Last year, after the untimely passing of Jan Maxwell along with the news that only two Broadway theatres would be dimming its lights in her honor, I wrote how Broadway theatres should dim the lights for everyone or no one.
Fast forward to this year and the tragic passing of Marin Mazzie; it’s been announced that the “committee” at the Broadway League has decided to have only six theatres dim their lights in her honor.
Besides the fact that they announced the news in an incredibly cold press release, starting it off with the phrase “The Committee of Theatre Owners has decided to dim the lights” is the type of Broadway pretentiousness that makes my stomach turn.
Because in truth, when it comes to Marin Mazzie, it shouldn’t have taken a committee vote to decide if and which theatres will dim their lights. In fact, it should be all of them.
Beyond the performances, beyond the accolades, beyond the Tony Awards, Marin Mazzie is a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame. If nothing else, that honor alone should ensure that every theatre on Broadway pays tribute. Apparently, the Broadway League feels differently.
In fact, they have a terrible history when it comes to honoring Hall of Fame members. Member Brian Bedford and Tammy Grimes both were denied the honor yet the League made sure Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was.
But this is yet another reminder of the issues with this type of tribute and leaving it up to a committee to decide. Which is why I think it has to end. Clearly what should be an easy, obvious tribute has been corrupted by a group of people for reasons that will never be made clear.
So Broadway needs to find another way to consistently honors its legends. I don’t know exactly what that should be but this has to change.