Robert Bradford Van Nostrand, a fixture at the Duffy Square TKTS discount tickets booth as a tireless one-on one promoter of shows, died Nov. 27, 2003, from injuries sustained in a car accident.
Van Nostrand, known as Brad, was on his way from Washington, DC back to New York City on Thanksgiving night, to promote the Broadway and Off-Broadway shows to which he had dedicated much of his life. The car in which he was a passenger was struck from behind by another vehicle at a toll booth at the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
Van Nostrand, 40, was president of Flyer Boy Promotions, which specialized in on-the-spot marketing. Known in the New York theatre community and to people who stood on line at the TKTS booth on West 47th Street and Broadway, he would pitch Broadway shows person-to person.
With a smile and an eagerness to answer questions about shows, Van Nostrand represented Little Shop of Horrors, Forbidden Broadway, Stomp, The Thing About Men, I Am My Own Wife, Our Sinatra, Right You Are and Our Fathers, among others. Van Nostrand was also an actor-singer-comedian. Being a performer informed his job selling shows, friends said.
As an actor, he appeared in touring productions (West Side Story, Forbidden Broadway), children's shows and on cruise ships. He also appeared in the award winning independent film, "Dogumentary," and a Coca Cola commercial with Jennifer Lopez.
"Brad was really passionate about everything," said John Freedson, producer of the mini-industry that is Forbidden Broadway, for which Van Nostrand served as a performer (on the road) and as a company manager (Off-Broadway) for a time.
Freedson met Van Nostrand at Boston Conservatory of Music, when they were students. "He was one of those people who was over the top about life," Freedson said. "He didn't like something, he loved it. He hated anyone to have a negative comment about something; he was so fiercely loyal to the shows he worked for."
And Van Nostrand "refined selling shows at the booth into an art form," Freedson said.
On slow nights for Forbidden Broadway, company manager Van Nostrand would walk to the TKTS booth and start tub-thumping. The half-price seats would be filled by curtain time, Freedson said.
"He was very happy with the success he was having and was making a nice living at it," explained Freedson. "It employed all his talents except for singing. . . He was the kind of person who should have had a show written around him. He was almost like an old-style star personality..."
Van Nostrand was born in Huntington, NY and grew up in Northport, NY.
Survivors include parents Albert and Doris, brother Craig, sister Lynn and many close friends.