/musical performer Nick Cordero who was hospitalized for months before succumbing.

As I looked at the list of performers there were the very well known (Zoe Caldwell, Diana Rigg, Phyllis Newman and Diahann Carroll. I found many I had seen multiple times on Connecticut stages (Brian Dennehy, Mark Blum, David Schramm, Jerry Stiller, Rene Auberjonois, Ron Leibman, RipTorn, Max Wright, Pamela Peyton-Wright) and others I had seen in NYC (Kevin Conway, Shirley Knight, Valerie Harper, Brent Carver, Peg Murray, Richard Easton).

But we also lost producers/directors Hal Prince, Sir Jonathan Miller, Gerald Freedman and Bernard Gerstan; designer Ming Cho Lee.

No new plays will come from Matt Crowley, Terrence McNally, Larry Kramer, Ronald Harwood, Murray Schisgal, Israel Horovitz, Bernard Slade; no new music and lyrics from Martin Charnin or Jerry Herman.

Connecticut lost one of the deans of the theater critic scene with the passing of my friend David Rosenberg.

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