Monday, April 20, 2009

RIP Tharon Musser

There are theatrical lighting designers, and then there is Musser, who truly revolutionized the form. I met her in 2000, when she was part of a Lighting Dimensions International panel on the ground-breaking design of A Chorus Line (pictured) 25 years earlier. (It was the first to use a computerized lighting console, which was faithfully adapted by Natasha Katz for its recent revival.) She won a Tony for that achievement, plus two others, for Follies and Dreamgirls, and received an additional seven nominations. Her debut show was Long Day's Journey Into Night in 1956; the last of her many credits was Martin McDonagh's The Lonesome West in 1999. I regret not seeing any of her work first-hand; then again, her inspiration is felt throughout the profession, and touches every show in some way.

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