Todd Haimes, who led Roundabout Theatre Company to renown, dies at 66

Todd Haimes, who led the Roundabout Theatre Company from an off-off-Broadway entity teetering on the edge of bankruptcy into a major theatrical force with nearly three two dozen Tony Awards, died April 19 at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 66.

The cause was complications of cancer, said his friend and spokesman Matt Polk.

Mr. Haimes was the artistic director and chief executive of the nonprofit Roundabout, and Broadway shows that Roundabout put on during Mr. Haimes’s 39-year tenure included “The Real Thing” (2014) with Ewan McGregor, “A Soldier’s Play” (2020) with David Alan Grier and “On the Twentieth Century” (2015) with Kristin Chenoweth.

His other notable productions included the 2011 revival of the Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes” with Sutton Foster, and “Nine” (2003) with Jane Krakowski and Antonio Banderas.

Roundabout had a long, successful history with the musical “Cabaret,” reviving it in 1998 with the Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall-directed version starring Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson and then reviving it again with Cumming and Sienna Miller in 2014.

During Mr. Haimes’s tenure, Roundabout shows won 34 Tony Awards, 58 Drama Desk Awards, 73 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 21 Lucille Lortel Awards and 14 Obie Awards.

Bernard Todd Haimes, the son of a lawyer and a homemaker, was born in Manhattan on May 7, 1956. He graduated in 1978 from the University of Pennsylvania and later received a master’s degree in business administration from the Yale School of Management.

In 1983, he was appointed executive director to Roundabout, which had been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since 1977 and was evicted from its space on 23rd Street. By 1991, Mr. Haimes had Roundabout operating its own venue at its first Broadway home at the now-closed Criterion Center at Broadway and 45th Street.

The company’s early successes include a revival of the Eugene O’Neill drama “Anna Christie,” starring Liam Neeson and Richardson, and a revival of the Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical “She Loves Me,” both in 1993. That year, he instituted the Early Curtain series, using 7 p.m. openings to attract the after-work crowd.

Roundabout grew to encompass the American Airlines Theatre, the Studio 54 theater, the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and the off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre and another black box in the basement of the Pels.

His leadership included outreach and education programs and also provided a home to emerging playwrights as part of the Roundabout Underground program. Alumni include Stephen Karam, Lindsey Ferrentino, Steven Levenson, Joshua Harmon and Ming Peiffer.

“He changed my life, and the lives of countless others in New York theater,” wrote Warren Leight, whose Tony Award-winning play “Side Man” made it to Broadway in 1998, thanks to Mr. Haimes.

His first two marriages, to Alison Bender and Tamar Climan, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife, the former Jeanne-Marie Christman; two children; two stepdaughters; and four grandchildren.

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