Up there, in lights, he’ll be.
The Broadway community will honor Martin Charnin, the Tony-winning Annie lyricist who died July 6 at the age of 84, with a ceremonial marquee dimming. Lights at the Neil Simon Theatre (home to the original 1977 production of Annie, then the Alvin Theatre) will go dark for exactly one minute July 12 at 7:45 PM.
Mr. Charnin began his career in the theatre as an actor, originating the role of Big Deal in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. He also appeared alongside Dick Van Dyke in the 1959 revue The Girls Against the Boys. He went on to find success as both a writer and director, winning a Tony Award for his work as a lyricist on Annie (which he also helmed).
In the decades since, Mr. Charnin has directed dozens of companies of the beloved musical, including a 1997 Broadway revival; he also helmed his, Thomas Meehan, and Charles Strouse’s follow-up, Annie Warbucks.
Mr. Charnin is survived by his wife, actor Shelly Burch (who had appeared in Annie as the Star-To-Be some 20+ years before their marriage), as well as two children (Sasha and Randy) and three grandchildren.