Mr. Hurwitz, a former manager of the Shubert Theater, started his own production business, Starbright Enterprises, and co-produced shows such as One Mo' Time, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The All Night Strut!
With Deen Kogan of the Society Hill Playhouse, he also produced Nunsense, the longest-running musical comedy in Philadelphia.
Kogan met Mr. Hurwitz, then a student at Temple University, in the early 1960s when Hurwitz was a stagehand and extra at the playhouse. The two developed a friendship through the years that swung full circle when Mr. Hurwitz returned to work with Kogan in 1986 to produce Nunsense.
"He brought a certain strength in public relations," Kogan said. "He loved working in promotion. He had that kind of personality. He was warm and interested. . . . More than the theatrical association, he was a person who was very kind and very caring."
Mr. Hurwitz's love for the theater began when he was 9 and received hand puppets for a present, according to his companion of 25 years, F.X. McCloskey.
With the puppets in mind, he found a large carton behind a supermarket in his Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood and brought it home to use as a stage for his puppet productions, Mr. Hurwitz once told an interviewer.
Mr. Hurwitz was involved in theater while in school but studied communications at Temple University on the advice of his guidance counselor, McCloskey said. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1966 and later received a master's degree in communications from Temple, McCloskey said.
Mr. Hurwitz's first job out of school was as a public relations director for The Mike Douglas Show in 1966, with responsibilites that included escorting guests for the entertainment/talk show.
Harry Jay Katz, a Center City restaurateur who met Mr. Hurwitz in the late 1960s, remembered Mr. Hurwitz as person who put friendship before other wordly concerns.
"He was the sweetest, nicest, warmest man. . . . He would always have a hug for you, always have an open ear, always have time for his friends," he said.
"Never, ever, in the . . . years I knew him, I never heard him raise his voice," Katz said. "It sounds really corny because I can't say that about many of my associates. . . . It's just a real Philadelphia loss."
After working with the television show, Hurwitz managed the Shubert Theater until 1985. The next year, he began working again with the Society Hill Playhouse. His last project was as producer of the musical Pump Boys and Dinettes, playing at the playhouse.
Off-Broadway Musicals since 1919: From Greenwich Village Follies to The Toxic Avenger by Thomas S. Hischak
Hardcover: 522 pages
Publisher: Scarecrow Press (February 18, 2011)
Amazon: Off-Broadway Musicals since 1919: From Greenwich Village Follies to The Toxic Avenger
Although the venue Off Broadway has long been the birthplace of innovative and popular musicals, there have been few studies of these influential works. Long-running champs, such as The Fantasticks and Little Shop of Horrors, are discussed in many books about American musicals, but what of the hundreds of other Off-Broadway musicals?
In Off-Broadway Musicals since 1919, Thomas Hischak looks at more than 375 musicals, which are described, discussed, and analyzed, with particular attention given to their books, scores, performers, and creators. Presented chronologically and divided into chapters for each decade, beginning with the landmark musical Greenwich Village Follies (1919), the book culminates with the satiric The Toxic Avenger (2009).
In this volume, any work of consequence is covered, especially if it was popular or influential, but also dozens of more obscure musicals are included to illustrate the depth and breadth of Off Broadway. Works that introduced an important artistic talent, from performers to songwriters, are looked at, and the selection represents the various trends and themes that made Off Broadway significant. In addition to essential data about each musical, the plot and score are described, the success (or lack of) is chronicled, and an opinionated commentary discusses the work's merits and influences on the musical theatre in general. The first book of its kind, this highly readable volume will please both the theatre scholar and the average musical theatre patron or fan.
More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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