In Memoriam: Those in the Performing Arts Lost to Coronavirus

Coronavirus has infected more than 12 million people worldwide, including more than 3 million people in the U.S., with more than 600,000 deaths worldwide and 135,000 deaths in the nation and counting. These numbers include many people in the arts.

On March 24, the theatre community lost a legendary playwright, librettist and screenwriter, Terrence McNally, whose work spanned six decades. He won the Tony Award for Best Play twice, for “Love! Valor! Compassion!” and “Master Class.” He also won two Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical for “Kiss of the Spiderwoman” and “Ragtime.” McNally was a visitor to Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove and set his play “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” in a summer house in the Fire Island gay community. McNally was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2011. Last year, he was awarded a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is survived by his husband, Tom Kirdahy, a theatre producer and former civil rights attorney. Kirdahy produced many of McNally’s plays on Broadway.

More recently, Broadway actor Nick Cordero, 41, lost his battle with coronavirus. He was born and raised in Canada and made his off-Broadway debut in the title role of “The Toxic Avenger.” In 2014, he co-starred in the Broadway musical “Bullets Over Broadway,” for which he was nominated for a Tony Award and won an OCC Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Theatre World Award. In March of 2016, he co-starred in the Sara Bareilles musical “Waitress,” which he left to star in the Broadway musical “A Bronx Tale.”

He is survived by his wife, Amanda Kloots, and 1-year old son, Elvis.

Others in the arts who have died of the coronavirus include Italian film actress Lucia Bose, 89; Obie winning theatre and film veteran Mark Blum, 69; film and theatre critic William Wolf, 94; Grammy winning country music singer Joe Diffie, 61; famed jazz guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, 94; popular songwriter-singer Adam Schlesinger, 52; New Orleans jazz legend Ellis Marsalis Jr., 85; actress, journalist and author biographer Patricia Bosworth, 86; folk and country singer- songwriter John Prine, 73; and film character actor Allen Garfield, 80.

Far too many people have died due to this pandemic. People have lost family members, loved ones and friends. The loss is most apparent in the arts, for these people have touched us with their talent, their words and their music. They belong to everybody.