×

Queen Latifah on Craig Zadan: ‘Before Inclusion Was a Talking Point, Craig Always Broke Barriers’

My heart is absolutely broken. I loved Craig.

It is so rare that someone with such immeasurable talent also has such an incredible soul. For everything he accomplished, there was no ego, no pretense — just complete passion and positive energy.

I have collaborated with a number of different people over the years, but my friendship and work relationship with Craig spanned over decades. We collaborated with one on another on “Chicago,” “Hairspray,” “Steel Magnolias” and “The Wiz,” not to mention the Emmy-nominated “Flint” project. He always had such an incredible and precise view of what he wanted but at the same time was so synergistic.

Before diversity and inclusion was a talking point, Craig (along with Neil Meron) always broke the barriers and made room for everyone. His vision had no boundaries. He was so supportive of me from the first time he and Neil and Rob [Marshall] cast me in “Chicago” — we were instant friends and his loyalty to me and my partner Shakim [Compere] never faded. In fact it’s not often you work for someone as an actor and go on to collaborate as producing partners, but we did.

His love of music and theater was contagious and the way he could bring that zest across pretty much any medium was mind-blowing. He left no stone unturned. He successfully entertained on Broadway, on film and on television. That kind of talent is rare.

I can say in a business with a lot of disappointing people, Craig had never ever let me down. I will miss him so much.

Queen Latifah most recently worked with Zadan on Lifetime’s “Flint,” which has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards.

More Legit

  • Protesters demonstrate at the Broadway opening

    'West Side Story' Broadway Opening Night Sparks Protests

    Roughly 100 protestors gathered outside the Broadway premiere of “West Side Story” on Thursday night, carrying placards and chanting in unison to demand the removal of cast member Amar Ramasar. “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ramasar has got to go,” they cried while holding signs that read “Keep predators off the stage,” “Sexual predators shouldn’t get [...]

  • West Side Story review

    'West Side Story': Theater Review

    Whittled down to one hour and forty-five minutes, “West Side Story” – with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins — has grown exceedingly dark and mislaid some of its moving parts in the new Broadway revival from edgy Belgian director Ivo Van Hove. (Can [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Closing in March After Box Office Struggles

    “The Inheritance,” a sprawling and ambitious epic that grappled with the legacy of the AIDS epidemic, will close on March 15. The two-part play has struggled mightily at the box office despite receiving strong reviews. Last week, it grossed $345,984, or 52% of its capacity, a dispiriting number for a show that was reported to [...]

  • MCC theater presents 'Alice By Heart'

    Steven Sater on Adapting 'Alice by Heart' From a Musical to a Book

    When producers approached lyricist Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) to adapt Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into a musical, his initial reaction was to recoil. His initial thought was that the book didn’t have a beginning, middle and an ending. But Sater pulled it off with his production of “Alice By Heart.” After an off-Broadway [...]

  • The Lehman Trilogy review

    Sam Mendes' 'Lehman Trilogy' Kicks off Ahmanson's New Season

    Sam Mendes’ “The Lehman Trilogy,” which took London’s West End by storm will be part of the Ahmanson’s lineup for the 2020-21 season. It will be joined by Broadway hits “Hadestown” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Artistic director Michael Ritchie announced the season that will also feature four fan favorites and another production to be [...]

  • Zoe Caldwell Dead

    Zoe Caldwell, Four-Time Tony Winner, Dies at 86

    Zoe Caldwell, an Australian actress with a talent for illuminating the human side of imposing icons such as Cleopatra and Maria Callas in a career that netted her four Tony Awards, died on Sunday due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to her son Charlie Whitehead. She was 86. Caldwell occasionally appeared in television and [...]

  • Cambodian Rock Band interview

    Listen: How 'Cambodian Rock Band' Became One of the Most Produced Plays in the U.S.

    One of the hottest trends in American theater this season is Cambodian surf rock from the 1970s — and that’s thanks to “Cambodian Rock Band.” Listen to this week’s Stagecraft podcast below: Playwright Lauren Yee’s genre-bending stage show, part family drama and part rock concert, has become one of the most-produced plays in the U.S. this season. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content