I write this morning with the sad news that Nicky Martin, the Huntington’s Artistic Director from 2000 through 2008, passed away yesterday in New York. I will share more details as we get them, but this is a day of remembrance for so many people who were inspired and delighted by his talent and his personality, and by the legion of friends who loved him.
Today the Huntington has a previously scheduled all-staff meeting, and it seems clear that it will now become a time and a place to share stories, most of which I expect to end with laughter. His time as artistic director here began with his production of Dead End and ended with his joyous She Loves Me, and included the triumphant opening of the Calderwood Pavilion with Sonia Flew. In between were many other great productions, including his Hedda Gabler with Kate Burton, Butley with Nathan Lane and Present Laughter with Victor Garber, all of which went to Broadway.
Michael Maso, Nicholas Martin, and Peter DuBois at the 2013 Tony Awards Luncheon
The first Nicky Martin production I saw was Betty’s Summer Vacation by Christopher Durang, a production of pure perfection that we were able to recreate at the Huntington (with the great Andrea Martin) and the last was Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which earned him a Tony nomination as Best Director. He was a Durang genius.
A tribute video from 2008, celebrating the end of Nicky's tenure at the Huntington
What his friends will most remember, I believe, is the joy with which he infected a room, whether it was a rehearsal hall or a dinner table. And that laugh. Nicky Martin's laugh will always be a life-affirming miracle, loud enough to rouse the angels from their heavenly sleep and wicked enough to make them question whether they were on the right side.
Have a good laugh today, and think of him.
Nicholas Martin directed twenty marvelous shows in total at the Huntington,
from new plays to musicals to Shakespeare and many world and American classics.