Broadway to Dim Its Lights Tomorrow Night in Memory of Mary Rodgers Guettel
The Broadway community mourns the loss of accomplished author, screenwriter and composer, Mary Rodgers Guettel, who passed away on Thursday at age 83. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory Saturday, June 28th, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.
"Mary Rodgers Guettel was a gifted author and composer; adding to her family's achievements of musical theatre greatness," said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. "The lights of Broadway are being dimmed in honor of someone who was a muse and inspiration to so many, and she will be missed. Our thoughts are with her friends and family."
A daughter of composer Richard Rodgers and Dorothy Rodgers and the mother of musical theatre composer Adam Guettel, Ms. Rodgers was a noted theatrical composer herself. She received two Tony Award -nominations, for Once Upon a Mattress and Working. Outside of Mattress, her most notable success as a composer was "The Boy From...," a comic number that spoofed the popular song "The Girl From Ipanema," written with her childhood friend Stephen Sondheim.
As a composer, her additional theatre credits include Hot Spot, The Mad Show, Working, and The Griffin and the Minor Canon. Her musicals were celebrated in an off-Broadway revue conceived and directed by Richard Maltby Jr. entitled Hey, Love. Her television credits include "Once Upon a Mattress," "Three to Make Music," (written with her sister Linda and starring Mary Martin), "Feathertop", and Marlo Thomas' "Free to Be...You and Me."
Mary Rodgers also wrote children's books, most notable "Freaky Friday," in which a mother and daughter trade bodies. It was twice made into a film. Rodgers wrote the screenplay for the first one, in 1976. Other books included "A Billion for Boris," "Summer Switch" and "The Rotten Book."
Mary Rodgers was a director of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, a board member of ASCAP, and Chairman Emeritus and board member of the Juilliard School. She also served on the boards of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and the Dramatists Guild Council.
She was married to Henry Guettel, former Executive Director of the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), who died in October 2013 at the age of 85. She is survived by her sister, Linda Rodgers Emory, five children, and seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League's 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. BROADWAY.ORG is the League's new official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC and on tour. Download the free Broadway.org mobile app for iOS or Android, and the free IBDB mobile app for iOS or Android.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos