IN MEMORIAM: Mark Bramble

Author of 42ND STREET and BARNUM has died at age 68

Mark Bramble (Photo credit: Antiques and Arts Weekly)

The Concord Theatricals family is saddened to report that Mark Bramble, the American theatre director, author, and producer, died yesterday (February 20, 2018) at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, following complications related to cardiovascular hypertension. He was 68 years old. His passing was reported by his long-time business manager and friend, Richard Koenigsberg.

Born on December 7, 1950 in Chestertown, Maryland, Mr. Bramble was educated at McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Maryland; Emerson College, Boston; and New York University.

He began his theatrical career working as an apprentice in David Merrick’s office in 1971; his relationship with Mr. Merrick continued through many Broadway productions. As an author, his work includes the 1980 musical BARNUM, with songs by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart. He wrote the book for THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1984) with the music of Rudolph Friml.

The original Broadway Company of BARNUM

In 1980, Mr. Bramble co-authored the book for the musical 42ND STREET, which was produced by David Merrick with songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. Bramble directed and co-wrote the 2001 revival of 42ND STREET and directed many subsequent productions in London, Sydney, Shanghai, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Vienna.

He was nominated for the Tony Award three times: for Best Book of a Musical for BARNUM (1980) and for 42ND STREET (1981) and for Best Direction of a Musical for 42ND STREET (2001). The 1981 production of 42ND STREET won the Tony for Best Musical and became a long-running hit, and the 2001 production won the Tony for Best Revival. The 1984 London production of 42ND STREET won the Olivier Award for Best Musical.

42ND STREET at CLOC Musical Theatre in Victoria, Australia

Mr. Bramble’s brilliant work will undoubtedly live on through productions all over the world. We celebrate his life and mourn his passing.