A belated farewell to Roger Rees

I must admit, when Roger Rees died in July of this year, the news turned me upside down. I’d never met him, but he was part of my life. Ever since I saw Nicholas Nickleby on PBS as a high schooler in the 1980s, Roger Rees was a piece of the mosaic that was my mind. And that brought me joy. Whenever I learned he was in something, it made me look forward even more to whatever it was.

So, when he left this earth, I felt pretty lost, as if I’d had unexpected–if minor– surgery on my soul.

On Monday, September 21, 2015, Disney on Broadway helped me fill in that little hole in my soul’s fabric. I am grateful that the beautiful memorial they sponsored at the New Amsterdam Theatre was open to the public, so I got to witness the love of Rees’  family, friends, and colleagues and share in their grief and joyous memories. As if I belonged. As if my grief for this wonderful man mattered in some kind of cosmic way.

So now I’m ready to say it: Goodbye, Roger Rees, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

2 Astonishing Digital Theater Archives

Are you a theater history geek? Are you writing a biography of a long-forgotten chorus boy? Do you want endless, joyous distraction from your day job? Try these:

playbillPlaybill Vault. Broadway bonanza! Every Playbill cover and internal pages, searchable by creative and performing artists, awards, theaters, and other criteria.

New York Public Library Billy Rose Theatre Division. If you’ve ever done any theater research in NYC, you’ve run into this vast collection, but might not have been allowed to look at the NYPL_logo1_black_posvideo or document you ached to see. Well, the videos are still tightly guarded (a personal note from Edward Albee might get you in), but now the division is making its massive collection of ephemera available to anyone with an Internet connection. 100,000 pieces are viewable so far, and that’s just the beginning.

Best of all, both of these resources are FREE!