- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
NY theater community mourns Philip Seymour Hoffman
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York theater community mourned Philip Seymour Hoffman on Wednesday night with candles flickering outside a small downtown theater and with Broadway’s mighty marquee lights dimmed in his honor, a sign of the celebrated actor’s broad love of the stage.
A vigil and prayer meeting was held outside the 90-seat home of the LAByrinth Theatre Company, where Hoffman had long been a member. And at 7:45 p.m., Broadway’s lights turned off for a minute.
“We come together tonight in a spirit of terrible mourning and incredible loss,” the Rev. Jim Martin, a Jesuit priest and LAByrinth member, told the crowd of about 200 people who stood in a chilly drizzle. “But we also come together to celebrate a remarkable life.”
Hoffman, 46, who was found dead of a suspected drug overdose Sunday in his New York apartment, often chose dark, troubled characters to play, both onstage and in such films as “Capote,” ”The Master” and “Doubt.”
“Courage was his forte, always,” said playwright and actor Eric Bogosian, a longtime LAByrinth collaborator. “In this world of creative enterprise, it is ultimately up to the artists to decide how high a bar he or she will set for themselves. Phil set his bar on the highest rung, on a rung above the highest rung. He pushed himself relentlessly until finally his efforts virtually redefined the very endeavor we call acting. That’s what he wanted. He wanted to rock the world.”
Hoffman’s longtime partner was costume designer Mimi O’Donnell, who currently serves as artistic director of LAByrinth and is the mother of their three children. A funeral is set for Friday.
During the vigil, Martin asked the members of the crowd to speak out loud one word they think of when they think of Hoffman and raise a candle. “My word is ‘humility,’” he said, setting off a chorus of words that included “genius,” ”brilliant” and “grace.”
Hoffman earned three Tony Award nominations for his work on Broadway, but his creative home for many years was the maverick LAByrinth company, where he served as artistic director for many years and helped build from a ragtag troupe into one of the pre-eminent downtown theatrical ensembles.
Founded in 1992 by a group of Latino actors, LAByrinth has become a home for playwrights such as John Patrick Shanley and Stephen Adly Guirgis, and for actors such as Daphne Rubin-Vega, Sam Rockwell, Bobby Cannavale, Chris Rock and Ethan Hawke.
Hoffman, who joined in 1995, earned Drama Desk nominations for directing Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” and “Our Lady of 121st Street,” in 2001 and 2003 respectively. He also helmed Guirgis’ “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” and “The Little Flower of East Orange.” Last year, he directed Bob Glaudini’s “A Family for All Occasions” for LAByrinth.
Uptown, Hoffman earned a Tony Award nomination each time he appeared on Broadway. He made his debut there in Sam Shepard’s “True West” with John C. Reilly in 2000 and followed it up three years later with Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” with Brian Dennehy and Vanessa Redgrave. In 2012, he played a powerful Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller opposite Andrew Garfield and under the direction of Mike Nichols.
After the ceremony, Danny Feldman, LAByrinth’s managing director, said he last saw Hoffman on the street a few weeks ago while the actor was walking with his son near the theater. Feldman greeted Hoffman and gave the boy a high five. “This is a very personal loss for our LAByrinth family and our community,” he said.
TWT Video Picks
By Joy Overbeck
Redemption by government is futile
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Elderly Chicago man robs bank to go 'home' to prison; judge fulfills his desire
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- Chavez seizes Cargill factory
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.