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In Memory of Arthur Laurents

May 6th, 2011

"West Side Story" Creative Team, Arthur Laurents second from left. Image via Google.

Legendary director and author Arthur LaurentsĀ died yesterday at the age of 93. The creative mind behind some of the greatest musicals of the 20th century, he continued to work voraciously when others had long decamped to Boca, even nominated for a Tony Award recently for his direction of theĀ Gypsy revival starring Patti LuPone. If you spent any time around the theater, you discovered that everyone had a story to tell about Arthur Laurents–stories that ranged from creatively inspiring memories of a master to outrageously harrowing tales of “the meanest man in show business”. That’s not talking out of school; judging by his wonderful memoir, Original Story By, Laurents probably enjoyed his blunt reputation after years of fighting to be heard. And what amazing things he had to say. Along with Gypsy, he wrote the book for the sublime West Side Story and, for those movie romantics out there, the screenplay for the blockbuster Streisand/Redford classic, The Way We Were. Broadway and Hollywood have lost one of the true greats.

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