Belfast Telegraph

Rivers gets Broadway honour

Joan Rivers will receive a tribute from theatre owners and producers, who traditionally dim marquees after the death of Broadway stars.

The comedienne and Tony Award nominee passed away Thursday after spending a week at Mount Sinai Hospital following complications while undergoing a procedure on her vocal cords.

A committee of the Broadway League initially voted against dimming the lights on theatre marquees, a traditional honour for late stars of the New York theatre scene.

However, executive director Charlotte St. Martin tells Variety the decision was reversed after fans expressed their outrage, starting an online petition and a viral movement dubbed #Dim4Joan.

“Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theaters in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight, at exactly 6:45pm for one minute,” the Broadway League's executive director, Charlotte St. Martin, said in a statement.

Joan received a Tony nomination for best actress in 1994 for her role in Sally Marr… And Her Escorts. She had previously appeared in Broadway Bound in 1988 and served as a writer and performer in Fun City in 1971.

The executive previously said the Fashion Police! star had carved out her career largely on the small screen, making her unfit for the tribute, although she noted Joan would be greatly missed.

“Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theatre, or else be synonymous with Broadway – people who made their careers here, or kept it up,” she told the New York Times.

“We love Joan – she was very supportive of Broadway and came to a lot of show openings – but she hasn’t acted on Broadway in 20 years. When you say Joan Rivers, you don’t think comedy, television and Broadway. You think comedy and television. It’s certainly nothing against her.”

Joan was memorialised Sunday at a funeral in New York City attended by legions of stars. Shock jock DJ Howard Stern delivered the eulogy and Hugh Jackman performed for mourners.

Journalist Hoda Kotb told reporters the service “felt like a Broadway show with tons of humor, lots of tears and ended with a standing ovation.”

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