Barbara Cook has died at the age of 89.
Barbara Cook has died at the age of 89.
(© Tristan Fuge)

Broadway will honor the memory of legendary performer Barbara Cook with a dimming of the marquee lights on Wednesday, August 9, at 7:45pm. Cook died August 8 at the age of 89.

Cook originated the role of Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, her rendition of "Glitter and Be Gay" becoming one of her signature arias, as well as the roles of Marian the Librarian in Meredith Willson's The Music Man and Amalia Balash in Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock, and Sheldon Harnick's 1963 musical She Loves Me. Her many other stage performances in the 1960s included Anna in The King and I and Magnolia in Show Boat at City Center. She played Molly Brown and Fanny Brice in national tours of The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Funny Girl, respectively. Her last role in a Broadway book musical came in 1971, when she starred as Dolly Talbo in The Glass Harp.

Cook's longtime collaboration with accompanist Wally Harper turned her into a cabaret star. She would bring numerous solo concerts to Broadway for extended stays, including Barbara Cook's Broadway! and Mostly Sondheim. Her relationship with Stephen Sondheim's music continued when she appeared in the 2010 revue Sondheim on Sondheim.