Wednesday, June 09, 2010

On Patrick Lee

As far as I'm concerned, Patrick Lee was a better writer than me, a more active theatergoer, and certainly a more social person than me: he was, to put it short, a role-model for what blogging could and should be in relation to serious theater criticism (which we both did, bringing our freelancing back to our sites). That's how we connected back in mid-2006, with mutual admiration for the work we were doing, and how we wound up racing each other on the Show Showdown site in 2007 and 2008, before deciding we didn't really need a gimmick. On Patrick's personal site, Just Shows To Go You, he elevated interviewing to a new level, especially when you consider the wide range of talent he spoke to, from stars to up-and-comers and everything in between. And he was passionate about his work, too, serving on awards committees and energizing anyone he spoke to about what might be possible in the theater.

For all of these reasons, to say nothing of his terrific humanity, it was a shock for me to receive an e-mail early this afternoon, informing me that Patrick Lee, 51, had passed away. Heck, in just two weeks, Patrick and I were going to be on a panel together, talking about our love of indie theater, and I'm still somewhat numb to think that he won't be there, that I'll never bump into him at a show again. That saddens me more than I can say--I'm a shy person (I hate networking and introducing myself to people): Patrick was the sort of truly supportive colleague who helped me to overcome that, and who helped to bring people together, be it within the ITBA (where he organized the yearly awards) or within Show Showdown itself. I'll share more information as I get it, especially for those who want to pay their respects, and in the meantime, I can say only that the best way to pay tribute to a man who so loved theater is to go and see a show for him.

The wake will be Friday, June 11 between 2 - 4pm and 7 - 9pm at Robert Spearing Funeral Home (155 Kinderkamack Road/Park Ridge, NJ  07656). The funeral will be at 10am, Sunday, June 12, at Our Lady of Mercy Church, Park Ridge.

Other farewells:
Time Out New York's Adam Feldman
Broadway & Me's Jan Simpson
The Wicked Stage's Rob Weinert-Kendt
Parabasis's Isaac Butler
SOB's Steve Loucks 
Everything I Know...'s Chris Caggiano 
FLUX Theater Ensemble's August Schulenberg 
Producer's Perspective's Ken Davenport 
Show Showdown's David Bell and Wendy Caster and Cameron Kelsall 
Stage Rush's Jesse North 
Pataphysical Science's Linda Buchwald 
One Producer in the City's Michael Roderick
Soprano-Mano's Anthony Verusso 
Gratuitous Violins' Esther Iris

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