When famous people that have had an impact on the biz pass on, I usually blog about it.  See this for example.  Or this.

This past weekend, the biz lost someone who has also helped keep shows going for a long time.

But Broadway won’t dim the marquees for him.  And I can’t imagine he’ll get an above the fold obit on the New York Times, or even on Broadway.com.

And that’s exactly why I am writing this post.  Because too often, we (and there’s a big ol’ “I” in that “we”), focus only on the 1% of Broadway doers . . . when it’s the 99% that are sloggin’ away, every day, eight shows a week, literally pulling the curtains on The Great White Way . . . making shows happen, and making audiences happy.   And they deserve to be noticed.

Christopher “Shadow” Edwards was a Local 1 Carpenter (and Prop Guy and Electrician and whatever else was needed) over at the Off-Broadway production Avenue Q, which my office General Manages.

And Christopher “Shadow” Edwards passed away last week.  And he had only recently celebrated his 40th birthday.

Shadow was an accomplished technician (and quite an accomplished Wii tennis player, as he proved to me whenever I visited Q).  But was most impressive about him was whenever I asked him how things were going . . . and I asked him that question during some tough times . . . he always said, “Can’t complain.  I love the theater.  And I get to work in theater.  How bad can it be?”

We’re going to miss him at Q.  And I’m going to miss him coming to my office to collect his paycheck, rubbing in how much better of a Wii tennis player he was.  And how he always used to hit me up to give him a lighting designer gig, because that’s where he wanted to take his career next.

I’m sure he’s lighting up the sky now.

We’ll miss you, my friend.  If I owned all the marquees in the city, I’d blacken ‘em out just for you.

 

(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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16 Responses to His ‘shadow’ will be cast for a long time to come.

  1. Cletus Karamon says:

    I’ll miss Shadow. I hired him a few times to prep my shows. We also would meet every once in awhile at the Mexican Restaurant on 9th Ave. I’ve been out of town for awhile. We texted a few weeks ago. He said “When are you getting back to do Mexican?” I told him “Mid Feb” His responds “Word!” I’ll be there Shadow and Hope you will be sitting next to me in spirit. I’m going to miss you my friend.
    Cletus

  2. Terrence Cranert says:

    What a touching and heartfelt tribute, Ken. You continue to gain respect by your respect for others.

  3. Paula says:

    Thank you for this touching tribute to one of the unsung heroes of the world. There are so many people in the world who work hard with great love and dedication for what they do for others. Yet, they are never in the
    “spotlight”. Thank you for telling us about Christopher
    “Shadow” Edwards, who lived too short a life. He is in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Kelly Swindell says:

    Well said, Ken. The whole creative team matters, onstage and especially backstage. Thank you for this lovely tribute.

  5. Ben Bartolone says:

    Well said, sir. He was a great guy, and the bowling league won’t be the same without him.

  6. Bradley Clements says:

    Thank you Ken. You’re a producer apart from most. You’ve always seemed to have a grasp on what the true nature of theatre is. Those that create it. Whether in the spotlight, behind the spotlight, or blending into the darkness like a “Shadow”, theatre is made of the same stuff that great people are made of and Shadow was one of the greatest.
    Again, thank you fro this tribute. And thank you for supporting great people..and great theatre.

  7. LeShawn Edwards says:

    Ken,

    Ken,

    On behalf of the Edwards Family, we sincerely thank you for taking time out to cast a spot light on ‘Shadow.’ I love and miss my brother dearly and am so so saddened by his departure.

    My brother made our family proud, he lived out his dreams, to the very end, and just as you noted, without complaint, no matter how hard times were, and there were many hard times.

    Christopher, “never call me Chris unless you’re my family member or close friend,” was a talented, passionate, and proud man. He loved what he did for a living; lighting and design was his passion and paintbrushes, theatre arts was his canvas. He saw life through shades and hues of light, and he gave each concert, show, and ‘gig’ his very best expressions of love, through light and the casting of ‘Shadow.’

    Son, Brother, and devoted Thespian, Christopher ‘Shadow’ Edwards, I love you. You are, and will forever be, missed.

    LeShawn Edwards

  8. Anyika Herod says:

    I am shocked and saddened to learn of Shadow’s passing. I worked with him many times when I had my own theater company. He lit up the Soul Rep stages beautifuly and he was always great to work with. Blessings to his family. I am glad our paths crossed. He loved the Theater!

  9. Lally says:

    Thank you so much for this heartfelt article. Chris was a very close friend of mine for over 20 years and I literally smiled and cried when I read this. I was supposed to visit with him this Christmas when he came home. We tried to meet at least once a year. He was the glue that kept his old friends together. He is definitely lighting up the sky.

  10. JT Edwards says:

    Good morning Ken,

    I commend you and your Thespian colleagues for the heartfelt and candid recollections of my little brother’s many accolades and accomplishments. As my sister previously pointed out, the numerous opportunities to paint his unique canvas in the Theater Arts community was something Christopher E. Edwards loved each and every day. His dedication to his craft was a “sun”-source of pride and his love for his industry was a key component in making sure every element of his craft was in tip-top shape. Excellence was Chris’ internal goal and he believed in delivering that excellence time in and time out.

    Our family miss Chris (Shadow) each and everyday. His nephew Hans-Christopher (he carries Chris’ namesake as part of a Norweigan tradition honoring brothers on both sides of the family) often asks, “Daddy, is Uncle Chris working on God’s light show?”. Chris indeed has been given the biggest and eternal production (Heaven) by the #1 producer in the Multiverse: God. Our family grieves his sudden passing, but we take great pride in knowing that his transfer to the Universe’s biggest stage was peaceful and solemn.

    The Edwards family thank you for your sharing of Chris’ memory and your love for our brother.

    Bless You all,
    JT Edwards
    JT Edwards

  11. Shawn Jones says:

    Ken,
    Thanks for this post. I went to High School with Christopher, and he was a light that the world will surely be less bright without. Shadow was true to himself, his craft, and everyone that knew him. Rest in Peace Brother!!! You will be missed, but never forgotten.

  12. Jeff Falls says:

    Chris was a staple in the theatre world that I grew up in in Galveston, TX. Whether it was backstage at our high school productions or at the myriad other venues around town, Shadow was always there to lend his technical expertise. I’m very sad to hear of his much too early passing.

  13. Connie Sides says:

    Thank you Ken for all that you said. Chris was a rare person in this world. He accepted you as you were for those who he called his friends. As Lally said, he was the glue that held us together for over 20 years. He chased his dreams and he never lost sight of who he was, he never sold out, he was Christopher “Shadow” Edwards. Today they are remembering him in Galveston and I will have a drink for him. As another friend, Scott Hall, said “It didn’t matter if it had been a week or two years when you talked to him it was as if you had a beer together yesterday”. So here’s you to you Chris. I can’t wait to see you again.

  14. Louisa (Glinski) Renfrew-Hill says:

    Thank you Ken for a wonderful tribute to Chris. I knew him through high school theatre, and as others have said it could be years between conversations yet each time we talked it was as if we saw each other much more frequently. Though sad to say goodbye, it is comforting to know he was doing what he absolutely loved, and was still impacting those around him. RIP Chris.

  15. A dear friend and mentor is gone, and comfort is hard to find in times like this. I find comfort in that Shadow was beloved by so many people, and now every time I look at my cast and crew, I see his face, smiling back. Thank you for writing this article, it means the world to us, us who still have to press on. Light up the darkness Shadow, perhaps a hundred years from now technicians will refer to him as St. Shadow (patron saint of stagecraft and protector of props)

  16. I am Just finding out about the passing of our dear Brother and friend Shadow! Does anyone have information on how he passed and when was the funeral.

    I am deeply saddened by this news as the last time I saw Shadow he had just finished lighting one of our shows in June 2012. He will TRULY be missed and remembered. Lights out my Brother!

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