Broadway Stars Speak Up on Social Media About Dimming Lights for the Late Hinton Battle; League Announces Plans to Come

Hinton Battle passed away on January 30, 2024.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
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Just over three weeks ago, on January 30, BroadwayWorld sadly reported the passing of three-time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle. Now, Broadway stars are speaking up on social media about the lack of announcement from the Broadway League about theatre lights dimming in his honor. 

UPDATE: The Broadway League has since made the following statement: "The Committee of Theatre Owners will honor the memory of three-time Tony Award-winner Hinton Battle by dimming lights on a date and time being determined in conjunction with Mr. Battle’s family. An official announcement will be released with final details once determined."

The much-shared post from Kimberly Marable (Hadestown) reads: "Hey Broadway League: 3x Tony winner and stage & screen pioneer Hinton Battle passed on over three weeks ago. When will the lights of Broadway be dimmed for him?"


A post shared by Kimberly Marable (@misskimizzo)

Not every death in the Broadway community is marked with this special tradition. In fact, it happens rather seldomly. In 2023, Broadway lights were dimmed three times- for Todd Haimes, Robin Wagner, and Sheldon Harnick. The last time that Broadway lights were dimmed was in honor of Chita Rivera on February 17. Rivera passed away on the same day as Battle, on January 30, 2024.

Who makes this decision and how? The short answer: "There is no concrete criteria," wrote BroadwayWorld's Cara Joy David on the subject in 2018 following the death of five-time Tony nominee Jan Maxwell.

"The League has consistently said a committee within the organization decides who to dim for and has just as consistently declined to say who forms that committee," she wrote. "When I pushed about the dimming for Ms. Maxwell, I was told by a League spokesperson it was the theater owners and to ask the theater owners."

In 2014, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin told the The New York Times: "Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theater, or else be synonymous with Broadway - people who made their careers here, or kept it up."

Battle won Tony Awards for his performances in Miss Saigon, Sophisticated Ladies, and The Tap Dance Kid. His last appearance in a Broadway show was as a replacement for Billy Flynn in Chicago in 1997.