Larry Peyton BroadwayI first met Larry Payton, the President of Celebrity Attractions, a Tulsa based Presenting and Producing house, in 1999, when I was the Company Manager of the National Tour of Jekyll & Hyde.

Normally, when a Company Manager gets to a new theater, his or her first job is to track down the Presenter, say hello, check-in, and collect a check.

In some cities, it’s not the easiest thing to do.

But not in Tulsa.

Larry tracked me down before I could even start to unpack my road box.  He greeted me with a huge smile, a hearty handshake and invited me to dinner later that night.

And he greeted me that same way every time I saw him over the next plus years, including when I saw him at the Broadway League conference just a few short weeks ago.

Larry passed away late last week, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one in in the industry that feels that the road will never be the same.

He was a religious man.  And I remember after dinner that night we met, he told me he would put me on his prayer list.  And now it’s my turn to do the same for you, Lar, as well as your friends and family in this difficult time.

You’ll be missed, Mr. Payton.  Thanks for making us all feel so at home, when we were all so far away.

 

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6 Responses to An Oklahoma Goodbye.

  1. LARRY ABRAMSKY says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences of Larry Peyton. It is essential we acknowledge all the really good people in our industry and in our lives. G-d Bless and welcome Larry Peyton.

  2. Ken … Thanks for this message. I live in Tulsa and Larry will indeed be missed. For the last 20 years I have seen Celebrity Attractions bring Broadway to Tulsa and surrounding markets. Larry and his organization played an integral role inspiring people like me to perform, produce and present. Tulsa may sound like a small place, but he brought the big city smile to our community. Thanks again Ken.

  3. Angela Alpaugh says:

    This lifelong Oklahoma girl until moving to NY in 2011 knows the class act that Larry was in this life and thank you for the wonderful tribute to his life.

  4. Dear Ken, Thank you so much for writing about the passing of Larry Peyton. I’ve been in shock since I read your post over two hours ago. I met Larry when I performed the role of The Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music in 1996-97. He treated everyone in the cast with respect. He was especially kind to me, and I particularly remember when he wanted me to meet his family. I saw him again at the Midwest Arts Conference in Little Rock when he was promoting The Rock and the Rabbi and also at APAP. Various times through the years I would call him to ask for advice and he would always return my call. I told him that he taught me a lot about how to treat people. It was no accident that he was so successful. He was a special man. Ken, your right, the road will not be the same without him.

    • janis says:

      Thank you for your tribute to a great man and a wonderful Oklahoman. His religion was the foundation of his kindness and his outstanding character. He was loved and will be missed.

      • Carolyn Rossi Copeland says:

        Ken- I knew Larry as a man who integrated his faith into every business deal he made. I will miss him also as a partner and a friend.
        Carolyn

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