All 41 Broadway theaters will dim their lights Monday night in memory of Dame Gillian Lynne, choreographer for “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera,” among others.
Lynne passed away Sun. July 1 at the age of 92. Broadway theaters will dim their lights for one minute at 6:45 p.m. Monday. West End theaters will also dim their lights Monday at 7 p.m. in their timezone.
Lynne was a choreographer, director and dancer who worked on more than 60 shows on the West End and Broadway. On Broadway, her shows included “The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd” in 1965, “How Now, Dow Jones,” in 1967, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in 2005 and most recently, the 2016 revival of “Cats,” which was based on her original choreography.
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a tribute to Lynne Monday, calling her “a seminal figure in choreography” for at least three generations.
“It is no exaggeration that ‘Cats’ opened with the only cast available who could have played their roles. It was Gillie’s depth of contacts from her ballet roots to her work in contemporary dance that made it possible to open ‘Cats’ in Britain and prove the naysayers wrong,” he wrote.
Lynne received an Olivier Award in 1981 for her choreography of “Cats” and in 2013, she received a Special Olivier Award for her contributions to theater. On Broadway, she received two Tony Award nominations for her work on “Cats” and on “The Phantom of the Opera.”
The New London Theatre on the West End was recently renamed the Gillian Lynne Theatre, making her the first non-royal woman to receive that honor.
“Dame Gillian Lynne’s innovative choreography has dazzled generations of theatregoers and made an indelible mark on musical theatre around the world,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a press release. “The productions she shaped will continue to move and enchant audiences for decades to come.”
Lynne is survived by her husband, Peter Land.