Broadway boss Gerald Schoenfeld dies

NEW YORK (JTA ) — Broadway impresario Gerald Schoenfeld, one of the most influential figures in the theater world, has died.

Schoenfeld, the chairman of the Shubert Organization, died of a heart attack Tuesday in New York City. He was 84.

Shubert is the largest theater-owning enterprise in the United States, owning and operating more than a dozen Broadway theaters in addition to venues in Boston, Washington and Philadelphia. 

Schoenfeld took over the organization at a time when New York’s theater district was known as much for its sex trade as its stage productions. Along with partner Bernard Jacobs, who died in 1996, Schoenfeld is credited with saving not only Shubert but all of Broadway theater.

"Just about everything that happened in their theaters, and thus throughout Broadway, was influenced by the taste and judgment of the two men, who from their plush, baronial offices side by side in Shubert Alley, above the Shubert Theater and behind a buzzer-activated locked door, created their own distinctive means of sharing power," The New York Times wrote in its obituary.

In 2005, Schoenfeld was one of five city leaders honored by the New York City comptroller at its annual Jewish Heritage celebration.

NEXT STORY