Playwright Who Wrote Two of the Most Famous Musicals of All Time–‘West Side Story’ and ‘Gypsy’–And Directed Award-Winning Revivals of Them, Dies at 93

May 6, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The author of the books of two of the most famous musicals ever presented–"West Side Story’" and "Gypsy"–has died at his home in Manhattan. He was Arthur Laurents and he was 93 years old when he died on Thursday, May 5, 2011.

He also directed revivals of these popular shows and others. For his directon of the original Broadway production of "La Cage aux Folles" in 1983, Laurents received a Tony Award.

Laurents wrote screenplays as well, the most notable of which was the 1973 hit "The Way We Were," the memorable romance that starred Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand and was directed by Sydney Pollack.

In the 1950s and 1960s Laurents also wrote several TV dramas that appeared on various  anthology series.

The New York Times’ obituary about Laurents recalls that Lauents wrote in a 1995 essay in The Times, “Entertainment is dessert. [I]t  needs to be balanced by the main course: theater of substance.”

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