Jerry Herman the three-time Tony Award, two-time Grammy Award winner and Kennedy Center Honoree, has passed at the age of 88 in Miami where he lived with his partner, Terry Mahler according to the Associated Press.
Beginning in 1960, Herman contributed musical and lyrics to a dozen Broadway shows including his iconic Hello Dolly!, Mame, and the groundbreaking, La Cage aux Folles.
Much will be said about this legend of Great White Way and his work and there are a couple of things that will be said again and again about a Jerry Herman musical. First is its eternal sense of optimism and the second is you could always, repeat always, leave a Jerry Herman musical humming the tunes.
Never was that truer than with the unexpected anthem Jerry Herman gave our Community in 1983 with the Act I show stopping song. Here is Walther Charles as Zsa Zsa, performing, “I Am What I Am!”
Jerry Herman could not imagine when he first penned the Tony Award winning La Cage and “I am What I am,” just fourteen years after the Stonewall Rebellion, that it would change Broadway; become a global anthem to self-expression, acceptance, and love; bursting from stage to dance floor to Pride Marches for decades to come.
Jerry Herman’s tribute as a Kennedy Center Honoree