Obituaries

BWW TV Exclusive: Watch Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones on Stage Together One Last Time

As BroadwayWorld sadly reported earlier today, legendary composer Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks, 110 in the Shade, I Do! I Do!) passed away last night in Texas at 88 years of age. A family only funeral will take place in Texas next week, with a New York memorial to come at a future date.

On December 4, 2017 the York Theatre Company honored the musical theatre writing team of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt in a "Fantastick" gala concert and award ceremony directed by Richard Jay-Alexander with music direction by Andrew Gerle (who is currently working on a new musical with Jones). The 2017 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre was presented to the legendary team (The Fantasticks, I Do, I Do!, 110 in the Shade, Celebration) at the event held at the Asia Society.

The evening's entertainment featured a star-studded line-up of spectacular talent from Broadway and Beyond that included Samantha Bruce, Gretchen Cryer, Robert Cuccioli, Ava Della Pietra, Julian Fleisher, Nancy Ford, Andrea Frierson, Rita Gardner, Randy Harrison, Adam Kantor, Norm Lewis, Samantha Massell, Michele McConnell, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Randy Rainbow, Lee Roy Reams, Ben Rimalower, Frances Ruffelle, Christopher Sieber, Lesley Ann Warren, Susan Watson, Betsy Wolfe, The Hot Singing String Quartet Well-Strung, The Manhattan School of Music Musical Theatre Ensemble, and special guest Freddie Gershon.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is presented at an annual gala which benefits The York Theatre Company, and is presented with the endorsement of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family. Past recipients include Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Harold Prince, C. Coleman, Charles Strouse, Arthur Laurents, Jerry Herman, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Stone, David Merrick, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Carol Channing, Tony Walton, Joseph Stein, George S. Irving, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Tom Meehan, Barbara Cook, Paul Gemignani, Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Angela Lansbury, and Joel Grey.

As magical as the evening was, after Freddie Gershon gave an impassioned presentation to the duo, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones hit the stage and brought the house down at ages 88 and 89, respectively. They joined forces onstage to perform a song from their musical THE BONE ROOM, described by Jones as being about "the pleasures of dying and being embalmed in this great country of ours." Below, watch as they perform together for the last time. BWW feels privileged to share with you a bit of highlights of these two legends together before a rapt and ecstatic audience who proceeded to shower them with a (well deserved) standing ovation... R.I.P. Harvey Schmidt, you will be missed by O, so many.


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