Broadway to dim lights in honor of Brian Friel

Broadway theaters will dim their marquees on Tuesday, Dec. 8 for one minute to honor the passing of Tony award winning playwright, Brian Friel, who passed away on Oct. 2 at age 86.

Friel published 24 plays including, “The Loves of Cass McGuire,” “Lovers,” and “Dancing at Lughnasa,” which won three Tony awards in 1992.

He was born in Northern Ireland and started his writing career after working as a teacher for 10 years in the region’s second largest city, Derry. His first Broadway hit, “Philadelphia, Here I Come,” which was later adapted into a movie, earned Friel his first Tony nomination in 1966.

Forty years later, he was elected the “Saoi of Aosdána,” Ireland’s highest artistic honor, and in 2009 Queen’s University in Belfast, opened the Brian Friel Theatre in his honor.

“Known as a gifted storyteller whose work achieved international acclaim for over four decades, Brian Friel’s writing explored social and political life in Ireland through lyrical dramas which played notably on the Broadway stage,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and many fans.”