Broadway theaters will dim their lights this week to pay tribute to the passing of producer Ashton Springer, who died on July 15 at the age of 82. Theater marquees will go dark for one minute at 8PM on July 24 in honor of the late producer.
"A producer or co-producer of numerous Broadway shows in the 1970s and early ’80s, Ashton Springer produced plays and musicals by and about African-Americans that brought both black and white audiences to Broadway," Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League, said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Springer began his career as a musician with the Four Aces before starting out on Broadway with a revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play No Place to Be Somebody, which led him to become interested in the audience potential for black-oriented plays. Both Bubbling Brown Sugar and his 1977 all-black revival of Guys and Dolls were nominated for Tony Awards. His other Broadway productions included Whoopee!, Going Up, Cold Storage, Athol Fugard’s A Lesson from Aloes and Inacent Black.
Springer died from complications from pneumonia at the Sarah Neuman Center in Mamaroneck, N.Y. He is survived by a sister and two sons.