Thursday, November 4, 2010

Broadway Lights Dim Tonight for Jerry Bock

The Broadway community mourns the loss of Jerry Bock, who passed away yesterday at age 81. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory tonight, Nov. 4, at exactly 8 pm for one minute.

Paul Libin, Chairman of The Broadway League and Executive Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters, called Jerry Bock, “one of Broadway's great composers of more than a dozen memorable musicals; he also wrote the book and lyrics for many of his productions. His work will live forever on Broadway.”

Bock was an inspired musical composer who wrote the scores to such shows as Fiddler on the Roof and The Apple Tree. Jerrold Lewis Bock was born in New Haven, CT on Nov. 23, 1928. He was raised in Flushing, Queens where he studied piano from a young age and began early compositions. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he wrote the musical Big As Life. Bock made his Broadway debut in 1955 with Catch a Star, a musical revue in which he collaborated on music and lyrics.

Bock was best known for the memorable and thoughtful score for Fiddler on the Roof, which incorporates Jewish prayer and klezmer music within a musical theater score. He also composed the shows Mr. Wonderful, The Body Beautiful, Fiorello!, Tenderloin, Never Too Late, Man in the Moon, She Loves Me, Baker Street, Generation, and The Rothschilds. He scored another musical hit in 1966 with The Apple Tree which was revived on Broadway in 2006. Bock collaborated with many notable Broadway writers, but he consistently worked with the late Joseph Stein, who wrote the book to Fiddler , and his long-time creative partner lyricist Sheldon Harnick, also of Fiddler on the Roof.

Mr. Bock received the 1965 Tony Award® for writing the music to Fiddler , which also won the 1965 Tony Award® for Best Musical. He won his first Tony Award® for Fiorello! in 1960. Fiorello! also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that same year.

He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. In 2010, he became an Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Original Song — Children's and Animation category — for "A Fiddler Crab Am I," penned with Larry Hochman and Billy Aronson. It was heard on the series "Wonder Pets."

The Jerry Bock Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre was established in 1997 and continues to provide an annual $2,000 grant presented to a composer and lyricist.

He is survived by his wife, Patti, daughter Portia Bock, son George Bock and granddaughter Edie Mae Bock.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

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All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

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