Joan Rivers’ Fans Convince Broadway to Reverse Decision, Dim Lights in Her Honor

“Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory,” the Broadway League’s executive director tells TheWrap

Last Updated: September 9, 2014 @ 2:29 PM

Broadway will honor Joan Rivers by dimming its theatre lights on Tuesday evening, but only because her fans insisted. The Broadway League originally decided the late comedienne didn’t meet the criteria for such a tribute, but they reconsidered after Rivers’ friends, fans and the theatre community voiced their objections.

Joan Rivers loved Broadway and we loved her. Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight, at exactly 6:45 p.m. for one minute.” Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League told TheWrap.

Also read: Joan Rivers Funeral: Howard Stern Delivers Eulogy at Star-Studded Service

Rivers’ legendary entertainment career spanned well over half a century and the effect she had on the industry, her fans and her colleagues was immeasurable. Her star-studded funeral on Sunday in New York was testament to that fact.

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald sang “Smile,” Tony winner Hugh Jackman performed the Peter Allen song “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage,” and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus belted out a string of Broadway hits.

However, St. Martin originally ruled Rivers’ career wasn’t theatrical enough in nature to warrant a dimming of the lights. “Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theatre, or else be synonymous with Broadway – people who made their careers here, or kept it up,” she told the New York Times on Monday.

But Rivers’ fans weren’t having it. Especially considering the League had recently dimmed the lights for other late entertainers not primarily associated with theatre, including Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall.

Many of Rivers’ supporters and celebrity friends expressed their disappointment in the Broadway League’s decision, including “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet, McDonald who sang at Rivers’ funeral, and actor-playwright Harvey Fierstein. More than 5,000 people also signed an online petition demanding the decision be reversed.

Also read: Joan Rivers Celebrated Across TV: What to Watch

And the Broadway League did.

Rivers, the sharp-tongued star of E!’s “Fashion Police” will be honored Tuesday night when all of New York’s Broadway productions dim their lights in her honor for a full minute.

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