In a statement, playwright Terrence McNally said, "Joe Franklin was a true New York treasure, and he loved, supported and promoted theatre people for decades. We dedicate today's matinee performance of It's Only A Play to his memory."
On the evening prior to his passing, Franklin was expected as a guest of the re-opening night of It's Only A Play, which celebrated the production's move from its original home, the Schoenfeld Theatre, next door to its new home, the Jacobs Theatre, where it is currently scheduled through March 29.
Franklin was a legendary New York City radio and TV show host, credited with pioneering the behind-the-desk celebrity interview that has come to define modern late-night talk shows. He began hosting "The Joe Franklin Show" in 1950, interviewing the likes of Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand Al Pacino and Liza Minnelli, among others. Franklin was often parodied on "Saturday Night Live" by Billy Crystal and appeared as himself in the films "Manhattan," "Ghostbusters," "29th Street" and "Broadway Danny Rose."
It's Only A Play recently welcomed Tony and Emmy winner Martin Short, two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran and "30 Rock" alum Maulik Pancholy to the cast. They join original cast members F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing and Micah Stock. Three-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien directs. Visit ItsOnlyAPlay.com.