Off-Broadway Theater to Be Named After Jerry Orbach
Sam Waterston, Orbach's colleague from TV's Law & Order, will speak at the dedication, and Karen Ziemba (Curtains) will perform. Among the other notables scheduled to attend the ceremony are Mariska Hargitay, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelly Bishop, Celeste Holm, and Anita Gillette, as well as Fantasticks co-author Tom Jones and the revival's current star, Anthony Federov.
Orbach was best known for his role as the wisecracking Detective Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order, but he was also a Tony Award-winning Broadway and Off-Broadway actor. In 1960, he created the role of El Gallo in the original production of The Fantasticks. His Broadway credits include starring roles in such musicals as Carnival, Promises, Promises, Chicago, and 42nd Street. Among the many films in which he appeared are Prince of the City, Dirty Dancing, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Disney's animated feature Beauty and the Beast, in which he provided the voice of Lumière.
"Jerry Orbach was one of the most versatile and important actors of our time," stated Snapple Theater general manager Catherine Russell. A photo of Orbach performing in The Fantasticks adorns a lobby wall at the theater where the revival is playing. That photo, along with Orbach's life-long connection to the show, inspired Russell to name the theater in his honor. She brought the idea to Orbach's widow, who involved Law & Order producer Dick Wolf.