Broadway lost one of the great Producers on Monday, when Marty Richards passed on to the Great White Way in the sky.

Just look at these credits:  On The Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd, Grand Hotel, Will Rogers Follies, and a whole bunch more.

But perhaps his greatest credit would be his first . . . Chicago.

Most of you probably know that when Chicago opened in 1975, it wasn’t the smash hit it became when it returned to Broadway in the late 90s.  But that didn’t stop Marty.

See, like all great Producers, Marty only produced shows he loved.  Like really loved.  And he really loved Chicago.

He was also one of the few who believed it would make a great movie.  So he spent over 25 years working on it, until it happened.

And then he won an Oscar.

And then a whole slate of movie musicals were green lit, ushering in the new era of the Hollywood musical.

Thanks to Marty.

I only met him casually a couple of times, but I think about the couple of decades he spent working on Chicago all the time.  It’s a true testament to what you need to succeed in this business.  Passion and perseverance are the definition of a great Producer.

And Marty, you were a great one.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below!  Click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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4 Responses to Oh how Broadway will miss Marty Richards.

  1. Everyone who knew Marty Richards will miss him. He was an inspiration.

  2. Janis says:

    Great blog about a great guy.

    Loved Chicago onstage and on screen. Restored my faith in movie musicals.
    Saw WRF 3 times. Loved it more each time. Will was so realistic, the audience left speaking Okie with a few trying to speak Cherokee. Will is a huge hero in Oklahoma.
    As a weird test of fate, Oklahoma City’s two airports are named for two men killed in plane crashes-Will Rogers and Wiley post. Both “killed in the same plane crash.

  3. Bryan David says:

    Dear Mr. Davenport, et al:

    Producer’s like him were/are VERY hard to find. But I will keep asking, “Where’s my Marty?”

    Bryan David
    Playwright & Lyricist

    “Whitechapel” ©

    The Life & Times
    of:
    Jack The Ripper’
    A Musical Love Story! ™

    http://www.myspace.com/jacktheripperwhitechapel1888

    © Copyright 1996/2007
    Bryan David/Brandon Kress
    All Rights Reserved

  4. james oneill says:

    Ken,
    It’s nice that you remind us of people in show biz who pass away. Many of us never knew them. But the work they did will not be forgotten.
    Thank You

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