Musical producer

Theater producer Chase Mishkin took Dame Edna to Broadway

She was born Mary Margaret Hahn on January 22, 1937 in Vanduser, Missouri. His mother, Violet (Phegley) Hahn, was a housewife. Her father, Harold Hahn, was not part of her life. She attended Washington University in St Louis for one semester in 1955.

Little is known about her next decade or so except that she was a dancer in Las Vegas and met her future husband, Ralph Mishkin, while modeling for an advertisement for his dance company. carpet making. By then she had changed her first name to Chase.

She and Mishkin married in 1970 and lived for a time on an estate they bought from singer and actress Cher in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. Mishkin became known as a hostess and philanthropist, but turned to acting after Mishkin’s death in 1993.

Barry Humphries as Dame Edna on his Broadway show.Credit:PA

In 1996, she directed Trish Vradenburg’s The apple does not fall… – about a woman’s relationship with her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease – in a small theater in Los Angeles before taking her to the Lyceum Theater on Broadway, under the direction of her friend Leonard Nimoy.

It failed, but Mishkin continued, becoming increasingly familiar on Broadway for her flamboyant red hair and mink coats and arriving at premieres — and Sardi’s, the theater district’s gathering spot — in her black cab. from London, which she had reupholstered in Burberry plaid. .

“She came on the scene in a bold way,” said Riedel, the author of Razzle Dazzle: Battle for Broadway (2016) and co-host of a morning radio show on WOR-AM in New York. “She was part of a new breed of producers who said, ‘If I’m going to give you $500,000, I’m not going to be a passive investor — I want to be involved in every aspect of the show.'”

Chase Mishkin at the opening night of the musical <i>Urban Cowboy.” loading=”lazy” src=”$zoom_0.265%2C$multiply_0.7725%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_0%2C $y_168/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/b30345a53990ae894caef7f540ec338de2404e12″ height=”390″ width=”584″ srcset=”$zoom_0.265%2C$multiply_0.7725%2C$ratio_1 .5%2C$width_756%2C$x_0%2C$y_168/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/b30345a53990ae894caef7f540ec338de2404e12,$zoom_0.265%2C$multiply_1.545%2C$ratio_1. 5%2C$width_756%2C$x_0%2C$y_168/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/b30345a53990ae894caef7f540ec338de2404e12 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Chase Mishkin at the opening night of the musical Urban cowboy.Credit:Getty

Daryl Roth, another woman who found success as a theater producer in the late 1980s, wrote in an email about Mishkin: “I feel like she’s a “lady” in the best possible way; she was frank but always gracious; she had a good attitude to enjoy life.

Mishkin endured failures like primateabout the battle for control of an aging gorilla between an anthropologist and a geneticist, and Urban cowboya 2003 musical adaptation of the 1980 film about a Texas honky-tonk.

In 2003, Mishkin and other producers decided that Urban cowboy – devastated by poor reviews, a four-day musicians’ strike, the start of the war in Iraq and dismal ticket sales – would close after its fourth performance. But as Lonny Price, who was directing the musical, walked to the stage to say goodbye to the audience, he ran into Mishkin backstage.

“She said, ‘We’re not closing,’ and I said, ‘What did you say? “, he remembers during a telephone interview. “She said, ‘I’ve decided not to close the show,’ and I said, ‘Can I say that? And she said, ‘Go ahead.’ And she funded the show for the rest of its run.

The musical remained alive – it earned two Tony nominations – but closed after 60 performances. “When business didn’t pick up, she reluctantly closed the salon,” Price said.

Mishkin has also produced Off Broadway shows and won an Emmy Award as executive producer of Sweeney Todd: The barber demon of Fleet Street in concertwhich Price directed on PBS in 2001. His final Broadway show, Doctor Zhivago (2015), closed after 23 performances.

In addition to her sister Julie, she is survived by another sister, Dixie May; a stepson, Steve Mishkin; and five step-grandchildren.