Lawyer to top Theater Development Fund

NEW YORK — John F. Breglio, arguably New York’s highest-profile theater lawyer, has been named chairman of the board of directors of the Theater Development Fund. Breglio replaces TDF’s retiring chairman, David D. Holbrook.

TDF, the not-for-profit group that operates the discount ticketing TKTS booth near Times Square, also tapped Jack Goldstein to replace outgoing president Thomas F. Leahy. Goldstein, an Actors’ Equity Assn. exec since 1993 and coordinator of the Broadway Initiative loan project, will take the title exec director of TDF.

Holbrook, who will take an emeritus title upon his previously announced retirement, confirmed his replacement to Daily Variety Tuesday. Holbrook has been TDF’s chairman since November 1990. He called Breglio a “valued TDF board member for 13 years.”

Line of clients

As a partner in the Gotham office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Breglio heads the law firm’s entertainment department and is a member of its intellectual property group. Since joining the firm in 1971, he has represented companies and individuals from various segments of the entertainment industry, but is perhaps best known for his legal work within the theater community, from “A Chorus Line” and “Evita” to the current Broadway production of David Mamet’s “The Old Neighborhood.”

Breglio said Tuesday he will continue “TDF’s mission of expanding audiences for the performing arts and encouraging the development of new and worthwhile plays and musicals.” High on his agenda, he said, will be “support for the production of new plays, particularly serious drama, which continues to be an endangered species on Broadway.”

Experienced help

Working directly with Breglio will be Goldstein, who for three years has served as coordinator of the Broadway Initiative’s working group, a theatrical coalition of labor and management devising a financing plan to support the production of plays and small musicals on Broadway. In addition to that work, Goldstein has been special assistant to Actors’ Equity president Ron Silver since 1993.

Goldstein replaces Leahy, who completes a five-year tenure as TDF president and announced in March that he would not seek re-election.

TDF was founded in 1968 as a not-for-profit arts booster. Since 1973, the organization has operated the TKTS half-price ticket booth in Duffy Square (near Times Square). According to TDF’s own figures, the organization has filled more than 48 million theater seats in its history, including 2.5 million during the past fiscal year.

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