Michael Friedman, noted theatre composer and lyricist, passes away aged 41

Michael Friedman's play Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson made its world premiere in 2009 and went on to become a huge success.

PTI September 10, 2017 16:15:25 IST
Michael Friedman, noted theatre composer and lyricist, passes away aged 41

Los Angeles: Michael Friedman, the celebrated composer and lyricist of theatrical works, including Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, has died. He was 41.

Michael Friedman noted theatre composer and lyricist passes away aged 41

Theatre lyricist and composer Michael Friedman. Image via Facebook

Friedman passed away following the complications related to HIV/AIDS, reported Variety.

The Public Theatre, where Friedman was an artist in residence and director of the Public Forum, announced the news. The Public Theatre is also where Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson made its New York premiere in 2009, before hitting Broadway the next year.

"Michael Friedman was one of the most brilliant, multi-talented theatre artists of our time. He was also a miracle of a human being: loving, kind, generous, hilarious, thrilling. His loss leaves a hole in the theatre world that cannot be filled, and a hole in the hearts of those who loved him that will last forever," Public Theatre artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a statement.

"Michael brought so much joy and beauty and humour to our lives. To lose him so soon is devastating. We are so grateful to the people who loved him, made art with him, and were so supportive of his work, and made it possible for Michaels extraordinary gifts to reach so many people," added his sister Marion Friedman Young.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was a collaboration between Friedman and director Alex Timbers and their theatre collective, Les Freres Corbusier, that took a gleeful, rock- and-roll sledgehammer to the story of the US seventh president, in which he was portrayed as a hip-thrusting, charismatic, ethically challenged and avaricious pop star; he was played both at the Public and on Broadway by Benjamin Walker.

It was workshopped at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and had its world premiere in 2008 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

Friedman worked with a broad array of companies in New York and around the country, including the Signature Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and the Roundabout Theatre Company, as well as the Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Rep and the American Repertory Theatre, among many others.

In addition to his sister, Friedman is survived by his parents Carolyn and John Friedman and his nephew John Henry Young.

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