Family, friends, and colleagues will gather to celebrate the life and voice of Broadway librettist Mark O'Donnell on Monday, November 12 at 3pm at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. Doors will open at 2:30pm and the event is open to the public.
Participants will include Mark's identical twin brother Steve O'Donnell (a four-time Emmy Award winner and former head writer for David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel); Tony and Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce; Patricia Marx (The New Yorker staff writer and "Saturday Night Live "alumna); Tony-winning Hairspray producer Margo Lion; Tony-winning Hairspray director Jack O'Brien; Tony-winning director Doug Hughes; Cry-Baby director Mark Brokaw; and Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who will perform along with Tony nominee Kerry Butler and other members of the Hairspray cast.
John Waters and Jon Stewart (who was a student of O'Donnell's at NYU) have contributed filmed tributes for the memorial, which will also feature testimonials from numerous colleagues as well as a montage of photos and Mark's cartoons, designed by David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group.
Mia Barron, David Greenspan (Hairspray), Jay O. Sanders (Fables for Friends), and Christopher Evan Welch (Scapin) will perform O'Donnell's one-act play "There Shall Be No Bottom (a bad play for worse actors)."
Mark O'Donnell (July 19, 1954 – August 6, 2012) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended public schools there before attending Harvard where he was a member of the Harvard Lampoon and wrote musicals for Hasty Pudding Theatricals. Mr. O'Donnell won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Hairspray and received another nomination in the same category for Cry-Baby, both adaptations of John Waters films, and both co-written with Thomas Meehan. Mr. O'Donnell's other stage credits include the musical Tots in Tinseltown and the plays That's It, Folks!; Fables for Friends; The Nice and the Nasty; Strangers on Earth; and Vertigo Park; as well as an adaptation of Scapin, which he co-wrote with Bill Irwin, and a translation of A Flea in Her Ear, co-authored with Jean-Marie Besset. He published two novels Getting Over Homer and Let Nothing You Dismay and two collections of comic stories. His work appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, and The New York Times. In addition to the Tony, he received the George S. Kaufman Award and Lincoln Center's Lecompte de Nouy Prize.