Veteran Broadway costume designer Martin Pakledinaz, who won Tonys for his work in the 1999 revival of “Kiss Me, Kate” and another for 2002 musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” died Sunday morning after a battle with cancer. He was 58.
Pakledinaz racked up 10 Tony nominations during a career of some three decades, during which he costumed everyone from Natalie Portman in the 1997 production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” to Patti LuPone in the 2008 revival of “Gypsy” to Matthew Broderick in the currently running new musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Another recent musical for which he designed the costumes, the Roundabout Theater Company revival of “Anything Goes,” shuttered Sunday after a run of more than a year.
He designed for both plays (“The Normal Heart,” “Blithe Spirit”) and musicals (“The Pajama Game,” “The Life”), both on Broadway and off it, frequently working with the Roundabout on that company’s slate of productions. He and helmer Kathleen Marshall collaborated on shows including “Nice Work,” “Anything Goes,” “Pajama Game” and “Grease.”
In addition, Pakledinaz worked frequently with choreographer Mark Morris, for whom he designed dance works including Nutcracker update “The Hard Nut.” His opera resume included “Iphigenie en Tauride,” which starred Placido Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera and has since been released as part of the Met Live in HD series of cinemacasts, and the world premiere of “The Golden Ticket,” the opera adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” that bowed in St. Louis in 2010.
Pakledinaz grew up in Sterling Heights, Mich., and went to college at Wayne State U. in Detroit, where he studied directing and design, and then earned an M.F.A. at the U. of Michigan.
He moved to New York in 1977, working for established designers including the legendary Theoni V. Aldredge. His first Broadway credit as a costume designer was on the 1981 comedy “Inacent Black.”
Along with his design work, he also taught graduate-level courses at NYU.’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Pakledinaz is survived by his six brothers and one sister, nine nieces and nephews, and a godson. Private funeral services will be held in Michigan.