Lani Ball, Broadway and Regional Stage Manager, Dies at 74

Obituaries   Lani Ball, Broadway and Regional Stage Manager, Dies at 74
 
Lani Ball, a theatrical stage manager who worked on Broadway, for touring companies and regional theatres, died from complications of a heart attack in Davis, CA,
 on June 27. She was 74.

Ms. Ball's Broadway credits included the original production of Hair, the 1973 musical Cyrano, Perfectly Frank and the 1986 revival of Sweet Charity.

She worked at the San Francisco Actors Workshop in the 1960s, under the direction of Jules Irving and Herbert Blau. After several years there, the company was invited to create a repertory theatre program for the new Vivian Beaumont Theatre at New York’s Lincoln Center. Lani was among the 25 company members chosen for the relocation.

Ms. Ball eventually became one of the company’s main stage managers, which led to other work on Broadway.

Her touring credits including A Chorus Line, Anything Goes and Ain’t Misbehavin'. She was one of the stage managers during the five-year run of The Phantom of the Opera at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

Regionally, in 1968, Lani stage-managed the five summer repertory productions of the California Shakespeare Festival in Los Gatos, CA. In the '90s she served as assistant to Elizabeth Huddle, Artistic Director of the Portland Center Stage in Oregon. Lani Ball was born on Dec. 25, 1940, in Honolulu. Her unusual first name was inspired by her parents’ wedding song, the popular 1940s hit "Sweet Leilani, Heavenly Flower," made famous by Bing Crosby. The family relocated to Sacramento, and Lani attended local schools including Sierra Elementary and McClatchy Senior High, where she developed an interest in the theatre.

Lani has no survivors. Services are pending, and in lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made in her name to local food banks or the SPCA.

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