West News Wire: Todd Haimes has passed away. Under his leadership, the Roundabout Theatre Company went from an off-off-Broadway organization that was on the verge of bankruptcy into a significant theatrical power with productions on five stages, including three Broadway theaters, and scores of Tony Awards. He was 66.
According to Matt Polk, a close friend and spokesperson for Haimes, who served as the creative director and CEO of the nonprofit Roundabout, Haimes passed away on Wednesday in New York City as a result of complications from cancer.
Actor Mark Ruffalo, who starred in a Roundabout revival of “The Price” on Broadway in 2017, commented on Twitter, “Rest in peace, Mr. Haimes.” “You had a great, kind soul. I appreciate the opportunity to work with you at the Roundabout. The theater community and on Broadway will miss you.
Broadway shows under Haimes’ 39-year tenure include “The Real Thing” with Ewan McGregor, “A Soldier’s Play” with David Alan Grier and “On the Twentieth Century” with Kristin Chenoweth. Other triumphs include ”The Humans,” the 2011 revival of “Anything Goes” with Sutton Foster and “Nine” with Jane Krakowski.
Roundabout had a long, successful history with “Cabaret,” reviving it in 1998 with the Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall-directed version starring Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson and then reviving it again with Cumming and Sienna Miller in 2014.
During Haimes’s tenure, Roundabout shows won 34 Tony Awards, 58 Drama Desk Awards, 73 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 21 Lucille Lortel Awards and 14 Obie Awards.
Haimes was a Yale MBA who was appointed Roundabout executive director in 1983 to a company that had been in Chapter 11 since 1977 and was evicted from its space on 23rd Street. By 1991, Haimes had Roundabout operating its own venue at its first Broadway home at the now-closed Criterion Center at Broadway and 45th Street.
The company’s early successes include “Anna Christie” starring Liam Neeson and Richardson, and a revival of “She Loves Me,” both in 1993. He instituted the Early Curtain series in 1993, which saw 7 p.m. openings to attract the after-work crowd.
Roundabout grew to encompass the American Airlines Theatre, the Studio 54 theater, the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and the off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre and another black box in the basement of the Pels.
His leadership included outreach and education programs and also provided a home to emerging playwrights as part of the Roundabout Underground program. Alumni include Stephen Karam, Lindsey Ferrentino, Steven Levenson, Joshua Harmon and Ming Peiffer.
“He changed my life, and the lives of countless others in New York theater. We all mourn his loss,” wrote Warren Leight, whose play “Side Man” made it to Broadway in 1998 thanks to Haimes.
He is survived by his wife, Jeanne-Marie Haimes; a daughter, Hilary Haimes; a son, Andrew Haimes; two stepdaughters and three grandsons and a granddaughter.