By Kenneth Jones
10 Jan 2003
Over the years, he personally represented such artists as Menken (Little Shop of Horrors), Hall (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas), actress Diana Sands, singer-songwriters Peter Allen and Don McLean, groups such as Sly and the Family Stone, orchestrator Peter Matz and comedian Joan Rivers.
He started out at the William Morris Agency booking talent for and working on the production of New York based shows "The Jimmy Dean Show," "The Sammy Davis Show" and "The Mitch Miller Show." He was promoted to full agent and reactivated the phonograph records department, through which he also sold composers for motion picture music and negotiated music publishing agreements.
After 10 years at William Morris, he formed The Shukat Company, a literary/personal management business with ties to music publishing organizations, in 1972. His first project was negotiating the album, "Free To Be...You and Me," which became a gold record and a popular TV special and book.
Mr. Shukat handled composer Alan Menken from early stage projects such as God Bless You Mr. Rosewater to wide success writing songs and scores for such Disney animated pictures as "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Mr. Shukat negotiated the first-ever mechanical royalties for songwriters and publishers from videocassette sales for the Geffen/Warner film, "Little Shop of Horrors."
Most of Shukat's clients spent their time writing plays or writing and working in the musical theatre. The client list includes theatre songwriters Glenn Slater, Walter Edgar Kennon, David Spencer, director Gregory Wolfe and many more, and he embraced a younger generation of musical writers as well.
His colleagues at the Shukat Company are Maribel Rivas, who represents talent and runs the affiliated publishing companies, and Lysna Scriven-Marzani, the administrative assistant/associate talent representative. The Shukat Company will continue business, Rivas told Playbill On Line.
Mr. Shukat, a Queens native who studied at Columbia University and lived in Manhattan, is survived by his wife, Evelyn Shukat, M.D., head of the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center Child Protection Program; son Jonathan, a sophomore at Columbia University; parents Harry and Florence; brother Peter and sister-in-law Yvette, sister Susan Kasten, and nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Mr. Shukat's name to Lincoln Hospital Auxiliary Fund, Children's Advocacy Center, 234 Eugenio Maria De Hostos Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10451.