A letter from John Lithgow to Marvin Hamlisch. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARVIN!)

A letter from John Lithgow to Marvin Hamlisch -

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARVIN!!!

Dear Marvin,
I write to you even though you are gone because in my mind you are not. In the last few years, I have done a lot of concerts for kids and solo shows for adults all over the country. It always seemed that every time I arrived at a concert hall, you had just done a concert and had left the day before or else you were due the following week. I was constantly leaving messages for you to await your arrival or your return engagements.

Marvin Hamlisch

Composer Marvin Hamlisch (1944–2012)

 

Wherever I went people spoke with awe and deep affection of your energy, generosity and extravagant brilliance. You spread joy, humor and above all, music to millions and you clearly loved doing it. Of those millions, I was one of the lucky ones. In 2001 I was in rehearsal rooms and studio’s with you, in groups and in solo coaching sessions working with you on my first ever Broadway musical.

 

WATCH (2 MIN) Music & Scenes excerpt from the Musical Sweet Smell of Success and Comments from John Lithgow, Peter Filichia and Craig Carnelia:

What an introduction!

I was not only your student but your eager audience as you frequently plopped yourself down at the piano and entertained everyone with your quick silver, hilarious improvised parodies. All of us looked on delighted and dazzled as music burst out of you.

When someone like you leaves us it is a terrible loss because you take so much joy with you. This is why I persuade myself that you are not gone. Your music still lives on of course, but so does your spirit in the memory of everyone who knew and worked with you. In my mind, you just did a gig and left yesterday and are due back again next season, right on schedule.

This letter is my message for you, awaiting your return.

Much love forever,
John

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, Terre Blair Hamlisch, and actor John Lithgow attend 'The Paley Center For Media Presents: The Music And Life Of Marvin Hamlisch' at Paley Center For Media on March 18, 2013 in New York City. (Source: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America)

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, Terre Blair Hamlisch, and actor John Lithgow attend ‘The Paley Center For Media Presents: The Music And Life Of Marvin Hamlisch’ at Paley Center For Media on March 18, 2013 in New York City. (Source: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America)

(Source: The American Cancer Society Gala celebration: “A Spring Salute to Marvin Hamlisch” — Featuring the Music for his Musical Score for the Broadway Musical “Sweet Smell of Success” - John Lithgow performed the role of J.J. Hunsecker in the 2002 Broadway Musical and won a Tony Award for best actor in a musical, 2002)

 

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Source: Team Marvin Hamlisch / The Music of Marvin Hamlisch


 

8 comments

  1. We will never see the likes of you, Marvin — you were the best and gave us such. Kind, considerate, always curious and interested. You enlivened us with your incomparable musical talent, and equally so with your infectious humor and joy. We miss you every day, despite being so very grateful for counting you a dear friend for as long as we did. Heaven is a better, more lively and interesting place now that you are there. If that doesn’t inspire us to be on our best behavior in order to get there, nothing will! Happy Birthday Marv — with enduring love and affection. Tuckers All..

  2. Kevin Cole I know you’re on my shoulder, Marvin. I know I talk to you every day. I know how lucky I am that God made our paths cross that fateful day in Saratoga…but I miss you and the spark you gave each note you played. YOU taught the world that music, love and humor live in harmony.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend!

  3. Miss you, Marvin. I hope you are looking down on all of us that love you and carry on with and for you. Wish you were here with us — but we’ll never stop celebrating your friendship, your incredible spirit, and that masterful music you left us. xo

  4. I met him at a party once where he spontaneously accompanied a friend of mine who sang a few of his songs. He was very friendly and came across as just a regular guy. A very humble man for being a truly great musician. The world is at a loss for no longer having him.

  5. Happy Birthday Marvin,
    You live in our hearts within your music. We can never forget all the magical moments you gave us in those songs.
    They play on and are so Precious!
    Just listened to I Cannot Hear the City
    Amazing Marvin, thank you for all your music.
    With gratitude,
    ‎Robin Gordon