×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Manny Fox dies at 77

Produced Broadway's 'Sophisticated Ladies'

Manheim Fox, a producer of the 1980s Broadway hit “Sophisticated Ladies” who worked with a variety of musical and theatrical artists, including George Burns, Barbra Streisand and Johnny Cash, died from a heart condition in Phoenix, Ariz., on Sept. 23. He was 77.

Fox produced a five-LP retrospective of Duke Ellington’s music that eventually led to the musical “Sophisticated Ladies,” starring Gregory Hines, based on Ellington’s work.

“Sophisticated Ladies” ran for 767 performances on Broadway in the early 1980s and was Tony nominated for best musical in 1981.

Fox produced five subsequent productions of “Sophisticated Ladies” throughout the world.

His record career included numerous anthology albums including Orson Welles’ famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”; “The Golden Age of Comedy,” narrated by George Burns; and “Showstoppers” — 50 performances by the original casts in Broadway musicals including Ethel Merman, Rex Harrison, Barbra Streisand and Ezio Pinza. TV credits include “The Best of Broadway” for CBS and “Enchanted Evenings With Rodgers and Hammerstein” for PBS.

More recently Fox produced three original children’s musicals, “On Our Own,” “Relatively Speaking” and “Questionable Quest,” which was performed at Broadway’s Beacon Theater.

Fox was born and raised in New York. His first major New York offering was a show called “The Roots of Jazz” at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village in 1959. Thereafter he presented jazz festivals with Louis Armstrong and Sarah Vaughan and folk festivals at Carnegie Hall featuring a theatricalization of Carl Sandburg’s “The American Songbag” with Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, Phil Ochs, Buffy Sainte-Marie and the Staple Singers.

Fox also presented “A Happening With Salvador Dali” at Lincoln Center, with Salvador Dali painting on a huge scrim onstage and facing the audience while ballet dancers improvised to a live jazz band.

During the years he lived in Puerto Rico, Fox hosted a weekly radio show called “From Here to Broadway,” and wrote a weekly newspaper column for the San Juan Star called “Diary of a Producer.”

He is survived by his four sons and three grandchildren.

More Music

  • Dua Lipa

    Green Day, Dan + Shay, Dua Lipa Among 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' Performers

    Green Day, Dan + Shay, Dua Lipa, Paula Abdul, Kelsea Ballerini, Blanco Brown, Ava Max, Megan Thee Stallion, Anthony Ramos, Salt-N-Pepa and SHAED will perform on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020,” dick clark productions and ABC announced today. The broadcast will also feature Ciara as West Coast host, who said, [...]

  • Taylor Swift "Christmas Tree Farm"

    Taylor Swift's 'Christmas Tree Farm' Video Is a VHS Wonderland

    Taylor Swift may have set a “Farm”-to-market land speed record with the release of “Christmas Tree Farm” Thursday night, just four days after the tune was written, and with much less time than that since it was lushly orchestrated for maximum holiday glee. The biggest revelation of the accompanying video — at least for anyone [...]

  • darlene love

    Darlene Love's Blue Christmas: Singer Says NBC Tree Lighting Organizers Are Ageist

    Darlene Love’s iconic Christmas song, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home),” was performed Wednesday night on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” tree lighting special — but the woman who made it famous was iced out and she is furious about it. Love, 78, explained her frustrations on Facebook, calling out Brad Lachman Productions for excluding her [...]

  • Joycelyn Savage, Azriel Clary. Azriel Clary,

    Joycelyn Savage Denies Creating Patreon Account Exposing R. Kelly

    One of R. Kelly’s longtime girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, has come forward publicly to refute claims that she’s turned on the R&B singer after an Instagram account claiming to be her suggested as much. In a video obtained by TMZ, Savage, first reading pre-written statements on her cell phone, strongly denies the assertion that she had [...]

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Broadway Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    Nearly 25 years after “Jagged Little Pill” hit the shelves of record stores, Alanis Morissette’s innovative 1995 album has arrived on Broadway under the muscular direction of Diane Paulus, who launched this galvanic production at the American Repertory Theater. The show’s supportive book by screenwriter Diablo Cody interprets Morissette’s musical idiom as a universal domestic [...]

  • Who album cover

    Album Review: The Who's 'Who'

    Not only did the death wish expressed 55 years ago in “My Generation” not come true, but the Who have now become the first major rock act of their generation to come up with a whole album that’s actually about getting old. And this from an outfit that pretty much entirely skipped its own middle age, [...]

  • Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut

    Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut With ‘Xanny’ Video (Watch)

    In a week with lots of other Billie Eilish things going on — including Variety’s two cover stories, her acoustic performance at Apple’s headquarters and, not least, reports of a multi-million-dollar documentary deal with Apple — a new video from the 17-year-old singer has also arrived. The clip — for the song “Xanny,” from her [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content