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Martin Smith (June 26, 1957 - November 5, 1994)

Martin Smith (26 June 1957 - 5 November 1994, Scotland, UK) was a British actor, singer, and composer who starred in many shows in London's West End. He died from complications of AIDS at the age of 37, leaving a legacy of recorded music.

He made various appearances on television and in the film Yanks (1979), but Martin Smith was best known as Micky Doyle (1985–1986) in the long-running British soap Crossroads. His early appearances in the West End in musical theatre included Che in Evita. He also appeared in a production of William Finn's March of the Falsettos at the Library Theatre in Manchester in 1987. In 1988 he starred in a new London production of Noël Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet. He played Marius and later Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera and Stine in City of Angels in London, as well as creating original roles such as 'Adam' in Children of Eden.

He recorded several concerts with the BBC Concert and Radio Orchestras, and was a regular vocalist on the BBC Radio 2 shows Songs From the Shows and Friday Night is Music Night in the 1980s. He was featured in the Cole Porter revue A Swell Party - A Celebration of Cole Porter (1992) at London's Vaudeville Theatre, singing "Love For Sale" as it was originally intended to be sung - by a man.

In the 1980s Smith became a member of The Salvation Army at Regent Hall Corps in Oxford Street, London. He played several concerts for the organisation and recorded the song "I'll Make My Promises" for the soundtrack album for the Gowans/Larsson musical "The Blood of the Lamb" (released by SP&S in 1981).

As a composer Smith wrote scores for several musicals, including King and La Tosca. He recorded several songs from those shows on a solo album a year before his death.

A year after his death, a gala tribute concert was held in his honour at the Prince Edward Theatre. The concert featured Michael Ball, Dora Bryan, Lily Savage, John Barrowman, Sally Ann Howes, Ruthie Henshall, and many other stars.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Smith_(actor/musician)

Further Readings:

Forbidden Acts: Pioneering Gay & Lesbian Plays of the 20th Century by Ben Hodges
Paperback: 744 pages
Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books (September 1, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 155783587X
ISBN-13: 978-1557835871
Amazon: Forbidden Acts: Pioneering Gay & Lesbian Plays of the 20th Century

Applause Theatre & Cinema Books is proud to announce the publication of the first collected anthology of gay and lesbian plays from the entire span of the twentieth century, sure to find wide acceptance by general readers and to be studied on campuses around the world. Among the ten plays, three are completely out of print. Included are The God of Venegeance (1918) by Sholom Ash, the first play to introduce lesbian characters to an English-language audience; Lillian Hellman's classic The Children's Hour (1933), initially banned in London and passed over for the Pulitzer Prize because of its subject matter; and Oscar Wilde (1938) by Leslie and Sewell Stokes, a major award-winning success that starred Robert Morley. More recent plays include Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band (1968), the first hit "out" gay play that was the most realistic and groundbreaking portrayal of gays on stage up to that time; Martin Sherman's Bent (1978), which daringly focused on the love between two Nazi concentration camp inmates and starred Richard Gere; William Hoffman's As Is (1985), which was one of the first plays to deal with the AIDS crisis and earned three Tony Award nominations; and Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion! (1994), which starred Nathan Lane and won the Tony Award for Best Play. The other plays are Edouard Bourdet's The Captive (1926), Ruth and Augustus Goetz's The Immoralist (1954) and Frank Marcus' The Killing of Sister George (1967). Forbidden Acts includes a broad range of theatrical genres: drama, tragedy, romance, comedy and farce. They remain vibrant and relevant today as a testament of art's ability to persevere in the face of oppression.

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Tags: gay classics
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