Bruce Glikas: Broadway’s Shutterbug

Photog's on the red carpet almost every night of the year

Bruce Glikas

When Tom Hanks saw Bruce Glikas at the Broadway opening of “Lucky Guy,” he shouted out, “It’s the busiest working man in show business!”

“It’s not true,” says the photographer, who’s on the red carpet almost every night of the year documenting every legit event in Gotham. “But Hanks said that in front of my best friend from high school. What more do you want?!”

It is, however, very true when theater people see Glikas and exclaim, “Wow! Now I know it’s an event. You’re here!”

Glikas is definitely not a paparazzo. Working for Getty Images, as well as Broadway.com, he calls himself a historian. Unfortunately, the plethora of iPhones in recent years has him a bit bummed.

“Sometimes I can’t see in front of me because of the cell phones. Did I miss something or did Barbra Streisand just enter this room?” he wonders.

His hobby of taking photos turned into a profession quite by accident. In 1991, a friend invited him to Madonna’s “Truth or Dare” premiere, and Glikas thought he’d bring his camera. “Madonna got out of her limo and signed a few autographs,” he recalls, “and there was no one in front of me. She smiled, and I took a few pictures.” Better yet, someone from People magazine gave Glikas his card and told him not to sell those photos: “We want to embargo them.”

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Embargo? “I had no idea what that meant, but they paid my $7,000 not to sell those photos to anyone else.”

Short-lived gigs at Theater Week and In Theater magazine led Glikas to Broadway.com.

For 15 years, Glikas has been documenting Broadway openings and other major legit events on a regular basis. He’s amazed that performers he saw in concert as a student — Madonna, Phil Collins, Cyndi Lauper, Deborah Harry — have invited him backstage to photograph them. Professionally, however, he remains committed to the theater rather than the movies and pop music. “I’d rather be a big fish,” he says, not that Broadway is exactly a small pond. Certainly it harbors a number of outsized egos.

He notes, “Sometimes I get a list of demands regarding photos. And I’m, ‘Are you kidding me? This is the theater. No one knows who you are outside these walls.’ ” Still, Glikas finds it best to play the game. Where other photogs get posed shots, the Glikas trademark is a candid quality that is rarely seen on the red carpet.