Cleveland, OH – Playhouse Square honored Broadway producer Hal Luftig with its highest award, the Playhouse Square Star Award for Achievement in the Performing Arts, at its annual Chairman’s Dinner on November 16. Past honorees include legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch; Disney Theatricals President Thomas Schumacher; Broadway producers Margo Lion, Kevin McCollum and Barry and Fran Weissler; and pioneering Playhouse Square leaders Oliver C. “Pudge” Henkel, Jr. and John F. Lewis.
“Hal produces quality work which emanates directly from his heart. Audiences here in Cleveland and around the world are uplifted through his productions,” said Gina Vernaci, executive producer at Playhouse Square. “We are pleased to put the spotlight this humble, kind-hearted yet savvy businessman who is a great role model.”
Hal Luftig is a winner of four Tony Awards and London’s Olivier Award. He has worked on and off Broadway for the past 25 years and is currently the lead producer of Kinky Boots on Broadway, which received six Tony Awards including Best Musical. In addition to New York, Kinky Boots can be seen around the world in London; Toronto; Seoul, South Korea (return engagement); and upcoming engagements in Tokyo, Japan and Melbourne, Australia. Kinky Boots is in its second year of a U.S. national tour which will include a triumphant return to Cleveland in August 2016.
After receiving an MFA in Arts Management from Columbia's School of the Arts, Luftig started his career off-Broadway in downtown Manhattan, working in some of New York's most storied and venerable theaters. There, he created fertile ground for up-and-coming talents like Eric Bogosian and Charles Busch, in shows like Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll and The Lady in Question.
Soon, he began to produce on Broadway as well. His shows have included Ariel Dorfman's Death & the Maiden, George Wolf's Jelly's Last Jam, Tony Kushner's Angels in America, the 20th anniversary production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart at the Public Theater, the unexpurgated revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel's Movin' Out, the work of comic geniuses like Whoopi Goldberg and Kathy Najimi, and Tony Award-winning new musicals like Thoroughly Modern Millie, as well as revivals of delightful classics like Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I and Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun.
He currently is developing a revival of Children of a Lesser God, a musical adaptation of the film Corrina, Corrina (written by Alan Menkin, Brian Yorkey and Jessie Nelson), and a new musical written by David Byrne and directed by Alex Timbers.
The Playhouse Square Star Award is bestowed annually to an individual(s) who exemplifies a lifetime dedication to the performing arts evidenced by a body of work that contributes to our culture, proven leadership within the industry, creativity, willingness to mentor young talent and respect from the artistic community