I was saddened to hear about the death of Marvin Hamlisch this morning. He was just 68.
Mr. Hamlisch had performed in Columbus twice. Once at the Springer Opera House and once in the Bill Heard Theatre.
I interviewed him before both performances and he was very, very nice. He was charming and funny.
But I understand he was not that charming nor fun for the presenters.
He wanted a black floor, so someone at the Springer painted the stage floor black. But he used the wrong paint, so it was still wet. Mr. Hamlisch apparently had a fit and they had to lay a path from backstage to the piano on stage using carpet remnants.
Actually, it was kind of funny.
The performance was on Sunday, so back in those days, downtown Columbus was dead.
This was before RiverCenter for the Performing Arts was built, Columbus State University students weren't living downtown and downtown Columbus didn't look anything like it does today.
He made fun of Columbus for that.
I didn't see him when he played the Heard Theatre.
Still, he was one of the premier composers of our day.
In one of his obits, (in BroadwayWorld.com), it noted he was one of 11 EGOT winners ever. An EGOT stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. He won three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys and a Tony. He also won three Golden Globes.
The Oscars came for scoring "The Way We Were," as well as writing the song, sung by Barbra Streisand. He also won an Oscar for adapting the music of Scott Joplin for the movie, "The Sting."
He also won the Tony and the Pulitzer Prize for writing the music for "A Chorus Line."
The Associated Press said "he was working on a new musical, 'Gotta Dance,' at the time of his death and was scheduled to write the score for a new film on Liberace, 'Behind the Candelabra.'"
Even though he made fun of Columbus, it's OK. He gave us a lot of music.